My story - Why I wrote the books
I guess I’ve always been a bit of a math nerd.
I have very specific memories from a young age of helping my dollies (and some sort of she-alien) solve mathematical problems. My “class” often came up short of the correct answer, but together we figured it out. I have three (much) older siblings and I also remember being very disheartened (at age 8) that I couldn’t understand my sister’s Sixth Form (Year 12) algebra. A passion for maths was born (albeit from the ruins of sibling rivalry)!
Anyhoo, I got it eventually (the algebra) and I went on to complete a PhD in psychology (specifically cognitive neuroscience - ‘brain stuff’) where I was engaged in Master’s level statistics. I LOVE statistics. Full of facts. No fluffy stuff. It’s either significant, or it’s not. Full stop and get on with it. Brilliant. And graphs, ahhh graphs. Beautiful, simplistic representations of data. All that information captured in one glance of the eye. I could look at graphs all day. In fact, I tried to get a job in Police Intelligence once where that was the job. Didn’t happen, but teaching sure did, oodles of it, as it continues to do so today.
Then I became a parent.
And yes, my world was rocked, hard. I couldn’t think straight or finish sentences anymore, but these fabulous little beings were drawing my attention more and more as they grew. Their endless pursuit for knowledge is astounding. "I don't know the physics around why the cars bump harder when they're going faster, darling, I just know you need to wear your seat belt! " But, for the most part I managed ok (with Google's help).
As they aged and entered SCHOOL, though, I became aware that things had changed from my day, especially in the subject of mathematics. When I tried to help with a problem, my efforts were received with bewildered looks, total disenchantment and frustration.
“I’m just trying to help you!”, I would whimper, but in return I would be told,
“No Mum! We don’t do it that way. That’s the old-fashioned way!”.
And then my own bewilderment would crack into gear as my (then) 7yo would turbo-charge through some newfangled, cursive method for arriving at the answer I just provided... the old-fashioned way...!
Time for a change of career.
It was at about this time I was leaving my academic career for a more stay-at-home-ish kind of role and I decided to start a business. I really wanted to provide parents, like me, with enough knowledge of the NZ curriculum that they could help their children themselves, by learning to speak this modern maths language that was starting to creep into my life. It’s an endeavour I will always be grateful for. I have learned SO MUCH.
Now I talk to parents who are having the same difficulties I had:
“I have NO idea what she’s going on about!”,
“I can’t understand why they don’t know their times tables yet”,
“I try to show him how to do it, but he says he’s not being taught that way”.
Now I have a solution to parents' woes.
“I write maths workbooks that teach parents, like you, how the curriculum works these days, so that you can help your children at home.
I make sure that you know what they are being taught in the classroom so that you can use the same language and strategies that they are familiar with.
When you know how they think about maths, you can help them solve more difficult problems.
At the same time, you can ensure they have grasped EVERY concept at the level they are working on, because you know the curriculum and all the skills they should be obtaining”.
If you’re intrigued and would like to know some of this modern maths language, why don’t you download my free PDF “The modern maths language your kids know but you never learned"? It covers some of the concepts your tiny human is bringing home to you.