If you are like many homeschooling parents, math is not your favorite subject. Would you like to break out of the textbook mold and explore math through "living" books and activities? Whether you hope to replace your math program or just to supplement it, this book will show you how to turn math into a learning adventure for the whole family. Your children can learn math concepts in surprising ways that awaken their minds to the beauty and fun of mathematics.
True mathematical thinking involves the same creative reasoning that children use to solve puzzles. Introduce your children to the "Aha!" factor, the thrill of solving a challenging problem, and build thinking skills with toys, games, and library books. Find out how to choose math manipulatives or make your own. Discover a wealth of motivating, hands-on ideas for teaching math, and learn how to tackle story problems with confidence. __________
Table of Contents
Introduction: Can You Identify the Math Myths?
Chapter 1: The "Aha!" Factor The Problem with School Math ~ Playing with Numbers ~ Math the Mathematician's Way ~ How Can I Teach Math If I Don't Understand It?
Chapter 2: Cultivating the "Aha!" Factor Math That Is Social ~ Math That Is Beautiful ~ Math That Is Fun
Chapter 3: Hands-On Math What Makes a Manipulative? ~ Homespun Math Manipulatives ~ Number Line ~ Hundred Chart ~ More Hands-On Fun
Chapter 4: How to Solve a Problem Story Problem Challenge ~ The Trouble with Word Problems ~ Ask Yourself These Questions ~ Your Child's Most Important Math Manipulative
Chapter 5: Hooray for Math History The Key to Understanding ~ A "Living Books" Approach ~ The Trouble with History
Chapter 6: 4,000 Years of Stumpers Puzzles from Math History ~ Egypt and Babylonia ~ Ancient China ~ Ancient Greece ~ Ancient India ~ Arab Empires ~ European Recovery ~ Modern Mathematical Explosion
Chapter 7: Getting It All Together Hit the Books ~ Buddy Math to the Rescue ~ The Importance of Mental Math ~ Mastering the Math Facts ~ One Week of Real Mathematics ~ How to Recognize Homeschool Math Success ~ What About Testing?
Chapter 8: Transition to "Higher" Math The Meat of Higher-Level Math ~ Online Resources for High School Math ~ Are You Ready for a Textbook? ~ Working Yourself Out of a Job ~ Extra Credit Adventures
Conclusion: How to Teach Math
Appendixes Looking for a Few Good Books ~ Math Resources on the Internet ~ Answers to Sample Problems ~ Notes and References
Denise Gaskins has taught or tutored mathematics at every level from pre-K to undergraduate physics. "Which," she explains, "at least in the recitation class that I TA'd, was just one story problem after another. What fun!"
Now she writes the popular blog "Let's Play Math!" to help fellow homeschoolers see the variety and richness of the subject.
"I encourage parents to look beyond their textbook, a useful tool, but such a limited one," Denise says. "We want to explore the adventure of learning real mathematics, math as mental play, the essence of creative problem solving. This is what we need to teach our children: Mathematics is not just rules and rote memory. Math is a game, playing with ideas."
Denise is a Christian, a wife and homemaker, the homeschooling mother of five (four of whom have graduated and moved on to the adventure of adult life) living in the rural countryside of central Illinois, along with cats, horses, rabbits, dogs, one snake, and a small snapping turtle. Her primary hobby is reading anything she can get her hands on.read more
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