As you prepare to start your Kindergartener on more formal math instruction, you might be surprised at how many Kindergarten math skills he’s already mastered. As just a general guideline, by the end of the school year, your kindergartener should be able to:
• Sort objects into groups
• Identify which items in a group are the same or which item in the group is different
• Sort objects and place them into groups based on color
• Identify which group has fewer or more objects
• Understand patterns and be able to complete a simple pattern
• Count objects up to 20
• Count backwards from 10
• Count tally marks up to 20
• Identify the number that comes directly before or directly after another number on a number line (up to 20)
• Identify the number that comes between two other numbers on a number line (up to 20)
• Identify the ordinal position of an object from first through fifth
• Recognize basic two-dimensional shapes: triangle, circle, square, and rectangle
• Understand positional words such as on, above, below, under, beside, and over
• Compare objects that have similar attributes such as length, height, or weight (i.e. which object is longer, which one is taller, which one weighs more)
• Tell time to the hour
• Recognize a penny, a nickel, a dime, and a quarter
• Recite the days of the week and the months of the year
While the concepts your Kindergartener should learn are simple and not difficult to teach, remember to keep learning fun for your little one. You can use games such as Uno for number recognition and Hi Ho Cherrio and Dominos for counting. A deck of playing cards with the face cards removed can help your child recognize which number is greater and which one is smaller. Board games that use dice also encourage counting skills.
Because your kindergartener learns through play, provide him with measuring cups and spoons, a measuring tape, a ruler, and scales to try on his own. Turn chores into learning games as you work around the house, such as sorting the laundry into piles by color or counting the utensils as you put them away in the drawer,
If you want to use worksheets, you can find numerous free printables online to help reinforce what your child is learning. Pages featuring basic shapes or clocks showing the hour can be printed at home.
If you are still feeling uncertain about teaching math, however, you can find prepared curriculum and workbooks which will walk you through all of the Kindergarten concepts. Some of the math curricula available for Kindergarteners include:
BJU Kindergarten Math – Bob Jones University Press publishes a complete Kindergarten math kit that includes the teacher’s text and packet, the student workbook, a student materials text, tests, and the test answer key.
Horizons K – The Horizons Kindergarten program consists of a teacher’s guide and two student workbooks sold separately. These books include daily practice and review of the concepts introduced, including recognizing and writing numbers to 100 and simple addition and subtraction from 0-10.
Lifepac Kindergarten Math from Alpha Omega Publications includes the teacher’s guide and two colorful student books. This set introduces children to number recognition, addition and subtraction, directions, and more.
Math Made Easy K by Dorling Kindersley Publishing. These inexpensive workbooks introduce Kindergarteners to basic concepts.
Math U See is a manipulative-based curriculum that begins on the Kindergarten level. The Primer Set includes a starter set of manipulatives, a teacher pack, and a student text. Children will learn place value, counting from 1 to 20, the concepts of addition and subtraction, basic geometric shapes, telling time, tally marks, and counting by 5s and 10s.
Modern Curriculum Press Mathematics Level K is an inexpensive curriculum that includes a teacher’s guide and consumable student workbook that introduce each concept slowly and thoroughly.
The Saxon Math K set for homeschoolers includes a teacher’s book and the student meeting book. Required manipulatives are sold separately. Concepts covered include oral counting, recognizing numbers, addition and subtraction stories, identifying and counting coins, sorting, using a calendar, and telling time on the hour.
ShillerMath is a Montessori-based math curriculum. Kit I is designed for grades K-3 (ages 4-8) and includes Scope and Sequence books, three lesson books and three student workbooks, tests with answer key, manipulatives, and a song CD.
The Singapore Math series was developed in Singapore and was the only primary math series used there until 2001. The company has developed the series to include a homeschool curriculum featuring student text and workbooks.
You can choose as informal or as formal an approach as you wish. Whichever method you choose to get your Kindergartener started in math, however, make sure it’s a good fit for you and your child – and enjoy!
Homeschool Math by SmartTutor.com
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell