Some people think teaching calculus to little kids is absurd because, traditionally, kids are not taught calculus until high school or college. However, there are a couple of books written especially for teaching calculus to kids as young as six or seven. Why not? Arithmetic isn’t of much use without calculus to explain principles in physics, chemistry and biology. The Calculus resources written for youngsters focus on creative problem-solving, pattern recognition and real-world physics applications.
In keeping with our theory of teaching physics, chemistry and biology early, we say, teach calculus early so students have the tools to solve real problems. After all, memorizing multiplication tables is useless if you can’t apply the knowledge to solve a problem. Focus on developing kids’ visualization skills, how to think mathematically to find multiple solutions to problems, how to find and apply patterns and to enjoy the problem-solving process. Then teach them how to do arithmetic!
A few books on teaching calculus to kids
Calculus Without Tears – Written with a very physics-centric approach
Calculus by and for Young People – The Mathman assumes only that the student can count