Friday, September 23, 2011

math magic

 This is the math game we used to 'teach' Beach multiplication.  We found it at a Thrift Store, paid a buck for it!  That was lesson number one.
The other night at dinner Colby was totaling his work hours for the week & asked Beach to help him.  I listened as he had her counting by various different numbers.  Later she came to me and said, "Mom I need to learn to count by 3's because they seem to come up a lot..." We have done 2's, 5's, 10's, 100's...But now she NEEDS 3's.
In the few years we have been home schooling I have had other moments where I feel as her teacher we needed something under our academic belt only to have her beat me to it.  It seemed more telepathic (or creepy) than anything else.  With a kid like Beach who just seems to know things the moments where she needs teaching are rare.  And this may seem backwards that her making a request for knowledge from me was the first concrete specific proof that she is capable of controlling her own education, more than capable of learning what she needs to learn when she needs it. This was my moment of truth. 
As I cleaned the kitchen we counted by 3's to 30 maybe a dozen times and that was it. 
She had what she needed. Using her fingers at first counting by 3's the cheat sheet beside her blank because SHE needed to learn it. And after a few turns the fingers fell silent...   
It is like magic. Seeing in actuality one of those stories I read curled up in the basement of the library about unschooled & home schooled children loving learning & reaching forward without all the usual suspects (teachers, grades, tests) pushing them.  I can say this is working, it is really working.  People ask, "Will they really choose to learn _____?" I have the answer to that it is yes, they really will. 
It reminds me of potty training.  If you do it when you want to you will have a lot of shit to deal with but if you wait until they are ready things seem to just fall in their proper places. 


  1. Oh yeah. Totally smiling and nodding my head over here, wanting to clap or something, just in case you might hear. Thinking, Amen and/or You Know It, just pleased as peaches for you, for Beach, for us! Because what you've said is so so so so TRUE.

  2. Loving the blog! SO glad to have you linking up, love to follow Beach and her life.