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Lavinia's Window by
Michelle Weisen
A timeless Victorian novel.  Fun and enjoyable to read!
Lavinia's Window

Pre-School Math Skills

 
Math Talk
Reasoning
Problem-Solving
School & Math

Math at Home

So you are a writer, not a mathematician and now you are faced with the challenge of teaching your daughter math skills that will last a lifetime.  Where do you begin?  You begin with a positive attitude about math and understanding and belief that everyone can learn and be good at math.  Having a positive outlook on math will make the difference between passing grades and smashing grades in the years to come.  
Now that you are in the right mind set, what next?  Building on the basics should be the focus during the early years.  Here are a few things to focus on at home:

Math Talk
Talk math at home.  Use numbers, words & symbols to relate daily situations.    Use pictures to communicate ideas about math.  Some basic vocabulary to use include: add, subtract, plus, minus, odd and even, multiply, divide, percent, and anything that relates numbers to the world.
Reasoning
Reasoning is being able to think logically.  Encourage your daughter to seek out the relationships between things that might help her solve problems.  Explain your reasoning on how you solved a problem. Notice similarities and differences between things around the house.  Once she starts reasoning about things that are unrelated to math, listen and always let her finish telling you why she thinks the way she does. 
Problem Solving
Becoming a problem solver is a road to self discovery in itself.  Once your child knows that she can solve basic problems, she becomes more confident in trying to solve more complicated ones.  Teaching her to solve problems at an early age is tremendously powerful to a growing self-esteem.  Encourage your daughter to figure out problems on her own.  Have her explain how she came up with the answer and then discuss other ways of solving the problem.  Ask questions like, "Do you know of another way you could have figured that out?"  
School and Math
As your child grows older and goes to school, keep up the math talk at home.  Take interest in her school work and help her with it at every level.  If you weren't good at math before, now is the time to learn it with your daughter.  This is not always an option, so have a back up when you can't help.  Encourage your daughter to ask questions as soon as she doesn't understand a concept .  That means asking questions is class or after class if necessary.  Get her into the habit of talking to the teachers about her work before she has problems.  This way she will feel confident when she does need assistance. Ask your daughter who the kids are who ask the most questions in class.  Chances are they are the ones with the  best grades.
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