Do Cognitive Exercises Help Children Boost Their Math Skills?

If a child is struggling with math, it’s usually because they haven’t developed strong cognitive skills to execute basic computations. Cognitive development is basically reasoning, memory, problem-solving, and thinking skills. It is important to children as it affects how they tackle mathematics, science, and engineering in the future.

Adults are usually told that they can help a child develop his or her cognitive skills. Parents especially can do so before a child starts school. For example, spatial thinking is required before children transition to addition and subtraction. A parent can give his or her child a head start through informal activities at home which involve both adding and taking away.

To perform basic math, the following core areas are needed by a learner:

  • Sequential processing and memory
  • Auditory processing and memory
  • Visual processing and memory
  • Attention-to-detail
  • Speed of processing
  • Spatial skills
  • Tracking

Researchers praised spatial skills and training which they said is relevant for mathematics learning in children. Spatial thinking in math is the capacity of learners to think about objects in 3, and using limited information to arrive at conclusions.

In an article published in Nature Human Behaviour, researchers analyzed data from 17,648 children over a period of 7 weeks. The mathematical and spatial cognitive training had tasks that demanded:

  • spatial manipulation
  • maintenance of spatial information
  • spatial, non-verbal reasoning

It was found that the type of cognitive training children performed had a significant impact on mathematical learning. Of importance was the fact that training of visuospatial working memory and reasoning was the most effective.

The study further shows that spatial cognitive training can result in the transfer of academic abilities. With spatial training, students can do math, remember patterns, sequence of events, and images.

If you need help in using visuospatial working memory, Outstanding Outcomes Home Tuition would love to help. Give us a call and one of our tutors would visit at your convenience.

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