An Early Start in Math Can Shape a Child’s Future

Feb 23, 2022 | South Hill

Studies show that children who are exposed to math early on are more likely to do well in school, not only in math but in other subjects as well1. And the benefits are likely to continue throughout their lives.

Math comprehension instills confidence

It isn’t yet certain why this is true, but some strong connections can be drawn. Early math instruction engages a young child’s natural intellectual curiosity, which helps them make meaning of the world around them. This gives them a certain amount of confidence to begin with. They also have an advantage when they enter school with some math knowledge simply because the concepts aren’t new to them. As a result, they may receive positive feedback from their teachers when they answer questions correctly. This instills in them a belief that they are good at math, whereas children who are learning it for the first time may, by comparison, come to believe that they aren’t good at math.2

Essential building blocks

How math is taught to young children is also critical. Educational experts agree that building a solid foundation, where children are taught to understand math — not just memorize facts — is key to future success. Certain milestones have been identified as essential mathematical building blocks in forming this foundation:

1. Attributes: Determining objects’ similarities and differences, qualitatively and quantitatively.

2. Spatial Relationships: Understanding the relative position of objects.

3. Classification: Sorting objects into different groups by their attributes.

4. Patterning: Recognizing interconnections among objects and with numbers.

5. One-to-One Correspondence: Connecting number values to the quantities of objects.

6. Ordering: Classifying objects by attribute, relative position, or comparative value.                           

7. Numeration: Bridging the gap between the number-object connection and arithmetic.

8. Shapes: Understanding how geometric shapes fit into 2- and 3-dimensional space.

9. Half: Comprehending the fundamental idea that half means “two parts the same.”

10. Measurement: Using language to describe the world quantitatively.

The right foundation for young learners

Following a significant period of strategy, development, and testing, Mathnasium has crafted a world-class program that focuses on these essential building blocks and meets the unique needs of prekindergarten and kindergarten students. Delivered by highly trained instructors at local Mathnasium Learning Centers across the country, the Great Foundations program solidifies a child’s awareness of the mathematical world around them, develops their inquisitive minds, and incorporates a lot of fun while doing it. Through this program, early mathematical thinkers (specifically ages 4-6) are prepared for numerical fluency and other concepts encountered later in school. And because the lessons are engaging and fun, children enrolled in Mathnasium’s Great Foundations program develop a love of learning as well as an ability to work independently.

Parents and guardians who provide their children with this type of fundamental education at an early age give them confidence and a big advantage as they progress through life. Contact your nearest Mathnasium Learning Center to learn more about shaping your child’s future with the Great Foundations program.

1Greg J. Duncan, et al, “School Readiness and Later Achievement,” Developmental Psychology, 2007

2Lillian Mongeau, “Early Math Matters: Top Researcher Discusses His Work,” EdSource, 2013