Why Does My Kid Hate Math?

by Melissa on October 18, 2010

Isn’t it kind of nuts how you notice that the older you get, the more you feel like you’re turning into your mom? I don’t feel like we’re alike, but whenever we’re somewhere and someone new meets us, they’re always, like, “You guys could be twins!” It’s not because we look that much alike, it’s because of our intense facial expressions.

Maybe it’s because she’s worked with kids that have speech delays, and I work with English Learners. Whatever. You’ve gotta be super expressive with both audiences. Because sometimes they don’t know what a paper clip is called. So you’ve gotta be super animated. You know the drill. You experienced this when you were teaching your kid how to talk (or whenever you’ve been speaking to a beloved pet!).

But lately, I’ve noticed, you know how it happens, that my ma’s words are spilling out of my mouth. Like, without even thinking twice about it, and then I laugh out loud. Does this happen with you? Since I hit the big 3-0, it’s been happening more often, but when you throw me in with a room full of kids it’s heightened, times ten! Thank God my ma’s so good with kids, or it would be super creepy.

So, when this started happening, and I started noticing this pattern, I started to do an inventory with the parents of kids I work with. You know, asking them about their strengths, weaknesses, background. I think a ton of the stuff that forms our belief systems comes from our parents. I mean, it’s only because we question certain things, and study them, and decide to make a change that makes us actually change. Anyways, noticing this in my own life made me think about how it affects our kids. Lady, you are gonna flip when you hear the data I’ve found.

You talk to most people (and this turns up on the parent surveys!) and you’ll find that the most difficult subject and the hardest one they apply to their real life is Math. This doesn’t make any sense. It’s super weird. We’re using Math every day: How much do we tip? How do we split this pizza up equally (I know I’m not the only one that secretly feels guilty about doing that)? How much should I spend on groceries? How do I double this recipe without ruining it?

Do you think that so many people have blocks with Math because it’s not being taught the right way? Or talked about the right way?

My ma drove a mini-van with a stick shift, and all of the occupants were stressed out when we hit a red-light on the steep upgrade of Burbank Blvd. I’ve got an automatic, it’s been 17 years since I’ve ridden in that mini-van, and steep inclines still stress me out.

Watch this, lady, and let me know if you think that we can change how a lot of kids view Math, through conversation. Am looking for ideas. What are the best ways that we can make this subject exciting and accessible?

{ 1 comment }

Jim October 19, 2010 at 3:08 am

“You experienced this when you were teaching your kid how to talk (or whenever you’ve been speaking to a beloved pet!).” This was such a vivid post!