When I started college, I quickly realized that the rest of my class was far ahead of me. In addition to struggling to understand the material, I also had a hard time working in group settings and understanding how the lectures tied to the homework. After failing my first two semesters, a helpful counselor asked me to sign up for a study habits class. In the class, I learned how to apply myself in formal educational settings, which really helped. I think that everyone should take the time to understand how to learn, so that they can be successful in their classes.
If it seems like words "early literacy" are the buzzwords for early childhood development and education, you're very perceptive. Skills such as reading and writing early on are major cornerstones of learning in the first few years of life. That said, early math education is quickly catching up and becoming essential in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Why? Check out these reasons that explain the importance of beginning mathematics in the younger years.
Children are naturally curious.
Younger children have a natural curiosity. Subjects such as math play to this and help kids to make sense of the world around them, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) position statement on early childhood mathematics. Starting math early on captures the child's curiosity, building a foundation for a life-time of interest in learning.
Math skills are essential in a tech-filled world.
With the growing use of technology (and a rising number of jobs in the tech sector), Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM) skills are becoming more necessary when entering the workforce. Starting this skill-building early on sets children on a path to a technology-rich future. The more math children know, the better prepared they are for the future.
Mathematics builds problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities.
Early childhood development programs help children to learn and grow in many different ways. Developing problem-solving skills and the ability to think critically creates a foundation for the rest of the child's education. Math provides a way for preschoolers to open their minds, think in different ways, and grow cognitively (mentally and intellectually). Even something as simple as creating a pattern with blocks or figuring out which shapes make up the outline of a house help children to think in different ways, analyze problems, and solve them.
Learning math equals learning in other areas.
Math in the early childhood classroom doesn't stay in a bubble. Instead, it connects to other content areas and becomes a way to learn about many different topics. How? Let's say the teacher gives her students a set of colorful shaped blocks. She asks the students to create a pattern, using the colors and shapes. As they do this, the students are learning math concepts (patterns and shapes) while developing communication skills (talking about what they're doing), building fine motor abilities (dexterity and eye-hand coordination), and exploring basic art vocabulary (color words).
Math experiences are essential in early childhood development programs. Whether it's preparing young children for future careers in technology or helping them to learn in other areas, an early math education helps children helps children to develop necessary 21st century skills that they'll use throughout their lives. For more information about math's roles in childhood development, contact an educator like Northside Center.