Murderous Maths - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-21-2011, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
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My daughter is drawn to math. She relates to numbers and geometry at an abstract level and often surprises us with her observations. However she is slow in the basics - adding, multiplying etc. As I type she is devouring a book called "Desparate Measures" and I can see pictures of triangles and angles on the page she is reading right now. It is part of the "Murderous Maths" series - this is not a textbook or anything, it is more like a collection of neat / weird things in the maths world. Trivia, number tricks, stuff like that.


(Not that I am counting, but) I could just count this as leisure reading like any other book and still look out for resources that might help her progress on the arithmetic front. (Not that I am worried but) after all those angles and number tricks, aren't multiplication and division going to seem dull? Once you memorize your multiplication tables, you're done and you can move on to all kinds of other things. But if you never pause to do this, would that not slow you down?  I know this is the unschooling board and people are going to tell me to relax - believe me I am relaxing as fast as I can.  I guess what I want to know is, did anyone else's child read Murderous Maths and did you feel that was of any use other than entertainment (not that learning math should not be entertaining).


I guess I have been reading on this and the Learning at Home forum about some wonderful resources for math like Miquon, Singapore etc and if she were to do one of those they would presume arithmetic before going on to other things that she could probably understand, but might not get to....

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 ... dd is going on 12 (!) how was I to know there was a homeschool going on?
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#2 of 4 Old 04-22-2011, 07:19 AM
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I'll be happy with ds understanding the concepts of math.  In the real world, everyone uses calculators for arithmetic if they want.  The commonly used ones get memorized without effort, too.  I felt like I was always memorizing the formulas but never had a real understanding of math even though I got good grades.


It sounds like your dd thinks math is fun, which is a rarity especially with girls.  And she is still so young (8 yet? "2nd grade"?).  I'd be mighty pleased that she felt that way and reluctant to squelch it by suggesting rote memorization.  But it could be she'd like math workbooks the way some kids like doing puzzles.


I'll have to check out those books:-)

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#3 of 4 Old 04-22-2011, 07:50 AM
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My kid is taking (and doing well in) a college algebra class (not remedial - college-level) and she still doesn't have her multiplication facts memorized. I have suggested that she take an afternoon or 5 minutes a day or something and get them down but she isn't interested, so... she knows some of them (most of them?) and she can generally estimate and then work it out. Or something. She has a calculator but I usually don't see her using it when she's doing her homework. I think it slows her down sometimes, but not to the degree that she wants to put in the time to solidly memorize them.

She does know how to do long division and multiplication, although again not having the facts memorized probably slows her down... but our experience has been that estimation is usually good enough and today even cell phones have built-in calculators, if accuracy is necessary. I tend to work out arithmetic problems by hand because I kind of enjoy it, but I think I'm in the minority...

Anyway, I don't know those books but it's all grist for the mill, right? We had the Si Cumference books when Rain was little, and I loved some of Marilyn Burns books when I was a kid (The "I Hate Mathematics" Book was a favorite)... your daughter might enjoy those.

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#4 of 4 Old 05-07-2011, 06:14 PM
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Ha! I never did learn my multiplication tables!!! Some of us just can't! Those of us who can't develop tricks to make do - I have a few key mult facts that I know by heart (like 7x7 -- who knows why, but that one stuck) and I can really quickly add or subtract to get the answer I want.  I think it's more important to understand the concepts, not memorize them. When I work with my ds, we have a multiplication chart next to us. I more interested in him understanding what mult and div means rather than memorizing the facts. If she's reading murderous maths at 8 and understanding it ....hooray for her!!!!!! That's amazing!

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