# Should we be teaching pre-schoolers maths?

October 29, 2016

Maths can be a bit of a love-it or hate-it subject and if children struggle to ‘get it’, they can be put off very easily. As parents we naturally want to do the best for our children and while you may feel pressured to give them the best start in school, pushing a pre-schooler to achieve at such a young age can in itself leave you feeling guilty too. There just doesn’t seem to be a ‘right’ way to go.

Building your child’s confidence in the early years is really important because it means they can start school in a positive frame of mind – “I can do this”. This is really motivating and can help them engage with learning a lot more enthusiastically. At the same time we don’t need to be sitting pre-schoolers down and forcing them to repeat number sequences over and over again.

## What do they really need to know?

It’s easy to assume that maths consists of numbers, numbers, numbers, but there is so much more to it than that. In real life for example, maths is used for everything from working out money in a shop, to knowing how long it will take you to get somewhere. These days of course, most of us always have a calculator on hand, but we still need to understand the concept of what we’re trying to work out and the relationships between the numbers.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum are the guidelines used by teachers in nursery and reception. During this time a child will be learning to:

• Count and order the numbers up to 20
• Add and subtract two single-digit numbers (e.g. 1+1=2) using objects
• Double, halve and share
• Understand size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money
• Recognise, create and describe patterns (e.g. a repeating pattern of shapes or colours)
• Explore the characteristics of shapes (e.g. the straight sides of a triangle, or the four sides of a square)

Getting a good understanding of these concepts gives children a solid foundation on which to build further maths skills in school.

## Meeting them where they are

It’s a myth that playing is the opposite to working and that it serves no real purpose. In fact playing is key to childhood learning; it’s something that truly stimulates little ones, is accessible whatever level they are at, and is perfect for experimenting with ideas.

At Fundamentally Children, we’re big believers in meeting children where they are, to take them where you want them to be. Children these days love their mobile devices and while it’s important to manage screen time effectively, a few well-chosen apps can really help to stimulate your child’s learning.

So we get very excited at the Good App Guide when we come across an app that is not only brilliantly tailored to teaching children stage-appropriate skills, but also turns learning into a game which children can really get on board with. EduGuru Maths is one such app – we were so impressed by the broad range of maths skills covered and how well they linked to the EYFS.

## The EduGuru Maths app

With EduGuru Maths, pre-schoolers can develop their skills in all of the EYFS topics listed above, over eight different games in the EduGuru world. Learn to share with the aliens, practise counting sheep, try to catch the biggest fish and much more. Instructions are given verbally so children who can’t read yet will know what they’re doing, letting children play independently. Plus there are no third-party ads or in-app purchases targeting little ones as they play, so they can just enjoy learning free of distraction. Take a look at our review to find out more. We’re also delighted to hear that EduGuru will be releasing more learning apps, so watch this space.