Thursday, April 24, 2008

Odds and Ends

I liked this gestalt homeschooling post that Patience at Knitting the Wind shared from her old blog. Especially this part:

Rose has in her mind all the bits of information, but in a way that makes one great story. She is also being trained at a very gentle, almost unconscious, level to see everything as connected. I believe the potential of this is huge. When faced with a problem in the future, she will naturally be able to call open-mindedly upon resources from vastly different spheres because she believes everything is pertinent to everything else.

I’ve been following JoVE’s thoughts on Math. I keep thinking about this, from her post on Jacob’s Algebra:

Those of you who know that I hang out (in cyberspace at least) with the creative learner types will immediately see what the problem with the text might be. It is very sequential. And breaks things down in small steps.

I have been trying to figure out the solution to this. Math is truly my last bastion for “just do it” thinking. I rather enjoyed math myself in school, even though I was a right-brained visual/spatial type. I think the reason was that unlike so many things in school, it did not seem arbitrary to me, and it was not stressful. Math does not lie — I can see for myself that 7 + 8 = 15, or that Y = 2x +5 gives you a value for Y if you know the value for X. This was very peaceful for me, and accorded with my instincts rather than worked against them.

But I see it is not the same for my children.. They are not normally stressed, so sequential math programs are not a refuge for them, but feels like a box.

I can see the value of trying to figure out a less programmed approach but am a bit vexed at trying to discern how. I am not really a hands-on type teacher. We get by in the other subjects by reading and talking. Anyway, over the summer I am going to try to brainstorm a bit how to work on math with Kieron. Aidan and Paddy are easy because we do very little formal math anyway before age 8 (and Aidan is developmentally about age 6 while Paddy is 5).