If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Musings... Mathematical Thoughts...

I subscribe to a yahoo group on living math. And today's email had some interesting links, so I thought I would share a couple...

When Less Is More (an article from Psychology Today)

and this great TEDtalks on youtube, from a math teacher (it is only about 11 minutes long, and worth listening to!)

Photo courtesy of the US Dept. of Education's blog
They make me wonder about the importance of math. I know a lot of unschoolers that seem to have done pretty well in life without being made to sit down every day and do math.

BUT, a) I am paranoid, and b) The Boy talks about engineering as a possible career, so I think for him, math is important. I do have plans for him with math over the next few years... I want him to finish out his Teaching Textbooks this year -- he's off to a great start -- and then I think we'll transition to Life of Fred. Probably before the end of this year. To work in LOF Fractions, the first of the original Fred books, he needs to have math skills that include multiple digit multiplication and long division under his belt, both of which will be well covered by Teaching Textbooks this year.

Why Life of Fred? I like that it emphasizes a different approach, with fewer problems to complete, but is still rigorous. I noticed in the TEDtalk linked above that one of the problems he cites is the sheer repetitiveness of math homework, so I think fewer but more in-depth problems would be good.

Of course, The Boy might choose to stay with Teaching Textbooks. That's his choice. While I do insist, evilly, on math, I think my kids should have the freedom to choose what program they go with. I do hope he'll go with LOF, because I think he would love it and it would challenge him, but we'll have to wait and see.

As for The Girl, she loves both her Modern Curriculum Press workbook and Math Mammoth at the moment. I am not sure what approach I'll take with her later on, since neither MCP or Math Mammoth don't go all the way through to high school levels. I am tempted to look into Hands On Equations (which is definitely on the pricey side, but looks really good!) for her. Or perhaps she would do well with something like Math-U-See at some point. Hmmmmm. Or conversely, she might do well with a more traditional, spiral approach, such as Saxon.

I do know that for both kids, I'll keep adding in living books, math in daily life, and some fun math games.

So, is less more in math? How do you approach math in your home?

1 comment :

  1. We switched to Saxon this year and we're supplementing with LOF. The kids LOVE LOF. I wish I was brave enough to just use it alone, but I'm not. DS9 likes Saxon, DD11-not so much. Too many problems she says. We may to reconsider our approach.


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