Dyscalculia: How Can I Help My Child?
Dyscalculia is sometimes referred to as dyslexia in math. Because understanding and working with numbers requires skilled mental imaging, children who are not highly visual, or who have trouble visualizing concepts, struggle with computation.
- Show the meaning of computation using real objects for the child to manipulate
- Purposefully lead the child into the practice of visual imprinting for numbers
- Purposefully tie number symbols to the "how much" of a number using concrete objects
- Act out the action in a math problem
- Make sure the child understands the process that occurs in a calculation
- Allow a lot of practice time
- Use visuals and rhymes to learn math facts
- Use the visuals as a basis for having the child add number concepts to his mental "image bank"
- As he is working a problem, have the child demonstrate the problem using manipulatives, and have him explain verbally what he is doing in order to create a multisensory learning experience
- Encourage the child to draw pictures of what the math problem is asking and talk about what he is doing as he draws
How we can help you:
Our math materials are brain friendly because they're consistent with how young children learn most easily: with patterns, puzzles, and visual and kinesthetic elements. Stories also play a big role in helping children understand and remember concepts. When working from our math materials, children don't realize they are laying important groundwork for understanding future mathematical concepts; they think they are playing!
The math materials are very helpful for children who struggle with math, including children with dyscalculia because they incorporate a variety of learning styles within the lessons. Number recognition is taught via visuals and a song, complete with body motions. The song also provides critical support for sequencing of numbers. Before doing any computation, many visual activities are provided to give the child a rich bank of visual images about the "how many is" for each number. The format is games, so the children are not aware of the fact that they are laying a rich visual background for computation.
There is purposeful transition from visual experiences with numbers, to acting out problems and creating them using manipulatives. The transition from concrete to abstract happens in a very systematic way for those children who can work problems using manipulatives, but cannot transfer that knowledge and skill to paper and pencil.
Rather than memorization of facts, the materials rely on arraying numbers in patterns so that children can make mental images of calculations rather than just memorizing a series of problems.
The materials incorporate a variety of learning styles within the math curriculum. Visual learners will see numbers and computations through pictures, auditory learners will hear concepts put to music, and kinesthetic learners will be involved in hands-on activities. All of these activities connect learning to concepts in a meaningful and concrete way for children.