Archive for August, 2009

Fun Math for Kids: Is There Such A Thing as Fun Math For Kids?

mean school marm

A million years ago, when I was in elementary school, math was one of those desiccated subjects, taught by a teacher who slipped into stultifying monotone, which sucked the energy from your very being. The whole environment inspired fear and loathing in much of the class. So, you were either left to find your own path to mathematical enlightenment or you enlisted outside assistance. This was a very sad situation, which didn’t have to be… not then and not now.

Today media are much more varied than they were in my Jurassic childhood and they address all manner of math concepts. There is children’s literature that speaks to math, such as Greg Tang’s “Math-terpieces” and “Math Fables”. There are myriad manipulatives, e-books (such as “Making Math More Fun” and “Vedic Maths”), board games, video games and websites too numerous to mention.

Creating an educational environment that fosters the development of Strategic thinking in children is critical. This form of problem solving requires attention to detail, the capacity to observe, collect disparate pieces of information, analyze that information, formulate and analyze possible solutions and take appropriate actions.

It is important that math is presented as an everyday activity, which is an element of Strategic thinking. This everyday activity is at the very least, useful, but can be fun, elegant, and inspiring. Learning to use math does not require your child to be a genius or be endowed with special powers (and they must know this).

As parents and instructors it’s our job to ensure that our children have the tools necessary to be successful in school and in life. We have to make sure that our children’s curiosity is not soured or destroyed by the local math Nazi. Most of all we must let them know that math can indeed be fun and interesting.

…Yes there is such a thing as “Dad’s Fun Math Games”!

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