This is a guest post by Neltje M from MyCriminalJusticeCareers.com.
Often, kids say that the subject that they “hate” the most is math. Math can be difficult for some students because they just don’t understand the way that math works. I know for myself, math was never something that came easy. I had to spend agonizing hours over a couple of problems when I was in high school. Now that I have my own children, I realize their pain. However, instead of thinking negatively about math, there has been research that has shown that children are much more adapt to learning math than you think. Here is the top research that has been done.
1. Girls verbal skills make them better at arithmetic.
In a study published in Psychological Science, it has found that girls can do better at math because of their verbal skills. Encourage your little girl to talk about the math she’s doing.
2. Puzzle Play Improves Math Skills
In a study done at Chicago University, by psychologist Susan Levine and colleagues found that 2-4 year-old children, who play with puzzles, have better spatial skills when assessed at 4 1/2 years of age. After controlling for differences in parents’ income, education and overall amount of parent language input, researchers say puzzle play proved to be a significant predictor of spatial skills–skills important in mathematics, science and technology and a key aspect of cognition.
3. 1st grade math skills are important to target
Studies done at the University of Missouri have shown that students that have a better grasp of their 1st grade math principles do better in later math courses. Help your child review these important first grademath principles.
4. Calming students down helps them do better in math.
In a brain study done by the University of Chicago shows that when students get to a hard math problem, their anxiety goes up, if students are able to calm themselves down, they lessen their anxiety and perform better. According to further research One way to relieve this burden on working memory,is to spend ten minutes writing about one’s thoughts and feelings about a math exam just before taking it
5. For students to get better at math, they need better teachers.
In a Michigan State University article, it argues that students in the United States are being surpassed by their peers in other countries. For US students to catch up, the caliber and status of teachers needs to be higher.
6. Preschooler’s that grasp numbers well, perform better in math higher up the school.
A study done by the Kenny Krieger Institute shows that students that are able to estimate quantities well, often do better in math in elementary school. Help your children by counting with them out loud and ensuring they understand counting.
7. Just because your child’s math teacher has a PhD in advanced mathematics doesn’t mean they’re a good teacher.
In a paper published in the journal, Science, Dr. Brent Davis argues that those math teachers with advanced math degrees doesn’t necessarily make them the best teachers for your child.
8. A poor sense of numbers will plague students in the long run.
In a new study published in the journal Child Development, shows that students that have a bad “gut sense” of numbers will have a hard time with math in the future. It can also be an indication of math learning disabilities.
9. A math disability is linked to problems relating quantities to numerals.
In a study by the National Institutes of Health has shown that children in elementary school that have a hard time with numbers, such as determining numbers on a page, are more likely to be diagnosed with a math learning disability in the 5th grade. Always stay on top of your child’s math skills.
10. Gender isn’t as important as one may have thought with math.
In a major study done at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, it shows that girls and boys perform the same on math tests. One gender isn’t better at math than the other!
There are tons of myths that just aren’t true when it comes to children and math. Encourage your children to do well in math. Math is a valuable skill that will be used for many things that your children will do.