Reading Books That Focus on Time: When is Saturday?

imageFor some of our children, time does not look or feel the same as we see it.  My children are continue to ask me when Monday will come, or Friday, or even Saturday.  It’s wonderful that they are asking those questions because it gives me an idea that they are actually curious about it!

I have this book at home, the picture above it is the book, and read it to my kids, or I have them read it now.  It gives them an opportunity to learn about time when it comes to days.  This offers them one opportunity to learn about time.

In our home, we do not stop in just reading about time, we practice it every moment we get.  Go outside and have them look at the position of the sun in the sky. When it is morning, where is the sun? When it is noon time, where is the sun? When it is evening, where is the sun? What can we see at night, the moon or the sun?

How many days are there in a week? How many hours are in the day? What is a day? What is a night? How many weeks or days are in a month? How many months in a year? What is a year? How many seasons are in a year?

For the moon, when it is this time of the month, how does the moon look? What part of the month is it a new moon? What time of the month is it a full moon? How many days does it take for the moon to go from a new moon to a full moon? How many full moons are there in a year?

Truthfully, if my kids are asked these questions right now, they may not be able to answer all of them, but we continue to talk about these things.  I do not sit down with my kids and ask all of these questions at once, but I ask them when the time is right. 🙂

Where is this in the Schedule of Activities in 18 mos-3 years of age?


1. Saturday- Go see it outside and explore it

2. Reading

Where is this in the Schedule of Activities in 3-5 years of age?


1. Monday- Sequence (Time)

2. Reading

Something to Think About:

Talking about time, observing about time, reading about time, and experiencing time are all wonderful opportunities for you and your children.  This is very mathematical and yet another way to have your children feel comfortable and able to learn mathematics!

Remember, this type of lesson is something that can be done when you walk with your kids, drive your kids from place to place, or when it is time to go to sleep.  Even make up a story about the days of the week, or different times of the month and year.  Be creative and also find something that is connected to your culture or family. 🙂 This will help your child understand that time and math are not unreachable ideas, but right there in front of them/around them.

copyright 2015 learning math with mom

copyright 2015 learning math with mom

The Power of One, Two, Three…



The power of 1,2,and 3 is quite powerful, especially for a baby or toddler.  When you begin counting one, or two of something, you are giving the child a sense of numbers. It is not the sake of counting, it is the sense of showing quantity.  The ways to offer your child a lesson in quantity is to:

1.  Count the number of pieces of fruit or cereal you are giving them;

2.  Count out loud and with fingers the number of rocks, trees, or plants outside; and

3. Read them books that focus on counting to three, ones that I have are in the picture above.

Counting to one, two, and or three does not seem like a big deal for us, but it is for a baby and toddler. To them, having one nose is a big deal. What do you mean we have two eyes and two ears? But what about one more? What happens in threes? These are all questions to show how to count, point them out, and read about.

Where is this in the Schedule of Activities for 0-18 mos?


1. Wednesday -numbers(counting)

Where is this in the Schedule of Activities for 18mos to 3 years?

1. Tuesday-numbers

Something to Think About:

With our babies, there is so much to learn as this is a  great time to get to know the world around them in new ways, especially in number sense.  As a parent, though, we might think we need to hurry up on teaching certain things to our children so that they won’t fall behind.  This allows us to become more stressed or pressured if our children are not learning at the rate we think they should.  No worries….just breathe.  Just start counting in front of the babies and be more transparent in your thinking.  Say the numbers aloud, the colors aloud, and the shapes aloud.  Doing this broadens their bank of vocabulary.  Remember that it is that important to know that you are doing a great job!



copyright 2015 learning math with mom

copyright 2015 learning math with mom


A New Year? What is that?


Children usually think of time as either something that is done in a second, or something that is forever and usually there is nothing in between, at least it is like that with my kids.   So talking about a new year might be a great way to offer them a sense of time in terms of seconds, minutes, days, months, and a year.

Before you recycle last year’s calendar, spread out all the months onto the floor. You might need pieces of paper and something to write with. Decide what calendar year you are going to show them: a solar calendar year; a lunar calendar year; a religious calendar year; or a school year. Name the months of the year together as well. Explain to them what month you are beginning and ending with before you start and why.

Have the kids think about their birthday. What month does is his/her birthday? Write this down and place it on that calendar month, or have them practice their writing or drawing if they are ready. Did your family celebrate any festivals or holidays? Write them down or draw pictures and place those on the calendar month. Anniversaries? First day of school? Last day of school? Vacations? Trips to see family? Did family come over to visit you? Document those by having the child(ren) write down a memory, story, or draw pictures.

What about the seasons?  Together, talk about what months are in Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.  Were there any significant weather events that happened? A big snow fall? Monsoons? After this, have the kids step back and see what last year looked like.

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities for 3 to 5 years of age?


1. Tuesdays for Measurement (Time)

2. Monday for Sequence (Time)

3. Friday for Reading under “Write or Say Own Story”

Something to Think About:

By placing down the months on the floor, it gives your children a way to visualize time and to think back of all the things that happened that year.  It is also a great way to do something as a family, especially if the weather does not permit us to go outside.

Children at this age are at a wonderful part of life when time seems infinite.  To help them see and feel time, give them a visual that will help them grasp the concept of a year, a month, and a season.  It gives them a sense to see things in sequence in terms of what usually happens first in the calendar year. More importantly, if gives all of you a chance to learn math, draw pictures, write stories and memories, and spend time together, which I really appreciate in our home….with every chance we can get. 🙂


copyright 2015 learning math with mom

copyright 2015 learning math with mom

Helping Your Kids Count Away Cold and Flu Season

With three kids, it is only a matter of time for someone to get sick, especially during cold and flu season. What my kids need to practice is washing their hands for at least twenty seconds each time. What I first started out doing was using a dry erase marker on the mirror and writing down the numbers 1 through 20. They had to look at the numbers on the mirror and starting counting while they were washing hands. At this point, my kids know how to identify their numbers 1 through 20. Now, it is 40 through 60, or 101 through 120. This also will give them a sense of what 20 seconds feels like.  It will give them a sense of time. Here are some examples to give you ideas:

mirrornumbers mirrornumbers2

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 18 months to 3 years of age?

1. Tuesday for Numbers


Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 3 to 5 years of age?


  1. Monday for Sequence
  2. Tuesday for Numbers


Something to Think About:

We can always say that we are too busy to teach our children at home, but we really are our children’s first teachers regardless of what we are directly or indirectly teaching them. What I am offering to you is showing you a simple way to help your children use mathematics as if it was not a big deal. The more we are using the mathematics in a more comfortable and useable manner, kids will be more open to working with the math when there is a bit of a challenge because it will be no big deal.

Remember to have patience when your child skips 48 from 47 to 49. The main point is to teach them to keep track of how long they are washing their hands to wash away those germs as much as they can. You will need to be with them to model and practice what it is you want them to do, but it will not take much time for them to do this by themselves 🙂 Keep it fun, keep it simple, and help your kids wash their hands and count away the germs:)

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

You Deserve to Understand Mathematics


In talking and listening to my colleagues at work, it dawned on me that many reasons why some of us might not be open in learning math, or even teaching others math for that matter, stems from the question of “Do you believe those you teach deserve to learn and understand the math?” and “Do you believe you are deserving to learn and understand math?”

Your answer and my answer might be, “well, of course!” Really think about this for a moment. You believe that you and your child deserve to read, so you find out tools to use and what things to do with your child to help him/her to read. You believe that you and your child deserve to have a healthy eating lifestyle, so you do what you can to achieve that. I am wondering if we truly believe that we deserve to learn mathematics.

From my teaching years in the classroom, the meet-ups with parents and even other adults throughout the day would freely share how their parents were not great at mathematics and so they believed this was the reason why they are not good in math. Some parents would also freely share that they were not great in math and so they do not expect their child to be great in math, as if this was connected to genetics. If you really want a gene, a math gene, then go to and get your math gene. Make this yours and pass it on to others so that we can stop the thinking that the math gene is out of reach.

On behalf of anyone who has told you that you cannot learn math, or anything for that matter, I apologize. I am so sorry that happened to you or to your child. We are all capable of learning. We all have our strengths and we all have our desire to learn.

At least learn one new thing a week, or even every two weeks. Begin telling yourself and your children that the both of you deserve to learn the math and understand it. Keep telling yourself that you can do it and spread the message to your child. If you want to learn more about how to help yourself and/or your children to understand math, keep reading the blogs, subscribe, and feel free to e-mail me at .

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

Taking a Break to Breathe :) Why I Do This for My Kids and For You!

It has been two months since I last posted an activity and all I can say is that it was time to take a break to breathe. I hope you were able to do the same, whether it was for five minutes or all summer. Sometimes it is okay to not try to schedule everything all at once, to have your life planned for every single second, and meet every single deadline. Bottom line, when you feel rushed, so do you kids. So take the time to breathe and enjoy the time you have with your little ones, especially before they go off to school…if they haven’t done so already.


Something to Think About:

My two cents worth of being part of this movement to incorporate more math in the early years is not just about teaching shapes and how to count before a child begins school. It is also about changing the way we think and do mathematics in our lives. I have been trying to show you how simple, less complex, and how easy it is to teach your child about math before he/she starts school for the first time.

For the past five years, I have been asked if I am homeschooling my kids. At first, my thoughts were that I was not homeschooling them because they were eventually going to school when they are of age. Then I thought more about what people were really asking me. Many people need to label what they do or others do to try to wrap their minds around something that is not the norm. All I was trying to do was create an environment where my kids did not feel bombarded or bored about learning math. My goal was to just make it a normal part of their life and not a chore or another extra thing they needed to do. In a way, I am homeschooling my kids. In one way or another, we all do that with just about anything we teach our kids. We teach our kids certain things we think and feel are important for them to understand. The important thought I want you to understand is that it is really important to surround your child or children with the knowing that learning in not just at school; learning happens at home, on the playground, at lunchtime, outside, and as a family.

Whatever subject or skill, or just about anything you want your child to learn from you, you need to understand and feel that it is important or your children will not see the purpose in learning it. Although I am teaching my kids math, I also am expanding to other areas that I was not very strong in. To be a supporter of the arts, I needed to do things in art to feel empowered and confident so that my children can also know that they can feel that way to. Whatever it is, become their teacher of making a success and a teacher of making mistakes 🙂

Throughout all these years, I love every minute I was able to be with my kids, especially showing them that there is nothing to fear in math, or in any subject. You fall, so dust yourself off and try again. You make a mistake on the canvas for art, there is always white paint. Remember to have an eraser at the end of your pencil. It is not how fast you get there, it is the fact that you got there!

So stop and take a breather with your kids and let us get back to learning math 🙂

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

Biggest to Smallest: Comparing Things from Nature in any Season! Even in Color and Shape



Here in the desert area, we do not normally have Autumn weather like other parts of the country during the months of September through November, but some of the trees do change color and drop their leaves. At our house, we have a tall Sycamore tree with leaves of various sizes that really should not be in the desert, but has survived all this time through tons of watering and care. So, I took this opportunity for this Autumn Season to have the boys pick up some of the fallen leaves and pick their favorites.

At this time, my boys are 4 and 3 years old. Picking up leaves, for them, is really not too much to ask for from mommy. J As we brought them in, we talked about the colors they saw on each of the leaves, counted the number of points on each leaf, and I was wondering if they would be able to choose the biggest leaf to the smallest leaf. Looking at the picture above, there are only seven leaves, which is a good number of one thing to compare for a 4 and 3-year-old. Any more than ten might be a bit much, especially if it is the afternoon before nap time.

Placing one leaf on the floor, I asked them if this was the biggest leaf. It was not. I kept asking questions and listened to what they had to say. As this kept going back and forth, back and forth, it took about five to eight minutes to get what you see on the picture. Here are questions that I asked the boys that resulted in the above picture:

  1. Which one is the biggest leaf, this one, or that one? Why?
  2. Which one is the next biggest leaf?
  3. Which of the leaves is the smallest? How can you tell?
  4. What about this leaf? Is this bigger or smaller than the first leaf on the floor? (you can overlap the leaf, one on top of the other, to see which one is bigger or smaller).
  5. What if we did smallest to biggest, what would that look like?



For the rest of the world that has a real winter, here are some ideas that you might want to take advantage of when comparing things in nature from biggest to smallest. Although most of the fallen leaves are gone or underneath snow, it would be a great time to also talk about color and why some leaves are still green and on the tree, instead of gone or brown.

  1. Pinecones! If you have different conifers near you, take some fallen pine cones and compare them. Take a look at the way the pine cones are created. Do you see spirals? What shapes do you see?
  2. Snowballs! Before a snowball fight, make some that are small and big and compare them.       This is a great way to start exploring 3-D shapes! What solids/3-D shapes can you make with snow and how? What 3-D shapes are easier to make than others and why?
  3. Icicles! With this one, you need to be careful and very cautious because icicles can be really dangerous to be underneath. From a distance, you can compare the length of the icicles and also look at what shapes they are. This is a special treat because you can explore these from inside a warm house too!





Spring is my all time favorite season because it is a time where everything comes back to life and it is cool and warm enough to go outside and explore! Why not look at different things outside and compare them. Make it like a scavenger hunt to find different flowers, leaves, and rocks. Then bring them all together and compare. What colors do you see? What shapes do you see?

  1. Flowers
  2. Green leaves
  3. Vegetables in the garden
  4. Plants




This special season can be a way to get out of the heat and explore things in different parts of the country on a vacation, or even at the local zoo.   Compare things from biggest to smallest and you will find that your children will have an interesting way of thinking about what big is and small is and tall is. It also depends if something is standing upright or on the ground flat. If you can go to the zoo or look up pictures of animals, compare the size, colors, and shapes of the animals as well 🙂

  1. Sea Shells
  2. Flowers
  3. Zoo Animals

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 18 months to 3 years of age?


  1. Wednesday on Big and Small
  2. Mondays on Shapes

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 3 years to 5 years of age?


  1. Monday on Shapes
  2. Tuesday on Measurement (if you are using a device to compare measurements, like a ruler)
  3. Thursday on Geometry of 2D and 3D
  4. Tuesday ( that I will soon add on Tuesdays is comparisons)

  1. Thursday on Geometry of 2Dand 3D
  2. Tuesday ( that I will soon add on Tuesdays is comparing)


Something to Think About:

Mathematics is not always learned on paper or with technology, though these things are great in their own moments. The reason why most of us explore the world of mathematics is because nature provides this outside. Nature, in every season, is a playground of math waiting to be played and explored. So, take advantage of what is outside your door. Even if it is that single tree outside, rocks, or flowers. Go outside with your kids and start asking questions. Show your kids how to look at things around them and to take notice of the math that is there. Sure, I know we need to clean the house or we are busy trying to figure out how to manage everything, but just take a moment to go outside and breathe. These moments are not only a way of learning about the mathematics, but making memories with your kids. These are priceless moments with our kids.

As an idea, even if you cannot go outside, or have a local zoo in your area, just print out the pictures in this blog or read this with your kids and start comparing; start asking questions. At least this gives you time together and gives you time to slow down and breathe, making memories. 🙂

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

Zoo, Numbers, and Shapes


At our local zoo, Reid Park Zoo, I entered my then two year old into some classes in the mornings that were held once a month. One of the classes focused on numbers and the zoo. At first, I did not know what to expect, but after the class, I was really impressed.

All the toddlers and preschoolers for the class meet at the entrance. We all go through the zoo and stop at various animal sites. The focus is to have the kids look at the animals and count how many legs they have, or what shapes they might have on them. For the giraffes, the children counted four legs and for the tortoises, the shapes ranged from squares to pentagons to circles. After the tour through the zoo, the children and parents gathered to a room for story time, an activity, and looking closely at other animals.

One of the books read to the children was about how many legs or how many toes a given animal has. The activity after that was to make an octopus out of a paper plate, paper strips, and paper circles. The parent and child were able to number the legs and decorate. The next activity consisted of placing the correct animals and number of animals onto the selected square on the sheet of paper. One section of the sheet was looking for 1 flamingo, so you placed the flamingo there. The other animals were frogs, hippos, and alligators. The picture above shows both finished activities.

At the end of the class, the Reid Park Zoo educators had three small animals for the kids to look at and touch. The whole focus was to get to know the animal, count how many legs, count how many toes, and allowing the children to touch the animal first hand. Each animal the zoo educators bring out to the class are safe for the kids and parents to touch and observe. It could be a hen, a bearded dragon, a rabbit, or a skink.

My son loved the whole experience and it was a real situation where one can apply math, in context. It was fun, real, and worth sharing it with you to encourage you to go to the Reid Park Zoo, or your local zoo, and take part in the experience!


Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 18 months to 3 years of age?

1. Monday on Shapes

2. Tuesday on Numbers


Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 3 to 5 years of age?


  1. Tuesday on Numbers
  2. Wednesday on Classify

Something to Think About:

To be able to take your child(ren) outside of the house and experience the mathematics in context is priceless. The learning does not need to always be in the home, it can also include going out of the house and exploring the many ways we can see math around us. If you have the opportunity to take classes at your local zoo, please do. This was a great experience for my child to experience the math and relate it to something real, the zoo animals.

Just remember that it is not just about doing mathematics, but the special time you and your child are having together with the mathematics. 🙂

For more information about Reid Park Zoo and the classes it offers, please go to

Note: I have not been compensated in any way by Reid Park Zoo in writing this blog.

copyright 2014 learningmathwithmom

copyright 2014 learningmathwithmom

Mom! You Have Crackers in Your Pretzel Bowl: Sorting Becomes Delicious!


My second oldest son can sometimes be particular about his food, especially his snacks.  He wanted to have his bunny crackers, but we bought the box that is a snack mix with a blend of bunny crackers and pretzels.  So I offered to eat the pretzels and he will eat the bunny crackers.  Pouring the snack mix in my bowl, he yelled, “Mom! You have crackers in your pretzel bowl!”  He is 3 ½ at this time.  The answer to this problem was that he sorted out the bunny crackers and put it into his bowl.  After he sorted everything out, he ate his crackers.  I poured more of the mixture in my bowl and he sorted it out again.  🙂  I didn’t need to set anything up, really, and I didn’t have to announce that we are doing a learning activity.  It just naturally happened.  Sorting that becomes a delicious snack time!


Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 18 months to 3 years of age?

1.  Wednesday on Sorting


Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 3 to 5 years of age?


  1. Tuesday on Sorting


Something to Think About:

This was the moment when the learning just naturally presented itself without any planning ahead of time.  This is the sweetest part of being a teacher and mother.    This also gave me a better perspective to see how my children can just naturally do something mathematically.

There are plenty of things to sort inside your home and outside your home.  Sort rocks, sort cereals, sort forks and spoons, and sort buttons.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy because it could be as simple as sorting crackers that come in different shapes and sizes. Just remember that it is not just about doing mathematics, but the special time you and your child are having together with the mathematics. 🙂

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

Math That You Can Eat: Quantity with Chopsticks, Cereal, and Number Cards


This is certainly not a new idea, but one that I changed according to what I had in the house.  Basically, you want to have a set of number cards 1 through 10, chopsticks or dividers, and cereal.  My second oldest was about 2 ½ to 3 years old.  He really was showing signs of how much he liked to count things, so I wanted to give him a learning activity to help build on his sense of quantity.

First, everything was set up just as you see in the picture above, but without the cereal.  The cereal is in a bowl for my son to grab and use.  I showed him the name of the game by saying that I have the number one, so I need to put one piece of cereal in the spot.  I then said that now I have the number two, so I need to put two pieces of cereal in the spot.  I then said that I now have the number three and asked him how many pieces of cereal I need to put in the spot.  He told me I had to put three pieces of cereal there, so I knew he got it.  I told him that I would like him to finish it all the way to the number 10; once he finished, he can eat all that cereal up as a treat.

This did not take very long for him to finish.  It took about ten to 15 minutes.   Because this was the first time for this learning, I sat there to see what he was doing to check his quantities for each number.  If he miscounted or forgot what number he was on when counting, I was there to help him.  If I had left him by himself this very first time, he would have eaten all the cereal after doing four and five on the numbers cards because he loves his cereal! 🙂  When I am with him, though, we are learning together and it is a great mommy and son time to have in the morning.  The photo below is the rest of the activity set up with his completed work with the cereal before he ate it all 🙂


Where is this on the Schedule of Activities from 18 months to 3 years of age?


  1. Tuesday on Numbers, especially in quantity


Where is this on the Schedule of Activities for 3 to 5 years of age?


  1. Tuesday for Numbers (specifically counting), Quantity, and Measurement


Something to Think About:

Once my son learned how to do this, he wanted to work on this over and over again.  It was about the third time that I did not need to be with him sitting next to him or looking over his shoulder.  He wanted to do this by himself and then I would check his quantities when he was done.  The big treat was that he was doing something by himself and got to eat the cereal 🙂

My oldest was watching him do this and also wanted to work on it.  He already knew his numbers 1 through 10, but I am not one to get in the way of any of my kids when it comes to doing a learning activity.  After the first try, I changed the quantities from 1 through 10 to 11 through 15.  You can change the quantities to whatever you want, depending on the age of your child.  If you want to do numbers 1, 2, and 3, then do that.  If you want to just do the first five numbers, go for it!  If you want to do this in tens, or in any other quantity for your multiple age kids, this is a great idea!  This learning activity is so easy to set up and flexible to be adapted for any quantity, that I do hope you take advantage of this one and try it out.


Number cards (you can make your own)

Chopsticks (you can use forks, pencils, breadsticks, straws, string, etc.)

Cereal (you can use crackers, green peas, corn kernels, or whatever you have in the kitchen)

Again, as a parent, we might think we need to hurry up on teaching certain things to our children so that they won’t fall behind. This allows us to become more stressed or pressured if our children are not learning at the rate we think they should. No worries…just breathe. Because even reading this blog and finding out how to help your child become more successful in math should tell you that you are a wonderful and caring parent. If your child takes more time to learn concepts, it is okay. We all learn at different times. I will say this over and over again because it is that important to know that you are doing a great job! 🙂

copyright 2014 learning math with mom

copyright 2014 learning math with mom