SCHOOL GOES HOME
by Preschools and Infant-toddler centres – Istituzione of the Municipality Reggio Emilia, and Reggio Children
Children are interested in quantities and numbers from a very early age, and gain experience of them every day.
They experience quantities of food (lots of things they don’t like, and always too few they love), quantities of toys (building materials, toy cars, dolls), and quantities of time (one minute more, soon, in a while). Numbers are everywhere in their games, in their surroundings, and in their spaces.
Number is an important concept, a fundamental aspect of our knowledge of the world together with form, shape, weight, consistency, and function.
However, knowing what a number's name is and how to write it down, doesn't mean we have processed the concept, which is based on certain abilities and strategies.
The games we are proposing are suggestions, so that you can offer children situations that challenge their curiosity, inviting them to develop new questions and formulate hypotheses that extend their competence with numbers and counting.
The games here aren’t sorted by age.
As parents you will be able to gauge which ideas are best suited to your children at any given moment, which ideas challenge them and make them curious in enjoyable ways.
It isn’t important for children to immediately proceed in the “correct” way. Don’t be too concerned with getting the right answer.
It’s important for children to feel they can experiment freely and find their own solutions. Encourage them to try again, in different ways. Try and get really involved in observing how they work through things, what solutions they find, and talk with them about these.
You could ask questions like, "What you did there was very interesting. Do you want to tell me how you managed to do… ?".
Encourage them to count and compare with you.
Don’t be in a hurry to expose children to figures. In order to understand and enjoy themselves children need to do things, and act since out, collecting, gathering, moving around, grouping, and separating.
Every question, every response, hypothesis, and affirmation a child makes is an important idea. Even if it may seem wrong to you, welcome it with words of approval. Then, without saying it is wrong, you can cast doubt on it by asking questions, or by reformulating what a child has said to gain a better understanding of what they meant, or by suggesting they try again and comparing the results.
You will see that together with children you can have fun too, and you'll discover things about numbers you had never even imagined!
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR CHILDREN