Numbers are Important Two!




My granddaughter is yelling out her favorite numbers.  She knows some other numbers, but these are the best.  Just ask her.

And her Spanish-speaking grandparents are, indeed, asking her.  They have just asked how many chicos are sitting at the table.  “Two!” she grins.  (The answer is three.)

Then they ask her how many chicas are sitting here.  “Five!”  (The answer is four.)

Wrong answers, right atmosphere.  We are all having a great time as we count out the girls and the boys at the table.

Our granddaughter is 2 ½, so she still has plenty of time to figure out the real answers to these questions before she goes to school.  But while we are all having a great time, some very serious learning is taking place.

An article in the Wall Street Journal on August 29, 2012, reveals just how serious playing with numbers can be.  Sue Shellenbarger reports:

Ongoing research is shedding new light on the importance of math to children’s success.  Math skill at kindergarten entry is an even stronger predictor of later school achievement than reading skills or the ability to pay attention, according to a 2007 study in the journal Developmental Psychology.

We play.  And she learns.

We can all learn to play with numbers, to enjoy their magic, and to help our children get a kick out of math.  The earlier we begin, the better.  If you would like a few ideas about how to start, an excellent website for parents of all ages is There are lots more websites out there.  A quick internet search will turn up idea after idea.

So.  We are Literacy Outreach.  We change the lives of non-readers One Word at a Time.  But we don’t forget the numbers.  As we teach functionally illiterate adults to learn to read, we also teach them to find confidence with math concepts.  It’s so very important.  And it’s especially important to our kids.

by Terrie Drake, Literacy Outreach Volunteer

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