Children have a lot on their plate as they approach school age and spend their first few years in elementary school. There is so much to learn and understand.
Learning all these new things can be scary but there are ways we can help. One of the most important subjects a child must learn is basic mathematics. Since addition and subtraction are what children are introduced to first, this article will focus on ways to help children learn addition and subtraction.
Use Items to help children learn addition and subtraction
Things like blocks, poker chips, or anything else you can safely use are great items to utilize to help children learn addition and subtraction.
Start with addition. Place one block in front of the child and explain to them that there is only 1 block. Next place another block next to the first block and say something like, “This is 1 block and this is 1 block, when we put them together there is 2 blocks.”
Repeat this demonstration as many times as necessary to help the child understand the concept of adding things together to get more of them. Move on when the child is ready and show them how to get 3, 4, 5 blocks and so on.
After spending the necessary time helping your child learn addition you can move onto subtraction. Place 2 blocks on the table and remove one of the blocks. Ask your child how many blocks remain. Help them as needed. Continue the process of helping your child learn addition and subtraction by using the blocks.
This is a great visual hands on approach to help children learn addition and subtraction.
Help children learn addition and subtraction with everyday items and situations
One of the best ways to help children learn addition and subtraction is to use things like food to help them understand. For instance the familiar example of using pizza or pie to show them how to do subtraction. Help them figure out how many pieces there are to begin with, and then as you take pieces away, ask them how many are left.
You can use almost anything as an opportunity to help children learn addition and subtraction. While they’re picking up their toys you can have them count their toys as they put them away. When you are sitting down for a meal, help them figure out how many plates of food are on the table. If you have flowers outside, see if they can count how many roses are on the rose bush. Take advantage of any opportunity you have to help your children learn addition and subtraction.
Flash cards are a great and fun way to help children learn addition and subtraction. They should be used after using items and visual ways to teach children addition and subtraction. But once children get the hang of the hands on approach, it’s a good time to bring the flash cards in.
First you’ll need to help them identify numbers. To do this, use nine sheets of paper, write numbers 1 through 9 on the top of each sheet, and then place the corresponding number of blocks (or whatever you’re using) on each piece of paper, so that the child relates the number written on the paper to the amount of blocks.
Once they can identify numbers, flash cards should be used regularly to help children learn addition and subtraction. After they get good at solving the problems on the flash cards, you can help them learn how to solve addition and subtraction problems on paper in writing.
All it takes is time, patience, and a gradual approach to help children learn addition and subtraction. Ease them into it and offer them help and guidance, and they’ll have it down in not time.