Why Study Mathematics?

by d3 Dan via flickr

[Rescued from my old blog.]

What teacher hasn’t heard a student complain, “When am I ever going to have to use this?” Didn’t most of us ask it ourselves, once upon a time? And unless we choose a math-intensive career like engineering, the truth is that after we leave school, most of us will never again use most of the math we learned. But if math beyond arithmetic isn’t all that useful, then what’s the point?

If you or your student is singing the Higher Math Blues, here are some quotations that may cheer you up — or at least give you the strength of vision to keep on slogging.

We study mathematics…

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Fraction Division — A Poem

[Rescued from my old blog.]

Division of fractions is surely one of the most difficult topic in elementary arithmetic. Very few students (or teachers) actually understand how and why it works. Most of us get by with memorized rules, such as:

Ours is not to reason why;
just invert and multiply!

Continue reading Fraction Division — A Poem

What is a Blog Carnival?

The Carnival of Homeschooling is almost ready for its first birthday, and Henry at Why Homeschool is looking for submissions. So if you’re a homeschool blogger, go back over your recent blog posts and pick out a good one to share!

A blog carnival is a collection of blog posts loosely related to a given topic. Some, like the Carnival of Homeschooling, are posted weekly, while others come once a month or whenever the organizer gets around to doing it. Blog carnivals give bloggers a chance to reach a wider audience than just their regular readers, and they give readers interested in the topic a chance to access a wide variety of articles at once.

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The Game That Is Worth 1,000 Worksheets

Have you and your children been struggling to learn the math facts? The game of Math Card War is worth more than a thousand math drill worksheets, letting you build your children’s calculating speed in a no-stress, no-test way.

Math concepts: greater-than/less-than, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, negative numbers, absolute value, and multi-step problem solving.

Continue reading The Game That Is Worth 1,000 Worksheets

The “Aha!” Factor

[Rescued from my old blog.]

For young children, mathematical concepts are part of life’s daily adventure. A toddler’s mind grapples with understanding the threeness of three blocks or three fingers or one raisin plus two more raisins make three.

Most children enter school with a natural feel for mathematical ideas. They can count out forks and knives for the table, matching sets of silverware with the resident set of people. They know how to split up the last bit of birthday cake and make sure they get their fair share, even if they have to cut halves or thirds. They enjoy drawing circles and triangles, and they delight in scooping up volumes in the sandbox or bathtub.

Continue reading The “Aha!” Factor

Hello, World!

My old blog over at A Home for Homeschoolers (update: a now-non-existent homeschool forum) is having technical difficulties, so I decided it’s time to experiment with something else. I’m not sure whether to try moving all the old posts over here or just to start again from scratch. I guess I’ll just play around for awhile and learn how WordPress works.

Meanwhile, let me introduce myself: I am a Christian, a wife and homemaker, and the homeschooling mother of five, ages 8yo to adult, all still living at home (though not for much longer, alas!) in the rural countryside of central Illinois. My hobbies are learning and teaching math, and reading anything I can get my hands on.

If you have questions about homeschooling or teaching math — if there’s anything about math that stumps you, or has never made sense, or you’re simply curious about — I’d love to hear from you! Contact information is on the “About Denise” page.