Quotable: The Adventure of Learning Math

Math mascot Moby Snoodles

As for mathematics itself, it’s one of the most adventurous endeavors a young child can experience. Mathematics is exotic, even bizarre. It is surprising and unpredictable. And it can be more exciting, scary and dangerous than sailing the high seas!

But most parents and educators don’t present math this way. They just want the children to develop their mathematical skills rather than going for something more nebulous, like the mathematical state of mind.

Children marvel as snowflakes magically become fractals, inviting explorations of infinity, symmetry and recursion. Cookies offer gameplay in combinatorics and calculus. Paint chips come in beautiful gradients, and floor tiles form tessellations. Bedtime routines turn into children’s first algorithms. Cooking, then mashing potatoes (and not the other way around!) humorously introduces commutative property. Noticing and exploring math becomes a lot more interesting, even addictive.

Unlike simplistic math that quickly becomes boring, these deep experiences remain fresh, because they grow together with children’s and parents’ understanding of mathematics.

— Maria Droujkova and Yelena McManaman
Adventurous Math For the Playground Set (Scientific American online)


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.


Homeschooling High School Math

photo by ddluong via flickr
photo by ddluong via flickr

Feature photo (above) by Sphinx The Geek via flickr.

Most homeschoolers feel at least a small tinge of panic as their students approach high school. “What have we gotten ourselves into?” we wonder. “Can we really do this?” Here are a few tips to make the transition easier.

Before you move forward, it may help to take a look back. How has homeschooling worked for you and your children so far?

If your students hate math, they probably never got a good taste of the “Aha!” factor, that Eureka! thrill of solving a challenging puzzle. The early teen years may be your last chance to convince them that math can be fun, so consider putting aside your textbooks for a few months to:

On the other hand, if you have delayed formal arithmetic, using your children’s elementary years to explore a wide variety of mathematical adventures, now is a good time to take stock of what these experiences have taught your students.

  • How much of what society considers “the basics” have your children picked up along the way?
  • Are there any gaps in their understanding of arithmetic, any concepts you want to add to their mental tool box?

Continue reading Homeschooling High School Math

Moebius Noodles: New Must-Read Math Book

MoebiusNoodles2DCover

Homeschoolers, after-schoolers, unschoolers, or anyone else: if you’re a parent with kids at home, you need this book. If you work with children in any way (grandparent, aunt/uncle, teacher, child care, baby sitter, etc.) you need this book. Or if you hated math in school and never understood how anyone could enjoy it, you need this book!

Moebius Noodles is a travel guide to the Math Universe for adventurous families (and it has lots of beautiful pictures, too!) featuring games and activities that draw out the rich, mathematical properties of everyday objects in ways accessible to parents and children:

  • A snowflake is an example of a fractal and an invitation to explore symmetry.
  • Cookies offer combinatorics and calculus games.
  • Paint chips come in beautiful gradients, and floor tiles form tessellations.

Continue reading Moebius Noodles: New Must-Read Math Book

Math Teachers at Play #61 via Math Hombre

Come join the fun!

The Math Teachers at Play blog carnival is a monthly blogging round-up shared at a different blog each month, featuring posts from parents, teachers, homeschoolers, and students — anyone who is interested in playing around with school-level (preschool to pre-college) or recreational math.

This month’s edition is ready for your browsing pleasure:

Enjoy!

Free Learning Guide Booklets


Claim your two free learning guide booklets, and be one of the first to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.


My Ebook: Kindle & Smashwords Updates Available

letsplaymathcover-mini

If you bought an early edition of my ebook Let’s Play Math, you can now update your copy to the latest version.

This update includes:

How To Update

If you bought at Smashwords, the latest update is always available for download at their site.

If you are an Amazon.com customer, you can get the updated version of this book by going to Manage Your Kindle. Find the book in your Kindle Library, click on the “Update Available” link next to the book’s title, and then follow the update prompts. After you do this, all of your Kindle devices that have the ebook currently downloaded will be updated automatically the next time they connect to wireless. If you tucked the book away in a folder, the update will replace it there, rather than cluttering up your home screen.

Also Available

Through the Smashwords distribution program, my ebook is finally spreading to other online booksellers:


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.

Algebra: The Search for Pirate Treasure

A bit of April Fool’s Day fun from Google Maps:

Book Update

I’m still working on Let’s Play Algebra, the sequel to my Let’s Play Math book.

Here’s a quick taste of things to come…

Continue reading Algebra: The Search for Pirate Treasure