As easy as 1, 2, 3

Preschoolers should learn their 1-2-3’s as well as their ABC’s, concludes the National Research Council. From NBC:

The National Research Council finds kids ages 3 to 6 are already learning numbers and geometry through everyday experiences.

“When we’re going outside we’re lining up and then we’re all gonna count. Count how many friends we have,“ teacher Anuschka Boekhoudt said.

“They’re learning addition and subtraction but they don’t really realize it you know. It’s just, it’s fun for them,“ Helling said.

Kids are ready to learn the report says. It’s preschool teachers who need more math training.

There are fun ways to introduce math before children decide it’s scary or hard, researchers say.

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  1. We were recently startled to know that our 3-year old can add and subtract numbers under 10 as long as we don’t use ‘math terms’. He can tell me that if I have 3 cookies and he gives me 4 then we have 7 or that if he has 8 trains and I take 2 then he has 6. I was amazed – we don’t ever do ‘school’ and he isn’t in preschool, but we talk about math and spelling when he’s interested and it fits the situation (such as during shopping, cleaning up, or cooking).

  2. deirdremundy says:

    I’ve noticed that most kindergarten math curriculums are fluff, yet we push reading on Kindergarteners…

    But neuroscience research has shown that kids need specific neurological developments to be able to handle reading–and for many kids these brain-changes don’t come until 6 or 7…

    So…why not do MATH in Kindergarten, and hold off on reading for an extra year, until the kdis brains can handle it?

  3. And why don’t researchers ever wonder if it’s not the teachers who think math and/or reading is hard making kids believe that math and/or reading is hard?

    Kids usually think everything is fun–until they’re told by an adult, or somebody else they look up to tells them it isn’t, that whatever it is is hard and boring. At least, that’s the way it was with me.

  4. Mark G. says:

    Lu-lu, I see the same thing with my four-year old. He loves the patterns in numbers and discovers the logic on his own…through play. (Wow dad, after sixty is sixty-one, after seventy is seventy-one…it’s always the same!)

    I think how a parent approaches math at home is as important, if not moreso, than what a teacher does. How many studies out there connect literacy to parental involvement and early reading exposure? There have been whole ad campaigns to get parents to read with their kids… something tells me a “do math with your kids” ad campaign would not work as well. I wonder why that is…?

  5. Tracy W says:

    deirdremundy – do you have the links to that research about the age to learn reading? I’m not doubting your word, just very curious about what those changes are.