I Want to Be Better at Reading or Math
When it comes to math these days, we tend to divide people into two groups: those who are good at math, and those who are bad at math. This divide is often accepted as just a fact of life—some people are naturally good at some things, and others aren’t set up to be good at them. People even now say that testing math or reading for some students is like testing a fish’s ability to climb a tree. Yet while it’s physically impossible for a fish to climb a tree, it isn’t impossible for you to master math, or reading, or any other academic subject, no matter how much it feels like it.
The reason a subject may not feel like it comes naturally to you the way it does to others is that you’ve developed a different set of core cognitive skills than they have. When these skills are weak, learning complex mathematical concepts feels like trying to play basketball while still getting the hang of dribbling a ball.
Critical Thinking for Success will identify these skills for you and train you in them, so that reading and math come more easily.
Root Causes of Struggles with Reading and Math
These are some of the core skills which need to be developed to set you up to do well in these subjects:
- Shape Recognition is how easily you recognize familiar symbols and use them to predict meaning. This is used both in math and in building higher reading speeds.
- Classification and Categorization is how you group objects and ideas to make them easier to manage.
- Analysis and Synthesis is how you break concepts and tasks into smaller pieces, evaluate those parts, and extract what you need to move forward.
- Motor Integration assists in learning how to plan your tasks in advance rather than rushing into them headfirst.
- Abstract Sequencing, or abstract logic, is your ability to imagine a step-by-step progression. This makes you better able to understand the logic behind processes, discover errors in planning, and predict outcomes, improving the effectiveness of your strategizing.
- Pattern Recognition, otherwise known as “rule induction,” is your ability to construct mental templates for information. When you remember patterns, you don’t have to individually process or memorize every piece of that pattern, and spend less mental effort. This makes it easier to process complex information.
- Short-Term Memory is your ability to simultaneously consider more small pieces of information at a given time. This helps you then put them together into a concept network that shows you the big picture, and you can better manage what gets transferred into medium-term or long-term memory and what gets discarded.
- Tracking is the ability of your eyes and brain to follow and interpret the flow of information from one source, start to finish, without deviating due to distractions.
Improving Your Reading and Math
Critical Thinking for Success will use a simple exam to test each of these skills and see which ones you excel at and which ones are holding you back. Once we’ve done that, we can hone in on those weaker skills and build a personalized training regimen around them for you.
This regimen includes daily puzzles and activities targeted to specific cognitive skills, as well as coaching sessions where we help you find new ways to tackle real-life challenges and push you to approach problems in different ways.
Together, we’ll build those core cognitive skills that then help you achieve greater reading speeds and comprehension, as well as understand math more intuitively. You’ll see that these subjects were never really out of your reach—you just hadn’t known where to start.