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AmblesideOnline's Patio Chats:
25. Math

Math teaches us absolutes -- that there is a right and a wrong. By this time, you're probably settled into whatever math program you've chosen, so we aren't going to make this a "which math program should I use?" chat. If you're still wrestling with the decision of math curriculum, we invite you to ask about that on our Forum.

So what ARE we going to talk about? We're going to suggest a couple of additional inroads to getting your child interested in math -- ways that can even be done instead of a curriculum if your child is pretty young.

You can use math around the house -- measuring for baking, playing with different sized containers in water to see which holds more, counting during jump-roping . . . Estimating is a great way to get your child's mind thinking mathematically: How many pens could you line up across the counter? How many inches wide do you think this envelope is? How many centimeters? How many steps is it from the couch to the rug? How tall is the ceiling?

Stories about math and mathematicians (like 'The Librarian Who Measured the Earth' by Kathryn Lasky, or 'A Grain of Rice' by Helena Clare Pittman) are a fun way to talk about concepts without actually "doing math."

Just a reminder -- If your schedule is really tight, one way to add some breathing room is to only do math three or four times a week instead of every day. Or cut your math lessons in half -- this is a big help for kids who struggle to complete a full page of a math lesson. Math is not a race! You can take it at the pace your child needs.

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