The earlier the start the better it is!
All research demonstrates that the first six years of a child’s life are critical in establishing personal confidence, social interaction skills, problem solving abilities and communication power. Early exposure to math concepts and methods as well as reading and language establishes a distinct advantage for later achievement. Early encounters with reading develop a preschooler’s confidence and ability to engage. It encourages curiosity, imagination, flexibility, inventiveness, and persistence.
Recent empirical evidence concludes that preschoolers’ brains are stimulated or “primed” by exposure to routine reading. Young children who were routinely read to fostered increased mental imagery and semantic understanding, both key to language development and literacy readiness. Brain scans / MRI’s of brain activity (flow of oxygen-rich blood) show cognitive activity when being read to (J.S. Hullon, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, April 2015). Regardless of the age, all preschoolers showed increased blood flow. Those sections of the brain associated with visualization and mental imagery (occipital lobe) and interpretation (parental lobe), both key to the development of language and literature, were stimulated most. Language skills, combined with nurturing relationships are the key to cognitive, language and social/emotional development. Reading readiness is critical to academic success.
Men reading to children can provide additional stimulation due to their generally less frequent availability. Dads typically communicate less than moms, so when Dads spend time with their children it has a great impact.
As the preschooler develops recognition ability you are encouraged to go “off the page.” This involves establishing a dialogue through questions and insights beyond the written words. Follow your child’s lead and let his/her natural curiosity stimulate creativity through discovery.
You can learn anything!!!
Most people are held back not by their ability but by their mindset. Intelligence is not FIXED!
- Growth Mindset – Behavior and abilities can be developed. (Carol Dueck)
- Fixed Mindset – Abilities are set and limited to those you are born with.
Brain research indicates that the brain is like a muscle; the more it is used the more it grows. As in the gym, the greater the struggle the greater the growth as the muscle rebuilds. Building connections between the neurons through stimulating environments, settings and challenges increases one’s ability to learn more. The more you use your brain, the stronger it gets. The brain grows when you get a question wrong as it processes the feedback and makes attempts at additional answers. Failing is just another word for growing. Praise the process, ideas, focus and persistence rather than the outcome. Don’t be ashamed of missing the answer. There is a neural connection developed as kids struggle with a problem. Finally, remember that when kids become engaged in an activity, topic or subject they are internally motivated resulting in maximum development.
Successful versus Unsuccessful
Success is always preceded by failure; we learn from the failure process.
Everyone is born with attributes and strengths but they are not fixed! Everyone makes improvement through practice.
No one is born successful. All start out at zero; we can’t walk, talk, read or perform math at birth. Even Shakespeare had to learn his ABC’s and there was a time when Albert Einstein couldn’t count to ten!
We are all born to learn through struggling, failing and falling. Remember, one foot ahead of the other. Failure is just another name for learning. You can learn anything!!!
Math anxiety is real and it exists at all levels. It begins with the first exposure to math in preschool. If this first exposure is overwhelming and scary, embarrassing or confusing, numbers get registered in a child’s mind as being negative. This first negative emotional reaction to a situation involving mathematical problems can then compound as additional adverse experiences follow. Soon the mere suggestion of the term “math” triggers the flow of these negative feelings. People develop math anxiety because, too often, they have gained a sense of failure in math settings. Sadly, some teachers may also bring their own anxiety to the teaching environment and this adds to the apprehension.
Math, more than most subjects, is linear and additive. Prior concepts must be understood before current ones can be learned. If the child is experiencing anxiety, it is detrimental to proceed with new information. Moving forward is not the answer. We believe that anyone, even children experiencing math anxiety, can learn math if given enough time to become comfortable with the process.
The transition from the safety and security of home-life to the uncertainty and confusion of school-life can be challenging for many children. The noise of recess, the threatening settings of new faces, new surroundings, and new challenges affects children differently. Some engage, many adapt and a few lock-up. This Post Playground Stress Disorder (PPSD) will affect the child’s ability to focus and concentrate on learning. Time is the variable. Given sufficient time and stimulation all children can learn new information. Unfortunately given a topic like math, which is taught in a time dependent manner, if the child struggles with a past critical concept they are totally left behind and any positive remediation is difficult given the anxiety associated with the topic.
Even more critical is the attitude held by the child towards math. Positive experiences build toward positive attitudes whereas negative experiences build toward negative attitudes and in time math anxiety may be the outcome.
The current educational model sets time as the constant with the building of student skill and knowledge as the variable. We at SamiTales flip this notion on its head by setting learning as the constant, and time as the variable. Competency-based education sets Lizi’s Math Madness Program ahead of the pack.
- Learning is personalized.
- Learning is competency based.
- Learning is customized to student need and readiness.
- Student accepts ownership of his/her learning.
It is believed that given sufficient time and positive motivation all children can learn MATH!