Most parents want their children to be early readers, as this has previously been a major marker for intellectual and educational success. However, new research indicates that math skills are more important than reading in predicting future academic success. Experts are now saying that early math skills need priority in early childhood classrooms, not reading.
Here is what the science reveals about how math helps young children.
Predictor for Academic and Career Success
According to several studies, “Early math skills foretell higher aptitude in high school math and higher rates of college enrollment… [and for] both males and females, mathematical precocity early in life predicts later creative contributions and leadership in critical occupational roles.”
Improves Problem-Solving Skills
Math is all about solving the equation. It stands to reason, then, that math improves your child’s problem-solving skills. The earlier children can solve math problems, the better they will be at math in school, and they will be able to solve everyday problems with ease.
Dr. Jie-Qi (Jackie) Chen has said “Math is the language of logic.” As your child develops early math skills, the more their brain will mature logically. This is because part of math is figuring out which is the best way to solve the equation. Children who learn math concepts early in life have a head start on analytical and logic skills.
Develops Flexible and Creative Thinking
Math promotes flexible thinking because equations can often be solved in more than one way. For instance, you may not know the answer to 9×9 offhand, but you know that 9 x 10 = 90. Subtracting 9 from 90 leaves 81. Using creative and flexible thinking at an early age strengthens the brain to perform more challenging mental tasks later.
Math geniuses aside, most of us had meltdowns at some point over not understanding our math homework. While the math concept was important to understand, perhaps the greatest lesson we learned from these meltdowns was perseverance. Math provides ample opportunity for frustration with a great reward upon solving the equation. The earlier children learn perseverance, the more resilient they will be in the real world.
How Do I Start?
Hopefully, you feel inspired to incorporate early math skills into your daily routine. But how do you start? This all depends on the age of your child and their current math knowledge. Of course, teaching numbers is important to understanding math, but math is more than numbers.
Some creative ways to incorporate math skills include:
- Sorting shapes and colors or other toys (e.g. dinosaurs from trains)
- Discuss weight, size, shape, and height differences between objects (e.g. the size, weight, and shape differences of a whale versus a dolphin or a skyscraper versus a house)
- Use Dulpos, LEGOs, or blocks with geometric shapes to build visual literacy
- Practice patterns through pattern games
- Strategically choose board or card games that include math, like Chutes and Ladders
Math Skills at Children’s Academy Childcare and Preschool
Children’s Academy teaches many early childhood math skills, as well as providing math-centered games, puzzles, and toys that develop your child’s brain so they receive all the benefits of early math skills.
It can be hard to include your child’s math skills during a busy day. Thankfully, you can rest assured that your child receives age-appropriate and fun math skills at Children’s Academy.
If you’re looking to give your child a head start in school, contact Children’s Academy Childcare and Preschool today!