They say that fortune favours the bold. And the prepared. So says Virgil, a famous writer known for his work, The Aeneid. And for the prepared, it seems that the battles of a thousand swords are fought first with preparation and training. For it is evident to us at www.singaporemathguru.com that it is often students with a an arduous training in math that eventually do well in Math in primary school or even the PSLE.
And that training for most high ability students, as we have seen, starts from preschool. An example of that was a parent we once had an interaction with. She credited her child’s above average ability in math to the formative years of between the ages of 3 to 6. From the years as her boy hit preschool to kindergarten, she was always the nurturer in his math ability, buying assessment practices and books, giving him guided practice after guided practice in simple addition and subtraction.
It wasn’t so the case for her 2nd child, a girl in St Nicholas who found grasping Math a bit harder. And when we queried her on why her daughter was weaker in Math than her elder brother, we found that she had actually put in more effort for her elder son.
To us it was a classic example of preparation meeting success especially when it came to excelling in math in primary school. And that very journey starts with good grounding in preschool education.
At the preschool level, children are first taught to recognise shapes, colours and just count. They are also taught to identify objects. And learning to count takes a very critical role at the preschool level. For come children, counting to 20 is not a problem. But for some, counting to 20 is still a problem. Whatever it is, do remember that every child’s learning speed is different. Do be patient and be a nurturer rather than be forceful with your child’s learning journey.
Other skills that are emphasizes at the preschool level are:
- Spatial concepts
As an example, when it comes to patterning, children may see something like that:
What object would come next? In some preschools, teachers guide students with tangible objects that they can hold and grasp with their hands. That helps learning in a sense that it connects the senses, namely the sense of touch and sight to identifying a pattern. Parents who want to be involved with their preschoolers can also do the same, perhaps as a way of reinforcing the above learning outcomes.
It is in the formative years that really matter. So a parents’ involvement would really enhance the math ability of the child.
At the levels of kindergarten, simple addition and simple subtraction will come into place. Simple addition that involves addition of 1 digit numbers will be a daily part of a kindergartner’s educational priorities. Simple subtraction of 1 digit numbers will also be emphasised. Also at this level, numeracy skills are emphasised through the CPA approach i.e the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach.
An example of this would be :
Counting 5 apples. Holding it in one’s hands and counting the number of apples.
Counting 5 of apples that appear on a card.
Then, relating the prior 2 examples to the number 5 which is the abstract form.
For parents who feel that their children can learn faster, they can always sign up for an account, a free account with www.singaporemathguru.com . Kindergarten math actually overlaps with primary 1 math so if parents feel like they need more practice for their kids, try our questions at SingaporeMathGuru. It would look something like this:
Questions are organised according to a particular skill. For example, counting from 0 to 10 is indeed a skill. Children learn it before primary and will learn it again in primary 1.
The parent while guiding the child can actually attempt the exercise together with the child. Answers will be given after the child has submitted his/her answer.
The questions in www.singaporemathguru.com look like what we see above here. Questions come in the form of fill in the blank, MCQ or selection of choices as in the case above. Images can be clicked on to be enlarged or made smaller.
Primary school math from primary 1 to 3
At the primary levels of 1 to 3, we have approximately 8000 questions, all of which are meant to build up math skills gradually. All the questions are free for you and your child to attempt. Progress is also trackable. Solutions are also viewable free of charge. There is no catch here except for the fact that you need to sign up for an account with your child if you want your scores to be tracked. Do make use of this amazing tool. We are glad to say that we have users from all over the world from as far as India to countries like France, USA, Canada. Certainly, they have found this to be useful for educating their kids.
Word problems from primary 1 to 3
We also have word problems in 1 to 2 steps which your children can try. These are questions that typically resemble problem sums and requires a fair bit of thinking before one gets to the answer. Do note that model drawings are emphasises in primary school. Again, the word problems are free to attempt. Answers are also given upon demand. Simply click on the “View Answer” button.
Primary school math from primary 4 to 6
From primary 4 to 6, the questions are now geared towards PSLE and are all problem sum based, typically involving 2 or more steps to get to the eventual answer. All the features stays the same except that video solutions are now available at a small monthly subscription. This is how it looks like.
Video solutions are available for primary 4 to 6 questions. How large is our video library? We have more than 300 hours in total of video explanations to really tough upper primary questions.
Learning math from preschool onwards need not be a chore. It can be fun and engaging especially when the parent is involved in the child’s learning journey. Would you like your child to get an A star 6 years down the road? Well start early then. And I hope that every step of the way,Singaporemathguru will be there with you and your child at some point.