Our six year old used to whine, cry and adamantly resist every time I asked her to do her math workbook - and I'm so thankful she did. I despise the idea of forced schooling, yet I struggled to teach our own child a subject that I allegedly excelled in.
Our daughter reminded me math isn't a static, isolated concept. Life is full of mathematics, and so we have fun, think creatively, use our natural resources, and ultimately follow her lead. Hence, here are 7 ways we discover math in our daily lives.
1. Playing Games
We love playing games as a family. Some of our daughter's favorites are cards, board games, coding games and dominoes. While strengthening our unity we also strengthen her mental math and feed her competitive spirit. Our games require counting by fives, arranging numbers in order, strategizing, making calculated decisions and so much more.
Our daughter rejects the idea of taking something away, and thus refuses to subtract on paper. Yet in still she can take one small clementine and turn it into a satisfying snack for a group of her friends. Other homeschoolers made me realize that "taking away" is not in our blood. Our ancestors shared resources. Thus, our daughter naturally masters math problems simply by sharing what she has.
I remember learning fractions with pizza and hershey bars. I was really good at it and always got "A's." Yet in still, after having a family of my own, I struggled to figure out how much food to cook without having copious amounts of left overs and/or throwing away food we never touched.
One day, our father took one plantain, two cans of tuna and transformed them into a delicious meal for 8 people. I was amazed at how he solved a seemingly impossible math problem in real life. Cooking is real-life math -- and so we cook.
While walking and driving we love observing patterns. From locker rooms to numbers on homes, our daughter sees how counting by twos makes sense.
Educated guesses are an essential part of budgeting in adulthood — and this girl loves guessing. We practice guestimation by looking at a set of stairs and guessing how many there are. Then walking each step to see whose estimate is more accurate.
6. Jumping Rope
Our six year old has recently fell in love with nursery rhymes. We sing songs, play hand games and jump rope -- which all help with rhyming, timing and counting through movement.
Our daughter digests math concepts easier when counting currency. ABC mouse is an online program where players earn tokens after each activity. She enjoys saving up to buy virtual pets and furniture to decorate her virtual room. While improving her computer skills, she also practices delayed gratification, simple addition and subtraction.
Because of our daughter's excitement for learning - I am discovering the many ways mathematics shows up in our lives. But most importantly, I follow her passions and let her lead the way. Where do you find math concepts in your daily lives?
Until next time…
Peace & Love,
Online Curriculum: ABCmouse
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