Kids should know math, science are fun

Published: Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 1:09 p.m.
From birth, the young child is involved in the science and math processes. Parents verbalize their wonder and begin teaching the young child about his/her number of toes and other body parts.
Parents also teach and sing childhood songs about the number of eyes and ears and this serves as an introduction to math. Conversations about foods being hot and cold and tasting good or bad are lessons in science that are meaningful and personal.
These life-learning processes actually never stop and references to math and science concepts continue to increase in complexity.
Conversations and play experiences that help to acquaint the child with the physical world around him are full of math and science concepts. As you describe various sizes of things - a little chair and a big chair, you awaken concepts of proportion.
As the child matures in language development, you will hear his questions as foundations for continued learning. Questioning provides an excellent platform for discussions about math and science. It generally goes like this. What is this? What is that? How do you do this and that?
The child's curiosity also will provide opportunities for learning. When teachable moments are presented, give considerable attention to the subject and provide the appropriate explanations.
When it comes to learning about math and science in formal education, it is amazing that many students fall on the side of not "liking" math and science. Math and science are life itself.
Given the right attention and application to life, we should have fewer students who dislike math and science. Parents and teachers can do much to help students see that learning about math and science can be rewarding and full of fun.
Instead, we seem to have a history of making math and science the wicked subjects. We should avoid saying, "I hate math or I hate science." Such announcements will not encourage a positive attitude about these subjects. If statements such as these are heard, they will certainly have a negative impact on the child's perceptions. Do not pass on the misconception that math and science are hard and difficult to learn. When subjects can be tied to every-day life, they come alive and make far more sense than abstract subject matter.f-z With increased attention in technology, math and science needs a face-lift and students should be encouraged to study in these areas. During the formative years, allow children lots of hands-on and play experiences in math and science.
In particular, playing with rocks, sticks, sand, water, mud and paints may mistakenly be viewed as messy, but the positive outcomes will outweigh the extra effort involved in making these activities available for your child.
Be on the positive side of learning and help your child to see that math and science are the basis for nearly every aspect of human life. The food we eat, the places we live, our modes of transportation, the music we enjoy and many of the joys of life have a foundation in math and science.
Shelton Davis, Ed.D., can be reached at

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