Updated: Aug 24
Why do we often overlook this important skill?
It is easy to overlook the importance of sorting as the benefits of building this skill is not as obvious as those of teaching our child phonics- which will enable them to read.
Teaching our child to do math, read and write alone is NOT sufficient. There are other school readiness skills that are just as or more important than that.
One very important school readiness skill is SORTING
When do you need to start teaching your child Sorting skills?
We need to start around the time they are 3 or below.
What role does “Sorting” play in preparing children for success in school?
It builds on their ability to classify, observe, analyze & make logical decision based on information they are given. Even the simple act of recycling trash involves the ability to sort ....
What happens if this skill is not worked on at an early age?
When our children start schooling, we may find them struggling in their studies. They may not have the ability to think in certain ways.
Why is sorting important?
It is the stepping stone in thinking logically about an object. It sets the foundation, necessary for future mathematics, science and daily living ability.
How do I start to teach my child sorting skills?
Before you start, your child needs to be able to match identical pictures or objects.
When your child starts to sort objects, they begin to realize that some things are the same and some things are different.
At first, we need to use objects that have only 1 different feature. See the image below for a clearer description.
For a start, 2 different colors will do--maybe just the red and blue blocks. As your child masters this level, keep on increasing the colors.
As we go on, we need to gradually increase the number of different features that a selection of objects have. Lets do it in a more systematic way....see the image below..
At this level (Step 2), your child is learning that an item can have more than 1 different feature and there is a way to still be able to sort the items.
Is there anything else that I can do to make STEP 2 more challenging for my child?
Yes, and it is necessary to make it more complex before moving to Step 3.
You can add on a green box and a few different green shapes first, if he is able to sort these object easily, add on a yellow box too with various yellow shapes.
Mix all the colored shapes well...
Still too easy...! Move on to Step 3 below fast before he starts getting too bored of this sorting activities...
Once they fully understand that objects can have many different features and yet can be sorted by a single feature color, we need to teach them that they can sort the various objects using other attributes apart from colors.
At first we will need to pick another attribute ( apart from color) , using the similar objects as in step 1 & 2 are important. It will be clearer to your child that the same objects can be sorted using different features.
Do I have to use boxes all the time?
It is better that you change the sorting containers every now and then. We would not want our child to think that it is a sorting activity only when there are some boxes around.
What other sorting containers are suitable?
Anything that you can think of actually...see the picture below for some ideas.
What other sorting activities can I do with my child?
There are many sorting activities that you can do with your child. Once your child is able to sort 3D items accurately, you can try to get him to sort pictures.
Members of Louis Center's "Parents as Therapists"
The pictures and sorting cards will be available for you to download, print, laminate & cut VERY SOON. It will be located in the Academic Toolkit section. We will keep you updated.
How do I become a member?
This FREE membership Program is only available for parents who have children with special needs.
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