Friday, August 19, 2011

Living Math that works ...

This morning was yet another example of how well Unschooling works with the Hippie.

I knew that I had a pretty long "to-do list" today, so I suggested that the girls pick out a game for us to all play together.  "I'll play a game with you guys, which gives you time and then you guys can play and give me some time to get some things done, okay?"

Great plan.  

They brought me Yahtzee Deluxe to play.  

I decided to just sort of help ... or, according to them, I was "on the Princess's team".

This one game was a fantastic MATH LESSON for both children.  

Throughout the game, each girl got to practice addition, multiplication, counting by 2s, 3s, 5s and 6s.  They got to add doubles, think about strategy, probability (where to put that ZERO ... which of these are you LEAST LIKELY to get) and so much more.  

I was pleased as punch to watch as each of my children multiplied 6 x 4 and 5 x 3 and add one number to another to another and so on ... all in their heads.  

Now, if you asked one of them "Do you know your times tables?" or "Do you know what multiplication is?", they may look at you with a bit of a blank stare.  

But, can they DO IT (you know, the part that actually matters)? 

Absolutely.  In the context of something useful and fun ~ a game.

Anyway, I would have been pleased with just that, but I decided to attempt to take it one step further.  

When the game was over, the Princess ran off to draw (her millionth or billionth horse drawing, I'm sure), and I asked the Hippie if she'd like to add up the scores to see who won.

Keep in mind, a month or so ago, I attempted to show her how to "carry" while adding two digit numbers where the ones place added up to more than ten ... she was not having that at all!  

In that context (a worksheet), she freaked out and said I was "blowing her mind".  So, I backed off.

Now, today, I showed her how to add the scores and she did it with no problem, no freaking out, no "blowing her mind".  

She added columns of numbers, she carried numbers ... she did this up to the hundredths place. 

And, did it well.  


She did this:

  15       15       105      70         22       143         6         73      
  25       16       +92    +35         25     +108       12       +35   
  30       15       197     105        50        251       16       108    
+22     +24                               25                    15
  92       70                            + 21                   +24
                                             143                     73

Needless to say, I was one pleased Momma today.  And, the really fantastic thing was that the Hippie was one pleased little learner today!  She was so excited to realize how much she'd learned and done today, with ease.  Especially when I pointed out that it was the same thing she had turned her nose up to only a month ago as being "too difficult" and "blowing her mind". 

So, my plan for the coming year?  I'm leaning towards a Living Math approach ... books, activities, games, fun, cooking, baking and more games and even more fun!  


Well, duh.  Because it works! 

p.s.  In case you were wondering, the Princess won the game .... but, the Hippie won at her own math challenge today!  

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