Hooked On Math

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The importance of getting kids hooked on math at an early age is undeniable. Early success in mathematics helps foster a sense of assuredness in children as they take on more challenging problems in junior-high and high school as well as college and the world beyond. Without that confidence, kids are far more likely to hit stumbling blocks in other areas as well such as problem solving and reasoning--skills they'll need across their entire curriculum.

When kids are hooked on math at a young age, they start to see real-world applications everywhere they turn. While studying the American Revolution, frog anatomy, and Romeo and Juliet are all unquestionably valuable for a broad-based liberal-arts education, math comes into play each time a child buys a toy, pays for lunch, or watches a football game. All of this sets the stage for the day when he or she must balance a checkbook, calculate a mortgage payment, or run a retail store.

Failure To Get Your Child Hooked on Math

There's lots of talk about our woefully illiterate society. The figures are astounding (nearly half of the U.S. population over the age of 15 is said to be illiterate, according to Human Development Reports), but fewer people speak of the dangers of a "computationally deficient" country. The trend is even more troubling when one considers the shift from a manufacturing to a tech economy, which requires data-intensive tech jobs that rely heavily on math.

Failing to get a child hooked on math early on rules out a host of possible careers, many of them among the most lucrative. Computer engineering, programming, accounting, finance, and trading are all excluded as career choices for the mathematically illiterate. In addition, work in the arts and sciences is made that much tougher by a failure to grasp basic tenets of mathematical reasoning and problem solving.

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