Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Living Math - Decimals & Percents

This year is our year to make math come alive.  Math is so much more than just arithmetic, in fact many of the great mathematicians felt all the calculations got in the way of their ideas.  Enter  Living Math, an approach that makes math less isolated and more integrated with history, science and literature.  Living math, for us, means using many different resources, including math readers/books, games, multimedia and even dipping into several different homeschool math programs rather than sticking to one.  Living math means studying the great mathematicians throughout history and the ideas they discovered.  Living math means recognizing that math is a beautiful language, created by God, and its absolutely everywhere!

This year, D (12) is supposed to be working on Math-U-See (MUS) Zeta level, which focuses primarily on decimals and percents.  Normally, that's all I would do.  Not so this year.  I'm using the table of contents as a rough outline for topics I'd like him to be proficient at by the end of the year.  However, I'm not sticking solely to the MUS instructional DVDs per se.  For example, D likes to look at the teaching videos at Khan Academy and then do problems online.  And we try to incorporate games wherever possible.  There are lots of math books on decimals and percents, with flashy covers and catchy titles, but they are all soooo schooley and boring.  Then I came upon this one and downloaded it to my handy dandy Kindle: "Delightful Decimals and Perfect Percents: Games and Activities that Make Math Easy and Fun" by Lynette Long.

So far so good!  Forty different games/activities utilizing index cards, playing cards, dice, candies (this one's gotta be good), and so on.  The activities are really easy to put together with minimal materials, and they definitely are a nice addition to the math curriculum.

B (14), on the other hand, tells me her math curriculum is about as dead as math can get!  I'll save that for another post!

God bless your math endeavours!

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