Hello. Thank-you for taking the time to read this page. I founded Kids With An Edge in Seattle because I honestly believe that investing in our children’s education is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. It is an investment with lifelong returns.
At Kids With An Edge, we specialize in early learning for preschoolers, and in reading and math tutoring for preschool through middle school aged children.
Our children spend the majority of each day at school and when they feel successful in that environment, they grow up to be confident. We know we have given our child The Edge when they feel like they can “do anything they want to do” and “be anything they want to be.”
Regarding Early Learning
Click here for the history and philosophy behind our highly effective early learning program which helps children maximize their potential in a fun and nurturing environment.
The Early Edge is a program for preschoolers in Seattle with a completely unique curriculum and approach.
Math is a foundational requirement for so many fields of study, from business to robotics and medicine to game design.
“[By not taking math and science] too many young people are making choices at age 15 which will hold them back for the rest of their lives.” -Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary, UK
Why is my Child Struggling in Math?
If a child is struggling in math, it is imperative to take the time out and investigate the source of the struggle. Unless there are learning challenges, the struggle always stems from a gap in the foundation. And because of the gap, a child cannot grasp new concepts. Math, in particular, is a subject that very systematically builds on itself.
It is important to understand the concepts as they are presented in the classroom. If a child starts to fall behind, they tend to lose interest in that subject. The worse they perform, the less they are motivated to study and without studying, they will continue to fall behind. Somewhere along the way, many children fall victim to common stereotypes like “Math is for nerds,” Math is for boys,” or “Math is just too hard, I can never be good at it.”
The Why and the How of Math
When I teach, I don’t like to just introduce a new concept as a stand-alone topic. I like to guide the children into discovering the new concept as an extension of the previous one. I don’t want children to just memorize facts; I want them to understand what they are doing. I always try and give children the reason for why a math problem is solved in a particular way. I like to involve my students in the process of arriving at the answer. This way, they own the methodology and remember how to solve the problem.
I also like to show the children how to write their math. I like to show them how to systematically and neatly arrive at a solution on paper in order to avoid careless and unnecessary errors. I believe in diagramming a problem whenever possible so that you can actually visually see what is going on.
Emotions Affect Academics
I believe that academic success has a very strong emotional component. A child has to feel he or she has the ability to succeed. In the higher levels, even an A-student has some anxiety before they start each new math class; imagine how a child who is already struggling feels? That fear alone can affect their performance- kind of like a “self-fulfilling prophecy”. We need to help our children establish a pattern of success by not only providing them with help when it is absolutely required, but by actually anticipating their needs beforehand.
In order to succeed, a child needs to believe they can.
Why Study Math in Advance?
By exposing our children to the math before they see it in the classroom, we equip them to be able to feel comfortable with the pace set in their classroom and to be able to do well despite being in a class of 30 children with limited personal attention.
Middle school and then high school are major times of transition physically, socially, emotionally and academically. As the children enter higher grades, they are only too happy to not have to stress about math when they have 5 other subjects vying for their attention.
Math is the best subject to study ahead of time. It doesn’t matter who their teacher is going to be or what school they will go to, the math concepts are still the same. Math is logical; it makes sense and there is a right answer.
I sincerely believe and am passionate about investing in children sooner rather than later. Sometimes parents fear that they are pressuring their child by taking a proactive stance on their child’s education, when in fact, they are actually empowering them.
Studying math in advance frees your child up to concentrate on other subjects during the school year, giving them the edge they need.
But Won’t They Just Get Bored?
But, if I teach my child in advance, won’t my child just get bored in class? Not at all. Math requires a lot of practice and repetition. Seeing a concept presented for the first time in school is not enough to master it. The first time, it is new and easy to forget and the child struggles with just trying to understand the basic concept. The second time around is when they feel comfortable and are able to appreciate the application and finer points of the concept. It is the second time around that they can step back and see where a particular concept fits into the grand scheme of things. This sets a strong foundation for the years ahead.
A side benefit is that they also love being the resident class expert! It actually helps to build their leadership skills and confidence when their peers come to them for help.
I have seen first-hand what an incredible difference setting a strong foundation along with preparing for math in advance has made in the lives of my own children. They are/were both in the Seattle School District’s HCC (formerly APP) program for those children who test into the top 2% for math and English. I always made sure to prepare my daughter in advance when it came to math. As a result, by the end of the first quarter of her junior year in high school, she had already completed all three levels of college Calculus with a 4.00 GPA. As a 6th grader, my son has completed 9th grade Algebra 1 with an A grade.
Math is the only subject I have had them study beforehand. Doing so has always freed them up during the school year to be able to concentrate on and do well in all of their other subjects. As a result, both of them are straight A students across the board. And my daughter was just admitted directly from high school into the highly competitive University of Washington’s Computer Science and Engineering Program!