John Allen Paulos’ book Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences is one of my favorite books. But then I am the math/science geek of our crew. So often people cop out of anything involving numbers with a perverse pride; this allows media to take advantage of ignorance just as easily as if the same person could not read.
As we continue our home education adventure, we will impress upon Primo and Secondo why it is important to understand numbers at an intuitive level. Hopefully they will be able to ask the right questions when they hear that “Product X reduces the risk of heart attack by 80%”: those questions being, “What was the risk in the first place?”, “What were the conditions of the study?”, “Are the risks of side effects greater than the disease?”, etc.
We would love to hear your stories of math misadventures.