What  my Child should know  at the age of 6 before entering the Primary School?

 Your Child should  be able  :

 To count
*  Count up to 30 _ i.e. to recite counting rhyme 1,2,3,4… up to 30
* He/she should have understood the principle of the enumeration, i.e. if  you ask  him/her  “give me 7 pencils”,  he/she should give you the right number of pencils, by adding a pencil each time he/she announces a number (it may  seem stupid to say something  that simple, but some children do not associate the counting rhyme with a quantity of objects when they count) .
*Recognize the written numbers up to 10 (if a figure is shown to him/her, in any order , he/she has to be able to name it).
* Be able to say which quantity is bigger : if you ask him/her « what is more 8 candies or 9 candies ? », he/she should know that the answer is 9.
*Solve a problem of equivalent quantities : if you ask him/her to draw a balloon for each child, when there are six children, he/she must be able to represent 6 balloons and to say how many balloons there are.
*He/she must be able to solve small problems with the numbers up to 10. For example, « I have 4 candies, one gives me 2 more of them , how many do I have ? I eat one of them, how many do I still have ? ». He/she can count on his fingers or make a drawing, but has to be able to find the answer.


The most frequently occurring difficulties: 
* Your Child does not manage to memorize the counting rhyme, he/she counts 1,2,3,4,5,7,9… 
The solution: to make him/her repeat the counting rhyme slowly and often .

* Your Child does not manage to understand the principle of  enumeration, he/she goes often too quickly, when you ask him/her to count 7  circles , he/she recites the counting rhyme but does not associate it with the quantity of objects which he/she  sees.  The solution:  put him/her  in concrete situations ; for example ask him/her to  bring 4 objects (or other quantities but small ones )  at the time of setting the table ; or in other situations of  everyday's  life…

* Your child does not manage to recognize the written numbers, he/she knows the counting rhyme and can count, but he/she cannot say that the 6 is a 6 and if  you show him/her  the figures in  disorder, he/she does not recognize most of them.  The solution: it is necessary to make small games with the figures which he/she does not recognize: not more than 3 figures at a time. Write a 5, and  ask him/her what it is, then a 6, then fill  a sheet with 5 and 6 and  ask  him/her to surround the 5 with a color and the 6 with another, let him/her  draw the figures him/herself…

When I give a card of enumeration, children who have this problem are very handicapped to fill the card whereas they can count perfectly : I place at their disposal a numerical strip (figures in the order written up to 10) and I teach him/her how to find a figure on the strip ; as he/she knows the counting rhyme, he/she can easily find the figure and make his/her exercise. . This problem is solved in general  within the year by exercices and the use of games.
For the problems of enumeration, I  recommend that Children play  at parlour games: Game  of Goose, Small Horses, battles. For the children who do not recognize the figures, to play with a dice is useful, because a dice has a single figure  on each side and not a great quantity .

Children who are very good  at counting

A child who has a very good level in enumeration can of course make more things that the average level.
He/she can know the counting rhyme up to 100,  recognize the figures up to 30 and even up to 100. He/she is especially  quick to solve small problems and will  answer instantly if you ask him/her how much is “3+2”or “4+3”. He/she is able to solve more complex operations: “9+8”… He/she is fond of  the enumeration and is asking for more. Some Children, after having filled a  card of additions specially prepared for them (because they would have filled the average class card in a minute) were inventing their own card of additions, made the calculations and asked me at the end to correct!

To locate himself in space

It is very important for your Child  to progress well in the capacity to locate things and himself in space, because results in many fields, in particular in graphics depend of that . Evaluating  progress in location is not easy because it is less concrete, but there are nevertheless  some objective criteria:

Competences of average children entering Primary School : they are able to

*  complete a  coordinate graph.

reproduce a simple model.

*  locate top, bottom, below, above,  sides, of an object  in  space and on a  sheet of paper.

*  make a  puzzle of 25 pieces  by locating first the pieces to be placed at the edge and by putting the pieces in the right direction.

locate squares  in a square of 36 squares by marking the squares identical to the model .

place in a simple square containing 25 squares an object when you give  its coordinates and conversely, give the coordinates of a square (it may seem beyond  the usual objectives, but with relatively little training, almost all the children succeed in doing it).

*  shift an object along the lines of a square while following  directions suggested by arrows .

* find the way out of a simple labyrinth, presenting one or 2 obstacles.

How to detect whether your Child has difficulties?

* A child who cannot locate the corners of a  puzzle or the edges has problems of location: you will notice it because he/she seeks to place at the edge of the puzzle pieces which do not have a straight edge. Also he/she takes a long time to put the pieces in the right direction.

* A child who  often makes mistakes in a coordinate graph and who has difficulties to complete even the simplest  ones (crossing colors and objects).

* A child who has trouble with square graphs and does not manage to place reference marks in small tables (less than 36 squares).

To improve the capability of location, it is necessary to practise games of observation and handling. It is necessary to give to a disorganized child a method to find  locations, particularly  locations in square graphs: show him/her how to find a location starting from the edge for the simplest square graphs, then you can proceed line by line when the difficulty increases ( give  him/her a ruler). The computer is also an  interesting tool to develop the capacities of location: they make available many  labyrinths, puzzles and small games.