In a world where math, technology, and the sciences are inundated with men and boys, girls can often feel lost when it comes to developing their math and science skills. However, parents and teachers can encourage girls to become familiar with the math and science world, so that they feel comfortable in the industries that require these skills.
First, girls can enhance their math skills, and even their science skills, by working in the kitchen. Though this may seem like a discriminating task, it isn’t. Science, and especially math, is everywhere in the kitchen, so why not develop these skills in a fun and interesting way? One way to encourage girls to enhance their math skills is to allow them to measure ingredients using dry measuring cups and a “wet” ingredient measuring cup. Then, use these ingredients to create something edible, such as macaroons or meringues.
Another great way to make learning these skills fun is to go outside and take a field trip. Nature is an important part of how we think about ourselves, and we see women working in industries that primarily take place outdoors. Science and nature are essentially connected, and what better way to teach science than to go outdoors? Take a field trip to a local park and identify a few species of plants and animals. What animals can be domesticated? How do these animals stack up on the food chain?
To learn math more effectively, girls can be taught how to manage their finances. The earlier that they understand how money works and how to manage their money, the better off they will be when they are finally independent. To teach your child how to manage her money, you can start giving her a weekly allowance. Let her balance her own “checkbook.” Give her one of your unused checkbooks (but make sure that the account is closed!). When she wants to buy something, remind her that she has to balance her checkbook by writing down what she has spent and how much money she has left.
If your daughter is having trouble enhancing her math and science skills, allow her to develop them by teaching her how to use them in a fun way. Whether she loves to cook or play outdoors, she can incorporate math and science into most of what she does. This way, she will be more comfortable with math and science, and her options for a career are broadened.