A Math Story

Before I launch into my next post series, I wanted to share a quick story. I was at the park the other day with a friend who is not an unschooler. But her youngest son is 4, so for all intents and purposes, he’s unschooled (by happy chance of his age). He came over to his mom and asked, “How much is 60 hours?”
She answered, “2 1/2 days.”
“And, how much is 100 hours?”
“That’s a long time. Over 4 days.”

He  ran off to play and she told us that he had been asking a lot of math questions lately. He constantly wanted to know the answers to different math problems, and she was happily supplying them.

When the mom told me about this, she almost seemed mystified. And maybe a little proud (which is her right).

But, it isn’t mystifying. It’s perfectly natural. And, this desire to know (even about math!) sticks around long past the time kids turn five. If only we would be able to trust them, we would find ourselves continually telling stories to our friends about the amazing things our kids want to know.

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2 Comments on "A Math Story"

  1. Julie
    14/08/2012 at 11:51 am Permalink

    My oldest is 4 and does the same thing. He always wants to know what time is it, how long does it take to get there, how much is this, all math concepts. He loves mazes & dot-to-dots (but only with #’s, no letters).

    But I have a question: how do you continue “unschooling”? I’m not big on curriculum, I’m not a teacher, but I love helping my kids learn. Is it really so simple as keeping your kids home, rather than sending them to school?

  2. Cassi
    14/08/2012 at 3:07 pm Permalink


    Really, it basically comes down to doing a lot of what you’re already doing: responding to your kids’ questions and interests. There are a lot of resources for how to unschool. You can start by purchasing Sandra Dodd’s “Big Book of Unschooling.” . Offer experiences and resources to your kids, go to the library, museums, parks, etc. Think of yourself more as a nurturer than a teacher. It’s not about how well you TEACH, it’s about following the direction of the child and meeting them where they are. It’s really a simple concept, but requires a complete paradigm shift from the way we were raised.


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