Math was never my best subject. Which is probably why I teach history. I don’t hate math, I just wish I were better at it. My daughter is now 5, and we are preparing for kindergarten next year. I have been reading to her practically since birth. Mostly because I hope she will love books as much as I do. She loves books, loves to be read to, I have no doubt she’ll succeed in school. She’s developing reasoning and reading comprehension skills, but how can I help her develop math skills?
I first heard of Bedtime Math when the book’s author, Laura Overdeck, was interviewed on NPR. She talked of her love for math, and her habit of reading to her sons at night before tucking them in. She started the habit of telling short stories, with math word problems at the end, and that was what inspired the blog. The blog inspired the books (there are now 3!).
The best part about this book (and the blog) is the introduction to word problems. To so many kids (and adults), word problems are the toughest math problems. In the book there are short stories, with short word problems that follow and correlate with the story. There are three word problems with each short story – one for Wee Ones, one for Little Kids, and one for Big Kids. There are also Bonus questions, which are sometimes a little harder to answer than the one for Big Kids. This is an easy way to make math fun, and to hopefully prevent the fear so many math learners have for word problems.
After reading through all three books, doing the “Wee ones”, and occasionally the Little Kids problems, I can already see an understanding of addition and subtraction developing in my daughter. I think Ms Overdeck is amazing. I don’t know if my daughter will love math – or even be good at it. I just hope, that with this early introduction to math and word problems, it’ll at the very least, be less intimidating. You can read through the books, or follow the blog, which delivers daily stories and word problems to your inbox!