The Influence of Mathematics on Brain Development
Mathematics is the cornerstone of science. However, if we're being honest, it's more than just the cornerstone of science. Rather, math exists and supports every sphere of life. We see it in technology, finance, education, and even healthcare.
So, assuming that we all need mathematics to survive won't be out of line. That is why many parents today pay for math for kids lessons to help their children develop a healthy relationship with the subject.
Apart from math existing in every sphere of life, it has been proven to have a positive impact on children's brain development. Let's fact-check that, shall we?
According to a new study conducted by the University of Oxford and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, children or adolescents who stop studying math may undergo weaker cognitive development when compared to their peers who learn the subject.
If you're still in doubt about the impact of math, here are some concrete ways in which this subject can boost brain development:
It equips you with problem-solving and analytical skills
Maths certainly prepares us all for the harsh, unforgiving future. Wondering how? Here's a quick breakdown. First, math equips you with essential skills that will boost your employability in the future.
For instance, math allows students to develop problem-solving skills as they advance in studying the subject. These skills are pretty useful across different fields (e.g., finance, tech, and so on). In other words, these skills are easily transferable, and students can use them even if they switch professions.
But that's not even the best part yet. Math skills never ever leave you, even after several years may have passed after your studies.
It increases awareness about the world
As we mentioned earlier, math is an integral part of the society we live in. As such, its role can't be easily diminished or eliminated. Every day, we make several unsustainable demands on the environment and global resources. Thankfully, the contributions of math and science help to curb the damage on the planet.
Math has contributed significantly to the development of new solutions to environmental and health issues. For instance, in today's world, we've witnessed innovative solutions such as alternative energy resources, vaccines, and even gene therapy.
By studying math, students can gain awareness about the way the world functions and the core issues plaguing it. As students advance, they can acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to solve these problems.
It improves logical thinking
You're probably thinking, "What on earth does logical thinking have to do with math?" Well, the truth is that it has everything to do with math.
For starters, logical reasoning is the foundation of math and other core science subjects. Most mathematical patterns and formulas work hand-in-hand with logic. Thus, to solve mathematical equations and problems, you must study the patterns carefully and use logical thinking to arrive at a solution.
Over time, as you study mathematics and arrive at solutions for different problems, you will be able to develop innate logical thinking skills. The only downside to this skill is that you'll begin to doubt myths and probably never believe the credibility of sci-fi movies anymore.
How to Help Your Child Become Better at Mathematics
Now that we've ascertained math's effects on the brain, it's time to explore some of the best ways to help your child become better at the subject and develop the much-needed cognitive and analytical skills. Let's get down to brass tacks.
Identify problem areas
Although we all want our children to become math geniuses, this isn't always the case. Sometimes, they may experience difficulties with certain areas of mathematics. So, how can you help?
A great way to start would be by identifying the areas they may need help with. This way, you'll be able to identify the right steps to help kids improve. But how do you identify their problem areas?
You can consult childrens’ math teachers to understand the problem topics better. Alternatively, you can look through kids’ homework and compare the grades to figure out what the problem may be. However, it's always best to go with the first option as you'd be able to get a comprehensive report on your child's problem areas.
Get your kid a tutor
If your child has difficulties with math, hiring a tutor is a great way to help them improve and subsequently boost their cognitive development. You may want to take on the tutoring aspect yourself. However, if you're too busy or unfamiliar with certain teaching strategies, it's better to outsource this task to a professional.
When hiring a tutor, choose someone who can adapt their curriculum to your child's specific learning needs. This way, your child will get the exact help they need, rather than a one-size-fits-all generic tutorial.
Pro Tip: You should choose a tutor that offers feedback and progress reports. This way, you'll get to know if your child is improving or not and when to pull the plug.
Insist on daily practice
Ever heard the saying "practice makes perfect?" While this quote may be a cliché and a tad boring, it is certainly true when it comes to mathematics and any other subject.
To help your child improve, you must make math a part of their daily routine. Each day, set aside time to sit with your child and practice math lessons. Even if they don't have any homework left to do, you could play fun math games together. Consequently, they'll become way better at math.
Math is an integral part of our daily lives. But it certainly goes further than that. Several studies have shown that math helps to boost cognitive development.
Thus, you should encourage your child to learn math and take necessary steps to help them improve in their problem areas.