A recent study has proved that pre-school children exposed to advanced content in maths and reading, perform better at primary school regardless of their economic background.
And the corollary is also true; pre-school children who aren’t challenged with advanced maths and reading content tend to stagnate later in a primary school environment.
News like this always stresses me out a little; the fact that my three-year-old (okay, she’s four now but the point still applied when she was three) already comes home with homework is sort of crazy. Not that I do think children shouldn’t be challenged – I most definitely do. But adding maths and words rather than letters to the mix – wow! Not only that but should I, as a parent, be teaching her multiplication and long division?
In other words, what exactly qualifies as ‘advanced maths and reading’?
The report I read did not specify. But it did say that four or more days per month of exposure to advanced content in reading or maths was tied to moderately higher test results in primary school. Four days in a month is not actually that much – and one can only assume that the more days that advanced content is taught, the higher the test results would be.
Researchers at Chicago University’s Harris School of Public Policy Studies also found no such benefit from exposure to basic content. SO, logic says: reduce time on basic content and increase time on advanced content.
I just can’t help but wonder about the stress that comes along with attempting to grasp ‘complicated’ maths and reading principles – are they mature enough to manage ‘advanced content’? Do they need (potential) stress in their lives? Then again, I certainly don’t want by daughter’s ability and learning incentive to stagnate.
What do you think? – Would you like your pre-schooler to learn advanced maths and reading?