Teaching Children To Love Math

Mayim Bialik

I’m a math phobe. Or is it “math phobic”? I took my last math class in 10th grade. I scraped by in my national math exams at age 16, doing just well enough on the tests to continue on with the two years of college prep classes needed for university. The British school system is very different to the American system where most kids take math through 12th grade. Some British high school students leave school at 16 ad never attend college.

I happily said goodbye to math and never looked back. I even chose a college that did not have a math requirement for entry nor any required math classes whatsoever. My attitude towards math changed when I became a parent. I knew from the start that I didn’t want my children to hate math as much as I did. I wanted to be a parent who fosters a love of math in her children. I wanted to help them, not confuse them.

Fostering A Love Of Math In Young Kids

I was determined to reverse the cycle. I read my children books about numbers and counting. Talked about numbers and math. I counted steps, toys, books, Cheerios, and everything with them. I taught them how to write their numbers. I was bound and determined to stop the “I hate math” cycle. My children liked math, perhaps not loved, but they definitely like math.

Helping Kids With Math Homework

Homework time once my children entered elementary school was a far cry from my horrid memories of math homework with questions as impenetrable as a bank safe. Those math worksheets were as confusing to me as if my teacher had handed me a page of Ancient Greek to translate. Math homework sessions with my children when they were in elementary school were practically stress free as my children had an enjoyment for math.

Finding Resources To Teach Math

Homework sessions started to change as each child reached 3rd or 4th grade. Math homework sessions would start well with me able to help my children if they were stuck on a math problem. By 3rd or 4th grade, I found myself stumped often. I would read a math problem. Pull out a math manipulative or math learning toy. Sort of understand what the teacher wanted them to do. Get confused by a new math term. Common Core was new. I didn’t want to admit that I was completely stumped by the problems, so I would say cheerfully “Let’s look in the textbook to see if we can find a way to answer this problem!” Or “Let’s check Khan Academy (a free resource) for the answer!” I was buying time.

Parents Struggle With Common Core Math

My children sensed my hesitation. They realized that Mommy didn’t know how to help them. They sensed — I am sure — that I was not coming from a place of confidence with the new Common Core math. Math homework time became more and more stressful. I was less and less able to help my children. My kids would smile sweetly, but show their impatience that Mommy didn’t have all the answers. My children would wait patiently as I struggled to find what I needed in the textbook. With a touch of resignation and a need to move on with their homework, my children would say “I’ll wait til Daddy gets home.” “He’ll know how to help!” As much as their lack of confidence, was upsetting I was mostly relieved to turn over homework time to Dad Knows Better.

TI-Nspire Calculator Debuts At BlogHer

I haven’t been able to completely avoid math. I’ve tried… While I at a blogging conference (BlogHer 12) in San Diego, I attended an event that I would never in a million years have expected to attend. Are you ready? It was an early morning breakfast…about math…sponsored by a calculator company. I know! I was as shocked that I would 1. attend such an event and 2. be invited to such an event. The life of a blogger is NEVER dull!

Mayim Bialik Inspires Love Of Math In Kids

Texas Instruments debuted a new calculator, the TI-Nspire at BlogHer, and introduced their new spokesperson, Mayim Bialik. Did you watch Blossom in the 1980s? Blossom was an 80s sitcom starring Mayim Bialik with Joey Lawrence. Now do you remember Blossom? Mayim Bialik is known for her role in the Beaches, where she played the young Bette Midler, and more recently, The Big Bang Theory.

Encouraging Math + STEM For Middle And High School Girls

My daughter attends an all girls’ school for high school. As a former student at an all girls’ high school who hated math, I know that girls need to taught by teachers who have a passion for math and STEM. Girls need to be shown that there are many careers in math and STEM that they can do. They need to see women who are successful in the math and science fields. Many women in my generation opted for liberal arts majors or jobs that would fit in with their family, but the money is in math and science jobs. Girls need to see that math and science jobs can be a good fit with being a parent.

Disclosure: I was given a TI-Nspire calculatore. I paid for my own conference pass, hotel, and travel to BlogHer. The views in this post are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

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