Is your child struggling with mathematics? Whether they need help keeping up or need extra stimulation to keep them from getting bored in class, signing up for a math tutor app can be a huge help. But did you know the benefits that your child can receive from tutoring and math apps often go well beyond just the mastery of math skills?
A math help app that includes math tutoring, such as Thinkster, can provide a wealth of support and encouragement that spills over into other subject areas your student will face in their education, career, and in life in general. The Importance of Math Skills in Other Areas
Of course, when you hire a math tutor or use a math tutor app with your student, the first priority is improving your child’s math skills. These skills build on one another as your child progresses through school, so ensuring that he or she leaves each grade with a solid understanding of the key concepts is imperative.
But beyond this, many studies have shown correlations between math and other subjects.
Research for the National Governor’s Association Center Project on Early Mathematics, for example, found that early knowledge of math strongly predicts later success in other subjects, even into high school, and that problems with math are the best predictor of failing to graduate from high school or college.
And in a study that contributed to the project above, research showed that a higher level of mathematical performance and skills contributed to a higher level of reading comprehension at a later date. In the study, 114 Finnish students were tested on both mathematics and reading during their first and second years of primary school. The results showed that the students with higher math performance at the onset often predicted better reading comprehension.
This research goes on to say that “mathematical thinking is cognitively foundational” and is important to academic success in all subject areas, suggesting that it is essential for students to do well in math in their earliest years. Another study from 2007 confirms this, saying that “early math skills have the greatest predictive power, followed by reading and then attention skills” for later academic achievement and performance.
But why is this so?
Greg Duncan, an education professor and architect of the 2007 study, posited a few reasons in an interview with EdSource. First, he suggests that school structure might be part of it — that is, the kids with high math ability are more likely to be in accelerated-learning classes, which boosts their learning overall.
Second, he suggests it might be about the specific feedback kids get from learning math. Unlike other subjects, kids get concrete feedback on their math work — either their answer is right or not. With consistent feedback swaying one way or another, kids may start thinking either they’re really good at school… or they’re not. This can play out as a self-reinforcing concept as they continue through school.
Third, he argues that excelling in math requires a special type of thinking, one that helps with the multi-tasking and mental organization that’s needed for other subjects. (More on this later!)
Math Skills Can Lead to Future Career Success
Even if your child doesn’t go into a math-related field, did you know that improving their skills can boost their career accomplishments in the future?
A study titled “Life Paths and Accomplishments of Mathematically Precocious Males and Females Four Decades Later” looked at math learners who were in the top 1 percent of math ability at the age of 13, and then looked at their careers years later.
Their accomplishments included publishing books and articles, securing patents, and receiving grants as tenured professors. Out of the group, 25-40% earned doctorates, something less than 2% of the U.S. population achieves. Researchers concluded that “mathematical precocity early in life predicts later creative contributions and leadership in critical occupational roles.”
Since the ultimate goal of your child’s education is to get them a good job, this is valuable insight into the importance of math knowledge and a math tutor app, if your student is struggling to keep up.
Motivation and attitude are also big factors when it comes to math success. Forcing kids into math work does not usually work, so time can be better spent on finding ways to show your student how important math is to daily life or in finding creative ways to practice math. You can even try educational math games to help your student learn without them even realizing it!
Math Skills Can Help Your Child Secure Emerging Jobs
The book “The Mathematical Sciences in 2025” from The National Research Council of the National Academies explains the strong connection between math skills and future careers. This connection has grown in the last 10 to 20 years, as enhancements in technology have led to new and emerging career fields.
Some links, like the connection between math and science and engineering, are common knowledge; others may not be quite as obvious at first. Many web-based companies rely on data collection and analytics to fuel their strategy, for example. From marketing and social media positions to coders and developers, strong math skills are needed to succeed. These careers are relying more and more on the data generated by Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, and being able to analyze that data is a key skill.
So, no matter what your student is interested in studying or pursuing as a career path, it’s likely that math will play a role in their future.
Math Skills Can Encourage Financial Health
At first glance, it may seem that only basic addition and subtraction are needed for financial knowledge and ability, but a deeper look shows that more advanced knowledge and a steady understanding of numbers can be integral to your student’s future financial health.
We use math in our everyday lives to make big decisions about where we shop and how often, where we get gas, whether it’s cheaper to rent or buy, which insurance option is better, the best retirement plan, and so on. You’ll even use algebra to figure out the terms of a loan or project a long-term budget. Consider all the financial decisions you make each day, and you’ll realize how important math is to everyday life.
A math tutor app, like Thinkster, can help your student at all levels of math learning, which affects how they are able to apply these skills – basic or advanced – to their financial life. If you’ve struggled with your own financial decisions, you’ll know how important this is for your student to master early.
Math Skills Can Lead to So Much More
In a 2014 study titled “Skills underlying mathematics: The role of executive function in the development of mathematics proficiency,” researchers examined the correlation between success in math and its impact on executive function.
The study defines executive function as “the name given to the group of processes that allow us to respond flexibly to our environment and engage in deliberate, goal-directed, thought and action,” forming the basis of problem-solving.
Working memory, one of the key skills for math success, is one example of a specific executive function. This is what helps us remember and use relevant information while in the middle of an activity. According to the study, it is this ability to manipulate information, rather than just hold it in the brain, that is critical for math proficiency, including math word problems.
But while executive function is necessary to solve math problems, the correlation goes the other way, too. That is, kids who improve their math skills will strengthen their overall executive function, which is important for performance across all subjects.
In one study, students were tested for both IQ and working memory, as well as reading, spelling and math, at age 5 and 11. The findings suggest that a child’s success with learning is strongly correlated to their working memory, regardless of their IQ score.
Executive function skills are also important for areas of life outside of school achievement. According to a Harvard University report, these skills can build positive behaviors, encourage teamwork and leadership, and help students avoid destructive decisions.
The takeaway? Helping your child develop their executive function skills — whether they’re getting at-home math homework help, using a math tutor app, or even playing math-related games outside of school — will do wonders in supporting their learning, no matter their age or level.
Staying on Top of Math Learning is Important
In “Background Research on Early Mathematics,” the writers indicate that if a child is falling behind in math, “early and effective intervention is needed to level the playing field.” This intervention can come in many forms, such as a tutor or math help app, or both. It’s important to remedy this quickly so your student stays on track for the future.
As your student finishes elementary and middle school and continues through high school, math lessons progress quickly and require varied skills. Algebra, geometry, and even calculus require a solid math foundation that early tutoring can help prepare them for.
Whether your student ends up working in a field that requires advanced math or not, math skills are important in daily life, and this is only increasing in importance. If your child is struggling or you just want an added layer of help to keep them on track, an online math tutor or math help app can be just the thing your student needs for math success.
Why not give Thinkster a try? Our online math tutoring program uses a skills assessment to determine your student’s strengths and weaknesses, so your child gets a personalized tutoring plan. Plus, you’ll get access to our unlimited worksheets so your student can practice as much as they need or want to feel comfortable with a specific math topic. Try it for free for 7 days!
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