Because Math’s Too Important to Leave at School

Scholastic’s Math Hub has a great new post on the importance of parental involvement in a child’s math education.  In fact, a recent study found that the higher the level of parental involvement, the greater the student’s understanding of cardinal numbers by the time they enter schools. Even more compelling, additional research indicates that a student’s math knowledge at the time they enter school is often a predictor of their math performance through at least fifth grade.   Here are some other findings worth noting on the connection between math performance and the early introduction of mathematics:

  • A child’s knowledge level is highly related to the complexity of early childhood parental instruction.
  • Findings show that children learn to recite the number sequence before they understand the cardinal  meanings of the number words.
  • Parents who talked more about number with their toddlers had children with a better grasp of the cardinal meaning of numbers at 46 months.
  • Researchers found a correlation between cardinal number knowledge at 46 months and performance on vocabulary comprehension task at 54 months.
  • Number talk that references present objects was more predictive of children’s later number knowledge, especially when talking about large sets.
  • We’ve written much on the importance of keeping students engaged in learning year round, particularly in mathematics where the pernicious effects of summer learning loss are felt across the socioeconomic spectrum.  But this recent research points to an equally important lesson on the importance of introducing students to math at an early age.

    Our own contribution to facilitating parental involvement in mathematics is our own online tool, Math at Home.  Math at Home allows students to locate targeted math resources to help review and supplement current or past lessons.  Because access is 24/7, students have access to math lessons at their own math ability level year round.  Though many of the lessons and activities are targeted toward K-12 students, a number of the resources can be used with pre-K students to introduce them to numbers and basic mathematical concepts. 

    With more studies showing the importance of pre-K math education, it’s our hope that more parents will begin introducing students to math conceps at an even earlier age.

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