Here's an equation worth getting excited about: Talking to
your kids about numbers can add up to a serious advantage when it
comes to learning math later in life, according to a recent study
from the University of Chicago.
The researchers found that children who grow up with
regular number talk from an early age are more likely to be ahead
of their classmates when they start school, says Dr. Susan Levine,
a psychology professor and lead author on the study. Previous
research has indicated that these types of early differences can
predict later achievement.
To give your child that jumpstart, Levine suggests finding
meaningful ways to incorporate numbers into everyday life. Instead
of focusing only on counting or drilling numbers, engage your child
with the things you encounter throughout the day. Pour out a few
Cheerios on the table, for instance, and ask her to tell you how
many there are. Or count both of your shoes, the plates you take
out to feed the family dinner or the stairs as you climb up
"Talking to your children is important, even before you
think they can understand what you're saying," Levine says. "At the
beginning, they may not understand fully, but frequent talk helps
children figure it out."
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