Math is one of the most important skills children must learn in school. The foundation includes counting, timing, and numerical concepts, and a strong foundation is essential because the complexity of math concepts increases each year. Children are best-served when they start building mathematical knowledge on their first day of school.
Math building-blocks include numbers, measurement, patterns, time, geometry, algebra, money, and data analysis. Regardless of their complexity, all math concepts are grounded in the following four key elements.
Addition starts with counting fingers, candies, toys and other items. Mastering the simplest problems (1+2=3) is key, before moving on to more complex concepts. Addition forms the basis of the other key elements.
After learning addition, the child advances to subtraction. In learning terms, subtraction is about determining the difference between two symbols. As with addition, subtraction begins with simple problems (2–1=1). Mastering these fundamentals is key to moving on to more complex problems.
Multiplication involves calculating the product of two numbers. Students memorize multiplication charts, which will be of use throughout their lives and, again, are crucial to solving more complex math problems.
Division is the fourth foundational element. In one sense, it is the opposite of multiplication: Dividing one number by another to get a third – the quotient. As with other foundational skills, students start with small numbers, and gradually progress to greater complexity.