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Math literacy. It’s a thing.
I was so concerned about literacy-literacy with my first two kids. (You know…A, B, C…) Turned out, I didn’t need to stress out about it too much. They both read early without being pressed because we absolutely swamped them in ABC toys, books of all sizes, alphabet posteres, phonics DVDs, and iPhone apps that encouraged them to find the “mmmmm” sound. Early readers. And done.
With the third, I’m making more of an effort to encourage math literacy. In many Asian countries, math literacy is taken as seriously (if not more seriously) as phonic recognition in the earliest grades and the math scores of those countries are understandably higher in the upper grades. Reading about this, I realized that I really haven’t encouraged math as much as I could have simply in the preschool years because it feels like something older kids do. So, I’m making a conscious effort to play more math games, buy books that use numbers, and use bigger math words so the kids get used to hearing them.
Etsy has an amazing selection of toys for early and elementary math because they have such a strong representation of montessori-inspired learning tools. We have a few of these and I’ve earmarked the rest as things I would be particularly excited to see my miniature mathematicians open this holiday season: