Youre in good company. And, believe
it or not, youve got good reason to. This may sound strange coming from someone who
croons over polynomials, but its a troublesome subject, to be sure.
Resist the temptation to click to another site; stay a bit longer. Theres
good stuff here, even for math loathers, and good tips to help your kids loathe it less.
Is it an exquisite flower, or is it a thorny stem with a few
petals on top?
Sometimes we don't want to admit just how much our lovely subject is
hated. When a child voices distaste for mathematics, our reaction is akin to if he'd
expressed distaste for a baby sister.
We tell him he's wrong. And we tell him math is everywhere, in
bicycles and baseball and batting averages.
Which of course is true, but it skirts the issue. He knows he's
done just fine riding his bike and hitting the ball, without math. And he knows that
math class doesn't look anything like baseball.
And then there's the favorite retort: but math is fun!
No, not always.
Lois Croft was one of the finest teachers our generation of kids was
lucky enough to get. She was already a small, white-haired woman when I sat in her
class, and she delivered her subject like it mattered. She delivered it tough, and
straight, and we ate it up. "There's drudgery in everything," she'd tell
us. We stopped expecting it to be otherwise. And then we got to the gold.
In trying to get our children to like math, we make a mistake in
thinking we need to make it easy. Watch your child playing ball - he runs and
reaches and sweats - and he loves it.
These pages will be filled with ways to change your child's
experiences in math for the better - but if he - or you - hate math, begin there.
There are good reasons. It's hard. It can be tedious. Sometimes it may
seem dull and disconnected. True enough. But there's more. Stay and
we'll show you.