I am a teacher, specifically, a math teacher. And I’m a mom. This puts me in an interesting position among my friends who also have kids. I am the friend that fields all the math homework questions, no matter how old the kids are (from kindergarten and well beyond). I find that I get pictures of homework problems via text, starting around 4 pm, asking me what they mean, or what went wrong. These questions come from friends with all kinds of roles and jobs - some are home with their kids full time, and others work full time, doing things from running a small business, to sales, to science, or even teaching. The common thread is that all are well-educated, absolutely amazing adults who find themselves uncomfortable helping their kids with math, for a whole host of reasons (and to get into them here would make for a very long blog!). This had been going on for many years, and eventually it got us thinking that there was something missing in the world of education, and math, if so many parents felt like this. Maybe you feel like this too sometimes, or know a friend in a similar situation. The question, for me, became “what can I do to help?”
Long story short, exSTEMsions was born. It was born out of knowing smart, amazing adults who don’t even know where to begin when it comes to helping their child do math. It comes from a deep conviction that no parent has to feel like that - all of my friends who ask for help are absolutely capable of helping their child with math, they just haven’t been provided the tools, and the confidence, to do so. And that’s why we’re here. At exSTEMsions, we know it’s not easy for parents to help their middle school children become better math students and stronger problem solvers. It’s scary. So we put on our teacher hats (over our mom hats, because really, who gets to take that off, ever?!) and thought hard about what a parent would need to help their child not just do math, but to become confident, able to excel, and well-equipped with all of the key problem-solving and critical thinking skills needed to go out into the world, after school is finished, and be amazing at whatever it is they want to be.
We started with problems; but not typical math problems, because really, who finds those interesting (and isn’t that part of the problem?!)? And from the problems we built tools, a whole range of tools, and every problem comes with all of them. Why? Because no parent needs to feel like they can’t help their child, no matter what the subject is. We know that you are best suited to be the one to help your child, because you know them best. What we provide are the tools for you to go forth and help them, with confidence, and the feeling that you are armed with everything you need to be sure that they are learning, and that the time you are spending is worthwhile.
Math matters. Being a strong problem solver, and a careful critical thinker, is important. Doing math well and having these skills helps your child to be more successful in school, and to be more engaged with learning. These skills also open a wide door to the future - these are the skills of the future, and now is the time to build them.
At the very core of exSTEMsions is confidence. We believe in you. We believe in your child. We really do (otherwise, there wouldn’t be much point in all this, right?). We believe that you have the power to help your child. We believe that you can do math with them. We believe that you can help them to be strong students, to excel in math, and to be well-prepared to solve any problem that life places in their path. And along the way you and your child will learn that math is pretty darn awesome!
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