You can’t not teach math. When I attempted unschooling for a time, I discovered the unbelievable…there is no way to get away from arithmetic.
You need to understand math…add, subtract, multiply and divide, estimate, and understand decimals and percentages. Consumerism requires it.
Why you can’t not teach math?
- Do you need to decide how much produce you can afford? Then you need to understand weights and measurements.
- Do you want to build something in the backyard or paint a room? You need to know geometry, area, and perimeter. (Otherwise, you waste a lot of money, could get ripped off, and take forever putting something together).
No matter how intense my math aversion was in my early years of traditional schooling, I discovered, math must be understood.
My simple grasp of rudimentary math skills proved that one can function in our culture when one is math illiterate. (That you can even get a university degree and use math concepts in your paid work, but still not understand them; while I don’t recommend that, it is possible. I am proof.)
But better to learn the basics early.
Math-U-See has helped me render my math illiteracy. And homeschooling has helped me relearn math.
And why didn’t they teach it this way in school anyway? Steve Demme does a bang-up job teaching concepts that I thought were undecipherable.
Through Mr. Demme, I have learned that it isn’t necessary to ply those little minds with endless math questions.
If they get it, they get it…and mama knows when they don’t.
We can move on to the next concept when something is understood. There’s always a review later on and all the concepts introduced build on one another.
This math program doesn’t fit a standard curriculum. It might not fit my local jurisdiction’s learning outcomes, but math is math, they’ll learn all the necessary concepts when they are able. (And if I were feeling pressure to stay on task with the government schools, I would just send them to school).
I am expecting that they understand what they’re being taught though. Which, not surprisingly, doesn’t mean I can create a predictable learning schedule. Sometimes they just don’t get it.
So I do as Steve encourages: continue to show them, do questions for them, get them to watch me until they ask to do it themselves. With a little practice, we move on to the next concept.
Why push a Clydesdale up the hill when they want to go up the hill in their own good time?
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