I have just come across a wonderful site for parents wanting to do a bit of math with their children. Bedtime Math is the brainchild of Laura Bilodeau Overdeck, who, though not a teacher, definitely knows something about numbers given her degree in astrophysics!
The concept was this: give math some time regularly each day like parents often do for reading stories. So each day Laura posts a tidbit of information along with three math problems created from the numbers in the information: one for “wee ones” (targeted at pre-school children), one for “little kids” ( for children in kindergarten through grades 1 or 2) and one for “big kids” (for children in grade 2 and up). Oh, yes, the answers are posted there too, so you don’t have to sweat it out! Of course you are not limited to the questions she has written — you or you child can make up other questions, too. It is not an official curriculum, just a way for parents to have fun with their kids with math.
I personally think this is a great idea. First, numbers are all around us all the time, but we as parents don’t always stop and talk to our kids about numbers and number concepts. Secondly, doing math in an inquisitive, fun way helps children develop a positive disposition about mathematics.
Of course, if you are a grandparent, this is a wonderful idea for you, too!
So tonight when you are thinking about choosing a bedtime story to read to your children, think about Bedtime Math, too! I hope you will give this a try.