In preparing Lorain County toddlers and preschoolers for later academic success, most parents understand the importance of reading; but studies show that math may be an even more important predictor of scholastic success than reading. Math skills are an essential component of everyday living, particularly for today’s children who are growing up in a technology-driven world where math-based computing and engineering skills are already driving the job market.
Parents Need to Conquer Own Math Fears
“High-quality, challenging, and accessible mathematics education for 3- to 6-year-old children is a vital foundation for future mathematics learning,” the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics said in a joint statement. Yet many parents who make an effort to read to their young children fail to devote similar energy to teaching math skills, perhaps reflecting their own lack of comfort with math.
In a 2013 PBS KIDS survey, a third of parents reported feeling anxious about teaching math to their children. “The early years of life are most critical for learning both literacy and math,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager of PBS Children’s Programming; “in fact, many children do not realize their full potential in mathematics because they are not getting consistent support from a young age.”
Math Aids Make Learning Math Fun
As an outgrowth of the survey, PBS developed a free PBS Parents Play & Learn App (click to download) to help parents nurture their children’s love of math during their early years. The app contains a nice mixture of games and suggested on- and offline activities. All activities are also available online on PBS Kids Lab.