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At what age should children begin to practice simple equations?

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Introduction

Some parents understand their children’s curiosity as a signal to get them started with basic reading, writing, and math. Many even have their four-year-old kids learning a second language simply because they heard them repeat a few terms from a TV show. It is important to support kids and their natural curiosity, however, it’s also important not to place too much pressure on them.

If your kid is showing interest in shapes and numbers, it doesn’t always mean it’s ready to solve complex math problems that cause headaches to scientists. It’s important to know at which time children are ready for basic math equations, and this is exactly what we’ll try and answer in this article.

Not all children are the same

The first thing that we should be aware of is that not all kids are the same. Some children develop taste for natural sciences by watching their parents or older siblings. Some kids become interested in arts such as music or drawing rather than figuring out shapes and numbers. We often hear about wunderkinder that can solve high school statistics problems at the age of nine, but even those kids need to start with basic addition and subtraction. We have to face these facts so that we don’t compare the progress our kids make with how other children fare. 

Putting too much pressure on a kid could be counterproductive. Moreover, kids could become antagonized by math if we try to force it on them. 

Some children can experience natural challenges with math due to health issues. One of the most common math-related health problems is dyscalculia. This is a common but little-known condition with a wide variety of symptoms. Some persons with dyscalculia could show signs at an early age. Kids that suffer from this condition can experience issues with basic math concepts such as what’s bigger and what is smaller. Others experience symptoms at school when more complex mathematical concepts take place.

It’s important to understand that dyscalculia is not a mere inability to read numbers properly. This is a condition that prevents people from telling time, learning addition and subtraction, or performing everyday activities. Grocery shopping or preparing food are challenging or impossible for some people with dyscalculia. In case your child shows symptoms of this condition, it’s best to seek professional assistance. Some parents don’t even realize their children’s impediments and often mistake dyscalculia for being bad at math. Famous singer Cher suffers from dyscalculia and with dedicated work she lives a normal life.

The most common time for children to practice simple equations

Toddlers can learn basic math principles such as counting numbers. According to scientific research, counting steps or fingers, singing counting songs, and similar exercises allow toddlers to understand fundamental math concepts. Through repetition and games, kids will start adopting and recognizing numbers. It’s important to keep this process light and playful, don’t expect a toddler to start counting on its own after a month’s practice.

At the preschool age, kids should already recognize numbers. By the age of five, some kids are even capable of writing numbers on their own. This is a good time to try practicing some simple addition tasks. Allow your kids to use fingers in the process or some other objects like toys, books, or pencils. Don’t be alarmed if they don’t show progress from the start, some kids need more time than others to grasp equations, even in the simple form. 

At the age of 5 to 7, kids should start dealing with math in a more complex manner. Board games could allow kids to use dice as tools to practice addition. Board games allow children to strategize through the use of simple equations. They could count how many fields they need to skip to reach a certain point or achieve a certain goal.

Conclusion

There’s no strict period in life when we should start practicing math with our kids. There are just too many variables in this equation that we can’t predict.

Biologically, by the age of five most kids should be capable of learning basic addition and subtraction. Through playful interaction and patience, we could start practicing simple equations with our children with some success. 

As we already mentioned, not all children are the same so there’s no need to force math onto your kids if they don’t show interest or progress. Furthermore, in case of conditions such as dyscalculia, it’s important to detect symptoms on time and contact a professional. 

Author Bio:

Sven Eggers is a freelance content writer engaged with several online publishers. His work is based on actual information from relevant resources. As a writer, Sven aims to deliver practical pieces of data that help his audience improve their everyday lives.


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