The future is uncertain. But two things are certain. If your child wants to access science, engineering, computers, technology, or finance, they will need to know how to work with numbers and symbols. And if your child wants to work in any way with others, they will need to know how to write well.
Many of us struggle with math and writing. Some say, “I was never a math person.” Others say, “writing was always hard for me.”
The truth is, there is nothing innate about math or writing. It all comes down to early exposure. There are two critical skills that are easy to learn at a young age, and hard to learn later in life. Yet most schools put off teaching these skills until far too late.
These skills are algebra and writing good sentences.
In elementary school, most students learn how to do arithmetic and solve word problems using different strategies in flexible ways. Less emphasized is how to work with complex expressions and equations.
The best time to learn a new language is in elementary school. The best time to learn algebra, and the language of expressions and equations, is in elementary school. Elementary students are perfectly capable of learning algebra, and applying it to solve hard problems.
Yet most students don’t learn algebra until it is too late to pick up easily. The result is that more than 1/3 of 9th grade students fail algebra. Failing algebra is the most common reason students drop out of high school. They try to pass over, and over, and over again without success, then leave school entirely. If your child learns algebra at an early age, they are protected from this.
In math, schools hold back when they should not. In writing, the problem is the opposite — schools rush forward too quickly. The Common Core standards push second grade students to write paragraphs before they can write proper sentences. Because of this accelerated pacing, creative expression becomes emphasized over correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure. The result is that many students never learn to write proper sentences.
By high school, it is too late. The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress are striking: only 25% of eighth grade students are considered even minimally proficient in writing.
The good news is that if your child learns to write proper sentences now, they will have a solid foundation on which to improve later. Paragraphs become straightforward. Compositions become easy. Writing becomes a source of strength and confidence.
Now is the perfect time to start. Summer is an ideal time to get ahead. Your child’s brain is capable of enormous growth and development at this age:
After the summer ends, the benefits of S3 will compound. There is a big difference between seeing something for the first time, and seeing something for the second time. Your child will approach classwork and homework with confidence. They will get more out of every class they take. The six weeks spent on the focused and critical skills of S3 will translate into an advantage that will last your child for the rest of their life.