Mathematics helps children make sense of their world outside of school and helps them construct a solid foundation for success in school. In elementary and middle school, children need mathematical understanding and skills not only in math courses but also in science, social studies, and other subjects. In high school, students need mathematical proficiency to succeed in course work that provides a gateway to technological literacy and higher education. Once out of school, all adults need a broad range of basic mathematical understanding to make informed decisions in their jobs, households, communities, and civic lives. – National Association for the Education of Young Children
As the daughter of a math teacher, I may have a predilection for math but that doesn’t change the fact that math is essential in our lives. Math is intricately woven into many aspects of our daily lives and an important requirement for most career paths, even if they aren’t STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers.
Research on children’s learning in the first six years of life demonstrates the importance of early experiences in mathematics. An engaging and encouraging climate for children’s early encounters with mathematics develops their confidence in their ability to understand and use mathematics. These positive experiences help children to develop dispositions such as curiosity, imagination, flexibility, inventiveness, and persistence, which contribute to their future success in and out of school. – Clements & Conference Working Group, 2004
This is why an early start in math is good for our children:
- Young children have an innate intuition with math. Starting early allows us to tap into that innate intuition.
- Early exposure strengthens the mathematical foundation and helps to provide positive, successful early experiences that lead to future interest and confidence in the subject.
- Math helps children learn, understand, and think more deeply about the world – it encourages inventive thinking, logical deduction, problem solving, and reasoning.
- Math teaches children life skills. Proficiency in math helps with financial management, such as keeping a budget, determining if an item on clearance is a good deal, buying a car without getting ripped off, or running a business.
Starting early builds a strong mathematical foundation for children to develop as they grow up. It is important for children to gain a deep understanding of math because math is more than just numbers and concepts. The study of math pervades learning in all other aspects of our lives.
Articles on how to teach children Math:
- The Scoop on Singapore Maths
- The Myth of Ability: Nurturing Mathematical Talent in Every Child with JUMP Math
- Using Manipulatives for Math – What are the Benefits?
- Mental Math Secrets: Learning the Tricks Behind the Math
- How to teach Math – Doman Method
- How to teach Math – Shichida Method
Teach Children Math:
- Singapore Maths – Singapore’s #1 maths curriculum.
- Youcubed – a Growth Mindset Math Program at Stanford University.
- ST Math – a spatial-temporal math instruction program.
- BrillKids Little Math – Software program for teaching young children Math using digital flash cards.
- Brilliant Minds Montessori Math Kits – developed by Dr. Meredith McCurdy for her students at Brilliant Minds Montessori in Sanford, FL. Dr. McCurdy is a Certified Montessori Teacher and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Syracuse University, a Master’s Degree in Child Development and Education from the University of London, England, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of London, England. Dr. McCurdy is licensed and certified by the State of Florida in Child Care Center Management. Dr. McCurdy’s research into the cognitive-developmental processes of the preschool years has been published in The Journal of Child Study.
- Life of Fred – Math books students will love!
- Math Resources for Learning the Times Tables
- Math and Science: One Minute Mysteries!
- Real World Math Books – making Math relevant to everyday life
- Play Moolah – teaching children about money
- New Math / i-Maths
- Free Online Math Sites for Kids
- Jones Geniuses Math Program
- Brain Quest Math
- Math Resource Books – Success in 20 Minutes a Day!
- Mathbreakers – a 3D exploration game for mathematics, covering core foundations for kids aged 6-12.
- Math Apps for Supporting Home Learning:
- Dreambox Learning
- Todo Math
- IXL Math
- Apps: Mystery Math Town and Mystery Math Museum
- Apps: Zorbit’s Math Adventure
- Splash Math
- Dragon Box:
- Math Planet – Math adventures for Grade 2 up to adults
- Math Apps – Montessori MatheMAGICs: Dynamic Division
- Teach Me
- Montessori Apps
- More Montessori Apps
- Fizzy’s Lunch Lab Fresh Pick
- Financial Education – Green Streets
Websites for Teaching Math
- Transum – also available for iPad
- DreamBox Learning
- Splash Maths online
- IXL Math – Pre-K to Grade 8
- More Math Websites
Tools and Materials:
- Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Numbers
- Math Flash Cards
- New Math / i-Maths – 6 Math kits encouraging creative thinking and problem solving while developing numeracy skills