Posted by

Marion Syversen Marion Syversen
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
edge contributor


Bedtime Math

Rate this item
(2 votes)
Bedtime Math Bedtime Math

Typical bedtime stories for children involve great adventures and the battle between good and evil. They pit heroes and heroines against a variety of foes and seemingly insurmountable setbacks. 

But author Laura Overlock thinks a little math before bed would also be awesome. She and her husband began using imaginative math stories - some might call them problems - and making them into stories for her children at bedtime. Her kids are not teens, but the Overlocks have written the stories for littles and for bigger kidlets. After all, reasons Overlock, since a kid will do almost anything to have another few minutes to stay awake, if you make math fun and tell a story, maybe they will even listen to it.

When her younger child demanded his own fun stories, Laura recognized an interest. She shared the info with parent friends, who kept asking for more. Recognizing a niche, she created the book 'Bedtime Math.' 

As passionate as Overlock and her husband are about math, it was easy for them to see how children of any age can like it, if you present the subject to them in an interesting way. You have to see the everyday applications or find the twists that kids would find amusing or gross. (Gross is a twist that is always a big hit with the squirts.)

Honed by telling stories to her own three kids in what the author writes is a 'flash card-free household,' the book is full of silly and weird topics that kids will love. The stories are laid out with a discussion on animals, vehicles, sports or food. The problems are then given. 

Author Overlock has already made the stories flexible. She has arranged the questions into three categories so you can decide what works for your child. At the end of each description there are problems for wee ones, little kids and big kids. 

Here is one example: The 10-second rule. How long do you have once food falls on the floor before it's really not okay to eat? Five seconds? Twelve seconds? If it's wet food or dry food, is there a difference? What? We can pick food up from the floor and eat it? Are we really talking to mommy or daddy about this? The whole subject will be the cause of endless glee. You can see how this is way too much fun to be the dreaded math. 

I won't spoil the story by repeating here what is written in 'Bedtime Math.' But once that icky rule is discussed, the brain teasers for the three age groups are given. All I will reveal is, if it's been on the floor for eight seconds and the rule is that 12 seconds are safe for dry food, how many seconds remain before they are too contaminated to eat?

Laura Overlock found in her gradual morphing of mommy telling stories to her kids, to sending the stories out to a few friends, to a Facebook page with 20,000 likes in six months, that there are many parents who don't love math, who feel intimidated by math and so don't have any idea of how to make math fun. 

That's where 'Bedtime Math' comes in. 


The Maine Edge. All rights reserved. Privacy policy. Terms & Conditions.

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine