It's bedtime. Time to put on the pj's, snuggle under the covers, and cuddle up with a nice math problem? Wait - what? Yup, you read that right. At least that's how they roll in the Overdeck house. And thanks to Laura Overdeck, thousands of parents around the country are helping their kids get as comfortable with math as they would be with a good book.
About a year ago, New Jersey mom Laura Overdeck began giving her two school-age children little word problems at night. Nothing too hard, just a little something that would get them thinking about math and numbers as they settled down for the night. According to Overdeck, she and her husband felt math "should be on equal footing with reading a bedtime story." When the couple's 2-year-old started begging for his own math problem, "we started to realize we were on to something," Overdeck says. And thus, Bedtime Math was born.
On Bedtime Math, Overdeck shares a daily math problem as well as tips for working on the problems with kids. "Bedtime Math isn’t an official “curriculum.” It’s just a fun chance for kids to do math in their heads, so someday when they’re shopping and everything’s 20% off, they can figure out the sale price before the store closes" says the site. Problems are broken up into developmental categories -- wee ones (preschoolers who count on fingers), little kids and big kids.
Here is an example of one evening's Olympic themed math problem:
Wee ones (counting on fingers): If the Summer Olympics happen every 4 years, in what year did the last Summer Olympics happen?
Little kids: For some Olympic events, you have to master multiple sports. The Triathlon involves 3 sports (swimming, biking, and running), the Pentathlon has 5 sports, and the Decathlon has 10. If you compete in all 3 events, how many rounds of sports do you play? Bonus: If there are 4 different diving events, with gold, silver, and bronze medals for men and again for women, how many different medals will be won for diving?
Big kids: If the 2012 Summer Olympics start on July 27 and end on August 12, how many days do the Olympic Games span? (Reminder: July has 31 days.) Bonus: There are 53 countries from Africa competing, 44 countries from Asia, 49 countries from Europe, 17 from the Oceania countries, and 41 from the Americas…so how many total countries are competing? Super bonus: What continent does your country represent?
For the answers, and more Bedtime Math problems, head on over to the website.