Help Your Child Develop Critical Math and Reading Skills

As a parent, nothing matters more than your child’s success – may it be in studies, sports, profession and life in general. Research by the University of Edinburgh shows that mastering second grade skills sets your kids up for a lifetime of success. In other words, if your child has mastered the foundational elementary school reading and math skills, she/he is far more likely to prosper in adulthood.

Although early reading and math skills are something that adults can take for granted, they don’t always come easily to every child. Not to fear. With a little help and encouragement, a child can master these early learning skills, and by doing so, gain the confidence they’ll need as they continue to push themselves in middle school, high school and beyond.

Details About the Research

The University of Edinburgh’s recent study demonstrates that reading and math skills at age 7 are directly linked to one’s socioeconomic status at age 42. In other words, children who perform better and score higher in these subjects in the second grade are more likely to earn higher income in their early forties. This highlights how crucial elementary learning is to a child’s long-term potential for success.

Researchers followed over 17,000 children throughout their lives and found that elementary reading and math directly affected socioeconomic status of the sample. These results reject the common notion that only general intelligence determines success. While reading and math expertise certainly foster general intelligence, researchers agree that these basic elementary skills are the ultimate foundation for success.

Ways to Strengthen Your Child’sElementary Reading and Math Skills

Some kids are naturally drawn to reading, some are naturally inclined towards math, while there are some lucky few that are naturally appealed by both reading and math. For whatever reason, these subjects just “click” with some children. However, others may need extra encouragement. No matter where your child falls on the spectrum, there are things that you can do to help them develop these essential skills.

For Reading:

Practice makes perfect: Help your child build their reading skills by consistently and routinely working on them. Set time aside each day to read together.

Appeal to their interests: Young readers are more likely to get excited about books that they can relate to. Keep them interested by helping them find books they enjoy. Show interest in what they’re reading. By staying positive and asking questions you’ll show your child that their interests are important to you.

Read at the right level: Help your child find books that are at their reading level. If you’re unsure if the book they’ve chosen is a good match for their reading level, use the “Rule of Thumb”: ask them to read a page of the book, holding up one finger for every word they don’t know. If they reach their thumb before the page is over (i.e. 5 words they don’t know), then the book is probably too hard for them to read on their own. Encourage them to try another book at a lower reading level, but about a similar subject.

For Math:

Early math skills fall into three main segments: number operations, reasoning skills, and organizational skills. Here are some easy and fun ways to integrate math into your child’s day to help them develop these skills.

Numbers operations: Add a math twist to a game your child is already familiar with. For example, instead of playing standard “Go Fish” where the goal is to get pairs of cards that match, play a game where the goal is to get pairs of cards that add up to 10.

Reasoning: Reasoning is the “glue” of mathematics - it helps children make sense of all their mathematical skills and decide what to use and when to use it. To help develop this skill, ask your child to solve small logic problems - for example, if there are two pencils and 2 erasers, how many stationary items do you have?

Organizational: Cooking or baking together is a great way to work on developing organizational skills. Break the recipe down: how many cups, quarter cups, and tablespoons, etc. are there in the recipe?

Remember, the more fun you can make these activities, the more your child will be excited to participate in them! Family game night is a great way to do this - by introducing more strategic thinking games like Checkers and Sequence you can keep it fun, while sneaking some learning in on the side. Dominoes and Monopoly Deal are also great for developing math skills.

For Both:

So much of being a successful learner hinges on having a belief that you can learn. The sooner kids gain confidence in their ability to learn, the more prepared they’ll be to overcome obstacles in the future. We’ve found that one-on-one tutoring makes a huge difference—not just in accelerating learning, but in helping kids gain the confidence they need to succeed today, tomorrow, and throughout the rest of their life. To find a tutor of your need, use Bookatutor and get access to a database of quality tutors – simply search, review, contact and start the tutorials for your child.