When I sent my daughter to nursery school, I wanted the most nurturing environment I could find. I chose a wonderful, progressive program in downtown Manhattan. A few years later, when we were interviewing uptown for a selective girl`s school, the admissions director told me that when my daughter would be interviewed there, they would test her. She would be expected to draw circles, squares, triangles and rectangles. My eyes opened wide in shock and I said, "But my daughter doesn`t know how to draw those!" She looked at my daughter`s file and said (rather snootily), "Oh yes, your daughter went to one of those downtown play schools." I was offended that she viewed the school I loved so much that way. But what could I do? Meanwhile, I ran into a neighbor who had sent her daughter to a fancy uptown traditional nursery school. She was applying her daughter to the same girl`s school. So I said to her, "Guess what! The kids are going to have to draw circles, squares, triangles and rectangles to get in." My neighbor said, "Oh, Erica can do that. They spent a whole month on a shape unit at her school." In fact, Erica had produced an entire shape book for every major shape (including diamonds!) during that unit.
Oftentimes, children learn better when they`re not aware that they`re being taught. The best tutorial centers use games and other enjoyable activities effectively in teaching everything from fundamental mathematic principles to complex algebra. It`s best to go with these tutorial centers. Another smart trick used to promote fun math learning for kids is to create situations for practical application. Let the math lessons taught in school, and reinforced in tutorial lessons, come alive. For example, when you go grocery shopping, have your kid assist you with anything that involves numbers. Of course, this may slow down the activity for you a bit, but practical application is known to create "true value" for math. Your child will have a great sense of accomplishment in helping you out with counting, simple addition and subtraction. Not only that, you take away the child`s fear of mathematical problems. Pretend play and role-playing games are other great math activities for kindergarten children. There are tutorial centers that set up mini markets and play classrooms for very young children to practice math.
Having the little ones pretend to be "big people" with responsibilities is always enjoyable. Giving them play money for fruit shopping, or simple recipes for "fake" food preparation allows them to apply math. Adults assist or play the small children so mistakes in computing or even just counting or numbering can be corrected. And the last tip to make this subject and after school tutorial programs enjoyable is to present a reward for good work. Rewards don`t have to be grand; they can be small toys, a trip to the ice cream parlor, a trip to the cinema to watch a new movie, and other forms of recognition for their effort. Give your child something you believe he deserves.