I happened across this blog at Wired. The author does not have an answer for how to "make math pop" but he boldly poses the question. There is a tsunami of thoughts on the subject from his readers after the post.
As you may have guessed based on the title of the post, I don’t want to know this just for historical purposes. I want my kids to be good at math, and it would be great if they also enjoyed it as I do. But I don’t know how best to get this to happen. My kids are pretty young, but I started enjoying math when I was young, so I want to make sure I’m doing all I can to inspire interest in them. It’s important to me that they’re good at math not just because I’m a geek, but also because I think math skills are really important in life. Not only do they make finding the best deal at their grocery store that much easier, and calculating tips at restaurants much faster, but they’re useful in all sorts of circumstances. I was particularly reminded of this a short while ago, when I read this article in the Washington Post about a simple math error resulting in a multi-million dollar error in Maryland state education fund allocation.
I originally started writing this post as a list of ways to get your kids to love math, but then I realized that I really don’t know how to do it. I don’t remember my parents or teachers doing anything in particular that made me enjoy math, and so far I haven’t had a lot of success getting my kids excited about it either. My son is good at math so far, but so far hasn’t seemed as interested in it as I was at his age.
So, I’m putting the questions out there: How can you make sure your kids are good at math? How do you get them to enjoy it? And do the two always go hand-in-hand? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.
The full blog post can be found here with feedback from Wired readers.
I don't have any kids of my own, but I find myslelf wondering about the same dilemna all the time. I love sports and math, but what if my son or daughter doesn't? Will it make me love them any less, of course not. I think about how I began to love math, and I can't really point to one reason or another, it just came pretty easy for me. There are ways to try and push our children to like the things that we do such as asking them to add up the number of legos they have. But by doing things like this you run the risk of over-doing it and pushing them too hard to the point that they despise it. Genetics have to play atleast a small role in all of this. But it's a fine line of striving for them to follow your own goals, and pushing them too far. Even though this is not what the author or any other parent wants to hear, but you just have to let it plays its course. If your child wants to follow in his or her parents footsteps, or wants to create an identity of their own, either one is fine by me.
I know it wasn't a direct response to the math question the author posed, but I think there was a bigger picture that I felt needed to be addressed.