Homeschool Math in the Mud
Today’s homeschool math lessons can most certainly look like educational lessons from the self-reliant pioneers of the past. Just as pioneers needed mathematics in their daily activities to become self-reliant, those of us who look forward toward our own uncertainties have many of the same desires for information. If pioneers and the generations since the era of covered wagons across the prairies of America had diligently passed on their practical knowledge of life skills, then we wouldn’t today be sitting at a computer still searching.
It’s a good thing to learn as many new skills as we can, yet if we don’t teach them to someone else, those skills will die when we do. Because of this, intentionally passing on to my children the knowledge and skills I have as well as those I am still learning is a priority. This week the skill of digging a hole became our homeschool math lesson.
3 x 4 = 12
One shovel and a few buckets of water and 12 rocks and finally 12 holes later (three rows of four holes each), a true work of mathematical learning was presented for inspection. The work was physical and mental, and gave us a chance to talk through reading a diagram, planning and digging skills, plus addition, skip-counting, and multiplication skills, as well as work efficiency and following directions. This was a very small scale project, yet still required brain power and sweat equity to accomplish. A great day’s work for a six year old and his homeschool math teacher in life application.
His next homeschool math project might be with a shovel, or it just might be with an auger on a tractor, but now he understands that math applies to real life and that real life skills are learned. And holes don’t dig themselves.
Oh, how I wish all little boys could learn their math lessons this way.
Nicole Lorenz has learned in home schooling and in life, nothing teaches more than hands-on learning.