Whether your child is home schooled, or attends a public or private school, kindergarten math curriculum will vary. The following is an overview of some of the basic math concepts that your kindergartener should learn and suggestions for additional learning opportunities.
An Early Foundation
Kindergarten math is an early introduction to numbers, concepts and math vocabulary. Common math concepts include:
- Recognizing numbers 0 through 9, as well as beginning to practice writing numerals
- Counting in order, up to 10; eventually counting higher
- Grasping the concept of "more than" and "less than"
- Identifying geometric shapes
- Understanding the concept of patterns
- Beginning to learn about telling time
- Using a calendar
- Beginning to understand measurement
Homework is a part of every school-age child's life, including kindergarten. At this level of learning, homework assignments should be fun activities that provide an early introduction to math. By encouraging children to observe numbers and concepts in the world around them, they can make early connections and build a math foundation that will last a lifetime.
Kindergarten math homework also should not consume a lot of time. The general rule for homework is that it should consist of five minutes of work per grade level each night. For instance, kindergarteners can expect five minutes of homework per night, while first graders will likely take home 10 minutes of work.
Everyday Kindergarten Math Concepts
Take the opportunity to look at math in everyday life and explore numbers with your children. For example:
- Counting - use toys, crayons, or coins to practice counting and to express quantities.
- Money - begin introducing your child to the monetary values of coins at an early age.
- Addition - add small piles of objects to illustrate addition.
- Subtraction - remove items from a pile of objects to demonstrate "take away."
- Fractions - pieces of pizza or pie are great visuals for equally dividing a whole into parts.
- Greater Than/Less Than - children can learn "more than" or "fewer than" with visual representation, such as number of buttons, toy dinosaurs, beans, etc.
- Telling Time - talk about hour and minute hands on the clock and begin to give kindergarteners a sense of the times of day
- Patterns - identify patterns around you, or use blocks to create patterns; this is an excellent tool for predicting outcome.
- Measurement - use hands or steps to determine lengths of measure.
- Geometry - familiarize your child with various shapes and the number of sides for each.
Practice, Practice, Practice
There are a number of educational Websites that can further improve your kindergartener's math skills. With fun online activities and printable worksheets, you can expose your child to more learning opportunities. Similarly, workbooks can be purchased for kindergarten math that include colorful pictures to reinforce concepts and continue to build on their knowledge. Learning to properly write numbers also takes time, but there are online worksheets that can be printed for additional practice.
Free Math Worksheets
Kindergarten Math Toys
Kindergarten math is best explained with hands-on learning. There are a number of educational toys on the market that can introduce young children to numbers and reinforce match concepts, including:
- Math Mat Challenge Game
- Bowls 'n Bears Counters
- Learning Resources Teaching Cash Register
- Numbers And Counting
Additional Learning Opportunities
Teaching your child kindergarten math concepts through common activities, like riding in the car of taking a trip to the grocery store makes learning fun!
- Grocery store - have your child take an active role in shopping, including counting and weighing produce, talking about prices.
- Car trips - be on the lookout for road signs that indicate speed limits or numbers on license plates; estimate distances and talk about farther and closer.
- Outside - look for patterns, symmetry and shapes in nature, as well as additional counting opportunities.