Helping Your Pre-Schooler With Math - Concentrate On Logic
If you took a Logic class in college, then you may be having cold chills and flashbacks to: if p, then q, contra positives, and truth tables. You can calm down now. No truth tables. No inverses, converses, or contra positives. If you have no idea what I'm taking about, you can relax as well. While every part of mathematics is dependent on logical thinking, have very limited ability in this area. Most of what we are going to do with logic will involve YOU, not directly your child; and even this will just involve re-wording some of your sentences.
We all use a great deal of logic that we don't realize. We all say sentences like these: If you want to go to the mall with me, you need to be ready in 5 minutes. If your homework is finished, we can order a pizza. If you want to go to John's house, you must clean your room first. These all sound familiar, don't they?
The kind of logic we need to instill in our children is "if, then" thinking. Yes, it is if p, then q, the very basis of logical thinking. We don't expect "if, then" sentences from pre-schoolers anytime soon and maybe not at all. But we do want our pre-schoolers hearing "if, then" speech all of the time. This won't be as difficult as you might think. Look back at those sample sentences. All three of those sentences are "if, then" sentences. We have just gotten lazy in our speech and we drop the word "then."
From now on, you need to think about what you are going to say. An "If" sentence always has a "then" conclusion. These sentences will become: If you want to go to the mall with me, then you need to be ready in 5 minutes. If your homework is finished, then we can order pizza. If you want to go to John's house, then you must clean your room first. Dropping the word "then" is just a habit that will need to be broken.
Our goal now is to incorporate "if, then" into your language and to help your child to do likewise. Do remember to keep it simple. You can now incorporate this into all of the things you are doing with your child. For example: If I have 3 blocks and you bring me 2 more blocks, then how many blocks will I have? It is fine for your child to actually go get the blocks and answer the question with a single word.
Initially, your child will not be verbal enough to answer in complete sentences, so you should reinforce the "if, then" after the answer by saying "That's right. If I had 3 blocks and you bring me 2 more blocks, then I will have 5 blocks.
Be patient! Continually model "if, then" thinking. As your child gets more verbal, practice having your child simply repeat the "if, then" sentences you say. Do many of these so the "if, then"
combination becomes paired automatically in you child's brain. Understand that repeating your sentences is not yet logical thinking on your child's part.
As your child gets older and more verbal, you might check once in a while for logical thought by giving your child the "if" part of a sentence and ask the child to finish the statement. These checks do not need to involve numbers. Example: If it is raining outside,_______. Do not expect that your child will be able to do this. This is a very difficult task. Some children can, some won't be ready for quite awhile yet.
"If, then" thinking wasn't something I worked on with my children, so I wasn't surprised that my son never used it during his years even though he started reading at three and a half. My daughter, on the other hand, shocked me one day by adding "well that means..." after something I had said. She was too young for that kind of reasoning, or so I thought.
Author Signature :
I am a full-time writer and editor. A postgraduate in Australia and an MBA in Marketing with almost twenty years of researching and writing experience, I have written on practically every niche on the web. Currently I am working with Beach Kids Early Learning as content writer.
Beach Kids Early Learning
Our philosophy is founded on the knowledge that successful early childhood development comes from engagement in social, emotional, cognitive, physical and aesthetic experiences. It is this holistic ap..