The Importance of Math for Children by Neema Busolo, Learnhall Contributor
“Wherever there is [a] number, there is beauty,’’ said Proclus, a Greek philosopher. Since its invention (or many would say discovery!), Math has become a part of our daily lives: from waking up in the morning to making breakfast and heading to work. Math is all around us. To many children, Math is as scary as getting a shot from the doctor. Just ask my 8-year-old cousin. He believes that too!
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), otherwise known as the Nation’s Report Card, student Math test scores between grades 4 and 8 in the U.S. have declined since 2019. The report goes on to specify that the U.S. saw the largest-ever drop in Math scores. The major contributing factor was said to be the Covid-19 pandemic.
Importance of Math For Children
- Math helps children develop the ability to think. It helps them think of how best to arrive at a solution.
- Math helps children learn how to use formulas to reach a solution. They also learn how to see relationships between ideas and make connections.
- Children learn important life skills such as sharing that they can use in their daily lives.
- Math encourages accuracy and paying attention to detail.
- Math gives children opportunities to discover and create.
How to encourage children to learn math
Math is considered a difficult subject for many children, especially those who struggle with it. Here are some ways in which children can embrace the subject.
- Make Math a part of their daily life. Engage them in activities that involve Math such as counting the number of people in the house, and sharing sweets among themselves.
- Make Math fun! Play Math games such as Checkers and Dominoes and math songs that involve numbers, patterns, and other Math activities.
- Participate in their activities. As parents, participating in your child’s or children’s activities is a huge part of their achievement. As they count the numbers or identify the patterns, do the same too! Participate by asking questions such as “how many cars are those?” “What pattern comes next?”
- Get them the right reading materials for Math. Get them books suitable for their age and their comprehensiveness. Math picture books are highly recommended for children, especially, children from the ages of 3 to 8 years old.
- Make Math a hands-on subject. Get materials that children can practice with while doing Math. These materials include play number boards, magnetic 2D and 3d blocks, counting bears, toy vehicles, number tracing sheets, and play-dough.
- Be patient. As you help your children embrace the subject, be patient with them. Concepts such as measurement, numeracy, pattern, and shape, classification, estimation, division, and multiplication might take time for a child to understand. It is important to note that for every hour a child spends in class learning Math, at least 3 hours will be spent outside class studying what has been learned.
- Be positive. Avoid any negative statements about Math. Many children, even adults, have developed the notion of “How is this topic going to help me in the future?” “Why am I even learning this?” “How am I going to apply this anywhere?”
Developing such statements around your children can make them have a negative attitude toward Math. This can have a bad effect on their achievement. It is important to always be positive and encouraging around children. It sets a good example for them.
A few quotes about math
Mathematics is in its way the poetry of ideas- Albert Einstein
The only way to learn Mathematics is to do Mathematics- Paul Halmos
Math is universal. We can’t do without it. It is important to encourage children to learn Math. They should know that it’s not scary. They just need to learn and understand it. The greatest inventors of all time studied Math. If they could do it, you can do it too!
Gurukul The School. Tips to Help Your Child Embrace Math Happilyhttps://gurukultheschool.com/blog/tips-to-help-your-child-embrace-math-happily/#:~:text=From%20shopping%20to%20counting%20dates,paramount%20importance%20for%20every%20child.
Homeworkdoer.org. Importance of Math Education in Learning.https://homeworkdoer.org/math/importance-math-education-learning.html
Alexandra Louis. (2018, November 16). The importance of math in the early years.https://www.himama.com/blog/math-importance-in-preschool/
Janet Stramel.(2022). The importance of Early Childhood Mathematics.https://fhsu.pressbooks.pub/ecumath/chapter/chapter-1/
Math Quotes for Kids.https://www.playosmo.com/kids-learning/math-quotes-for-kids/