In the last weeks I posted about our unschooling / deschooling, math hating DD (8). To sum up, DD, liked math worksheets 2 years ago, then did no formal math for 2 years, then I got panicky and offered some formal math, and she declared she hated it, with passion. Yet she wanted to find the right approach, because she didn't want to be "behind."
She wanted something girly and pretty, and I wrote about a dozen of math stories about two fairies, and printed them up on pretty paper. She loved those, devoured them, actually. Her grasp of concepts is really good, and her belief in herself as "being good in math" seems to be growing. She is excited about math now, as long as it is about fairies. I'm not sure how many fairy math stories are left in me, but maybe another dozen. If it is not fairies, she is not as keen. But apparently the fairies can direct her to other resources, like 3 pages from another book, and she is okay with that .
Now, I've been reading up on math, as part of my fairy research, and I stumbled on the idea of early introduction of algebra, such as hands on equations. Today we drew a scale, and played with some almonds, and she did want to apply arithmetical reasoning, but sort of started to understand the other way to look at the problems. But her question is WHY would anyone do it?
Her attitude was great, and she was interested, and grasping it. But I don't really know how to explain the reasons behind equations to her, other than having the fairies create some kind of equations.
I would like to maintain her newly found interest in math, but I'm not sure I'm creative enough to be writing fairy stories forever...(At this point similar resources, such as Math Adventures, didn't interest her). And I think it makes sense to start introducing algebraic thinking at this stage, but how would I make if fun?
P.S. Is it worth getting the hands on equations materials, rather than improvising?
Edited by midnightwriter - 11/16/10 at 12:40pm