As a teacher, I realized that experiential learning was the best and most effective learning method for most children. While everyone learns in different ways (auditory, visual, kinesthetic or a combination of those), when you live the learning, you own the learning. I tried to provide my classes as many real life experiences as possible.
This is one area the most stay-at-home moms are good at providing for their children. I found that many children who were in daycare settings missed what we called "mom skills". They often didn't have someone sit with them on their lap and point to words while reading. They often didn't have someone bring them into the kitchen and teach kitchen math skills. They often didn't see people reading to read and writing to write. But, I digress... this isn't a post against daycare, those children develop a whole other set of skills that children of stay-at-home families don't always develop.
There is one more factor that is often overlooked for at home learning. That is the learning between siblings. Often the younger children are exposed to many skills because they observe their older siblings practicing these skills. Or the skill comes up in play and they learn it through the play experience.
Blake has known how to count pass 100 for months now. Today at lunch he and Colby were discussing birthdays. They decided to figure out how old Abby would be on her next birthday. This meant starting with 11, her age and going up one. They figured that out quickly then kept going back and forth counting. Blake had the even numbers and Colby the odd ones. This worked out well because Blake had to figure out the transition of the 10s, and Colby worked on the pattern of adding on from there. They counted from 11-110 with little help from me or each other. Colby got confused a few times and Blake helped him out. So in essence Blake taught Colby to count beyond 29 which is where he can count on his own.
So in this interchange of maybe 3 minutes they worked on: counting up (basic counting), counting on (counting starting at a point other than 0 or 1), number patterns (saying the odd and even numbers, change of 10s place), listening to numbers, counting to 100 and beyond, and many other higher level math skills.
These interactions are great learning experiences and will help them with their future math skills.