Mathematics

If a man is at once acquainted with the geometric foundation of things and with their festal splendor, his poetry is exact and his arithmetic musical. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Home education allows the individual who is not a fan of math to see that the subject goes far beyond the math text book. There are so many different ways to study it and a variety of hands on resources to explore it. Below you will find some great math articles and resources.

Articles

Measuring Up – Becky Rupp

Everything, in homeschooling, connects; sometimes home education has a lot in common with “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” You know how it goes: you’re reading Aesop’s “The Grasshopper and the Ants” and somebody asks how grasshoppers are different from crickets; and in no time at all you’ve wandered off into how to determine the temperature by timing the rate of cricket chirps and then they decide to read The Cricket in Times Square and then somebody wants to know how the New York City subway works and then… You all know what I mean. A case in point around here was the study of measurement.

Starting in kindergarten or so, according to the math manuals, kids should be encouraged to investigate the science and mathematics of measurement in active hands-on fashion, comparing and contrasting the lengths, heights, weights, areas, and volumes of various objects using nonstandard (how many pencils long is the kitchen table?) and standard (inches, feet, yards, centimeters, meters) measures. My initial forays into this flopped: our kids, no matter how charmingly encouraged, showed little interest in determining how many paper clips could be lined up end to end across a desk top or how many teaspoons it took to equal the length of the piano bench.

Time Travel with a Teaspoon Archaeology For Kids Rebecca Rupp

A pair of bimonthly science magazines for upper-elementary through high-school students from New World Publishers. Atom is targeted at readers aged 9-12; Cogniz is aimed at teenagers. Each magazine issue contains several color-illustrated feature articles on a wide range of scientific and mathematical topics.

Past features in Atom, for example, have covered lightning, whales, infinite numbers, and the geology of the Grand Canyon. Regular columns include “Space Scoop,” accounts of recent astronomical events and explorations; “Science Reporter,” which includes interviews with scientists and researchers; and “Water World,” which covers oceanographic studies and research updates.

Sample feature articles in Cogniz have centered around the biology of elephants, the laws of gravity, and the geometry of the Eiffel Tower. Each issue also includes “Chat,” a column of interviews with working scientists; “Space Beat,” on astronomical phenomena and space missions; “Earth Life,” on all aspects of life on Earth; and “Every Body,” on human health and physiology. Both magazines also contain science news, book and software reviews, web site recommendations, and science-related puzzles, problems, and exercises.

User Friendly Homeschooling Records – Larry and Susan Kaseman

* Children playing with blocks or legos are learning arithmetic and geometry as they discover from direct experience how various shapes fit together, how smaller units can be added together to form larger ones, how numbers as represented by blocks relate to each other, and other important principles.

Revelations of a Homeschooling Mom – Carol Wanagel

Math is one thing that’s still handled in a more-or-less traditional way, I’m not sure why. Justified or not, I insist that Jonah do algebra before he goes off to finish his latest graphics animation, and Luke may have to figure out negative exponents before he goes upstairs to play drums. They all have other texts in their school book slots too, and sometimes they actually read them. I’ve seen Jocelyn read quite a bit of an American history source book before going off to do gymnastics and Jen has been known to do stuff in a grammar workbook before disappearing into the woods with Jill to work on their fort or invent a new game.

All Aboard! – Rebecca Rupp

In “Dino Math Action,” players draw The 36 “Action Number” cards after moving their dinosaurs, and follow the instructions. “Your red dinosaur skips ahead 2 thousands.” “Your ones dinosaur has a thorn in its foot. Hobble back 2 spaces for help.” And in the more challenging “Prehistoric Problem-Solving,” players draw The 36 “Problem-Solving Cards” after moving their dinos and tackle the listed problem. “A flying dinosaur flew 520 kilometers last week and 603 kilometers this week. How far did it fly altogether? Move that many.” “Archaeologists must ship 25 tons of dinosaur bones to the museum. If each truck can haul 2 tons, how many trucks do they need? Move ahead that many.”

My Best Math Puzzles

Author/mathematician Theoni Pappas – of “The Children’s Mathematics Calendar” – and her mathematical cat, Penrose, have devised this illustrated 52-card deck of “My Best Math Puzzles” for mathematicians aged 12 (or so) and up. Puzzles, which vary from the mildly tricky to the mindboggling brain-buster, include logic problems, number puzzles, optical illusions, and geometry puzzles. Answers are included on a separate little paper booklet; we lost ours, which adds considerably to the challenge. The cards also work as conventional playing cards; if mathematically exhausted, you can play rummy with them.

“My Best Math Puzzles” is also available as a double deck of 104 different puzzles.

So What Do You Do? by Lisa Bugg

By homeschooling my daughters, I am giving them room to develop into young women who do not know that math and science are still considered boy subjects. I have daughters who, during their young lives, are completely unaware of what it means to be graded and judged on what they wear. They think nothing of taking months to master a skill or, conversely, figuring something out in an afternoon.

No Fear!, by Jeanne Mills

According to our favorite math text, Dr. John Paulos hated math as a kid but is now a widely respected mathematics professor. He admits he learned to love mathematics by browsing through books in the library. Though my son doesn’t know it yet, he is learning what Dr. Paulos already knows: “Doing mathematics depends on computational skill no more than writing novels does on typing skills.” My son is also learning he doesn’t have to be afraid. He’s a homeschooler now. He’s free to learn in his own way at a safe pace. Learning is now his adventure, not his fear. Jeanne Mills lives in PA with her family.

Resources
Closer Look: Math

APlusMath

Geometry Web Page

Living Math

Math Study Guides from Sparknotes

S.O.S. MATHematics

S.O.S. Math offers free math review material from Algebra to Differential Equations!

The ArithmAttack
How many computer-generated arithmetic problems can you answer in 60 seconds?

HEM Back Issues: Six Issue Pack on Math & Science $20.00 postpaid “Math articles include: learning math through construction, unschooling math, math anxiety, understanding math through language, measurement, algebra, money and business, learning math with games.”

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