Amanda, my fifth-grade daughter, does not enjoy math. She thinks it's hard. With some of the "new math" that we have to do as homework, sometimes it feels hard to me. I know how to do division, but the boxes method? And let's not even talk about the different ways she's taught to understand how to sum fractions. I know my way to do it, but when they are learning a new technique, they have to at least try it out, which leaves me rather unhelpful as I try to decipher the process.
I recently learned, while attending a very informative event for PBS Parents, that studies have shown that while parents are careful to always encourage their reluctant readers -- even if they were (or are) reluctant readers themselves -- the same is not true for math.
Parents state these words much more freely: “Math is hard,” or “I didn’t like math either.” We say it, and they hear it. It validates their struggle, and they lose their motivation to overcome that which is difficult for them.
Uh-oh — guilty.
Keep reading the rest of my post at 5 Minutes for Mom. . . .