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TV and Math

Toddlers who watch a lot of television were more likely to experience a range of problems by the fourth grade, including lower grades, poorer health and more problems with school bullies, a new study reports.

Compared with children who watched less television, those with more TV exposure participated less in class and had lower math grades.

The findings suggest that the differences were strongly linked with television exposure, not parental care, and that excessive television is not good for a developing brain.

Research indicates that early learning has lasting results. When we look at child development studies, we find that between birth and age 7, children enjoy their greatest learning curve. They have a strong, basic desire to learn. They are like sponges, soaking up everything around them. They are unintimidated, curious, eager to learn, and love to be active.

It’s the perfect time to get these children excited about math! How do parents of young children do that? As National Board Certified Teacher with a specialty in early childhood, I strongly recommend that parents use math games to prompt interest and development in math.

I’ve found that math games are, from a teacher’s and a parent’s point of view, wonderfully useful. Math games put children in exactly the right frame of mind for learning. Children are normally very eager to play games. They relax when they play, and they concentrate. They don’t mind repeating certain facts or procedures over and over.

Children throw themselves into playing games the way they never throw themselves into filling out workbook pages or dittos. And games can help children learn almost everything they need to master in elementary math. Good, child-centered games are designed to take the boredom and frustration out of the repetitive practice necessary for children to master important math skills and concepts.

Playing math games is even more beneficial than spending the same amount of time drilling basic facts using flash cards. Not only are games a lot more fun, but the potential for learning and reasoning about mathematics is much greater, as well. In a non-threatening game format, children will be more focused and retention will be greater.

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