In basic terms, numeracy is the ability to deal with and apply simple numerical concepts. It doesn’t refer to more complex skills like algebra, but instead being confident enough to use basic maths in real-life situations. Numeracy is as important as literacy and in some cases is referred to as “mathematical literacy”.
The very basic numeracy skills consist of understanding fundamental concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. A numerically literate person can handle the everyday mathematical demands of life.
There is no set age for when a child should be considered mathematically literate as every child is different. However, it is known that the earlier children start learning basic concepts, the easier they will remember them. As early as ages 1-2 kids start to recite numbers.
At the ages of 4-5, at which point they are considered pre-school children, many kids already understand and have a basic grasp of concepts like counting, reading, writing numbers and understanding simple addition and subtraction. It is good for children to know these things before they start school, so they can have a good foundation to fall back on. This will make their first steps into the classroom much less stressful.
Although every child is different and goes about at their own pace, it is important for parents to help them build a strong foundation from early on.
Before children start going to school, almost all of their development depends on their parents. This is why it is important for every parent to know how to seamlessly incorporate numbers and basic math into the lives of their children. Luckily, it isn’t hard and there’s plenty of simple everyday tasks and exercises you can do with your child.
In the beginning it’s good to start explaining how numeracy and math exist in the real world. When kids actually see it being used, they’ll naturally be more interested in it. A good beginners method can be singing or playing songs that incorporate numbers in them. There are plenty of children’s songs out there that were created for this exact purpose, so finding some shouldn’t be difficult at all.
Other daily tasks include: having your child count their toys, taking them shopping with you and asking them to read prices outloud, making them write down numbers so they remember them etc.
The possibilities are virtually endless and the exact exercises or methods you choose aren’t that important as long as you remind them to practice daily. At that age children take in information much quicker and as long as you’re persistent they’ll show improvement in no time!
You definitely can! As we mentioned earlier, every child is different and some might need a bit more practice than others. At TutorExtra we offer a wide variety of different tutors ready to teach your child everything they need to know about numbers and maths! Browse through our list of teachers and pick the one that suits your child the best.