Can you be an art person and a math person?


I am not someone who enjoys math. I always found it to be a struggle in school, and honestly, at times in life, I still do. It was never taught to me in a fun way or even relaxing way. It was just a bunch of numbers staring back at me. At times, it felt like I was trying to decipher a foreign language that I had no grasp of.

I excelled in every other subject, I even loved most of them. Except for math. Being in homeschool did NOT help with my feelings toward math. My parents tried their best to assist, my dad worked a lot and my mom, well… she didn’t understand it any better than I did. It was a constant struggle for both of us. There was this local show in my area on PBS that came on Monday-Friday from 3-4:30 pm where students could call in and they would walk you through the problem over the air. Let’s just say, I called in so much they knew me by name haha!

I wish I could remember the name of the show because they helped me SO MUCH! I didn’t learn to love mathematics, but I came to understand it better. I did, however, enjoy word problems and geometry. Word problems felt like a mystery story to me. You know the word problems I mean, If train A leaves the station before train B but has to stop along the way when will they meet at such and such place? Yeah, those kind of problems were easier for me to work through.

I also enjoy geometry because it felt as though I was dabbling in the artistic side of math. Everything else, well let’s just say I’ve learned to accept it like I do Brussel sprouts. It’s not my favorite thing, but it doesn’t hurt me either.

It wasn’t until later on in my marriage that I discovered how much my husband enjoys math. I knew he was good at it, but sometimes it feels like I’m married to rain-man as he can work through problems mentally, and have an answer within moments for you. Whereas me, I need a pencil, paper and sometimes my fingers to get the answer (haha). David works in construction, math is more than just a daily part of his life. If measurements off by even just the slightest, then the entire project can suffer.

Before getting married I use to say ‘I’m an art person. Not a math person.’ David has helped me to see that they can be one and the same. After almost eleven years of marriage, I can see there is an art and beauty to the world of mathematics.

I’m a hands-on visual learner, just reading something won’t always do it for me. I can see that my son is the same way. When he is involved and it’s fun everything just clicks for him. I know at some point I will have to help him with math, I won’t always be able to pawn him off onto his father.

What am I to do?? First off, are you aware of how AWESOME Pinterest can be? I find all kinds of crazy fun stuff on there! I also found at the store these nifty geometric math toys for small children. I snagged as many as could and figured these would be a great addition to his preschool time during the day.

They were a hit! Not just for him, but for me too! It’s reminded me that math can be fun and easy especially if it’s kept relaxing and enjoyable. Something I wish I had been reminded of when I was in school. The key to learning anything is patience and keeping it relaxing. When you feel a sense of high stress of pressure to learn something, you either will or won’t.

What is the point of this rant? Even though I am not a math enthusiast, I will at some point in the future tackle this subject in a Little Katie book. The inspiration for that particular book will have come from personal experience and that of my son too. At three, he already knows basic addition and subtraction and loves it! As his father, I think he will grow up loving math. My job (as if parents don’t already wear enough hats am I right?) will be to help keep that momentum going. I’ll do it my way, through the artistic side of things.


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One thought on “Can you be an art person and a math person?

  • Julie Gorges

    Boy, can I relate! I wonder if most writers hate math? That certainly is true of me. Never thought of combining math and art to make it more fun. I think you have a winning idea for a children’s book!