Let’s Talk About Math, Baby
How to Talk About Math (Even If You’re Not a *cough* Math Person!)
Our society is funny sometimes. Ask anyone what the important foundations of early education are, and they’ll undoubtedly say something along the lines of literacy and numeracy, or reading, writing and arithmetic. Yet, we treat the subjects of literacy and numeracy completely different as adults.
Our plea to any parent when discussing math with their child, regardless of age or skill level, is to first think, ‘Would I say this about reading or writing?’ I’ll give you a few examples, so you can change your attitude around math next time it comes up at the dinner table:
“You definitely won’t get the math gene from me.” First there’s no such thing as a math gene, and second, you would never limit your child’s confidence that way in reading or writing (even if you did struggle)
“I’m just not a math person.” No parent would ever allow their kid to use the excuse that they’re “just not a reading person.”
“I hate math!” Hate is a strong word, and nobody says, “I hate being literate!”
“Math scares me.” If it does, then practice numeracy until it’s no longer scary. If it doesn’t, then don’t say that just to ‘be cool’ because you would never say, “Reading scares me.”
If we are to believe everything around math anxiety and pressure felt by kids, the last thing we need is for numbers (numeracy) to be made even scarier by parents. Let’s lift kids up, get them passionate about numeracy, and show them that it’s just as important – and attainable – as literacy.