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Mathematics - The Critical Piece

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Mathematics – The Critical Piece




It is common knowledge that mathematics is imperative to a child’s success as they go through school. Mathematics is more than just numbers and counting. Mathematics also involves measuring, understanding shapes and space, recognising patterns as well as interpreting graphs and charts.


The Importance of Patterns

Studies have shown that patterns are important in early mathematics learning because a child’s numbers system is based on patterns (Connor and Neal, 2014). Patterns are a fun way for children to learn and can lead to many fundamental ideas about numbers, multiplications, shapes, statistics and geometry. Children are visual learners and can practice making patterns with materials like beads, pegs, paper plates and bottle tops.

As parents you can help your children understand patterns by implementing the following:

  • Model and use the language of pattern via sequence and order. For example, in your pattern there is a long one then a round then another long one…. Ask the question, “What comes next”?
  • Use language to compare attributes – longer/shorter/bigger/smaller

  • Help children compare the number of things in two sets – ‘Which pile of blocks has more red ones? (Connor and Neal, 2014).



Solving Problems

Problem solving is the process of taking a train of thought from start to finish in a logical fashion. The process includes investigation, trial and error and making decisions based on the information gathered (Connor and Neal, 2014). Children are natural problem solvers and enjoy solving problems every day. They problem solve when they ask and answer questions such as:


  • How do I fit my toys back in the box?

  • How do I turn pages on the electronic book?



Understanding Time

Time is an important aspect of mathematics and more importantly part of measurement. Young children may not grasp the concept of time but learn it on a day by day basis in general discussions with family members. For example a parent discussing with their child about how their day is divided up –

‘It is nearly bath time so get your floaty toys. Then it will be sleep time…. ’

As children grow they then start to learn more abstract ideas about tomorrow/today/yesterday (Connor and Neal, 2014).

As parents you can help children gain a better understanding of time by:

  • Providing your child with a calendar to mark of the days/weeks until a special event

  • Use a clock and talk to your child about special times of the day

  • Explain to your child how to use a device such as a timer or alarm clock on a smartphone to measure time.


Activities on day by day basis develops a child’s maths and numeracy. These may include learning experiences in the park, playground, home and care and education settings. If your child is interested and involved in an activity they are definitely learning.



Connor, J. and Neal, D. (2014) Everyday Learning about Maths and Numeracy: Early Childhood Australia v.12 No.2

Read 1382 times Last modified on Friday, 25 September 2015 04:24

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