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A. Giving Young Children a Jump Start in Math

Narrator: This is Science Today. Supporting early mathematical thinking is the focus of a national, experimental curriculum that targets preschool-age children. But Prentice Starkey, a professor of education at the University of California, Berkeley's Institute of Human Development, says supporting children's early math skills is not exclusive to the classroom.

Starkey: There are many occasions just in the normal daily routine to support math in children. For example, for parents preparing a meal, there's some measuring involved in that. Children love to help with that. Setting the table involves putting out enough places and the right numbers of things in place. There are a lot of opportunities to support math in little ways. Parents can take advantage of them if they're thinking in math.

Narrator: As for children thinking in math, Starkey says they have a natural interest.

Starkey: There's no math phobia at this age and it's just part of their natural environment. There are games that support math - board games and counting books. So there are some things out there that parents could use.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.