Guest blogger Julie Wolfson: My daughter loves math. But a new study makes me wonder for how long.
My daughter is in fourth grade. Though she is a hard-working and conscientious student, the notice we received last year took us by surprise. Our little girl, the daughter of two writer/artist parents, was being invited into the accelerated math program at her school.
When we asked her about it, to our amazement, she professed her love of math. It didn't take long for her class to be studying things that were too hard for me and her dad to understand. We continue to be proud parents of our little math student. (If she gets to high school and professes her love of chemistry, we may have to check if she is really our kid!)
But a new study got me wondering how long this will last. It found that most kids have math anxiety and consider it to be their most difficult subject. The kids in the survey claim that they are more likely to grow up to become a professional athlete, actor or singer than they are to get As and Bs in math next year.
Video game companies are hoping to help the problem. For the DS, Nintendo has developed Personal Trainer: Math. They describe their game as "40 fast-paced exercises, from basic addition and multiplication to more extensive multiplication tables and calculation ladders. Daily math drills keep skills sharp." Now THAT'S a game I can get behind! And there's more good news: Many other video game companies are developing similar math-related games. Plus, there are countless computer games and websites aimed at helping kids develop math skills by doing fun activities.
My hope is that all of this technology will help the next generation become the inventors, engineers, and innovators that this country needs. There will always be enough pop stars in the world, after all.
Now I am going to go play Personal Trainer: Math on my DS, so I can try to keep up with my daughter!
Do your kids like math?