Thursday, November 23, 2006


The other morning, as the family was lounging in our bed, waking up for the day, A asked me to give her some math problems. This child, who has just recently awoken and come into her parent's room to crawl into bed for a snuggle, chooses, as her first "event" of the day, to "do" math. This child, who has no math forced upon her every day, chooses it freely. She has it in her head that she likes math and who am I to argue? So, I give her some sums, ones that involved three digit numbers, like 400+ 700. She figured them all out. How? I do not know. What I mean by that is that I have not taught her any of this, she just figures it out in her own little head. And this is how it should be! We are not into memorization of anything, especially math "facts". That is not thinking! It is mindless regurgitation. Mathy vomit.

So, tonight she is wanting me to give her more math problems as I cook for Thanksgiving and she rollerblades around the kitchen. So, I do. Problems like 375+ 125. She sometimes goes out the door to the back patio when she needs to think extra hard, and comes back in with the right answer every time. This invisible (can't show the work!) math fascinates me. After a while, C goes to our library and gets one of the workbooks that well meaning relatives are constantly buying for the girls. He got the one for the grade A would be in if she were in school and showed her what kind of math she would be doing. She took one look and declared it all "simple!" Uh, yeah, it was all single digit sums and sequences. She was doing four digit addition in her head! Needless to say, I have no math worries.

The point of this is not to brag on my girl for being "ahead" of her schooled peers. I'm sure there are areas that they would know more than she does. The point is , she did not need to be "taught" this and she will forever know it, because she did it on her own, for her own reasons. And her sense of self and her confidence in her own abilities is rock solid. She chose to challenge herself tonight and rose to that challenge beautifully.

I love unschooling.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Miranda!
Got to here from your email. I had not seen your blog before. I like it, very nice!
Happy Thanksgiving!