I always liked math. In fact, I spent all 10 of my own school years attending the school for mathematically gifted. My husband is even more logical than I am and always beats me in the tasks that don’t require thinking quickly, but require thinking deeply. We both hope that Smarty will not fall into the famous Math is too hard for girls trap, because it shouldn’t be. There is a lot of fun to be had with puzzles, manipulatives, board games, etc.
Even though you see a worksheet in the picture, I just used it to encourage Smarty make some common shapes – activity that I have seen on many blogs and liked. I was too lazy to make control pictures myself and figured that she can just copy the shapes. I put some craft sticks and bottle caps into her math box, and she literally entertained herself for an hour with building various shapes. As always, even though she looked at the worksheet, she chose to do what she wanted to do. She built ladders, tall buildings, Christmas trees and letters. She also asked me build some words for her and read them. And she had even more fun with bottle caps that after years of languishing in the plastic box finally saw the light of the day. We were talking a lot about patterns, and she is clearly getting them now. What’s best is that she is getting them more abstractly – she understands that ABAB is a pattern, but AAB is a pattern as well. She had a lot of fun building her pattern tower as high as she could and then asking me to play “a big bad wolf” and blow it down.
One thing with my daughter as probably with any other young child is that novelty disappears after a couple of days. So now the sticks and bottle caps are out of the math box. A month from now I will put them back in and see what she chooses to do with them then.
Stay tuned next week for more Math Box posts. And, if you are a homeschooler and pondering math curriculum, I wanted to share this post: Homeschool Math Curriculum Guide. It popped up in my reader from one of the blogs I read - I didn’t realize just how many curriculums are out there. Yikes – no wonder poor homeschoolers are struggling choosing something that works for their children.