Thursday, 25 July 2013

Dough and Go and a New Approach To Maths

Yey! No playgroup! 

That's not to say that Elizabeth didn't LOVE playgroup and all the people there, but my life is so much easier.

How lovely, this morning (well, it was 'that' morning, since I'm posting this belatedly but you get the gist) to get straight into action with Elizabeth.

She was up early, finished breakfast and helping me shape bread rolls before Francesca was even dressed.

Here are her buns:

Then we made and played our own game of Go. You might have to Google it because I don't have time to explain it all now. Suffice to say that it is part of our New Approach to Maths.

Our New Approach To Maths

Among my home-educating friends, a discussion has cropped up.

It is about Maths.

This discussion rumbled tentatively into action a few months ago when we watched a wonderful TED talk by a school Maths teacher, saying that the Maths curriculum is mostly boring and irrelevant. He said that Maths could best be learnt through playing games and exploring and discovering. I forget the rest but it was a stirring talk that prompted me to rush off and acquire more games.

The question of Maths has re-asserted itself again, this week, via A Mathematician's Lament by Paul Lockhart. In his lengthly (and amusingly well written) lament, Lockhart is addressing the same issues of a tedious, irrelevant Maths curriculum and what should be done about it.

To paraphrase and massively over-simplify: children do not gain much from being taught formulaic methods and 'rules'. They are missing out on the simple joy of discovering for oneself the patterns and beauty of maths. They are also missing out on the elegant history of maths and mathematicians: how these so-called rules were arrived at in the first place.

The answer is to create more opportunities for playing with logic, reason, patterns, shape, volume etc.

Et voila. We've made and played with our Go board. I've drawn out a Nine Man's Morris board and I've set the girls a challenge to think about. More on that later.

1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth looks like she is really enjoying herself! It is quality time with you too!