Math has been a thorn in my side since I began this homeschooling adventure. Mostly this can be attributed to the fact that my husband loves math and I could take it or leave it. Definitely I see the value in it. I love the now rare species of cashier who can actually count change back properly. But I never could claim to have a passion for it. It’s hard to teach math the Leadership Education way if you don’t care about it. Really hard.
We have used different math curricula over the years, but it was really a ‘require not inspire’ situation much too often. That has always really bothered me. However, I have a young scholar in my home who has survived my experiments and has blossomed with her father’s enthusiasm. She is now taking a LEMI Pyramid Project class and is thriving. She must be enjoying it more than I realized because I found these images on my camera tonight. She took pictures of some of her math work today. We read together most days out of one of her books. Recently it has been The Beginners Guide to Constructing the Universe. It’s a fascinating read! She does the constructions and experiments in the book as we read. It’s like math therapy for me…plus a whole lot more. Finally, I am studying math as it relates to the universe…not just computations. It’s amazing how extremely interesting it becomes when you see how holistic it is.
Another GREAT resource we found this year is Life Of Fred. These are math texts that are written in an engaging way. They teach more than just how to do equations. The first text starts with fractions. So a student needs to have their multiplication facts, addition and subtraction facts and long division under their belt before beginning. I highly recommend them. We are gathering the entire set for our home library.
Once again I can say that You not Them is a true principle. It is a whole lot easier to Inspire not Require when you are excited about something. It is natural to want to share your enthusiasm for a subject or idea. Finding something that inspires you may take a little time or a bit of work. Our math adventures this year have changed the way I am teaching some of my younger kids. I’m having a lot more fun with it now!