I recently had a chance to review Bedtime Math by Laura Overdeck.* Honestly, the timing was perfect on this opportunity. Marie was just saying how she doesn’t like math.
I mean she is only 7 years old. I know there are studies that have talked about girls loosing interest in math at a young age, but 7 years old?!
I wasn’t sure how she was going to take to this book since she loves to read stories. However, what makes this math book so great is the story that is read before any math questions are asked. One of her favorite stories was about noodles. There was a brief, funny story about cooking noodles and having them stick to the wall to determine if they are done. The math questions were all about figuring out cooking times.
I think the reason that this book has piqued Marie’s interest in math is the storytelling. She cares about finding out the answers because she is interested in the story. This is a far cry about two trains leaving the station at the same time, but at different speeds. Or something like that. I was too distracted since I was wondering where the trains were going, who was on the train, what was being served in the food cart, would it be like the train in White Christmas – you know, the important stuff.
What I also like about this book is there are different levels of questions so as she builds her math skills, she can still use the book. Another great point about the concept of this math book – there is no “right” way to figure out the problem. Marie is not confined by a certain method of math so she is thinking critically about the problem and figuring it out on her own. How awesome is that?!
I love how she is totally interested in math now and even ask to read Bedtime Math in favor of her beloved chapter books.
To be truthful, I was always confused and overwhelmed with math (re: the paragraph where I don’t remember train story problems). But I am hoping that with a resource like Bedtime Math, she will gain confidence in math because she truly likes figuring out problems.
I don’t often feel like a rock star mom, but this book makes me feel like I may be changing the course of Marie’s life as she sees herself as someone who not only likes math, but is good at it, too.
How do you get your child excited about something they think they don’t like? Have you ever had to put your feelings of discomfort about a certain subject aside in order to help your child?
*I was given a copy of Bedtime Math to review, but these opinions are mine, all mine.