What is it about math? We all have subjects that we are better at or are worse at, or that we like or don't like as well. But no one ever talks about having "history anxiety" or "grammar anxiety." Math, however, is a whole different matter, at least for thousands....no, let's be honest...millions of us (of all different ages). If there is any topic that our children (or, again being honest, ourselves) are likely to say that they hate or just don't get or just try to avoid, it most often math.
But what if we could eliminate that for the next generation of students? Wouldn't that be worth a few dollars to you?
My friend Maria of Natural Math has some great ideas about how to raise children so that they love, rather than fear and resist, math. Through Maria's eyes, math is a language or an art form through which to view, understand, and communicate about life, not a series of incomprehensible formulas to be memorized and worked over and over again. And Maria believes that, just like language, basic math concepts--even those that form the basis of calculus--are best absorbed when the human brain is young and plastic....say, up to five years old. After that, according to Maria's research and experience, it is harder to children to learning the basic mathematical building blocks, just as it is harder for older brains to hear and repeat the distinct sounds of a different spoken language.
I am one of the privileged few who lives close to Maria, and has had the benefit of her experience in teaching my son about math. Since math was my toughest subject as a child--I'm definitely one of those who continued to suffer from math anxiety into adulthood (although, thank goodness, my husband is really strong in math)--I attribute my son's recent confidence and high performance in math to what he has learned from her, not from me. But she is only one person in one place, and the problem is so much larger than what one person can do.
So here is what we are doing to try to make Maria's expertise available to a larger population. Maria has a fundraising effort going on at Tipping Bucket, a cool new social media fundraising vehicle. Tipping Bucket takes proposals from worthy efforts, checks them out to make sure they are legitimate and have a reasonable plan, and then selects some to support through their website. Each project has about a week to present their case to the world. People check it out, and if it speaks to them, they pledge money. HOWEVER, their pledges only count IF the project reaches its desired goal. If it falls short, all the money is returned.
Maria is seeking $6,200 to turn her expertise about introducing math concept to infants and toddlers into a book, which could then be made available to everyone. So we are trying to mobilize hundreds or thousands of us who care about children and the math education they receive BEFORE they ever get to school to give just a few dollars to make this project a reality.
If this speaks to you, please use the button below to go to Tipping Bucket to donate:
Then, spread the word among your communities. Each of us may only be able to give $1, $5, or $10 dollars. But if we share this educational opportunities with our friends and colleagues, and ten of them choose to give as well, that raises another $10, $50, or $100.
However, there is a short deadline on this project. We must raise the entire $6,200 by Wednesday, September 21, or all the money is returned to the donors.
So if you would like to be part of the effort to raise our children to embrace and create with math, rather than to dread and dislike it, please act right away.
If you want more information, visit Maria's blog post about the project, or see the Tipping Bucket page.
PS: If you would like to post a button on your own blog or website, please copy the HTML code below: