By Connie Matthiessen
Most young children like counting objects and playing simple math games, but for many, their natural affinity for numbers begins to erode as they advance in school and math classes become increasingly challenging. Once a child begins to feel even slightly intimidated by math, it can trigger a cycle of avoidance, poor performance, and anxiety. Girls are especially vulnerable because stereotypes about math start very young: research shows that as early as second grade, both girls and boys express the belief that math is for boys, not for girls. (For a great summary of this study, go to Science Daily.)
As a parent, you can encourage your children — girls and boys alike — to appreciate and yes, enjoy math by introducing numbers early and treating them as an intriguing part of daily life. These simple, grade-by-grade math tips will reinforce the concepts your child is learning in school and help her develop — and grow — a love for math.
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