I’ll bet the first answer you have is, “in school.”
In my recent research of different types of math teaching, including dancing, literature and gaming, it’s occurred to me that I didn’t learn math in school. I learned arithmetic, I learned algorithms, but math?
I learned math at home.
My dad is an engineer, and by nature not a teacher. But we did puzzles. Cryptograms from GAMES magazine, computer-based role-playing games and TV-based videogames. He wasn’t one for shoot-em-up or beat-em-up games (although swords were essential). Everything we did had logical thinking.
My mother was an English major. She encouraged memorization of both prepositions and multiplication facts. And she played word games with me.
Puns have a special kind of logic to them. As she was punning around with me, I was learning a unique set of skills.
Of both of them, I was allowed to ask questions. Any questions. And I did. And they answered them.
Everyone learns math at home.
As a parent, your daily actions impact your child mathematically. It’s not your skills with pencil and paper that help you teach math, but who you are.
You connect with your children and understand them because of your similarities to them. Remember how you learned math. Not how you learned arithmetic and algorithms, but math. The art of math.
That’s your key to helping your kid learn math.
How did you learn math? Can you use this to help your children? Teachers – how can you help parents tap into this side? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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