I realize that I didn’t post about our math adventures in a while, but I couldn’t pull our math activities into a decent blog post. I am always impressed to read posts where children do trays or worksheets out of workboxes – believe me, I tried this approach many times only to discover that it doesn’t work. Maybe it would be different if we were really homeschooling, but Anna thinks that l earning and effort belong in school while home is for play. So that’s what we are doing for math – playing.
Daughter is also not in favor of any kind of “copy work”. She never warmed up, for example, to using templates that came with pattern blocks. She is only interested in creating something on her own and seems to have an inherent sense of symmetry in her creations.
We also make up math stories using various props – buttons, play food, Playmobil people. Anna gets better with simple concrete addition and subtraction when she works out answers to these word problems, and I usually write math sentences for her to show her a beautiful language of math. What I want to show her is that math is not dry, that a simple 2+3=5 sentence hides infinite number of stories that can be made up and told. This appeals to her, since she is so verbal and loves to make up her own stories.
And, of course, we also read “live math” books. Not all of them are great. Anna doesn’t care much for counting books any longer and prefers stories with some sort of story line. It’s even better if they rhyme, since she enjoys poetry. This book doesn’t rhyme, but it has a page with 100 steps to count in the end. For some reason daughter likes to count those steps even though she normally refuses to count higher than 40. In other words, all that she does in math, she does on her own terms and in her own time. I like it that way and don’t plan to change anything radically soon.
To see other math activities, visit Math Links at Joyful Learner.