I had never considered myself a “math person” and, about ten years ago, I heard someone talk about how ridiculous that sounded, especially since no one is embarrassed to announce that at a party. No one would walk into a group of people chatting about a novel and say “I’ve never considered myself a ‘word’ person.” Just about everyone would feel just a little inferior if they said that, but no one feels that way about math. It’s as if it’s a special club that few elite are members of. They suggested we stop using that phrase and encourage others to do so as well. It screams our willful ignorance on a topic that touches our lives on a daily basis. She said that we were probably taught about numbers before we were ready to learn them and then convinced by the school system that because of that we should consider ourselves “not good at math” and pursue other subjects. I’ve spent the last ten years trying to rediscover math on my own terms. And I’ve fallen in love with the subject! Maybe not to the extent that an expert in the subject would, but I can follow the logic and understand math that occurs all around us every day, much the same way most of us use words to function in the world.
Right now I’m reading an awesome book called, “Euclid’s Window” by Leonard Mlodinow. It’s about the history of math which, amazingly, involves humans that are trying to explain things. It’s such a great read that I find myself reading it first thing in the morning and for a few minutes before I go to bed!
If you are interested in introducing math to your kids (and yourself in the process), try reading some of the books listed on my Math Resource page instead of starting with abstract math like “This is the number 1.” If you’d like to start working with numbers, I highly recommend “Right Start Math.” Hearing the author explain math that way really helped me overcome my fear by showing me that I wasn’t bad at it, I just wasn’t given the right tools. My sons and I played the games in that pack for years and still have the abacus and scale! You may be amazed at how much you love real world math and that excitement will certainly be passed on to your kids!