Monday, April 23, 2012

Unschooling Tools: Math

Math is everywhere, and it is so much more than problems and equations and fractions. It is every day real life stuff, and not just when it comes baking and money. Sure we have conversations about fractions over poached eggs (gotta make sure everyone gets enough eggs!). And we sort and count money (gotta buy legos!). And we measure ingredients and check to see how tall we are or how much we weigh and we count to make sure that all the children are accounted for (just kidding, not too hard to keep track of the two of them...most of the time!). And. And. And.

Math is everywhere, every day stuff. Most of the time we don't even have to think about it in order to "do" it.

patterns and things

There is math in patterns and shapes and designs.

 at play 

There is math in blocks and measuring and in scribbling (don't believe me? check out this video by Vi Hart).


There is math in diagrams and instructions and lego bumps.


There is sorting and spatial awareness and lots of counting when we play with legos (ahem, math again).

 hanging out with the chickens 

There is math in chickens too! Are they all in the coop? "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, twelve, fourteen, three, four, nineteen." For the record, we have six chickens but maybe Lucy wants a few more. There is math in counting their eggs (and in dropping them on occasion, subtraction happens!).

 Everything is OUT of the bucket 

There is math in music. And I just had to post a picture of Joshua as a baby, so there ya go.

 Abstract Art 

There is math in patterns and colors and sorting and matching and there is math in playing. 

 helping daddy 

There is math in turning wrenches. There is lots of math in the garage. I know because I am always tripping over it (just poking at Lyle a bit!).

 marble run fun 

There is math in marble runs, in their angles and speeds and in marble races.

nature exchange 

There is math in nature. It is in the sorting and collecting of it, in the shape of it, in the spirals and ridges and the texture of  it all.

stashbusting dishcloth cotton

There is a LOT of math in knitting, and I'm not just talking about counting stitches either. Patterns and charts and making everything line up and fit together and produce something wearable and usable. Taking a single strand of string and somehow making a series of loops and knots in order to create a flat piece of fabric. Or taking that flat fabric and somehow twisting and turning things about, combining stitches or adding stitches or picking up stitches in order to make that flat piece of fabric become a shape that wraps around a body or foot or head.  It is order. It is chaos. It is math, always math. This is a kind of math I actually know something about, and I know it best in my hands, without even thinking about it most of the time. But my hands remember it, and they use it whenever they get the chance.

 spin #2

There is math in spinning too. It is in the treadles and the wheel and the drive band and the whorl and the flyer and the bobbin and the break band. It is in the drafting and the plying and in the whirring of the wheel.

And when I start to think of math this way, it isn't a problem or an equation anymore. It is a meditation. It is connectedness. It is everything, in everything. Math.

Check out Stephanie's Post on  Unschooling Tools: Math Play.

1 comment:

  1. Such a beautiful post! Love the picture of Josh as a baby! And the one of Lyle and Lucy in the garage, too! Oh, and we have that same rainbow and it has often ended up looking exactly how your picture looks! Clearly, great minds think alike! :)