I adored biology, but didn't enjoy studying math or chemistry much. Apparently, my daughters are headed in a different direction, though. In the car yesterday, Ariana (6 years old) had a very happy conversation about negative numbers, the value of zero, chemical compounds, bacteria and viruses. Afterward, she told me that pathogenic microbiology might be interesting, but she loved math, and when she got older she really wanted to work in a laboratory with lots of chemicals. Then she told me in a frustrated tone that she couldn't decide which would be better--math or chemistry. I replied that she could study both, and that a good chemist also needed a strong foundation in mathematics. Her whole face lit up with pleasure at the thought!
Elena (not quite two) is also becoming interested in the meaning of numbers. Yesterday she asked for a piece of chocolate. Knowing that recently she has been requesting two of everything (one for each hand), I told her that she may have *one* piece of chocolate. Her face grew very intent as she caught my emphasis. Elena has never been one to hold back from boldly pursuing what she wants. After a moments of thought, she said, "Four? Five?" then paused, grinned confidently and shouted, "Thirteen!" (Despite my desire to encourage her, she only got one. We'll practice thirteen with grapes, peas, or pieces of cereal.) :)