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Not knowing maths is not a badge of honour, is it?

(193 Posts)
Fidoandacupoftea Tue 24-Oct-17 21:24:29

Over the years, some of my DDs classmates mums have mentioned that maths is beyond them, in a sort of 'boasting' manner, and the kids always get help from dads. I am not talking about dyspraxia or expect anyone to feel embarrassed about it. But surely it shouldn't be something to be proud of (not the right word I know), if we want to set examples for our DDs

StickThatInYourPipe Tue 24-Oct-17 21:26:05

My mum was crap at math, doesn't hide it and my dad always helped me. I really love math! Why does it matter that my dad helped me instead of my mum?

IncyWincyGrownUp Tue 24-Oct-17 21:28:58

I freely admit my maths isn’t great, but I try to improve it. I recently mastered bus stop division which had been a closed book at school.

I’m not proud of my poor maths, but I’m not ashamed either. It’s just one of those things.

If I’m helping the children with homework and I get stuck I do aim the their questions at their dad, but he is a maths/science whizz and can explain stuff better than me. All English/history questions tend to come to me though. Division of labour according to strengths and all that. Same asnindonthe flat pack and he used to be in charge of garden wrangling smile

Boulshired Tue 24-Oct-17 21:29:14

I am ok at Maths but if my DCs have children it will be DS1 helping with the math and DD will probably pass it onto her partner or DS1.

IncyWincyGrownUp Tue 24-Oct-17 21:30:10

Same as I’d do the flat pack*

Typing whilst also packing a bag wasn’t a wise move! 😂

Fidoandacupoftea Tue 24-Oct-17 21:30:52

It doesn't matter if you are good or not, I have just come across quite a few mums who say 'I just don't get maths' in a sort of 'it's cool' manner. I have never heard a dad say they don't understand maths.

RaskolnikovsGarret Tue 24-Oct-17 21:31:25

I know what you mean OP. I find it embarrassing at a time when we should be encouraging our DDs to embrace STEM subjects.

JustDanceAddict Tue 24-Oct-17 21:31:28

I’m terrible at maths which isn’t a good thing, but I haven’t been able to help with h/w since about year 4!! Luckily dh can do he does if necessary.
I’m always relieved to find another mum who is useless at maths cos it’s always made me feel a bit thick!!

mommybunny Tue 24-Oct-17 21:31:44

What year is your DD in? I have to say, I’ve been helping DS with his Common Entrance maths revision (he’s in Year 8 - 12-13) and I’m starting to bump up against the limits of my abilities, and I was a decent maths student in secondary school. That said, so is my DH. We worked together for half an hour to solve a geometry problem just the other day!

But I think YANBU - ignorance is nothing to boast about. They may be doing it to feel more feminine, or breaking out the standard self-deprecation so expected on these islands. But it isn’t a good example for girls.

IncyWincyGrownUp Tue 24-Oct-17 21:32:05

I think some people are blasé about their skills as a defence mechanism. I don’t think too much of it, everyone has to live their life as best they can.

Boulshired Tue 24-Oct-17 21:32:30

I have never heard it said that way.

JessFine Tue 24-Oct-17 21:32:40

No it isn't but this is something I'm also guilty of, and I hate inverted snobbery when it comes to intelligence.

On a daily work basis, I say it to lessen expectation, even if you pause to think for a second, people think you're thick.
I am finding Ds's maths hard and haven't been able to help him since about year 8, but I think this makes him prouder that he can do better than me.

Moanyoldcow Tue 24-Oct-17 21:33:28

You are right Fido.

I find it really sad, actually.

QuackDuckQuack Tue 24-Oct-17 21:34:02

YANBU - it provides a model to girls that being good at maths is a ‘boy thing’ and probably goes some way to switching off girls from maths.

CountFosco Tue 24-Oct-17 21:34:16

It's not just a female thing. I once wrote to the Today programme to complain because John Humphries was talking about a science feature and said 'who needs to know what the speed of light is anyway?' hmm. Ignorant fucker.

There's been a lot of STEM promotion in the last 20 years that means you hear it less but there's still the hangover of CP Snow's two cultures that means some people think it's perfectly acceptable to boast about their lack of STEM knowledge. They are usually the kind of people who think you're tremendously ignorant if you've not read any Shakespeare.

PandorasXbox Tue 24-Oct-17 21:34:36

If they’re saying they don’t get it how are you deciphering that they’re trying to make out they’re cool?

Fidoandacupoftea Tue 24-Oct-17 21:34:42

Time and again we hear that very few women are studying physics, maths, I just feel that the gender acceptance is contributing in some way.

NoFuckingRoomOnMyBroom Tue 24-Oct-17 21:34:47

DH is an engineer so is awesome at maths-I'm...ok-just don't particularly like the subject. Despite this I'm studying at the moment for maths GCSE & having regular wobbles over if I will remember everything or simply panic in the exam & flunk it spectacularly sad Seriously wish I'd just sat the twatting thing at 16 when I should have.

Ttbb Tue 24-Oct-17 21:34:49

Are you sure that you are not confusing self deprecation for boasting?

Fidoandacupoftea Tue 24-Oct-17 21:38:24

Pandora it's the manner and tone in which it is said, never heard anyone say I don't get English. As some ppl have mentioned being rubbish at STEM seems to be acceptable especially if you are a woman

TeenTimesTwo Tue 24-Oct-17 21:41:10

People find it acceptable to say they are rubbish at maths in a way that they never would say if they were rubbish at reading and writing.

MikeUniformMike Tue 24-Oct-17 21:41:31

Maths is probably the most popular STEM subject for girls.

SkafaceClaw Tue 24-Oct-17 21:44:55

I hate this!

Parents seem to delight in telling me they are terrible at maths at parents evenings and open evenings. They use it as an excuse if they think their child is not good at the subject - when all it might take is more practise to build confidence. So many project their fear of maths on to their children.

I listened to another maths teacher speak about how if you boast about not being able to do maths in the majority of Europe it’s like the equivalent of boasting about not being able to read!

Doramaybe Tue 24-Oct-17 21:46:22

Not trying to be provocative here, but honestly, apart from adding, subtracting and multiplication, has anyone had to use Pythagorus theorem or algebra, or whatever in their daily lives?

Answer honestly now!

Graceflorrick Tue 24-Oct-17 21:47:05

I don’t enjoy maths and stopped after passing GCSE, my DH is great at it so he does maths homework. Does it matter?

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