The Benefits of Natural Math

Laura Grace Weldon

natural math, exploratory math, hands-on learning, images:

Math as it’s used by the vast majority of people around the world is actually applied math. It’s directly related to how we work and play in our everyday lives. In other words it’s useful, interesting, even fun.

We now know babies as young as five months old show a strong understanding of certain mathematical principles. Their comprehension continues to advance almost entirely through hands-on experience. Math is implicit in play, music, art, dancing, make-believe, building and taking apart, cooking, and other everyday activities. Only after a child has a strong storehouse of direct experience, which includes the ability to visualize, can he or she readily grasp more abstract mathematical concepts. As Einstein said, „If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.“

As parents, we believe we’re providing a more direct route to success when we begin math (and other academic) instruction at a young age…

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