Having strong mathematical skills will help a boy in all aspects of life in today’s world. Maths encourages us to think critically and develop observational skills. It provides some foundational skills that enable us to identify and represent patterns – these are vital to achieve success at school and beyond. The benefits of being good at maths are many – here are just a few:
1. Strengthens analytical skills
One benefit of being good at maths is that it strengthens analytical skills. Many university professionals advise practising the solving of mathematical problems in order to hone analytical skills. Strong analytical skills enable us to examine a large volume of data, identify trends, and comprehend and make sense of numbers and information. We live in an increasingly quantitative world and strong analytical skills will benefit your son personally and professionally. No matter what his career path, analytical skills are highly regarded in the workplace
2. Promotes a better understanding of the world
Maths is everywhere. It is often said that maths is the language of the universe. Strong mathematical proficiency can help us to understand the world better. For example, algebra is used for many things from calculating budgets and buying groceries, to icing a cake and working out how to get somewhere on time. A study of geometry can explain the science behind architecture, maps and pool capacities to name a few. Statistics and probability can estimate business profits, sports results or the weather. The Fibonacci sequence can be used predict the patterns that will be revealed as plants and flowers grow. Maths is a powerful tool for understanding how the world works and gaining an appreciation for the natural world.
3. Exercises the brain
Maths, especially mental arithmetic, helps to build brain capacity. Good mathematicians constantly challenge their cerebral capacity and function, which help to maintain a healthy brain. As Kevin Devlin, author of The Maths Gene said, “Anyone who has exercised knows that if you want to make a muscle stronger you have to subject it to strain, to put it beyond its comfort level. The brain is no different.” When solving maths problems, multiple brain functions are simultaneously active. The more you practise, the greater your ability to solve complex problems and issues.
4. Builds problem-solving skills
Maths also encourages the development of reasoning abilities, logical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Research conducted by Stanford University School of Medicine into the impact of early maths lessons on brain function, found unexpected spikes in the brain’s approach to problem-solving after just one year of maths lessons. Being good at maths teaches boys to frame problems, identify the knowns and unknowns and implement the appropriate steps to solve a problem. This is a skill that a boy can apply in all areas of his life.
5. Facilitates improvements to technology
Students of today will be the developers of technology tomorrow. Maths forms the basis of many of the world’s advancements in technology. Complex algorithms are behind the advent of the internet, social media and online applications. Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity was established using the world’s most recognisable equation, e=mc2. Today we make use of this equation in medical diagnostic tools such as PET scans, everyday devices such as smoke detectors, and to power telecommunications satellites. Aeroplane flight would not have been possible without mathematics. In a constantly evolving world, jobs of the future are becoming increasingly reliant on mathematics to further advance technology.
6. Stimulates creativity
While at first glance creativity seems counterintuitive to maths skills, the two go hand-in-hand. Maths can stimulate creativity to find solutions to complex problems. It can also be applied to art. Photography for example, is a complex balance between time and exposure, or shutter speed and aperture. Origami is based in geometry, architects couldn’t create buildings that stay upright without mathematical application, and musicians rely on maths for keeping time and setting rhythm.
Many believe that you are either good at maths or you are not. This is not true. Anyone can become proficient in mathematics, so long as it’s practised. As with anything, the more you practise, the better you will become.
If you’re looking at ways to help your son to further develop his mathematical abilities, we recommend encouraging a growth mindset first and foremost. If your child does something well, avoid limiting your praise to telling him he is ‘clever’ or ‘smart’. Instead, comment on how you admire his thinking or that you are impressed by what he has learned. If we offer too much fixed feedback, it sets children up to see mistakes as failures rather than learning experiences.
Encouraging kids to play maths games such as sudoku, dice games and puzzles helps children to learn mathematic skills such as number sense, pattern identification and problem-solving in a fun setting. For more great ideas of fun ways to experiment with maths, read our blog, Five tips to help your child love maths.
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