Unschooling Mommas

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"Children do not need to learn to be better, told what to do or shown how. If they are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path into that world than anyone else could make for them." John Holt

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              Unschooling  Math

Ok, one of the things I hear alot is "I unschool everything except Math." Why? Why should math be any different than any thing else in life?

Probably because many of us have had a bad experience with math. We sat at a desk we didn't want to be at, and listened to a teacher give a boring explanation of how to use some formula to get an answer to a question that didn't matter, that we knew we would never use when we grew up anyway! At least that was my experience.

Many parents worry way too much when it comes to math. What if my child can't do long division or understand calculus? How will they ever get a job? Well, how often do YOU actually use those things? When your child is older if they persue a job where a math skill they don't have is needed, they will learn it. It is called motivation. Most of us don't see the point in learning things we don't think we will ever use.

With that being said when not forced to do so many children love playing around with numbers, patterns, and shapes. We keep a wide variety of math workbooks and my children will at times get them down on their own and work a page or two and have me help them or look up for themselves anything they didn't understand.

What I have also seen with my own children is that they can do alot of math, but in their heads. When I am trying to figure out how much percent off something is at the store or exactly how much an item is that is on sale at  3/$5 my children can often tell me the answer but if I ask them how they came up with that I am usually confused by their untraditional way of doing it.

Two of the most important things to remember is:

1) Math is all around you! Everywhere you look you see numbers, patterns, shapes, look for them, acknowledge, and have fun with them and your children will too.

2) Talk it out! If you are having to work out a math problem talk aloud as you do it, step by step. Your child will learn to recognize the steps you use and some of the familiar language associated with math.

So, stop stressing! Math IS like everything else your child will learn it when they need/want to!

The most important things about Unschooling is to involve your children in EVERYTHING you do, talk to them about what you are doing, even if they are too young to understand. (Children can understand more than most adults give them credit for!). Answer their quetions. If you don't know the answer find it together. Give them as many opportunities to explore the world around them as you can. But that sounds easy you may say, that's because it is!