Math suffers from a myth which is, in most cases, passed on from parents or older people to children. This myth propagates the idea that math is difficult and hard to understand because it is confusing and a tortuous. Any kid hearing that message is left with an everlasting fear of math, which should not be the case.
The fact is that math is a language (a symbolic language), which is based on rules similar to grammar in English. Furthermore, it is a language that is universal to be shared by people from every part of our world. It is also practiced by every living individual. For example, I briefly lived among the Karamojong in North West, Uganda and the Masai in Ngong, Kenya, both of whom are nomadic peoples whose life centers around their livestock. Now, it is important to point out that historically the Karamojong and Masai did not, by and large, attend any formal schooling, but learned in the form of apprenticing from their elders. It is interesting to see how well they predict time using the sun and the length of a shadow cast while one stood erectly. They can also calculate how long it would take them to reach a water hole for their animals given their present location. By feeling the wind, they can predict the change in weather and start preparations to avoid any upcoming hazards. On the other hand, there are the farmers who also use math to rotate their planting and also predict the changes in weather in order to maximize their harvest. Each of us deals in math all the time. Think about how the individual goes about shopping. The first thing is to make sure one has enough money to buy what is required. That means that the person should know how to count – which is math in action! The second task may be when to go shopping, which means calculating time in advance – again, math in action! So, let’s assume the shopping has been accomplished and now it is time to cook. Here, the calculation becomes one of cooking for x number of people.
Anyway, these examples show that math is just like oxygen, and that we engage in it all the time without thinking of it. The question is, is it not a wonderful thing if we help our kids develop their mathematics skills and taught them to enjoy learning it using an interactive system like MwalimuPlus or any other mathematics educational materials which will give our young Learners the an advantage in throughout their lives.