The start of a new school year often sparks excitement and anxiety among parents. One common concern is a child's aptitude for mathematics. Many believe that math ability is an innate talent reserved for a select few, often labelled "math kids." However, this stereotype is misleading.

Research indicates that all humans possess a natural inclination towards numbers. Even infants show early signs of number sense. This innate ability is the foundation for mathematical reasoning.

So, let's clear up some common misconceptions about math.

**1st Misconception: Math is all about being fast**

While being quick at calculations is helpful, it's not everything. Math is about understanding the details of why things work, not just getting the answers quickly. And as math gets harder, thinking carefully becomes even more important than speed.

**2nd Misconception: Math is just a bunch of tricks**

When math is taught like a magic trick, it can seem like only smart people can do it. Math is logic, and it makes sense. It is not just about following steps but about thinking and understanding. Focusing on the why, not just the how, helps kids learn better. The real magic of math is understanding the process.

**3rd Misconception: There’s only one way to solve a math problem**

This is not true either! There are often other ways to find the answer. It's like finding different paths to your favourite place. If kids get stuck on one way and can’t find the answer, they might give up instead of trying something else. Experimenting helps children learn and grow as math thinkers.

Instead of labelling children as “math kids” or “non-math kids,” educators and parents should provide opportunities for all children, even preschoolers, to develop their problem-solving skills and deepen their understanding of math. With the right supportive learning environment, every child has the innate ability to think mathematically - because, in reality, all kids are math kids.

Picture: Young girl as math champion (Designer)