Perhaps more than with any other subject, math builds on previous knowledge. Without a solid understanding of addition, it’s hard to understand multiplication, and without a solid understanding of multiplication, it’s even harder to understand exponents. In some sense, then, the findings of a recent National Institute of Health study were unsurprising: students who do perform below average in first grade math are much more likely to also struggle in seventh grade, unless they get intervention.

You can read the full report on the study here.

## Confidence in Math Early Pays for Later Life, Especially in the Hypercompetitive San Francisco Bay Area

Approximately 20% of adults in the United States lack the basic math skills required to for every day life, or *numeracy*. Obviously the

required math for the high-paying, competitive technology jobs found around Palo Alto and Menlo Park, making the importance of building early mathematics skills even greater. Those children who are above average in math skills in first grade are the most likely to also be above average in seventh grade and in high school, when the harder math concepts such as functions, algebra, and geometry are introduced. However, if a child is below average in first grade, the gap between their skills and the skills of other students by middle school is likely to be even greater. A child simply cannot afford to fall behind at an early age if they wish to be successful in math. And because a solid understanding of math is the basis of science, a deficiency will make other subjects more difficult as well.

## Math Tutoring Can Make All the Difference for Your Bay Area Child

Although many of the schools near Palo Alto and Menlo Park, both public and private, are some of the best in the state, a child can still suffer from a lack of personal attention during early grades, causing them to fall behind in math. Special math instruction, such as a tutoring program, can help to make up this gap and even put a child ahead of grade level, making future success far more likely. The NIH study cited number relationships, representations of real situations with numbers, and breaking numbers into their component parts as especially crucial for building a solid math foundation, and each of these is a major focus in math help for young students here at Mathnasium. In addition, special math instruction can help an older child make up a gap from earlier years before it significantly affects their performance, as it has for many students at Mathnasium from Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, and more.

> Learn more about Math Tutoring in Palo Alto / Menlo Park

~ Mathin’ Catherine, 2/27/2013