Essential concepts to help your child excel in Maths


Understanding counting and numbers is a basic foundation needed to excel in Maths. Counting is so much more than just learning the names of the numbers, the order of numbers and how to write each number. For a child, counting is a complex exercise and we cannot compare our adult skills to that of a child who must first grasp and master the basics.

1. Counting
Students need to know the number names as well as the sequence forwards and backward by memory as well as an understanding of how the numbers are used in meaningful ways i.e. understand the quantity the numbers represent. Just because students can count in order does not mean they understand the numbers.

2. Number correspondence
Accurate counting requires the child understands that each number word corresponds with the object that is being counted. Children learn one on one correspondence through opportunities and exercises to count sets of objects and watching others as they count sets of objects.

3.  Keeping track
A child needs to keep track of what has been counted and what still needs to be counted. When first learning to count, a child will often count the same object more than once or don’t count all the objects in the set. Through practice and opportunity, the child will learn to organize and keep track of the sets they are counting.

4. The connection between numbers and quantities
Children sometimes struggle to realise that the last number in the counting sequence is the quantity of the objects counted. While still developing the concept of connecting numbers to quantities they will count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 but when asked ‘How many objects are there? , they will recount to determine that there are indeed 5 in the set.

5. The relationship between size and location does not change the quantity
Children will learn that five is always five whether the five objects are close, big, small or in different locations. As the counting skills develop so too will the understanding that size, and location does not change the total quantity.

6. Counting in groups
Counting objects in equal groups require children understand the sequence of the count as well the actual number of individual objects which have been counted. For example, if counting in ‘2’s’ (2,4,6,8) they must understand that by saying one number in this count means two objects are being counted. This is the beginning of multiplication tables.

For children, the cornerstone and future development of Maths in their young lives is a solid understanding of the meaning of counting. The methodology and lessons plans at A+Students are line with these concepts and offer the young child the opportunity to develop these vital skills early in the development stage to ensure their future mathematical success.

You might also want to read this article on how children’s attitudes towards maths are formed at an early age