I have been thinking about running a math club for little kids now for a couple of years. The first idea was to have a meeting time at the library – sort of like a “story time” but with math instead – and allow whoever is interested to show up. The problem is that I couldn’t see myself leading it. I didn’t like the unpredictability and didn’t like to start anew with a possibility different group of kids every time.
I reached out to one of my graduate school friends who had run such math clubs in the past (BTW I took a lot of his ideas for the activities – Thanks BB). And he helped me realize that I should start small, with kids who would come regularly so I could know the participants better and adapt my activities to them. So this is how it starts… and here is an excerpt of the letter I sent out to 4 of my kids friends.
“I am planning to do math exploration for girls (4-8) and was wondering if your daughter would be interested. My intention is to talk about asking questions, thinking about patterns and (maybe) solving problems. The idea is to encourage their curiosity and the kids will have more questions than answers after every session but hopefully they will keep thinking about the questions and figuring things out on their own, at their own pace.
The plan is to meet for ~30 minutes monthly at the library on Saturday or Sunday. The activity works best without the parents in the room, so you can just drop off your child, run some errands, and come back. I am keeping the groups really small for now, so there will be about 5-6 children total (including Nia and Bel.). Let me know what you think (whether you are interested and if so, what time works best).“