Math Words – Start Using Them Early

This article was featured on Tuesday Tots on In Lieu of Preschool.

Every parent is concerned that their children will not get what they need to be successful. Especially in math.

Instead of worrying, you can take action. And it’s not hard.

Use “big” math words.

Don’t refrain from teaching your child math words just because they’re big or seem complicated to you.

This sentence, “May I have milk, please,” has five simple words. To a grown-up.

But to a child, a five word sentence is no different than a five syllable word. Like, “parallelogram.”

In fact, if you teach your child to count to 10, it’s the same as teaching your child an eleven syllable word. (Seven has two syllables.)

To put this in perspective, the word overintellectualization has only ten syllables!

O – ver – in – tel – lec – tu – a – li – za – tion

One – two – three – four – five – six – seven – eight – nine – ten

In fact, overintellectualization is easier to say when you look at it like this.

Try some words!

Give these math words a shot with your little ones:

Parallelogram (pear-uh-lell-uh-gram)

A parallelogram is a shape. It has four sides. The sides that are across from each other are parallel to each other. Which means a square is a type of parallelogram. And so is a rectangle.

So the next time you see a square or a rectangle, say to your child, “Hey, there’s a rectangle. It’s also a parallelogram. Can you say parallelogram?”

Hypotenuse (hi-pot-uh-news)

The hypotenuse is any diagonal that you take instead of walking first to the left and then to the right (or vice versa). So the next time you walk across the street at a diagonal, say to your child, “Were walking the hypotenuse. Can you say hypotenuse?”

Coplanar (co-plane-er)

Any two things that are on the same flat surface are coplanar. Like two people standing on the floor together.

When you’re around stairs, stand on a different step than your child. Say, “Look, we are not coplanar.

Then move to the same step as your child and say, “Now we are coplanar. We are on the same flat surface. Can you say coplanar?”

Go do it. Have fun!

You don’t have to know the formal definitions of your math words. Just know a place or two where you can demonstrate them in your own world.

Remember, getting your child familiar with math words will make a big difference.

So pull out some big words, and try them on for size. Your little ones can handle it!

I’m joining forces with Scholar’s Choice to create a parent’s glossary of math words just like these. Sign up for the free newsletter and when it’s out, I’ll let you know!

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