5 reasons to let your child explore higher level mathematics from an early age.
1. Children need to be challenged to learn.
Children learn more when they are challenged, but are often forced to repeat things they already know in kindergarten and early elementary. A study published in the American Educational Research Journal found that all kindergarteners, regardless of economic background or initial skill level, benefited from early exposure to more advanced content in mathematics. Researchers have also found that repeated review and lack of more complex material led to lower math scores in the first year of school. The problem is that we tend to underestimate children’s ability to reason mathematically. Even young kids are ready to learn more advanced math concepts, as long as they are presented in an engaging, developmentally appropriate way.
2. Math is the secret to school success.
School is about much more than grades and future careers, but academic achievement is important to most students, teachers and parents. Researchers at the University of California found that math knowledge at the beginning of elementary school was the single most powerful predictor determining whether a student would graduate from high school and attend college.
3. It can build your child’s confidence in math.
Allowing kids to play around with math and make mistakes without consequences is an excellent way to build children’s confidence in mathematics. If children fear math, they will make efforts to avoid it, resulting in a vicious cycle that can be extremely difficult to break. The ultimate vaccination against math anxiety is to focus on exploration and experimentation instead of trying to get the right answer, and for parents to get involved in their children’s education both at home and in school. Research has shown that a child’s perception of mathematics is greatly influenced by that of their parents, so it’s important that parents help boost their children’s math confidence and have fun math experiences together with their kids from an early age.
4. Math is more than memorization.
When people think of learning mathematics, they often think of memorizing math facts, but studies have shown that students who do well at math don’t rely primarily on memorization. They are able to play around with different solution strategies and use numbers more flexibly. MRI scans have shown that the memorization of math facts is stored in the parts of the brain responsible for working memory, but the working memory becomes blocked when kids are stressed and under pressure, making it difficult to remember the formulas and operations they have memorized. It is therefore important that students are allowed to explore and experiment with mathematics, so that they learn to play around with numbers and develop different solution strategies.
5. There’s an easy way to let your kids play around with higher level math!
The award-winning DragonBox learning games are designed to let kids as young explore and experiment with advanced math concepts at their own pace, without any prior understanding of the subjects. You will wish you had had these games when you were young!