Last night Daniel asked me ‘do we have any exciting plans for tomorrow?’ The poor child had an oscar winning moment of shrieking ‘NO‘ and wringing his hands when I told him we were having a maths day. Honestly – I still have so much damage to undo from his first 6 years of school! Didn’t end up doing it all quite as planned as while paying a credit card bill online early on the morning it occurred to me that this was the real life ’numeracy hour’. So through they came to be shown switch and credit cards, credit card bills (that both shocked and delighted them – wow we could spend thousands of pounds that we don’t have today and no-one would mind?), bank statements, listen to explanations of chip and pin/signature verification and I let them write out a cheque each (though that may be a lost skill soon). Bart Simpson got £10000 and Frodo Baggins £60000. I then explained about how cheques can (and obviously would) bounce. The postman bought a Book People catalogue with some amazing deals so we looked at that, worked out the savings of buying in sets and ordered some lovely things. They have some great history, French and art packages just now. Also 10 Horrible Science books for £12.99 – we worked out how much this was per book and then also that we already had half of them so not such a great deal for us personally. So we went and paid for that online together (hopefully I will not regret showing them how to use my switch card like this).
Then moved out to the trampoline with a rugby ball and played a game asking each other doubles questions – person working it out had to jump and catch the ball. This is a similar method to that employed at the Waldorf (Steiner) school the children went to for a while and I saw the amazing results it got compared to the same age kids sitting with their workbooks in the village school. By the end of the year the mathematical ability and understanding of the singing, ball throwing children surpassed the state ones by years (no exaggeration). Have really seen my twos abilty come on in the last year – they struggled with doubling single numbers at the start of home ed but today there was no hesitation at twice 567 etc. They quickly broke it down and did it :D They really need to train the curriculum makers in different learning styles, but maybe that wouldn’t be ‘controlling of free thought and intelligence’ enough (yes have been delving into John Taylor Gatto again).
After lovely lunch of Sweet Potato and Tomato soup (first recipe I ever put online) topped with vegetable and rice pasta and fresh oregano from garden (love the summer) we moved into equivalent fractions with a bar of chocolate – maths, such hard work – and pies. Completed the maths activities with a bit of workbook for Charlotte, now almost complete and 2XL for Dan – today it was deconstruction of prime factors. My maths knowledge is growing anyway! Was impressed with how he played around with the numbers and understood it all. Later Charlotte had great fun playing on the Water Family Site, all about conserving water with some other interesting facts thrown in – liked the plant labelling.