The quest for helping young children LOVE math

by Dacia Myhre

I have come to be known as the "Crazy Math Mom" because I am always on a quest to help children understand and love math. As a child, a usual day at school included sitting at my desk during math with tears streaming down my face. I hated math..

My passion for math sparked when my first child, Jake began having difficulty with his basic math facts. I realized quickly that not knowing the basic math facts (really well) caused problems in every area in school.

At this same time, I was overwhelmingly busy, a single mom, teaching kindergarten, and getting a Master's Degree. I needed a way to help him und
erstand the number system (a huge task) that didn't take hours of study every night. I began my quest to use my knowledge of effective education research, experience as a teacher, and most importantly experience as a mom to help my child develop a love for math.

I began to see math everywhere! Math is so ingrained in our everyday life that we don’t see it. I began dissecting exactly what skills and concepts my child needed to understand the number system. Next, I found that by playing simple games (in the car, at the doctor’s office, etc.) throughout the day I could teach my child these skills.

Jake began to think about math wherever we were and he began doing better in school. It worked and it was fun!

Over the years I continued gaining experience teaching elementary school (having high state testing math scores), teaching at a homeschool, heading educational research, and leading teacher trainings. I had three more wonderful children that I submersed in the same math culture. In fact, I was the Mom who was always saying....How much more do you need? How much will it cost? How many of gallons of gas can we get? or singing silly math songs as we drive down the street.

Professional stuff that might interest you and qualify the "Crazy Math Mom":

I have a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Central University; a Masters in Educational Technology from Lesley University. Additionally, 16 years of full-time teaching experience which includes elementary school, homeschool instruction, and teacher trainings. Over the years, I've completed 90 additional college level credits as I attended seminars, conferences, and classess to further my understanding of education. Overall, I view myself more as an instructional leader than as a elementary school teacher. I've spent my career learning how to diagnose what skills/concepts a child needs to master; then build new skills/concepts on those a child already knows.

And most importantly....

My favorite thing in the world is to have all four of my children around the dinner table. Nothing is better than seeing them all together laughing....except maybe seeing them all karaoke. We all love to karaoke.....and all promise not to tell anyone how bad our voices are. I jump on our tramopoine everyday and occasionally try my son's pogo stick.....embarrassing. Speaking of embarrassing, I once ran into a pole while walking and passed out (no stitches just a scar on my forehead). I do manage to run 18-20 miles a week without running into any large objects.

Please enjoy the site, I guarantee that if you begin to weave math into your everyday life, your children will naturally come to love math!

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