Monday, October 1, 2012

Mighty Math Powers

My three-year-old daughter and I have discovered Team Umizoomi, a Nickelodeon program that explores math for young children.  Princess likes watching Milli change patterns with her magic dress or Geo create things with shapes.  But she does not like being told that she also has "mighty math powers."  In fact, she argues back with the television that she doesn't have such powers.

I am admittedly at a loss as to how to deal with this.  Sure, we could just switch the station, or I could ignore her, but I'm worried.  She recently told her older brother that she didn't like watching "boy shows."  Is she already thinking of math as a discipline for boys?  How do I combat that message? 

As you can imagine, I believe in science accessibility for all.  But maybe I haven't been as vocal about math.  My husband is more gifted in math than I am -- Itinerant Cryptographer is internationally known for his abilities.  Have I simply shoved all of the math parenting duties over to him without realizing it?   Have I (unintentionally) projected the message that math is for boys?

My little girl loves to dance, so I pointed out to her that dance steps involve counting and rhythm.  But I'd love to hear your ideas.  If your daughter thinks of math as a "boy" subject, how have you addressed that stereotype?  How do you engage your daughter in math? 

Photo credit: D Sharon Pruitt, via flickr // CC BY 2.0

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