Mathematical ability in the 21st century workplace is a main determinant of productivity. On average, students who attended college and pursued mathematically intensive majors such as mathematics, physical sciences and engineering, take home 19 percent more when compared to graduates who pursued other fields.
Students in the American school system test poorly in mathematics in comparison to their counterparts in other developed countries and even in some less developed countries around the world. Even though in recent years there has been some signs of improved performance in this area, the improvements are yet to been seen among students attending high school. In addition, there has been a decline of almost 50 percent in the number of new college graduates who pursued a major in math intensive subjects in the last sixty years. It is also a fact that a number of students are entering college with the need to take remedial mathematics before moving on to other mathematics intensive courses.
The Importance of Learning the Multiplication Table
A big part of the reason why students are struggling with mathematics is the fact that, these days, a number of them have not committed their times table to memory; therefore, they are devoid of those handy little multiplication skills that could help them throughout their career as students as well as in their future professional careers.
Without completely understanding these fundamental skills, the learning path of a student could result in excessive amounts of memorization or failure. Knowing the fundamentals will set a great foundation for more complex problems that will be encountered during the pursuit of mathematical education, including long multiplication, division, algebra and even fractions. Students who do not know their times table very well could also find difficulty in grasping these other areas of mathematics. Being devoid of arithmetic skills makes keeping up in class difficult for children and this could result in them failing or falling behind.
Calculator use will not teach a child mathematics and there will be occasions in which there is not going to be time to use a calculator to figure a problem. Breaking the cycle of mathematical deficiency will take time, strategy and patience and parental involvement is paramount in resolving this and other problems associated with learning mathematics.
The Role of Parents in Mathematical Education
Nurturing children is a wonderful responsibility and opportunity bestowed on parents. This process of nurturing takes place in a number of different development areas: intellectual, emotional and physical. While parents can typically find the time to read stories to their children and in so doing, instill a love for literature, these parents are frequently at a loss in regards to the steps to take to instill an appreciation and love for mathematics.
Similar to reading, having a knowledge of mathematics is indeed necessary for individuals to adequately function in society. Even more than that, the subject of mathematics should be presented or taught in a manner that is more enjoyable than it is in some situations. The NCTM or the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has identified the enjoyment and appreciation of mathematics as being among the national goals as it relates to mathematics education. These days, the task of nurturing the confidence of children in their capacity to apply their knowledge of mathematics to solve real life issues, is a challenge that is facing the majority of parents today.
There are tried and proven methods that can be used by parents to become involved in the mathematical education of their children. There are a number of available resources that supply parents with activities and games that assist children in engaging in problem solving and mathematical thinking, while heightening their appreciation and building their confidence in their ability to do mathematics. Among the available resources are some activity books that illustrate the kind of mathematics which can be experienced by the children at home, while traveling and at the grocery store. Mathematics can be used to alleviate boredom among children on a long road trip as well.
It is a fact that the attitudes that the parents have toward mathematics will impact the attitudes of the children. Children who have parents who display enthusiasm and interest in mathematics around the house will have a higher likelihood of developing that enthusiasm themselves. Parents have the option of using available resources to become knowledgeable about how to communicate the significance of mathematics to their children as well as how to become more involved in the overall mathematical education of their children. Some of the great tips include teaching children how to develop good study habits and use mathematics in various activities in their daily lives.
In many homes, one of the most treasured activities is parents reading to their children. Reading stories to the children, which bring to life mathematical ideas, is an excellent method of integrating mathematics into their lives.