Sunday, September 27, 2009

september twenty-six: saturday play

Trev and I started out our day with reading a couple of chapters of The Talking Tyrannosaurus, and then read a few MathStart books.
So far, I haven't been in love with any of them enough to buy them, but that's what libraries are for.
Tara at Periwinkles and Pine mentioned to me a book called Tyrannosaurus Math just recently (thanks again, Tara!).
I checked with our library system, and it was in there. woohoo!
I got to pick it up this morning, as well as You Can, Toucan, Math.
Trev and I read both of them this morning.
I highly recommend both books!
Both have addition problems, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
While Trev doesn't know his multiplication tables certainly, (though he's comfortable counting by two's, fives, and tens) these are great books for introducing math concepts. Especially for unschoolers, or those who don't follow a curriculum and get introduced to them formally.
Sometimes it can seem awkward or arbitrary to introduce such things, and these books are a nice way to show how a few things are done.
You might wonder at my being interested in these in the first place, as we like to discover things organically.
Here's the story: Trev said a few times for a couple of weeks something like "Oh, no, math!"
Now this might be a common enough fear or whatever to a lot of people, but in our house (with no "to do's" regarding math), this is a bit like saying, "Oh, no... science!" Or, "Oh, no!... color!"
It's all just a part of it, you know?
It's a part of cooking, it's a part of figuring, it's a part of allowance and spending... it's all the same.
I was disconcerted by it.
While I certainly am not insistent (or even very concerned) that he understands concepts at the exact same time as others his age (school children), I was concerned that he had put this part of life into a particular box, and labeled that box as something not fun or interesting. And more dangerously, I felt, something to be feared and avoided.
So, in line with showing that math is "no big deal", is connected, and not something that is to be feared or dreaded, I have since been careful to introduce certain books and ideas.
Thus the MathStart books, which have been so simple -the "level 2" ones- that he doesn't even consider math, really, but just stories. I eased into them with level two, as I didn't want him to feel pressured by or uncomfortable with the books.
And now, today, we sat through two books filled with pages and pages of problems and ideas.
No problem. (Uh...well, you know.)

We also read David Sheldon's book Barnum Brown, Dinosaur Hunter-- which was a terrific story. Barnum Brown was the one to discover Tyrannosaurs Rex.
Mucho fun.

To the trampoline!
With Daddy.

To the pool!! For the second time today.
Madeleine discovered The Joy of a Diving Board.

Monster projects today.




Tredmill workout.
"Because you never know when you'll have to outrun a t-rex. Someday I'll be travelling back in time, Mom."
"I don't doubt it."

Back to the tramp before Daddy scoots off to work.

Harold and Maude are returned safely back to home. With no more mishaps.

Boy comes over to play. woohoo!
Which meant lots of track and ramp building for hotwheels.

And there is laundry

and mad cleaning-- comp'ny coming!

Other than that,
we're all about Chicken Run

and Dora and Clifford and Martha speaks today.

Now we're off to make for our company-- we're so happy about Papa's visit!!


  1. I understand what you are saying about the math books. My Sam was starting to hate and fear math, too. Starting last year we began playing math games and reading math stories too and now he loves math. My James, on the other hand. lives and breathes math. Everything is in terms of number concepts. It has been a new view of the world to see it through his eyes. He struggles with reading instead. Now to keep him from hating that...

  2. I think you have a wonderful approach to math. There are so many ways to introduce math concepts through books and games. Looks like it's still summer there!

  3. Sweet the monster art!
    Ah it is funny where our little one's pick up ideas about *things* (like math)...often not from their own experience I have found here but perhaps something they have just heard elsewhere....
    What a tuned Mama you are...I would love to learn math at your house!

  4. Thanks for sharing about the math books. I will look for them at the library. I never thought of reading books about math concepts - a cool idea. I'll see if I can also find someone on the concepts we are currently learning.

    The monsters are great. I love the googly eyes on them!

  5. "Someday I'll be travelling back in time, Mom."

    Gawd, your kid's cool.

    Have you read the Sir Cumference books? They're kinda fun.

  6. I was just looking for more narrative math-type books yesterday at our library...E was writing the other day and was feeling challenged about figuring out a word for her story and came out with the exclamation, "UGH! This is like DOUBLE MATH!!!" and it really took me aback cause this child's NEVER had a worksheet to do, don't know where she got the idea that it is Something Hard...(um, except for reading Mama's brainwaves, maybe? not out of the question...)

  7. i hadn't read your blog in awhile; i forgot how inspiring it is! thanks for the math book ideas, too.

  8. We just got Tyrannasaurus Math this week, too! My boys all loved it -- especially Eldest, who quickly recognized himself in T-Math.

    I'm thinking of doing an unschooling math post soon. I'll let you know if I actually get around to it. :)


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!