Math Skills Development Starts at Home and in Preschool

- Math skills development should begin early, a crucial need that a lot of parents are not well aware of. A strong STEM education is the surest way to ensure a child's future successful career in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the fields that will provide most of the jobs of tomorrow. The study of these disciplines should not begin in elementary or middle school, but as early as possible, in families and preschools.

- Some fortunate children have parents talking to them frequently about numbers (using words like two and ten, more and less, add and subtract, etc.) in various situations. Yet, too many less fortunate children have rare or no opportunities to hear number and math words, or to be engaged in math-learning activities. Some lucky kids hear on average more than 30 number words per hour, while some of their peers hear as few as... one number word per hour.

- Paradoxically, the situation is even worse with preschool teachers. While some of them use more than 100 math words every hour with the children, others use only one number word during the same period! Such huge differences in experience explain the big differences of readiness between children at kindergarten entry. At this time, the gap can be abyssal: when they begin school, some kids can barely count to 10, while others are already able to do basic arithmetic. This is a big issue since a child's level of math skills at the start of school is one of the strongest predictors of later math achievement. It has become urgent to promote early math learning as intensively as early language learning was promoted during the recent decades.

 

This parabola-shaped lava flow illustrates the application of mathematics in physics - Wikipedia

This parabola-shaped lava flow illustrates the application of mathematics in physics (Wikipedia)

   

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This entry was posted in Best of Parenting News, Early Learning, Parenting & Education, School & Teaching.

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