Monday, November 8, 2010

A-ha moment!

Our Parents as Teachers educator came for our 22-month visit and she gave us a flier on an upcoming class about block-building. She mentioned that Americans focus primarily on reading and music skills in early childhood, while many Asians focus primarily on math and science skills in early childhood. I had never heard anyone phrase it this way, but it was a total light bulb moment for me!

Think about it ... what activities are aimed at young children? Music classes and reading time at the library. We have gajillions of books and Girly loves reading them, which I obviously encourage. She loves playing with musical instruments and listening to music. I think these are important skills, but I wish I could say that I put an equal emphasis on math and science skills, but I don't and I bet you don't either.

Playing with blocks is a good way to build understanding of math and science concepts - they say it helps develop numeracy (the understanding of numbers in everyday life), just like literacy is the understanding of letters and words. You probably already use a lot of math and science words in your normal play with your kiddo, but I've never focused on them.

Math words: long, tall, narrow, order, top, square, less, more, curve, add, count, outside, triangle, lines, patterns, big, little, rectangle ...

Science words: rough, smooth, smallest, heavy, whole, bigger, after, first, next, balance, light, weight, gravity, system ....

Don't underestimate your child's ability to learn these concepts!

1 comment:

Bets said...

PLEASE don't underestimate the power of teaching these things early!
I spend the first 9 weeks of my school year explaining the difference between a foot and a meter. Between a cup and a liter. Between a pound and a gram. No joke.
Anymore, kids don't help in the kitchen, don't help with creating & building something, and don't have to estimate and think about measurements in the real world.
PLEASE start now! Your child's future 4th grade teacher will thank you when they have to get ready for the lovely Science State Assessment Test.
Will they still have State Assessments then? Let's hope not!