Posted by: savayla | October 21, 2009

Learning Math the Fun Way !!

We began our homeschooling years with no formal math.  I had read, through one of the Sonlight Magazines, about experiments done with a school of foreign, low income kids where they were taught logical thinking first, and only formal math when they reached the age of 10.  When they gave these kids the same math problems to solve, as kids who were in better schools and  had been doing formal math from the beginning they beat them hands down.  They knew how to THINK, how to SOLVE the problems. The others  tried to solve the problems by taking  out some formuale that they had learnt by rote and applying it to the problems.  It did not work.  They had no understanding.

Thank goodness I am a mom (like most homeschoolers ) who do not compare their kids to others in formal schooling institutions .  My kids would be way behind in their math skills.  But they are way ahead in their thinking skills as we have been playing chess, draughts, sudoku, wari, etc.

I have now started formal math from the very beginning to get the basics.  Grade 1.  Yes, a part of me still believes that I should not do any formal math until they are about 10, BUT, this Enki math is fantastic.  It goes slowly, teaching the girls the foundations properly, getting them to think, solve, find the solutions, before we give it a name and formulae.   And, it is fun.

Last block we were doing Sages and Tricksters and Fairy Tales.  So, all our contract work were math games.  They had so much fun with it.  I just gave it to them and this is what they did with the pattern blocks and cuisenaire rods.   They have both whizzed through the tangram book so I have had to make more tangram pieces and print out more tangrams.

Wish my math at school had started off like this.  My first recollection is sitting there, glassy eyed, as we all chanted 1 x 1 is 1 , 2 x 2 is 4, 2 x 3 is 6 .

Ayla doing her tangrams

Savannah building with Cuisenaire Rods Pattern block fun.  Ayla's on the right and Savannah's on the left.  Such different styles Ayla and her pattern girl friend

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