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Who's afraid of....

(40 Posts)
annodomini Thu 29-Aug-13 13:05:55

Maths. I was talking to my youngest GS the other day. He is about to start year 1 and I asked him if he was looking forward to going back to school. 'Not really,' he said.
'Why?' I asked.
'I'll have to do maths,' he responded, sadly.
'But maths isn't difficult and it can be fun.'
Then, 'What is maths?' he asked.
That took my breath away. He must have heard someone talking about maths as something to be afraid of and had been worrying about it. I explained that he would be learning all about numbers and shapes, just like a programme, Numberjacks, that he is absolutely obsessed with. That was reassuring for him, but I am sad that many children are put off maths by hearing others - maybe even parents - talking about how hard it is.

MiceElf Thu 29-Aug-13 21:37:09

Lilygran perhaps we should ask Greatnan to give us some remedial lessons. I don't think we're dull, just missing a bit grin

Lilygran Thu 29-Aug-13 22:04:17

Might be a solution....

Greatnan Thu 29-Aug-13 22:06:20

Yes, maths is a 'ladder' subject so if you miss a couple of rungs it is very difficult and you need to be taken right back to the stage you last understood!

MiceElf Thu 29-Aug-13 22:23:29

That would be just before long division of pounds shillings and pence, then.

JessM Fri 30-Aug-13 13:04:34

Until you go on to another branch of maths greatnan and then the fun starts all over again. I used to like algebra, geometry and imaginary numbers - very cool, you have a number that is the square root of minus 1 and it goes on from there.
I hit a wall though, half way through Pure Maths A level and failed it. I couldn't do Pureandapplied with Biology.
DH is slogging his was through Maths A level revision as we speak. Poor love is anxious about being in a class with new graduates. I look at the book and have a hazy notion that once I could do that kind of thing.

Greatnan Fri 30-Aug-13 17:35:17

I left school after 'O' level maths, so when I began my degree I was two years behind the other students. I had never done calculus or even trigonometry. Fortunately, the 'new maths' had just been put into the syllabus, and nobody had done any matrices, Venn diagrams, logic, etc. To fill in my missing knowledge, my tutors very generously gave me private lessons in their own time, free of charge. I think they were a bit bemused by my choice of subjects, as nobody had ever combined Maths and Eng. Lit before and they had to come up with a special timetable for me. At 27 I was older than most of the other students, and my daughters were 4 and 2. After four years of domesticity, I thought I had died and gone to heaven - all that debating, learning and being with adults.

JessM Fri 30-Aug-13 17:36:37

Blimey that was brave.

Greatnan Sat 31-Aug-13 07:33:42

Or foolhardy? When I started the course, I didn't know how much I didn't know, which was par for the course for most of my later careers and relocations!

thatbags Fri 06-Sep-13 20:20:49

DH recommends this online Math Tutor. You can start from basic stuff (revision?) and work your way through. I haven't looked at costs or anything.

vampirequeen Sat 07-Sep-13 09:57:11

Maths will have been called Numeracy in the Foundation Stage (as it is throughout Primary) so it will have been a word he heard and didn't know. If you'd told him it was only a another name for Numeracy he'd have understood.

Iam64 Sat 07-Sep-13 18:32:28

Mice, as lilygran says, there is a maths equivalent of dyslexia. One of my daughters was tested for dyslexia at our local FE college when re-siting GCSE maths and science to up her grades. She had a 2.1 degree at this stage, and wanted to teach. The FE assessment confirmed she is dyslexic and that her number/maths ability is particularly affected. Her confidence rose with the diagnosis, as despite successes, she was convinced she was "thick" (her word). She went on to improve her gcse grades and pgtc, and is considered an excellent primary school teacher. She was always hard working, but just didn't hold the information about maths in the way she wanted to. I went to 7 primary and 2 high schools - I'm with Mice, maths was lost to me around the long division stage. There was no national curriculum, every school seemed to teach maths in a different way. I began to believe I just couldn't do it. Then I did a secretarial course, and got very high marks in the bookkeeping element - hmmm, that involved maths.

wondergran Sun 08-Sep-13 15:07:54

It might be partly because many schools now call it numeracy and not maths so he might have got a bit confused. Oh and btw, many now call it literacy not English so it might be worth enquiring as he gets a little older about current terminology at his school so you can converse about school life on a more level playing field.

Deedaa Sun 15-Sep-13 23:11:32

I was never able to work out what I was supposed to be doing and used to try to answer geometry questions with trigonometry and so on. Still, in the 51 years since I took O Levels I've never once thought "I wish I'd passed maths"

Jendurham Sun 15-Sep-13 23:31:27

I did middle school training for my degree in Education.There were a few of us who had signed up to do maths as a main subject, but we could not because the maths lecturer was away in Penang! So we did environmental science instead.
It was a college for mature students. My kids were 7 and 9 when I started.
In my first job I did supply for the head of maths at a school and had to teach matrices and vectors. I was one step ahead of the 5th year pupils, year 13, I think they are called now.
Most schools do after school help for parents who want to know more about maths or numeracy. The problem is that the grandparents cannot go as they are usually babysitting. Lots of maths these days is a question of language used as much as the maths content.
At one time I taught adult literacy, and the eyeopener there was the lengths that some parents would go to to hide the fact that they could not read, write, add up or work out bus timetables.