Friday, April 17, 2009

Learning Math with Wonder

I became aware of this article after reading Subadra's post on the Living Math Forum. Subadra, a veteran homeschooling mom of two kids, writes a magnificent blog on homeschooling resources at Library of Books, Links & More.

To quote the researcher, "Teaching children the basic concept behind math problems was more useful than teaching children a procedure for solving the problems – these children gave better explanations and learned more."

Yes, sounds like common sense doesn't it. This article has helped me confirm what I have been theorizing for some time. I have often wondered how despite being math phobic most of my life, I (okay, cough, cough, most of the credit goes to the hubby too I admit LOL) have somehow been able to guide DS from hating numbers to adoring Math and even considering a career in it.

I think my phobia had somehow led me to helping DS see why numbers behave the way they do. By yearning for him to love math and not be afraid of it like I was, I have been unconsciously steering as far away from how I was taught Math as I possibly could.

Math is so beautiful when you actually understand it and "see" it. I count myself fortunate that despite all those years of angry red marks on test papers, I am actually getting to a point where I am falling in love with this once dreaded subject. It's no longer even a subject for me now but a big, sometimes puzzling but always enthralling game. Oh the higher levels still astound and infuriate me. I don't know if I will ever get to that level of understanding. But the barriers have been broken, thanks to my little guy and that contagious sense of wonder that all kids have.
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