Due to the explosion of the Internet, I think there are a lot more people who speak and write fluent English without much experience reading books in English. It used to be that the average reader of the NY Times did read books, I would think, but maybe not so much any more.
A few languages have latin expressions as part of the proper language way of speaking, vs colloquial language, "sine qua non" being a relatively common one.
So given the intended audience of NY Times it doesn't seem out of place.
Likewise in Germany it would surprise me to read such expressions on The Bild, on The Süd Deutsche Zeitung, perfectly reasonable.
Kumon is basically a daily set of very similar questions (1+3=, 2+3=, 8+3=) with a weekly workshop where you do the same. The goal is to have all the arithmetic drilled into memory, so the workbooks are very repetitive.
On paper it sounds great to be drilling math questions, and I used to do it myself. But his Kumon stuff is very slow at changing, and my son is complaining that he already knows the stuff and is doing more interesting things in school. School happens to be doing Singapore Maths, which is yet another philosophy of math teaching.
The problem is the kid is understanding what I understand, which is that endless drilling isn't math. I'm a bit more ambivalent having done a load of math beyond his level, and knowing that it's useful to memorize a few things. But I can't but feel he's right and even I am bored doing the workbooks over his shoulder.
There must be some alternative way I can regularly show him interesting stuff in math.
They persisted thank goodness because it fundamentally altered the way my brain ‘sees’ numbers.
I can’t speak for that happening in every case but it was incredibly valuable for me and I’ve always found mathematics straightforward and immensely satisfying since then.
I’ll be ensuring my children go once they’re old enough - you can be certain of that!
Of course there is, but you need to get creative. Math textbooks are notoriously bad at this, although there are some exception. My tip: use play and riddles. Use characters he could identify with. Like "Han Solo received secret transmission about two magic numbers. If you add them, you get 11. When you subtract one from another, you get 3." Sounds like a very easy riddle, doesn't it? Whereas in fact you can use it as a gentle introduction to systems of equations with two variables which becomes clear as you increase the numbers so the kid can't solve them by trial and error easily. "And now I can show you the secret way of solving it!"
The key is that you (1) always need do present a concept with a concrete application, (2) the application has to be relevant and interesting to the kid, (3) just like with all games, it must not be too easy nor too difficult.
Not exactly sure if it's because of kumon, but I know the value of number combinations eg 5+8 I know is 13, so something like 45+78=40+70+13
Also I still know the times table off by heart (mum forced me to learn that as well) so I can calculate most things in my head, something I was surprised to learn most people can't do.
Takes me awhile to calculate things in my head and i'm often off by around 5-9 from the actual answer when I do work it out.
I know a bunch of methods of solving things though so if I have a calculator handy I can calculate the stuff I want but mental arithmetics was never something I valued as a kid.
A true understanding of the matter will get you farther than being able to recite past exercises, especially once you write an exam where the numbers and exercises have changed a lot so they will require understanding.
Without understanding, if you ever misremember something, you will be unable to find and correct your mistake. And if you forget something, then it's gone, until you find a textbook and memorize it again.
On the other hand, solving larger problems in math requires solving dozens of smaller problems along the way. When you have to stop and think about the small problem, you lose the big picture, and then you need to backtrack, which slows you down and frustrates you.
Understanding needs to come first, but practice is the necessary second step.
But sons surely need to practice, in general, because right now women are doing a lot better at higher education. At least in my country, women are increasingly getting into academia while more and more young men don’t even finish the Danish equivalent of high-school.
I’m not a supporter of equality of outcome, but I think we need to get better at making sure everyone has a better opportunity for fulfilling their potential. Regardless of what they want to do.
If that’s making girls practice math, then that’s a good idea.
Well, one could simply write an article about "helping your kids practice math", without mentioning gender, but I guess that would generate less clicks.
Whatever; my kids are all girls, so I am going to do math with them... exactly the same way I would with boys.
I was skeptical at first, but mostly because the school did a poor job explaining the methods to parents, which left me to Google the methods so I could help my son when he had questions. That said, he does have a great understanding of numbers and is able to do a substantial amount of math in his head using this understanding. (e.g. 99+99+99 is just 300-3). It's essentially what I do in my own head, though with slightly different methods.