Lighten Up – Don’t Teach Math Too Soon
Again, learning math early is NOT the key. Besides proof with our own 5 kids (Brooks just made an 800 on the math section in his SAT and didn’t start math AT ALL until 8 years old), just look at what the Finnish schools do (sounds a lot like homeschooling as you read the whole list…except a few twists). Finland ranks #1 and USA ranks #23 (lots of reasons for this). The following article suggests a few things. MY APPEAL is to LIGHTEN UP about MATH until they are 7 or 8 (or 9). At 4-6 years old, just use math around them, teach them to read, and rote-learn math facts (actually I question whether or not this is really worthwhile that young).
The Finnish school system uses the same curriculum for all students (which may be one reason why Finnish scores varied so little from school to school).
Here are a few points-
Students have light homework loads.
Finnish schools do not have classes for gifted students.
Finland uses very little standardized testing.
Children do not start school until age 7…
Grades are not given until high school, and even then, class rankings are not compiled.
All I’m pointing out is that the Finnish world thinks:
1. All children need to learn math
2. You get help for kids who need it
3. Focus on learning and to be more well rounded…don’t obsess on grades.
I’m not saying we should be like Finland. I’m saying that homeschoolers (and the schools) have terrific opportunity. Finland shows that even if you do some odd things (socialization)…ALL kids can still learn