Some home ed folks do workbooks, but we prefer instead to do our maths in a juicier way. It's so much more fun, and feels more relevant and less 'dry'! We did try the whole textbook thing and it kind of sucked all the joy out of it and turned it into a 'subject' rather than something funky that flows throughout the universe on the micro- and macro level, in the mundane and extra-ordinary.
So how do our family learn maths?
Together and independently we.....
play chess and other mathematical games
follow, adapt and invent cooking recipes
plant seeds and watch them grow into things we can eat
figure out different ways to spend pocket-money
play card games
watching these fun little maths songs
look at nature - spirals, botany, astronomy, physics, animals
build structures on a small level
observed the process of the erection of a two storey extension on our house over several months - maths a plenty!
play pc games
calculate for fun
play games and keep scores
write numbers in letters, addresses, pictures etc...
visit museums where there are little explanatory notes on everything - and usually numbers of some kind (dates, serial numbers, data etc etc!)
talk pokemon stats for hours on end
listen to radio programmes and podcasts
look at our calendar, the clock, and other media counting times, days, dates, and other numbers as part of normal life
buy stuff and notice and compare what it costs
play endless games of yahtzee in four different modes on the ipad - battle mode, normal, rainbow and duplicate!
design 3-d objects
talk all around interesting subjects that often involve learning number facts or stats
do crafts like knitting, beading, sewing, and weaving
watch tv programmes about maths
look at road signs, leaflets, cinema programmes, packets and boxes, supermarkets, stamps, stop-clocks, at the dentists, on the side of a bus, on a train ticket machine.... i could keep going.....
ride on bikes, skates and scooters and calculate angles, curves and distance
make posters, comics and drawings with numbers in
learn about perspective and 3-d drawing, as in this video
calculate speed, weight, length, height, depth.......
work out stats for fun
watch weird and wonderful athematically interesting youtube vids, like this
read magazines like 'national geographic kids' and newspapers like 'first news' - chock full of interesting numbers
The list is just endless- the point is, that people panic about this subject because it's made sooo serious in school. We have created a myth about maths that it is hard, that only really 'expert' people can do it. I say Bullsh*t. I think we have actually forgotten how easy and beautiful it is in its organic natural form. Maths is present in a million daily tasks. It can be observed wherever you open your mind to see it.
Maths is everywhere, all the time!
If you fill your house with interesting resources, get out and about lots and live an interesting life, you will all soak up a living kind of maths like a big ol' sponge. And if the kids want to take it further later on, it won't be such a big deal, and they'll have a first hand immediate and real, applicable kind of maths to work from.
Check out these mathsy pics I took a while back for our home ed file. I include them here in case you are thinking of home ed and perhaps have never stopped to think about home ed maths in any other way besides workbooks at the kitchen table!!!
What's are your favourite maths resources? Please do share them!
Xx MF xX