A blog about MathNook, math, math games, and more.

Great Math Skills: Nature or Nurture?


Every parent does it—lying awake at night, staring at the ceiling wondering if he or she is doing the right thing by his or her child, giving them what they will need in terms of education to succeed in the future.  And as most educators will tell you, the key to success is giving your child a good grounding in skills that will be vital in the future, particularly mathematics and science.  Now, this sentence may have just sent off alarm bells, as many parents sweated through school over just those two very subjects.  But never fear; recent research has shown that scholarly ability, particularly in the field of mathematics, isn’t something that a child is born with.  Instead, it is something that is nurtured over time by conscientious parents and educators working with a motivated student.  So if you weren’t a mathematical Einstein, there is still hope that your child may one day grow up to be one.

A recent research study conducted by Kou Murayama and other psychology researchers from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) shows that it is motivation and study skills which help with mathematical success, not some innate natural born ability or a child’s IQ.  This means that dedicated and motivated parents can play an important role in helping to ensure mathematical success.

 Fun Math Games

One of the biggest keys to this success is motivation.  Making mathematics interesting with fun games is the key.  From a young age, encourage your child to play with toys that help with mathematical skill.  Even simple toys such as building blocks can help in this area with the very young since it helps identify geometric shapes and encourages spatial reasoning.  Move them up to games like Candyland and Chutes and Ladders which teach counting skills.  Eventually, the fun can continue with online math games which help reinforce specific mat
No matter what you choose to do, the key is to do something.  Motivation, like mathematical ability, doesn’t just appear out of thin air.  It requires time and patience to work with your child to help make them a success in the world of mathematics.hematical skills while adding a video game component to make learning fun.  Finally, be sure to encourage your child to see the everyday implications of mathematics with daily examples of how math works in day-to-day life.  This doesn’t have to mean quizzing your child every five minutes on the multiplication tables.  But let them help with budgeting when you go grocery shopping and ask them to figure out how much change you should get back when you pay for dinner at a restaurant.  If the child is older, have them help you calculate the 15% tip at a restaurant based on your total bill.  This shows them that math can be used in every day life.

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This is a blog about Math Nook, math games, math and other fun and educational subjects.
Math Nook is owned by Jan and Tommy Hall.

Jan is retired from education where she spent 30 years in various positions ranging from classroom teacher to math specialist. She now spends her time working on the website and raising MathPup.

Tommy works full time but spends his free time utilizing his math degree and love of games to create some of the math games found on the website.