Thursday, August 14, 2008

St Maximilian Kolbe. And Maths.

The most deadly poison of our times is indifference. And this happens, although the praise of God should know no limits. Let us strive, therefore, to praise Him to the greatest extent of our powers.

No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?
Today I read to the kids about St Maximilian Kolbe - we didn't make it to Mass because of my cold. And I have also been doing some reading about unchooling maths. Learning maths in a non traditional non schooly way.
My boys do some formal maths ( Kumon) a couple of days a week (twice this week!) – but I really see their use of maths all the time in every day life. Anthony with the dice and multiplication of factors for his role playing games. Alexander borrowed a book on mathematical puzzles and another on the history of maths this week, from the library. All of them when it comes to organising money and budgets and saving – and cooking!
But above all speak math. Walkthrough solving problems out loud. (Stick to problems he asks, like how long until Christmas, if you can't help sounding like a lesson when you figure out a tip. ;-) Compare things. Pick some standard of measurement to help him grasp relationships. (It's more meaningful to translate 18 feet into 3 Daddy's for instance. Some of the ones I use are a story which is 10 ft, 3000 miles across the US, 600 miles from Boston to Pittsburgh as units of measurement.)
The reason math in school takes so long is they need to substitute drill for understanding. It's really hard to do pages of problems like 7.5% of 182 when you don't know and don't care what percents are, let alone 7.5% of 182. If the understanding is there first, the details are much easier.
Joyfully Rejoycing, Unschooling Maths


Greg said...

I really like that comment from St Maximilian on its being more important to win the interior battle than the external. (And I just got to use the gerund! Yes!). It does make a lot of sense.

Leonie said...

I use gerunds all the time at Kumon - with Lachlan! :-)

Ladybug Mommy Maria said...

Hope you enoyed a great feast day -we did, here!