Sunday, August 21, 2011

A firm foundation

We went to G's school for registration today. We met his new teacher who is deaf and awesome. G will be at school for the same block of Science/Social Studies, lunch, recess, writing as last year. So we'll be doing math on our own again which I like. To me it is really important to learn math when you're ready. Schools are pushing kids to learn math earlier and earlier. And math is not something you should force kids into because if they have a bad foundational understanding of math, nothing is ever going to make sense. That's kind of a problem. Also, they are going to hate it and feel incompetent at it.

Imagine how a kid writes their ABC's at the beginning. It's rough but it's ok because they will continue to write out the ABC's in words for the rest of their lives and their handwriting has the opportunity to improve. But in math, if you make them memorize concepts that they don't understand it won't get fixed.

So I'm a fan of just letting G be exposed to math at a very basic level and through experiences.

My sister home schools her kids too and her son is frighteningly smart at math. At the age of 8 he probably has a deeper understanding of math than I do. OK, not probably, definitely. He is the child of 2 math-ies as I call them. Can you imagine putting a kid with such an intimate relationship with math into a class where kids are learning to recognize numbers? How many times would he be told to put his hand down, let someone else answer, don't call out? It would be very like a person of faith put in a class of atheist people discussing God. How many elementary school teachers do you think would list math as one of their favorite subjects, let alone why they became teachers of young children. No way.

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