Something for everyone
Knitting is pattern recognition. Clothing design is topology.
Those who, (like Kepler) are curious about the packing pattern of pomegranate seeds, that is geometry, and so is the discussion of the shape of the cell in comb honey, not only its hexagonal shape, but the shape of the space where the two hexagonal columns meet.
Math is not just shopping and then advanced physics. It is all our curiosity about number, shape, and pattern. Don't let a student "hate" math. There's something in it for everyone.
Why math is beautiful
The exercise of thinking about number and pattern is cleansing to the soul. Actually, numbers are an introduction to pattern and are often used to help us analyze pattern.
When you are teaching math, keep this perspective in mind. As more and more students do their math on digital media, the sense of number and pattern is diminishing, and this is a loss.
We can turn it to gain if it teaches us to concentrate on the things that develop our thinking — which include the sense of quantity and of space. Anxiety about flash cards, however, is not math.
Because numbers turn up everywhere, math problems can be interesting. They can be about reality, making us more conscious of real events.
Unfortunately also, fictional math problems can offer suggestive support for political agendas. Grab a text from your local school and take a look. When we write curriculum, we need to be intentional about countering the culture of death.
There is a wonderful book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, which offers a wealth of charts and graphs whose information can be composed into math problems that put environmental issues in context and in proportion.