Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Keep maths real...

Why do so many children (and adults!) today, hold such a dislike for anything mathematical? Go back to your own school days in the stuffy old classroom.
Remember Mr X standing at the front of the room, going through some obscure word problem dealing with a situation that would never happen in real life to some imaginary characters called Bill, Bob and Ben!
Not only did you long to hear the ringing of the class-change bell, but so did Mr X himself!

And this is the situation for many of us.....we are taught at school that maths is a series of equations and word problems in a text book! We are not shown how maths is relevant to us in everyday life. And sadly, even as home educators, it is all too easy to follow this same ritualistic pattern! And so, instead of learning Maths, kids learn instead to simply switch off!

When something is real, when it is tangible then it has a purpose. And if something has a purpose, then it has a value. And if it has a value, then it is remembered, inshaAllah.

Instead of using a text book with cartoon images of money followed by a word problem asking how many toy cars can Billy buy with £1.55, take the kids shopping next time you need to get some milk! Let them count the money and work out the change!

Set up a small shop in your living room! Price up the goods from your kitchen cupboard, fill a little purse and a till with real coins (not pretend plastic ones!) and through play let them add up and pay!

Give what they are doing a purpose, give it value so that what they learn, stays with them inshaAllah.
 Who says you can only learn about the real world through text books and word problems? Who says its even effective? ...I know most of us as adults don't remember much beyond simple equations, because we memorised what we needed to know to pass the exam and as soon as it was over forgot everything!  
We were not shown how it was relevant to us, so we never applied it. Therefore forgot it! What we were forced to learn 20 years ago back in Mr X's classroom was not presented to us with value! And because there was no value, it was not remembered....or rather, it was not truly learnt!

The real world is just that....real! So keep it real and you may stop kids (and grown ups!) falling asleep, and instead, keep them switched on, and learning!

1 comment:

  1. Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

    JazakAllahu khair for this post. With all the children I have worked with, they totally prefer using real resources over laminated and plastic items. It is so much more relevant for them. Just remember to sterilise the coins first!

    Umm Yusuf


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