Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Unschooling Maths

I thought I would do a post to talk about maths and what this looks like for us, just on the off chance that some people are interested.

We've been homeschooling for the last 18 months now and I feel like we have found our rhythm, have totally deschooled and I am definitely way more relaxed about our choices.

We are totally unschooled now. I follow the girls in whatever direction their learning happens to take.

Although I still believe that in order for this amazing learning journey to unfold, while it isn't my job to 'teach' the girls, it is my job to surround them with quality resources and engaging experiences.

This is what I strive to do each day, be present and facilitate any learning that happens to take place.

One of the areas where I have invested in quality materials is maths. I wanted the girls to be able to explore the subject hands on which is why I set up a maths shelf in the home ed shed, full of any equipment they may need to explore maths concepts.

This shelf is set up in a corner of the home ed shed and houses all of our equipment. I have also printed and laminated some number lines and other printables from twinkl (notice the money one has fallen down in the picture above!).

Occasionally I will set up an invitation using some equipment, although this is becoming rarer these days as the girls are pretty good at just using it themselves.

They will often go to the shelf during imaginative play and incorporate the materials into their games. For example, using the 3D shapes and cuisenaire rods to build things, or weighing and measuring various objects, or playing shops.

Other times they will just get the number squares out and use them for their intended purpose.

Below is a break down of what we have on the shelf.I haven't linked to the items individually as they are all from eBay or Amazon.

1. Melissa and Doug Abacus
2. 3D Perspex Shapes
3. Wooden Maths Rods

1. Melissa and Doug Clock
2. Dominoes and various Dice
3. Obligatory Maths Set

1. Wooden Cuisenaire Rods
2. Magnetic Fractions
3. Wooden 100 Square

1. Wooden Times Table Set
2. Various Sets of Scales
3. Magnets

1. Thermometer and extra long Tape Measure
2. Laminated Place Value Cards
3. Ikea cutlery tray containing loose parts.

Our latest purchase some magnetic cuisenaire rods.

You don't necessarily need to spend lots to get some great maths equipment, lots of this stuff can be made, found cheap on eBay or charity shops.

The proof is in the pudding with this method. Whilst the girls would turn their noses up at a maths workbook, they are amazing at mental maths and everyday practical maths skills. This is all down to learning through play! Meaningful learning that is relevant to their everyday lives.

And what is more beneficial in adult life? Answering maths questions in a test? Or being able to quickly divide and multiply, add, subtract and identify shapes? I think we all know the answer to that!

1 comment

  1. I am fairly new to Home educating my kids, but my aim is for more independent learning through their interest. It will be a transition for us. I will take time to think of the resources we have and to lay them out for optimal use. Thanks for sharing