Math for the Non Math Person

What can we do when we don’t know a lot, if any, math, and we homeschool our children who may even start to show the classic I Hate Math syndrome, who do not faithfully follow the curriculum we deem appropriate and not that ‘hard’ (granted they are in first grade and we, the non math mom, in our third or fourth decade)?

I stumbled by a few posts where the moms are sharing their concerns about how to approach math, and their answers. I have shared mine but I am going to briefly chat some more with you, readers.

Can we be good at everything? Absolutely NO.
Should we love everything we are to inspire and teach? YES to different degrees. But in the early years, this love encompasses math, even though I did not know about it until recent.

If you are like me, you know how to be an inspiration, and as Nancy says quoting Charlotte Mason as well, keep lessons short and brisk and bright, for what we call language and arts, history, science, etc. But my math lessons weren’t any of those. Our learning here was crippled, and I was not aware of it.

What I did is simply started to check and buy math books that inspire conversations and games, to look again at my not so small math book pile, and really READ THOSE BOOKS. Life of Fred started that chain of changes, after that, I asked a question at the Livingmath forum that helped me tons, then it came the games, readings, more inspiration… now I’m reading Nature’s Numbers, and as the book says, it is for non mathematical readers, meaning I can understand it without knowing how to solve those mathematical riddles, but I grasp more of what a mathematician is, and with understanding, with the passion that the book transmits, it comes appreciation.

And for your children. Do NOT TRY THAT HARD. Simply let go, take a rest if needed, and allow yourself to fall in love with math the same you are enamored with (fill the blank).

If you get some good math books, the games proposed, the concepts explored in them, will make it easy and joyful to incorporate to your homeschool. I thought it was risky, that I could not do it… I was wrong. The games are such a powerful tool. Someone said that games are to math what books are to reading.

After all, if you don’t teach them with textbooks and/or worksheets in other disciplines, why do you do this for math? Specially in early elementary. I do not say here that older students should be the victims of worksheets… I’m not even saying that worksheets are bad. I’m just saying that I was depriving my girls of the real thing, and the living books for this amazing part of our knowledge that math is.

If your child does not like worksheets for math, such as it was with my oldest daughter, there is a rich world there for her to discover that surpasses many times what it is offered in the worksheet. If your child faithfully advances through the more formal curriculum, still don’t deprive him from the joy of math that is contained in so many books, games, documentaries, and resources.

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