Raising Kids Who Love Math — Even If You Don't Up to 93% of American adults have some degree of math anxiety. The problem often starts in elementary school, but parents can do a lot to fix it. We talk to experts to get some unexpected strategies for children of all ages, with a little bit of help from Sesame Street and, of course, the Count.

Here's what to remember:
- Your own math anxiety doesn't have to hold your kids back.
- Talk about math when you're sharing everyday activities.
- Play math — with board games, card games, puzzles, and more.
- Forget about right and wrong answers. Keep things open-ended — life, and math, are more fun that way.
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Raising Kids Who Love Math — Even If You Don't

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Raising Kids Who Love Math — Even If You Don't

Raising Kids Who Love Math — Even If You Don't

Raising Kids Who Love Math — Even If You Don't

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/723182826/723345761" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Teaching kids math doesn't need to involve a textbook. LA Johnson/NPR hide caption

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Teaching kids math doesn't need to involve a textbook.

LA Johnson/NPR

By some estimates, up to 93% of American adults have some degree of math anxiety. The problem often starts in elementary school, but parents can do a lot to fix it. Sesame Workshop's Rosemarie Truglio and Sudha Swaminathan of Eastern Connecticut State University give us some unexpected strategies for children of all ages, with a little bit of help from Sesame Street head writer Ken Scarborough and, of course, the Count.

  • Your own math anxiety doesn't have to hold your kids back.
  • Talk about math when you're sharing everyday activities.
  • Play math — with board games, card games, puzzles, and more.  
  • Forget about right and wrong answers. Keep things open-ended — life, and math, are more fun that way.

Special thanks to Sudha Swaminathan, Jeffrey Trawick-Smith, Julia DeLapp, and the whole team at the Center for Early Childhood Education.

Here's a good overview of the science behind playing math.

Thanks also to the math learning researchers Jo Boaler, Manuela Paechter and Ann Dowker.