Age- appropriate activity in the Early Years is a crucial point that always tends to rear its head over and over again.
A lady asked a question on one of the groups I belong to:
My three years old is learning 2 x table, and her homework is writing 1-150, please I need your contributions to this.
A friend sent this to me asking for advice several years ago.
Here was my reply and I believe it is still relevant for us today:
‘This is developmentally wrong. It is true that some children may not struggle with such tasks, but it still does not make it age-appropriate or right!’
Why is this?
Children have an innate ability to absorb information. Meaning they have a capacity to memorize information.
But here is the thing: if the child does not understand the information we make them memorize, you must then ask yourself, is the memorized information going to be beneficial in the long run?
The answer is “No!”
This is usually one of the major reasons our children hate Mathematics and why we did hate it too, when we were younger.
Knowledge without understanding is not beneficial.
So unless the child understands multiplication and can do the sums, memorizing the multiplication table is useless, in the long run we are putting the cart before the horse!
Also writing out numbers for the sake of writing, without understanding them, their quantity, how one builds upon the other, seeing, enjoying and understanding the patterns in numbers and their bonds, is simply not good enough.
When the child understands they the memorization happens without stress, the writing out of the numbers will also not be necessary. We need to always ensure that what we present and expect of the child is age – appropriate.
What do you think?