Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Great Math Fallacy



Line –big fat belly – hat!


This is how Tiny Pants learned to draw a 5, and it became a car song. As we drive along, we take turns shouting out our respective lines while pounding the armrests in rhythm. (Shouting enthusiastically is what passes for singing in my car.)

Tiny Pants: LINE!
Big Pants: Big fat belly!
Mama: HAT!


I totally stole the best part of the song- yelling hat. I’m like that – they get 99% of the fun, so occasionally I have to steal some back.

I am intentionally trying to encourage math in my house.  I tell Big Pants all the time how great he is at math. He doesn’t care. He still hates it.



One thing I have realized as an adult is that if you like math and science and enjoy them and study them and cuddle up with them and make them your pets you will go a lot farther in life than if you detest them and avoid them.

But….

I hate math. I abhor math. Just last week a math problem made big, fat, girly tears of frustration well up in my eyes, and I am 39 ¼ years old. 

I would rather do the following than do my math homework:
Donate blood/plasma/bone marrow/saliva
Scrub between the cat’s toes with a tiny toothbrush
Lick the dining room floor

I decided to investigate to see if all my Rah! Rah! Yay Math! was influencing their little minds at all, or if my math-hating genes were winning out.  A Nature VS. Nurture  thing.


Hypothesis:  Encouraging kids that math is fun and they are great at it will make them like math.

Interrogatory: Big Pants, would you rather smell Dog’s breath or do one problem of math homework?

 Big Pants:  Smell the dog’s breath. I mean literally, Mama.

Conclusion: Math sucks and they ain’t fooled.  

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