Welcome to Add It Up, our new math blog for parents and educators! Having shared an exciting year of kid-appealing math for parents and their children, we’re expanding our horizons. As much as parents enjoy adding up octopus legs and doughnut holes, we realize you all might want something a little more grown-up for yourselves.
The fact is math and our country’s approach to it is serious business. At a time when we need skilled workers in science and technology more than ever, American adults are plagued with math anxiety. Research shows that when adults who don’t like math try to do math, the parts of the brain that light up on the MRI are the same ones as when we feel physical pain. Math physically hurts for people who aren’t comfortable with it.
Unfortunately, we’re seeing the repercussions. In our colleges and universities, more kids are majoring in “leisure studies” than in all physical sciences combined (what are “leisure studies,” anyway?). Who’s going to cure cancer, build a better iPhone antenna, or develop cheap, clean energy if no one’s studying math and science? Our standard of living depends on people with math and science talent. If you aren’t one of those people then you can help by inspiring someone else to be.
Never mind how it affects your own life. A study recently found that something like 8-10% of Americans plan on funding their retirement by winning the lottery. The fact is, if you drive 5 miles to the store, buy a ticket, and drive home, you’re actually more likely to die driving the trip than you are to win the lottery. Okay, maybe you aren’t really putting your life at risk playing the lottery – but you’re definitely setting your money on fire.
We make horrendous life decisions when we’re afraid to size up the numbers. We fail to understand discounts, and sales. We don’t understand our mortgage – we might have averted that whole crisis if everyone was a critical numbers thinker.
We must help our next generation love math so that they can enjoy a better fate.
Enough seriousness – let’s move on to the fun stuff. In this blog we’re going to explore all the ways we can make math a fun part of our kids’ everyday lives to give them the best footing for their bright futures. We have rounded up 4 fabulous parent bloggers whose own children love math, so they can share their secrets with us. We’ll also add inspiring guest bloggers, math news and culture and activities to extend Bedtime Math problems.
Join us as we seek to increase your love of math, or at the very least, subtract your anxiety as we seek to equate math with fun for the whole family!