How to Teach Addition to Children

One of the first mathematical concepts that children learn is addition. Knowing how to teach addition at home will likely allow you to help your child succeed in pre-kindergarten all the way through middle school. For information about teaching addition to kids, read on.

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Helping Your Child Learn Addition at Home

Addition is often introduced in kindergarten by having students memorize numbers and their symbols. As students get comfortable with number symbols, teachers begin to direct students to count objects, such as apples or crayons. In addition to teaching at home, help your child practice by incorporating these concepts into day-to-day life.

Getting Ready to Teach

Before you get started, get in touch your child's math teacher to find out what your child's level is and what the class is covering. That way, you can avoid causing confusion by skipping ahead or teaching your child the same concept but in a different way. Always encourage your child by pointing out what he or she is doing right rather than reprimanding him or her for mistakes. Create a dedicated learning area in your home and make sure that your child studies addition at more or less the same time each and every day.

Teaching Addition in Everyday Life

When your child is learning addition, he or she can sometimes learn it faster by using counters, also called manipulatives. Counters are especially helpful for visual and hands-on learners because they allow your child to visualize addition problems. Use household objects, such as buttons, candy or beans for counting and adding together. For instance, to represent the problem 5 + 3 visually, you could create a group of 5 buttons and a group of 3 buttons. Then, ask your child to count the total number of buttons.

Initiate conversations with your child that incorporate critical thinking and comparative phrases, such as 'more than', 'less than', 'altogether', 'in all' and 'combine'. Ask your child addition-based questions during other activities, such as running errands or cleaning the house. For example, if you're cleaning the kitchen floor, ask your child to count the tiles.

Expose your child to a variety of story problems that require addition to solve. Problem solving with real-life examples is a great way to keep students interested. You can also find a number of adding songs for kids on the Internet that may be fun to sing with your child in the car.

Online and Real-World Addition Resources

If your child is struggling with addition, he or she may benefit from having a private tutor or working with a learning specialist. Talk to your child's math teacher to get advice. The Internet also has many addition resources for kids. There are a plethora of addition games, practice problems and interactive lessons on free and for-profit sites that are safe for kids and easy to use. Some sites will allow your child to drill math facts on pre-made worksheets, or you can generate worksheets to your own specifications.

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