Maths is a very structured subject and also can be very abstract, difficult to relate to in real life. The structure in Maths is useful in that it is possible to spot patterns in the numbers and also to sequence the learning that is to build step-wise through related areas.
For example, counting is the foundation of number work and it is impossible to move on to addition and subtraction before counting and the knowledge of numbers are clear in a child’s mind.
The advantage of Maths is that step-wise building can make learning easy. The disadvantage is that the processes in Maths like multiplication, do not readily translate into what happens in real life. For the understanding of what a bus is in real life, an image of a bus comes into the mind when the word is said. For many young children, the image of 3X2 may not be as clear as to when it is presented like this.
Moving from concrete to abstract
This means from learning using real-life objects and progressing on to using number symbols. To cement the meanings of symbols, the real- life representations can be left attached to numbers for a time, as sums are completed or counting aids used like the number line.
This refers to helping a child to understand better by making the idea clear in the child’s mind. This means that though interest in the subject is of huge importance for motivation and concentration, interest material should not be allowed to confuse a learner. For example, some books for early learners fail because they allow supposed interest material to clutter a page and obscure the principle that needs to be taught.
Using a toy grasshopper or kangaroo, one can use it to hop along the pebble-numbered line to make it more interesting. You may ask, "How many hops to get to 8?" If you have the 100-square board/template, you may ask the child to colour the numbers the grasshopper or kangaroo has landed on…
For readings and tips on more multiplication ideas, the neighbourhood library would have this book entitled :- Help Your Child Learn the Times Table For Your 5-7 Year Old Child (Parents’ essentials) by Ken Adams.