Developing math skills: more than a parenting moment

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills are not only today’s essential business skills, but STEM occupations are also high-paying occupations, with most having mean wages significantly above the U.S. average, say economists with the Bureau of Labor Statistics in this report.

Scientists, engineers and critical thinkers aren’t developed overnight. Each one started out as a toddler playing with blocks.

Children learn best from experience. As they explore the world around them they notice how things are alike and different. They notice whether another child has more cookies. They compare sizes of people.

Block play builds math and science skills.

Comparing and ordering are important concepts for math skills such as measurement, subtraction and division. Children learn math concepts by making observations in their everyday world. How quickly they learn depends to a large extent on the opportunities available to them for informal counting experiences. 

Here’s a Parents as Teachers parenting tip: Expose your child to numbers in everyday life. Just as you encourage reading by sharing books, encourage math skills by counting, matching, sorting and comparing.

And here’s a business tip: Support early childhood programs that are developing your workforce. You’ll save money in the long-run.