Have you ever wondered why some children are so much better with numbers than other kids? New research shows that children who have well-educated mothers do better at maths at the age of 10. The study, conducted by the University of London, concludes that the education of a child’s mother can boost the mathematical abilities of her child. Researchers conducted a long-term study into the reasons for the differences in children’s numeracy skills by the time they reach secondary school. The biggest factor was the education of the mother and a good “home learning environment”. In particular, a child who plays number games with his or her mother at home is more likely to do well in maths tests. Researchers also discovered that a good quality pre-school can greatly help in increasing maths skills in youngsters.
The research was led by Professor Edward Melhuish from Birkbeck College and is published in the journal ‘Science’. His researchers interviewed dozens of parents about the kinds of activities they did with their children. Questions included how often mothers read stories to their children, sang songs and nursery rhymes and played number games. Professor Melhuish said: "The results indicated that the home learning environment, pre-school…and primary school all make separate, significant impacts [but] the mother's [education] is the strongest effect, there's no doubt about that.” Melhuish added that not all well-educated mothers turned their children into mathematics geniuses. “There are quite a few well-educated people who do not provide a good home learning environment," he said.
a. Children whose mothers had a good education do better in maths. T / F
b. Mothers who studied child education are better at maths. T / F
c. Learning about the environment increased children’s maths skills. T / F
d. A study found the quality of pre-schools did not change maths skills. T / F
e. The research team interviewed tens of thousands of parents. T / F
f. Interviewers asked parents about whether they sang nursery rhymes. T / F
g. The lead researcher doubts a mother’s education affects her child. T / F
h. Most well-educated people do not teach their children at home. T / F
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