Why Math Is Just As Important as Reading

Learning Math for Kids

Many parents focus on skills like reading when it comes time for their kids to start preschool or kindergarten, but math is an important subject to keep in mind, too. Recent studies have shown that a child’s math skills upon entering kindergarten can be a prominent indicator of their future academic performance. Math can be incorporated into so many parts of daily life, and many games even rely on math in order to be played properly or well. Help boost your child’s math skills with some of these simple, but fun math activities every day.

Count Everyday Objects
Counting simple things like how many apple slices your child has for snack time or how many forks and knives are at the dinner table can help kids get into the habit of not just counting but can help them have a better abstract idea of how numbers work, as well. Start with small numbers, generally no more than five, and add a few more as your child improves – they may be ready for a challenge!

Lined Up In a Row
Let’s experiment – take some coins and line them up together on a table. Have your child count how many coins there are. Now, spread out the coins but otherwise leave them be. Then, ask your child how many coins there are again. Don’t be surprised if they have to count again, but once your child begins to automatically know the answer, you’ll know they’ve mastered number invariance.

Fun and Games
There are plenty of family friendly children’s games that involve counting, such as Chutes and Ladders or Candy Land. These sorts of games are great for acquainting kids with numbers. Not only will they have to roll the die and need to recognize the number they get, but they will then need to count how many spaces they move as a result. For more advanced players, card games like War that involve addition can be helpful with simple math problems as well.

Spotting Shapes
It is also important for kids to develop a basic understanding of geometry and special relations. Blocks and other such toys can help with this early on, but as they learn the names and appearances of shapes, you can also have them identify shapes around the house and anywhere else you go, too.

Math for Kids

A Map of Home
Creating a map of your house can be helpful for a lot of reasons. Not only can it help your child practice spatial language and develop a deeper understanding of spatial relations, but it can also help when it comes to plotting a course for escape in the event of an emergency like a fire.

Helping Hands
Having kids help out with dinner can help them learn to read and introduce them to new foods, but it can also help them learn all about measuring. While there are many forms of measurement, one of the easiest things you can do with kids is prepare dinner according to a cookbook. Have them help you measure out all of the spices and other ingredients so they can become familiar with numbers and measurements as well as with words and food.

Babies Can Learn To Read Too

Babies Can Read Too

It may seem pointless to read to a newborn – they can’t read yet, they don’t understand language, and processing images is still something they are getting used to. But these are actually great reasons that should inspire you to read to your newborn. There are some surprising benefits to breaking out the books early, and they can really go a long way.

Baby Bonding
Reading with your baby is a nice way to relax. Reading aloud can have a calming effect on newborns, especially since they can get used to your voice and find comfort in it. It’s never too early for bed time stories, especially when the sound of your voice in a calm, even cadence can get them to relax and get ready for bed.

Active Listening
Listening plays a huge part in learning language, so even if children cannot yet process or understand words, reading to them will play a huge role in their developing language skills. Plus, reading to kids can help boost their early vocabulary, too. You may feel tempted in every other hour of the day to babble on in baby-speak to your child but talking them in a normal voice with normal speech (though using simple words can be helpful) is actually more beneficial to children and their developing minds. Reading from a book to them on a regular basis can have the same effect.

Ready Readers
Making reading a common activity helps shape active readers, and kids who are read to are more likely to develop their own love for reading as they get older. Not only that, but listening can help kids become better readers, too. Once they do become familiar with language, they can learn to follow along as you read to them. Before you know it, they’ll be reading on their own! But it all starts early, so reading to children while they are still infants can make a difference.

Brain Boost
Studies have also shown that children who were read to as newborns not only have a larger vocabulary, but that they also exhibit more advanced mathematical skills than other kids their age as well. These same studies have also uncovered a direct correlation between how many words a baby hears each day and their overall language skills. One study even found that babies whose parents spoke to them a lot when they were younger scored higher on standard tests when they reached age 3 than children whose parents weren’t as verbal with them.

React and Response
Studies have also shown that babies whose parents read to them get used to the rhythmic pattern of their parents’ voices. This can be calming, but it can also help them better identify subtle clues in speech such as the mood of the speaker by their tone of voice.  Babies are exposed to feelings through the different sounds parents use when reading, whether it’s doing a voice for a character or describing what’s going on in the story.

How To Break Kids Bad Habits

How to break kids bad habits

How to Break Kids’ Bad Habits

Forming habits can occur naturally, though habits can be encouraged and adapted with the right mentality. Just as you can work to create a habit, like exercising regularly, you can do things to break habits if you want or need to. For parents, getting their children to break bad habits can be difficult, especially since many habits kids have are related to their age and getting older. Things like pacifier usage, nose picking, thumb sucking and more can be detrimental to kids’ development and may lead to problems that can actually pose health risks and other side effects. Here are some ways parents can deal with helping their kids break habits in a healthy way.

Ignoring

A simple way to help a child lose focus of a bad habit is ignoring it. This is often good as a first tactic, and other methods can be considered if this does not work. You don’t want to ignore something if it remains to be a problem. In some cases, bad habits draw attention and this attention drives kids to do the thing you’re asking them not to even more. In some cases, paying a lot of attention to a bad habit and punishing them for it can have a negative outcome. When considering whether your child should break a habit or is old enough to, especially when it comes to things like thumb sucking, try to avoid paying attention to the habit and let your kid outgrow the habit on their own with time. If they don’t, then you can consider other options.

Praise and Reward

Giving kids positive attention for behaviors you want to encourage can go a long way, and rewarding non-behaviors can work too. If you notice that your child has not given in to their habit in a while, try congratulating them and let them know that they are doing a good job. Even if it is something they have grown out of and may not have actively tried to stop doing, it can encourage them to further avoid that bad habit in the future.

Give an Explanation

Simply telling kids “No,” is not often helpful so explaining why a habit is bad for them can do some good. Explain how thumb or pacifier can lead to problems with their teeth and extra trips to the dentist, etc. In this technological world we live in if technology is what grabs their attention, then show them videos on what problems the habit may cause can also help reinforce what you are saying. For example, see our video below on thumb sucking that can be shared with your children.

Take it One at a Time

If your child has several bad habits, try to focus on tackling each one before moving onto another. Focusing on several issues at once can be confusing for a kid, as well as stressful, especially if habits like thumb sucking are involved since habits like these are performed because of their soothing or comforting nature. Taking a lot away at once can be challenging and only make matters worse, as well as more difficult down the road.

Social Interactions

Social interactions with other kids may also help children to break habits. If they are around other children who do not have the same habits kids will point it out and let each other know for example “Why are you doing that? Or you always do that!” This makes children more motivated to distract themselves or use an alternative.

Be Patient

Breaking habits takes time, just as it does to form habits. But while you’re being patient, remember to provide your child with love and support. Let them know that breaking these habits will be good for them in the long run. Habits are sometimes performed on an unconscious level, so being understanding is key to your peace of mind as well as your child’s.