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Math learning for pop star Britney Spears?

Oops! She does math again! Find out why the famous pop diva is taking math classes

math learning Pop singer Britney Spears with her sons, Jayden and Sean Preston

Pop superstar and mum-of-two, Britney Spears admits taking maths classes to help her sons with their homework. The 'Oops! I did it again' singer revealed to People, that she finds some of her kids' schoolwork hard.

“They go to a really hard school, and this week we had three hours of homework, a night. Next year when (her son Preston's) in fifth grade, he's going to be doing pre-algebra, and I'm taking classes so I know how to do it!" she told the magazine.

With the school math syllabus becoming more challenging with each year, many parents are getting their children acquainted with numeracy even before they begin playschool. While introducing the concept of numbers from an early age is beneficial, kids have a natural age wise mathematical ability, so math learning should be age-appropriate.

"Teaching math skills to little ones need not be limited to parents sitting down with maths books or educational apps. Math concepts can be introduced subtly with everyday routine and play," says Ms Dipica Lobo Dias, manager, quality assurance and guidance (QAG) and academics (pre-primary), VIBGYOR High, Mumbai.

Read on to know how math learning can be made a fun experience for both, your child and you!

math learning Make maths a part of routine and play

Shapes and recognition for 1 to 2 year olds

For the tender one to two year olds, parents can encourage math skills by teaching them to recognise and articulate numbers from one to five.

"When you go the market, ask your child to help you put 'one apple or two apples' in the basket. You can also involve your child in a counting game when you climb the stairs, tidy up blocks or counting clothes to be given to the dhobi," suggests Dias.

Going beyond numbers, toddlers can be shown shapes in everyday objects. Show him round rotis, triangular shaped sandwiches, rectangular boxes etc. Older two-year-olds can match two similar shapes together as well.

Comparing quantities for 3 to 4 year olds

Three to four year olds can now compare quantity, sizes, lengths, time and speeds well. Younger three-year-olds can be familiarised with speeds, quantities or weights. You can encourage kids this age to independently count zero to ten using their fingers.

As a continuation of the market exercise, for the three to four-year-olds, parents can increase the complexity by using a combination of quantities and numbers. "For example, instruct your kids to pick one small and one big apple, three medium sized oranges and a heavy watermelon," says Dias.

Many also graduate from one to ten and progress to bigger numbers. Encourage your children to count backwards once ascending counting is mastered.

Logic and patterns can also be taught to three-year-olds to make a sequence. You can set up a two step pattern with simple objects such as buttons (for example, blue button followed by red button), then ask your child to continue the pattern.

Continue reading to know math development skills in 5 to 8 year olds

math learning Four to five-year year olds can relate to additions and subtractions

Additions for the 5 to 6 year olds

By this stage, kids should be able to handle simple additions and subtractions up to a sum of 10. Some examples include 1+9, 4+6, 8+2. They also understand concepts of 'greater than', 'less than' or 'equal to'. Add and subtract quantities from everyday objects your child deals with and ask him to observe the result.

Kids this age also move on to recognising more complex shapes like pentagons, hexagons or octagons.

Divisions for the 7 to 8 year olds

Apart from being able to split up and count higher numbers, seven-year-olds will be able to do multiplication and division. Show your child how to equally divide a pizza, a bunch of grapes or chocolates amongst his friends.

Multiplication concepts can be strengthened  with simple exercises. Three times four is actually three sets with four objects each. So when your child feeds three dogs four treats each, he's multiplying three by four.

"Each child has his own learning pace, so comparing skill development between two children is not the right thing to do," states Ms Dias.

To learn more complex math, you may have to prepare yourself like Britney. But for math learning from a young age, use these simple everyday methods and make math learning fun.

How can you improve math learning in kids?  Please share in the Comment box below.

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