“Your child’s math experience is not your math experience.”
Oh my goodness, these are words I wish someone had said to me twenty-plus years ago! I became a homeschool parent because I knew my math skills were weak. I wanted more for my children, yet I had no idea how I was going to get there. Fortunately, by the time my two oldest children got to the point where I could no longer effectively teach them math, we found a co-op experience. (One of the most powerful aspects of the homeschool community is how we have each other’s backs for the weak spots.) I finally found my way to Math-U-See when my third child was not on the right track to enter into the math co-op.
I have to tell you, when I first looked at Math-U-See my first thought was, “Well, there’s not enough to do.” I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t realize the developmental appropriateness of a 15-minute math lesson. How often do we take our adult perspective and shove it onto a child, expecting them to conform to what has taken us years to accomplish? I am grateful for a friend who put Math-U-See on my kitchen table and said, “You must do this.” Witness again the power of the homeschool community.
Are you a parent with a really strong mathematical background? Then you will find Math-U-See a fantastic experience. You will appreciate the logic of teaching concepts in a developmentally appropriate way, concept by concept, making sure that the student understands the concept well enough to teach it back to you.
Or are you like me – the parent who said that math was not something you were good at and really something he/she hoped never to have to do? Perhaps you are not pursuing a homeschool experience just because you have a fear of failure because of your mathematical lack of skill. Please don’t let that idea hold you back any longer!
Math is like death and taxes – we are never going to get away from either one of them. They follow us around, all day, every day. We have to use math in order to survive.
Math-U-See’s unique approach is designed to empower a parent to teach their children mathematics. The videos that founder Steve Demme has produced for you (the parent) explicitly model how to instruct your child in each mathematical concept. Yes, children love Mr. Steve and his corny sense of humor. However, the power and purpose of each video is that he models for you how to explain mathematical concepts to your children. Take note of this point because it is pure gold!
The developmental appropriateness of each Math-U-See lesson means you will learn as much about mathematics as your child. How fantastic for you to model to your child that we’re never too old to learn something new. What a marvelous thing for you to model for your child to say, “Hey I’m learning right along with you!” One of my fantastic colleagues provided this further thought:
You have a profound opportunity to model to your child an authentic enthusiasm for learning. This is not a deterrent – it is a bonus. Those moments when they teach you what you don’t quite understand is a powerful opportunity to show them how to love learning for a lifetime.
So, what if you are the parent who is extremely math capable? Are you like a dear friend of mine who is so left-brained that she is incredulous that anyone would not understand mathematics, thoroughly and implicitly? Would it surprise you that this kind of parent sometimes struggles teaching their child just as much as those of us who find math a mystery? The reason is because this parent can take their adult understanding and their years of experience and forget that they did not learn math simply by osmosis. They forget that at some point in their schooling, math was a mystery to be explored. They forget that their attention span, forged by hours of study, may not be their child’s attention span. Sometimes this parent is even exasperated that their child’s grasp of mathematics is not as intuitive and prompt as their own. This is precisely why Math-U-See is for this parent too.
How can Math-U-See benefit the mathematically adept parent? Math-U-See takes that parent back through their own studies and helps them teach their child, concept by concept, at an appropriate pace that meets their child’s learning needs. It removes the suppositions a mathematically adept parent may make and allows them to see mathematics through the eyes of their child.
Would that you could stand with me at a homeschool convention and hear the stories that parents share so enthusiastically about the Math-U-See program! The engineers whose artsy child had no interest in math, much to their chagrin, but who is now excelling because they found a way to impart knowledge and conceptual understanding to her. The mother of eight who, because of economic circumstance, never even finished high school, who has now raised children who are in college and succeeding because Math-U-See equipped her to teach them. The single father whose twins were on the Autism Spectrum and felt he would never be able to reach them, but who thrived with the engaging multi-sensory lessons in the Math-U-See program. I LOVE these stories! I want everyone to experience the same feeling and outcome of success in their math schooling journey. This is why I want you to remember the title from my post today: Your Child’s Math Experience is Not Your Math Experience– it can be so much more!