Originally published in the March 2015 edition of Parents magazine, this article discusses strategies for raising children to enjoy math before beginning preschool. Unfortunately many children never develop this appreciation. In fact, even at a young age, children can develop math anxiety or a belief that they are bad at math.
This article discusses a few possible causes: curriculum that tries to cover too much information; implementation of new curriculum without sufficient teacher training; even parents’ projection of their own math anxieties on to their children.
On the other hand, there are also many things can be done at home or in pre-k classrooms to help young children become more comfortable with elementary math concepts: mathematizing everyday situations like traveling or eating; encouraging children to count in rhythm with movement; reading books with rich math ideas (books without text can be especially useful for younger children).
With the proper support, perhaps we can eliminate the myth that some are simply “bad at math.” Instead, we can work towards the idea that anyone can master (and even enjoy!) math.