Is Math Important to Start in First Grade?

The short answer to this question is “yes, math is important to start in the first grade.”

To understand why math is important to start in the first grade, however, it is important to think for a little while about what exactly math is used for, both in terms of other academic subjects and in terms of general, daily life.

Math is central to many activities that your first grader will be involved in. She will, for example, need to be able to read a clock by the end of first grade. Mathematical concepts are integral to time-telling. She will also need to have a basic understanding of math to begin to understand many of the concepts that occur in other subjects, such as science and social studies. If she cannot grasp the ideas of addition, for example, learning that the American War for Independence occurred in 1776 happened more than three hundred years ago.

Math is also central to your first grader’s daily life. He wants to know how much further it is before you get somewhere when you are traveling. He wants to know what time a movie starts. He wants to know when it is his turn, whether he is first in line or fourth in line, for example. He wants to be able to pay for his own candy bar at the store. It is important to start math in the first grade so that your first grader can perform these tasks from an early age.

In some cases, math is actually started before the first grade. Many kindergarten programs are beginning to introduce at least the most basic mathematical concepts, such as addition and subtraction. You could even make the case that simply counting really is a part of mathematics education.

By starting math in first grade, your child will be better equipped for both the rest of his academic life as well as many areas of his personal life.


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