4 key principles for planning math education


As a parent of home-schooled children, you have the responsibility to plan your children’s mathematics education.

The early years of learning mathematics will set the tone for the child’s connection to the subject and the level they will be able to achieve in the future.

In this article, I will outline the most important principles for teaching your children mathematics in the early years. Even if you use online learning, teach yourself, or work with a private tutor, it is important to know these principles so you can make the right choices.

Creating a Sense of Success and Competence

The first principle is to create a sense of success and competence throughout the learning process. This is essential for children to develop a positive attitude towards math and to believe in their ability to learn it.

The best way to do this is to focus on hands-on learning experiences. This allows children to explore concepts and make mistakes in a safe and supportive environment. It also helps them develop problem-solving skills and critical thinking.

Discovery Learning

Don’t explain, let them discover! How do you do this? By creating exercises for children that demonstrate mathematical principles and waiting patiently for the moment when they understand. If you explain things to children, some will understand and some won’t. For example, if in class they explain that the number 45 is made up of 4 tens and 5 ones, not all children will understand. This can lead to feelings of failure and a lack of interest in math. But all children, if given time, will be able to figure things out on their own.

Learning at the child’s own pace

This principle is closely related to the first. It simply means increasing the difficulty of exercises gradually, as the child masters the current level.

Knowing math is knowing how to solve exercises.

 This means that in the early years, there are four arithmetic operations that children need to understand and master. In addition, children need to understand how a number is constructed. The number 234 is 2 hundreds, 3 tens, and 4 ones.

In total, we have reached 5 topics that children need to master.

Imagine for a moment that I am a 7-year-old child, and I solve the following exercises quickly and even boastfully

7+6= 13




What would you say, am I good at math or not?

The only things a child need to know is how to solve exercises. That sounds logical, right? And yet it is different from the perception of the national education system. This is due to the difference in the perception between learning and teaching. On most math learning sites you will visit, you will see dozens of skills that children are supposed to acquire in each year of math study.

These skills are of course important, but, and this is a major but! Focusing on them as a subject in itself is a mistake. Why is it similar? In order to walk, we perform many actions automatically, such as transferring weight to the front of the foot, lifting the second leg, bending the knee, stabilizing weight, transferring weight… If we wanted to teach children to walk, would we practice them, in each action separately? Of course not, during the practice of walking these skills are acquired on their own.

For children who really love math, the variety of skills can be nice. For most children, this breakdown can be difficult and can lead to frustration.

If you want to know if it is important to learn a certain skill right now, ask yourself “If my child does not learn this skill right now, will he master it in 4 years without learning?” If the answer is yes, he will master the skill even if we do not teach him it right now. So it is unnecessary.

Let’s review the four rules:

  1. Creating a sense of success and competence throughout the way
  2. Discovery Learning
  3. Learning should be adapted to the child’s pace.
  4. Knowing math is knowing how to solve exercises

I wish you pleasant and successful learning,


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