Education and Life :: a ramble

It recently came to my attention that a certain little nephew of mine had become entirely psyched out at the concept of basic arithmetic.  Very simple mathematical equations like 8-1, are capable of sending him into complete brain shut-down.

This same young man is perfectly able to calculate how many potatoes he has left to peel based on what he has already peeled, shout out the countdown for a rocket’s take-off, and divide out a small pile of treats for his siblings and younger cousins. He can easily call out a countdown from twenty, by twos!

Kinsley is able to rattle off with ease every single word of a Silly Veggie Tales song, but when pressed to recite a verse of poetry or scripture, all mental faculties threaten to come to a grinding halt.

I guess what I’m saying, is that our children are like sponges. It would be impossible to stop them from soaking up knowledge. The information and ability is all in place, but somehow we manage to terrify them into ignorance by divorcing learning from life.

While I’m convinced that the alternative is to live a life-style of learning, I admit that I fail at this every day. Instead of embracing the opportunities to teach, I shirk them in the hope that I can have a moment’s peace and quiet.

But wow, did I get sidetracked! I was going to write this post about one particular program that I’ve really developed an appreciation for. It’s called Pre Math It: Early Adventure Into Math.

My children think they’re simply playing a game that they’ve seen their parents enjoy – and they are! But they’re also learning at an incredible break-neck pace.

They’re learning about patterns and numbers. They’re learning counting and basic addition and subtraction. They’re learning to quickly recognize numbers without thinking about it.

Most importantly, they are beginning to grasp the concept of the relationship that mathematics has with the entire universe, and that it does relate to life, in ways that interest even them.

At this point, they have no idea that they’re even learning.

(PS – While I do love my Math-It sets, they were hand me downs from my parents. Using them for a few days, I realize that anyone could accomplish a very similar thing with basic dominoes, sidewalk chalk and some parental imagination.)

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