Children, especially very young children, are naturally inquisitive and want to know as much as possible about the world around them. Preschoolers who attend private schools are exposed to an almost endless variety of learning opportunities that not only gives them answers to questions they already have but also stimulates them to want to know more. Of the subjects that preschoolers are introduced to, math is one of the most important for their future academic and personal success.
Math Is Everywhere
While we all probably remember asking in a high school math class if we’d ever need to use algebraic equations – ever – in our adult lives, the fact is that we do need and use math on a near daily basis. Telling time, counting change, balancing a checkbook, cooking and other activities require basic math skills. Engineers, carpenters, mechanics, doctors and musicians use advanced math to do their jobs and math is the basis for the hard sciences like biology, chemistry and physics.
Early Math Learning Is Critical
Children who start their school years behind in math generally stay behind. According to www.successfulstemeducation.org, approximately 40% of U.S. children aren’t ready for Kindergarten and many kids lack the key science and math skills by the time they reach 4th grade. This lack of skills in the early grades means these children will have no foundation upon which to build a math, technology, engineering and science (STEM) education. Those who graduate high school with limited or no knowledge of these subjects will find much less success than their STEM-educated counterparts when it comes to college admission and the job market.
Trained Teachers And Effective School Programs Are The Keys
For parents looking for private schools that can provide a good, basic math education for their preschoolers, they should ask some key questions including:
- Which math programs are being used and how successful have they been in the past? How much of the program is set and how much is improvised by the teacher?
- How are the programs designed to prepare children to succeed in Kindergarten?
- Is math blended into other activities and subjects like music, art and physical play?
- Is tailored instruction offered for individual students?
- Are teachers trained to teach math to preschoolers? Do they know how to help a child who is struggling?
- Will teachers work with parents to help them continue teaching their children math at home?