Joyful Liberation

Joyful Liberation

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Wednesday Multiplied

Wednesday was another great day. Josh had his friends over for D and D club. I left on my marathon grocery shopping trip, Costco and Harmons. They really enjoy my nephew John being he DM. He speaks in "role play" with them and really gets the story going.
Once I got home it was the hour long "put the groceries away" and start dinner. Luckily I thought ahead and got a take and bake pizza and a chicken!

Willow LOVES costo chicken. In fact, when I make a baked whole chicken she calls it "costco chicken " :) I have no idea where she puts all the food!

Of course the boys would rather have their pizza so we had a menagerie dinner of pizza, broccoli, fruit and chicken :)

The boys had fun the rest of the afternoon playing Warcraft 3 or maybe it was Diablo? I can't ever tell :) David took them home because Josh was looking forward to checking out Sego Lily school on Thursday and Friday, otherwise typically we would have marathon sleepovers :)
This is the chalkboard in our home that David built. It is rarely used, maybe to draw pictures. Mara has been busy. When I got to Sego Lily yesterday, I couldn't find Mara. I gathered the hamsters (they survived!) and found Willow and got her moving towards finding her shoes and stuff and then I saw Mara in a classroom. She was standing at the dry erase board doing multiplication tables. Ok, if you know Mara this is SO not her thing. She was so excited to show me her new talent! It continued on at home, because we know that learning never stops, it is in every situation you encounter in your life. I asked her what brought her to doing multiplication and the conversation is great!
Me: "So what made you suddenly start writing multiplication tables?"
Mara: : "well, I was in classroom 1 reading about Biology and physics and a man that volunteers at school walked in and asked if I like Science"
ok....reading about Biology and physics??? Interesting? On her own? Even more interesting...
Me: "oh, so what did you say"
Mara: "I told him yes, that I love it. The he asked which I liked better, Biology or Physics?. I said Physics. He said, oh you must be good at Math? I said NO! I am terrible at math" He said wow? then how do you do physics? I said, I think I meant to say Biology " LOL!
The guy told her I am am sure you are not terrible at math. Would you like to do some? She said sure and then they played a game using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Yes, Mara knows how to do all of those things. Not from sitting and filling out workbook pages but from actually using the processes in life. She now has a regular Wednesday math class with this volunteer Dad and LOVES it. She wants to learn physics. It looked interesting to her she said. She is also going to take some Biology courses with Addam (one of the facilitators) and earn college credit in the process. Addam wants to do it because he never took Biology and so when he found out that Mara loved science they came up with a plan.
So, when it matters it matters. Mara has a use for it now. No she isn't 8-9 being forced to learn some useless application that she won't really use till she is much older. She is 13 and she will know multiplication inside and out. It is a part of her now. It has a purpose and she will use it.

So, this got me to thinking about multiplication and my HATE for math. I remember being little. I had to be younger than 4th grade so maybe 8-9? I was sitting on the couch with my mom, wiping away tears from under my glasses as she used multiplication flash cards with me. I HATED math!!! Now, it wasn't my mom's fault. She was only doing what the school told her to do and well, that was what you did. (but that is a whole other issue!) I didn't get it. And really, why should I . What use does a 8-9 yr old really have for multiplication? The fact of the matter is most kids figure it out own their own anyway. If you can add you can multiply. Multiplication is one of those things that you can learn in an afternoon. Really. Not over years of tedious workbook pages.
I guess I just don't worry over those things. I have no fear that my kids will know all of that stuff one day. Why does it have to be when they are so little? What about cultivating imagination. That is so much more important to me. I have very imaginative kids. I would never trade that for anything. I read once, I think it was in a waldorf education book, that forcing kids to do things like "busy work "before they are ready slows the growth in other areas that they should be focasing on. Those areas are not the typical norm for our society but they are of great importance. Now, I don't follow a Waldorf method at all but I am drawn to some of their philosophy for young children. Let them play!!!!
Today is full of new possibilities. Josh and Mara left this morning with their guitars in hand. I am excited to hear what comes of the "jam out" time :) Willow left with littlest petshops in tow and plans for the "foam pillow room". I am sure Friday will hold much the same. There is talk of starting a D and D club at Sego Lily??? Sounds like fun!
Our plans for the weekend include marching in The St. Patrick's Day Parade and Josh and David going to a documentary with friends about Indigenous people of this area. A guy from the University of Arizona made the film and will be showing it at a local coffee shop. They're looking forward to it. Josh loves documentaries. He has since he was like 3, no kidding :)
I am off to do whatever it is that I do these days :) Still trying to figure that one out, but it has only been a week!


Julie said...

I love reading about your family Teri! I see the same things in my own sons, and it just cements it every time that unschooling is the only way to go.

I'm glad your kids are enjoying Sego Lily and that we have a "school" such as it available to our community.

I also agree with math, I also HATED math in school, but now Damek loves math and numbers and counting and adding, ect... and we've been reading sooo many picture books that have to do with math and I've even bought a couple for myself 'The Joy Of Math' being one and I'm learning so much right along with my child. It is all making sense now to me whereas in school it was just this abstract thing you did in class totally separated from life. Math truly is everywhere and in just about everything you do in real life, that there's really no way you can't learn it by just living your life.

Julie said...

I love reading about your family Teri!

I see the same learning moments in my own children and everytime it just cements that unschooling is the way to go for us.

I'm glad your kids are enjoying Sego Lily, and also glad that a "school" like that is available to our community.

I agree about math, I also HATED math as a child, and was thoroughly confused from about 6th grade on. Damek loves math, and numbers and adding and subtracting, ect... and we've been having fun reading lots of picture books about math and doing fun games, and I even bought a couple books for myself, 'The Joy of Math' being one of them. I'm actually learning so much right alongside my child and am actually understanding it when it is applied to real life, not some abstract, boring thing I just did in math class. Math is literally everywhere and in just about everything we do in real life, if you are living your life there is no way you won't pick up math along the way.

Julie said...

Oops!, I thought the first comment didn't go through, as my browser shut down just as I was sending it, so I did another one. Oh well:)

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I am a mom to 5 amazing kids and married to my best friend and love of my life. We co-habitate with 1 cat, Asha, 2 dogs, Maggie May and Juniper Wren, a Chinchilla names Ozwald, and a Hamster named Fat Panda. We have lived in Salt Lake City for 13 years by way of Tennessee and Oregon. I love to be with my kids, knit, run, craft, sew, paint,travel, hike and play :) I love our crazy life!