Blogging about music, family life, the outdoors, unschooling and everything else

for more than a quarter century

Category: Mathematics

  • Accomplishments

    Over the past few years the focus of my blog (well, it’s arguable whether it has any focus at all) has moved away from the specifics of what my children are up to. That’s been the natural result of them growing up and becoming their own people, and my feeling that I want to honour […]

  • Trig love

    Four times I fretted over what to do with the kids when they finished the Singapore Primary Math series at relatively young ages. Were they ready to move into Singapore’s high school series, or a traditional US-based high school math program? Which one? When? Should we even be using a curriculum? If so, to what […]

  • Homeschooling just one, v2.0

    Homeschooling just one, v2.0

    What a difference this year! A new violin teacher has arrived in the area and I have relinquished all my private lesson teaching to her. This means that Fiona is not dragged to a furniture- and electronics-barren teaching studio for hours each week to sit and wait for me to finish working. It’s the second […]

  • Math cat

    Math cat

    Though still essentially an out-and-out unschooler, Fiona has been taking Introductory Spanish at the local school this semester. Nominally she’s in Grade 4 and the requirement for second-language learning doesn’t kick in until Grade 5 within the DL program we’re part of. But she was interested in doing something like this. When we first raised […]

  • Between the subjects

    One of the things I love about homeschooling is the way the boundaries between subjects don’t need to exist at all. I know that many schools pride themselves on making “cross-curricular connections,” but those are more like threads connecting otherwise discrete areas. As homeschoolers we are free to dwell for months in the spaces between […]

  • Fall bits

    Where has October gone? Where has my blogging mojo gone? My additional teaching load, and all the juggling of travel and activities by Noah and Sophie, is taking a toll. Fall was amazing until the rain finally caught up with us. The leaves were a good two weeks later to start turning, and then when […]

  • Math Watershed, the 4th Edition

    The math watershed occurs in our family when the kids finish the Singapore Primary Math program. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions of the math watershed occurred around age 10 for my three elder kids respectively. That was too young for a traditional academic high school program, especially after the friendly, unintimidating, low-repetition approach of […]

  • Market math

    Fiona watches Sophie adeptly add the cost of three items in her head, receive a $20 bill, work out the required change and count out a $5 bill, two toonies and three quarters to make change quickly and accurately. “Sophie’s not very good at making change,” she whispers to me quietly. “What do you mean?” […]

  • Four for four

    It was a proud mom day full of accomplishments. Fiona and Sophie spent their third day on downhill skis with the school’s field trip program. This time I went along. They’re skiing fabulously! Sophie got moved up to the intermediate group after only one day and is carving nice parallel turns. Fiona is zipping all […]

  • The halfiest

    Fiona is getting really handy in the kitchen these days. Today she baked up a batch of chocolate chip hazelnut bars all by herself from a new recipe. She got help with the mucky job of spreading the dough in the pan, but otherwise the entire recipe was assembled by her. Oh, and she likes […]

  • Early Math Nostalgia

    A week or so Fiona started Singapore Primary Math Grade 5 work and I realized that our “early math” days are gone forever in this family. These days the kids are busy with obtuse angles, polynomials and  repeating decimals. Gone are the days of “different ways to make 7” and “constructing and deconstructing tens.” Today […]

  • The gazinta bar

    Ah, the family lexicon. Ours is bizarre and extensive, including such neologisms as “threehead,” “agilitous,” “wobbits” and “clape.” We come by it honestly. My dad referred to the white residue left on one’s toothbrush as “spinge.” We carry that one forward in homage. For the most part we remember where the words came from and […]

  • Micro-manipulatives

    Fiona’s interest in math has re-ignited the past few months. She is definitely thriving with Singapore Math. I’m already dreading the day she finishes it and we need to find something else. It’s just her style and just her pace. She loves the friendly unintimidating style of presentation, and the conceptual approach usually fits her […]

  • Show your work

    On the way to Calgary last week Noah was doing some math work. He was in a good mood and things were going well. He finds his current textbook (MathPower9) to be okay for the most part. It’s rife with practice exercises, most of which we skip, but they’re there in case he stalls for […]

  • Graphing

    The arrival of Sophie’s graphing calculator as I mentioned has led to an interest in functions and graphing. I love scurrying up mathematical rabbit-trails with my kids. Yeah, I’m a math geek. I guess it comes of discovering a surprising aptitude for higher math after years of being considered an artsy kid. We started with […]