Do you suspect that your child might be exceptionally gifted in math? Do you sometimes wonder whether you might be raising a child prodigy? What are the most common signs that the child is a math genius and what parents can do to support their talented children? Let’s start by looking at the earliest signs and how important they are.
When it all starts
The main problem with defining what makes a young genius is that we do not really know when or how the gifted children develop their out-of-this-world math skills. Some parents notice the first signs very early, for example, they observe that their 3 year old kids are adding three digit numbers. But many parents do not see any special signs until the child is 4, 5 or even 6 years old.
Among other possible signs of a special talent for math is an early understanding of multiplication (children age 4 or younger), the ability to calculate long divisions (children age 5 or younger) and other similar skills. Let’s not forget that a lot depends on a stimulation – if a child is provided with interesting math games at a very young age, he can reveal his hidden skills in math very early.
It is therefore very important to provide your children with the means necessary for them to develop their math skills and start showing their unique gift for math. It is also important to keep your children’s motivation up by introducing them to new math problems as soon as they master the simple tasks. Math geniuses are naturally driven to learn more and discover hidden relations between math facts, so you have to provide them with something they can crave on.
The telling signs
If your child is a math prodigy, you should have no problem with recognizing it, when he or she is in elementary school. Gifted children make much more progress and learn much faster than their peers. In result, they are often bored with math classes, which are not challenging and fun enough, so contrary to what you might have expected, your math genius might be having a problem with adjusting to the school system.
Pre-teen math prodigies should be attending after school math classes or have a private tutor to ensure that their extraordinary math skills are well developed. Because of their abilities and penchant for math, many child prodigies are less popular in school or struggle with bonding with their peers. Putting your kid in a group of like-minded math geniuses helps the child feel less alienated and better understood by their peers. It should also help your child regain his lost motivation.
And what if your child is not a math genius, but a very good math student? Just because your child is not extraordinarily brilliant at math does not mean that he or she can’t be great at math and above average. Children, who learn math more easily than their peers should be treated the same way as math prodigies. Math skills will take them far and allow them to develop prestigious professional careers in the future.
Marta Gromadzka is a writer and editor with a wide variety of experience, including writing for websites internationally and editing books on many different subjects and in a variety of formats.