I don’t want to teach my kids maths, I want my kids to LIVE Maths

Fractal Frost pattern, Wikimedia Commons

This is a post in response to Penelope Trunk’s post on not teaching Maths, as well as the many, many comments on the blog. It made me sad. It made me think. And it reinforced for me the idea that the maths taught in school is – the wrong maths.

It’s a discussion that you will hear whenever you get a group of mathematicians together. The things that inspire, that make you go ‘wow!’ are the things you never see in school.

Imagine for a moment that learning english was taught only through reading ‘Terms and Conditions on Contracts‘. Worthy and useful, perhaps. But you never saw poetry. There was no mention of Shakespere, and the idea of a story or novel was incomprehensible to your teachers. Who would ‘love’ english after 13 years of that? Why would you want to know how to read?
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How We Homeschool – Part 6: Records and Sanity

In our state, there is currently no requirement to report on progress and curriculum, except for acknowledging that students need to cover the “Key Learning Areas”(KLAs)

This does not mean there is no curriculum or record-keeping. Far from it! Every parent wants to make sure they are doing the right thing Рand this over-thinking over-analysing mummy is definitely one of them.
Taking on the schooling of my boy is a big thing. And to keep the lurking nag-demons at bay I like to keep records. Lots of records. As many as a busy mum can manage!

But because I am busy I have found a few useful short-cuts that help keep everything ticking over while satisfying my desire for comprehensive record keeping.
Hopefully, some of these might prove useful to others.
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The Hell of “Socialization”

I have been delaying doing a post on “socialization”. I have been at a loss on how to approach talking about it, really. So I thought I’d just tell it how it is.

You see, C has LD‘s that severely affect how he is able to handle social situations. C is an affectionate, loving, quiet and intelligent kid. But get him in a noisy crowd, and suddenly he goofs off, gets very loud or runs away, or spends all his time looking at the ceiling, listening to fans or noisy air conditioners.

We went to the OT yesterday for C’s regular appointment. And they’re quite wonderful. They were able to diagnose C and help with very practical suggestions for helping him cope. They also gave us names for the many behaviours we have observed.
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How We Homeschool – Part 4: Documentaries and Online

Sorry about the long delay in posting – life caught up with us and tsunami’ed all over our schedules. It happens. But without more ado, here’s Part 4.

For homeschooling, our no. 1 resource is the internet. It has completely changed the way learning can be done. Today I will outline some of the amazing resources we use on a regular basis. Of course there are the wonderful websites I’ve written about earlier, but there are also:
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How We Homeschool – Part 3: Prepackaged Curriculum

There are many reasons to use a pre-packaged curriculum. But there were two main reasons we use them. The first is to help C learn subjects we don’t know well enough to teach (like languages). The other is to give him an independent way to learn when I have to look after our baby J, that he will find engaging and interesting.
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How We Homeschool – Part 2: Shorter Unit Studies

Previously, I did a post on one of our long-term unit studies. But not all unit studies are ongoing or as long-term. Sometimes a unit study can be smaller – taking an interest and running with it, to extend it and explore some other subjects along the way.

Unit Study: Avengers
C became hooked on the Marvel Avenger’s Alliance Facebook game while watching and asking questions as his dad played it in the evenings. It became an awesome way for him to have some ‘Daddy’ time – and they were able to play and strategise together.¬† So we set up the game for him under my account so he could have his own game.
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How We Homeschool – Part 1, Unit Studies

I am going to talk about our curriculum, what we do and how we design it, in at least 4 parts. Hopefully it will prove of interest to other people who maybe homeschooling, or even afterschooling.

Part 1 – Unit Studies
Unit studies happen by an amorphous process – they are completely driven by C’s interests, but we will then try to incorporate other aspects of KLA’s* into it.
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Why We Homeschool

I have been agonizing over whether to post this blog post. It’s a question we *thankfully* haven’t had to answer too much out and about as ‘C’ (DS5) is just young enough to not look like he needs to be in school. But it’s a question that comes up every time he is asked, ‘So what school are you going to next year?’
And just how much do you answer? There’s a wealth of difficult decisions over the last 3 years that led to homeschool. Just how much does a random stranger, or brief acquaintance WANT or NEED to know?

So I thought I might just write this out so that it is clear in my mind – in a logical, step-by-step kind of way.
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