our everyday life

Basic Math Skills & Objectives

by Jen Saunders, studioD

People use basic math skills in everyday life without even thinking about it. When you pay for goods, check the time and determine how to hang a picture on the wall, you are using basic math skills. Teaching these skills to children is vital to their development. It is important to give them a foundation in mathematics while identifying the objectives at an early age. Doing so will help strengthen and build the mathematical side of their brains.


Counting is the first basic math skill children learn, and the most important because it is the foundation to every other type of math. Counting objectives include the ability to count by twos, fives, tens and hundreds. Counting can be taught as a sequence using these methods -- once a child can count by twos, graduate him to a lesson that teaches counting by fives, and so on. There are a number of books out there that help young children learn to count such as "Counting Crocodiles" by Judy Sierra or "Ten Little Ladybugs" by Melanie Gerth. Both books provide a fun-filled narrative that draw children into the story and help foster excitement into counting principals.

Making Change

Teaching children to make change requires skills in subtraction and addition. If you give a child a dollar bill and ask him to give you exact change, he must count coins to equal 100 cents. But, if you give a child a dollar and tell him he can keep 60 cents, the child must subtract the figure from the total sum. "CNN Money" pinpoints a clear objective to this; they report that teaching kids about money is best done as early as possible. "CNN Money" also suggests that when kids learn about money at a young age they are more likely to become financially conservative. Aside from learning basic math skills, teaching kids to make change introduces the objective to be "financially fluent" and to value money.

Telling Time

Teaching kids to tell time requires their ability to count and add -- especially by fives such as 5, 10, 15 and so on. If clocks don't have the minutes labeled on the face, kids will also have to learn how to estimate where the minutes fall. However, if your kids are still learning to count by fives and are comfortable with the big and small hands, you may want to buy a learning clock. Learning clocks will help children understand the objective of telling time -- the need for tracking the day and sticking to a schedule.


Measuring is a basic math skill that multiple professionals use on a daily basis. Chefs, construction workers, police officers, doctors and interior designers all make various types of measurements. Measuring has many objectives that include performing an analysis to gauge distance, space and time. Young children are typically introduced to measurements by using inches and feet. After teaching the concept of counting inches and feet you can engage your child in fun activities by giving him a list of objects around the house to measure with a ruler or a tape.

About the Author

Jen Saunders is an entrepreneur and veteran journalist who covers a wide range of topics. She made the transition to writing after having spent 12 years in England where she studied and taught English literature.

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