more math resources

I have finally joined the Living Math forum on Yahoo groups. Although, as one recent post pointed out, it is dominated by people with younger children learning elementary math, there are some good discussions and good people on there. I am hoping that it will be a useful resource for me as I move forward with Tigger.

Just yesterday someone posted a link to this amazing site: Mathematics Illuminated. I need to explore this more but it is a course for teachers and adults. There are video courses and PDF files of both teacher and participant materials at the “course materials” link. There are also interactive activities, and a timeline that shows the relationships between topics covered in each unit (the mathematics family tree). I’m going to put that link in my “useful homeschooling links” list but I wanted to post about it here because I thought some of you might be interested in it.

One thing that did get discussed on the forum, in response to the query about resources for teaching high-school level math, was the fact that parents need to be willing to learn or re-learn the material together with their children. This resonates with some of what I’m discovering about unschooling and with my own experience of what works well with Tigger. If I think that this material is important for her to learn, then it must be important enough for me to learn, too. I don’t value educational models that look like hoop jumping. Even though we might forget things we learned earlier in life, if they are important and interesting, we will pick them up again when we need them. Needing to teach her constitutes a valid need.

Also, I am genuinely enjoying reading some of the math books that I’ve picked up. They are slow going. And I don’t understand everything. But I’m liking it. (I will get to the review of Devlin’s Language of Mathematics when I’m done.) I think this online course will be an interesting part of my own mathematics education. If some of you think it looks interesting but are a bit daunted by doing it on your own, I’m happy to consider doing it together using the facilitator materials provided. That might give me a bit of a structure to actually do it, too.

BTW, the other interesting thing going on at the Living Math forum is a spin-off forum of facilitated discussion of Jacobs “Mathematics a Human Endeavor”. It started in February and since I’m in the middle of a different math book right now, I don’t think I’m going to join it. But the model is interesting. I suspect similar things could happen again in the future.

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