Math Skills by Age – Educational Milestones

Baby (Ages 0-2)

Between the ages of birth and two, children are absorbing copious amounts of knowledge from the environment through all their senses.

During this time of development, your little one will begin to understand the concept of relative sizes – Mom is big, I am small. They will also begin to make simple classifications of objects such as what they can eat and what they can’t eat.

Shakers, blocks and balls help to teach cause and effect skills. Your baby will soon recognize that if they shake a rattle, it will make noise, or if they push a block, it will fall over. They will also begin to predict outcomes. For example, running water means bath time or putting on a coat means going outside.

These are all precursory skills to mathematics.

Toddler (Ages 2-3)

Once your little one reaches the toddler stage, they should be able to indicate how old they are using their fingers and begin reciting some numbers (not necessarily in order).

Toddlers begin to gain an understanding of how objects relate to each other – that is, whether an object is behind, beside, under, etc. They can also begin to identify simple shapes and match them to each other.

Preschool (Ages 3-5)

The identification of simple shapes gained during the toddler stage will develop into the ability to match shapes to objects in the real world. Your little one will begin to notice that kites are triangles, plates are circles and paper is a rectangle.

That capability to classify simple objects as a baby will now become the ability to sort by simple categories, such as carrots are vegetables, cars are vehicles, etc.

As far as numbers go, preschoolers should be able to rote count from 1 to 20, count items and begin to associate numerals to their number name, like 5 is “five”.

Kindergarten (Ages 5-6)

Come kindergarten, your little one should be able to count on both hands, knowing that once they reach 5 on one hand then they can continue with 6 on the next hand. They will learn how to identify the larger of two numbers as well how to copy or draw symmetrical shapes.

Children at this age will begin recognize patterns and be able to continue the pattern by predicting what comes next.

Grades 1-2 (Ages 6-8)

Now that your child has the basic fundamentals of numbers, they will begin to learn how to count by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s as well as count and write the numbers from 1 to 100. Around this age, they will be introduced to basic addition and subtraction up to 20.

Once your little one reaches this stage, they should be able to identify the value of coins.

Grade 3 (Ages 8-9)

In previous grades, addition and subtraction was likely taught using objects. In grade 3, children are taught how to work out mathematical problems using a pencil and paper. They also begin to learn about decimal points, multiplication and division.

Grades 4-5 (Ages 9-11)

Mathematical skills continue to develop as children in this age group learn the meaning of > (greater than) and < (less than). They also begin to figure out 2-3 digit multiplication problems as well as long division and rounding.

They should also be able to apply basic mathematical skills to the real world such as using measurements to cook or use money to pay for groceries.

Grades 6-8 (Ages 11-13)

Basic algebra is introduced around this age along with fractions, percentages and proportions. Your little one will also be learning how to use a protractor to calculate angles.

Area, perimeter and volume are also learned in these grades.

Grades 9-12 (Ages 13-17)

By the time your child reaches the final years of their schooling, they will expand upon the fundamentals used throughout their schooling. Concepts such as algebra, fractions and decimals will become more challenging.

They will also learn more “real world” applications of math such as creating budgets or building objects.

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