Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tiger Math!

We began school again this week, after what felt like a months long hiatus. Actually, it was a months long hiatus. Somehow between our Arizona trip, David's 40th birthday and the holidays we never really got back into a good school groove. That all changed this week when I sat the children down at the table and cracked the whip.

We began a review of fractions for my big girl who hates math. I understand hating math. I hate math too, so I bring a lot of sympathy to the table.

When Rebecca was moaning about fractions, I reminded her of her dream of working with big cats someday.

"Honey, the day will come when you will need to know how much medicine to give a tiger. You will need to be able to add and subtract these fractions so that he can be given the life saving dosage of antibiotics or heart medicine. The tigers are counting on you!" I said.

Apparently, this was all the motivation she needed.

She likes visual aids so she fetched a few tiger stuffed animals and approached each problem as an opportunity to save a feline life.

"This kitty needs tapeworm medicine!" she declared.


This is one of the reasons I love to homeschool. We are able to take an abstract concept and make it relevant and worthwhile.  Homeschool readers, how do you make difficult subject matter go more smoothly?


9 comments:

Lisa said...

How cool! I am watching the documentary on the lioness that Born Free was written about so today is big cat day! It is really great even used wild lions in the movie. Such beautiful creatures. Hope you guys can see it!
Hugs, Lisa

Mary said...

What a great idea! I don't homeschool (although I've secretly always wanted to), but this could just as easily be applied to homework!

Michael said...

What are you going to tell Rebecca when she finds out medication is dispensed using the metric system?

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I hated math and fractions and am trying to think what could have induced me to buckle down and get learning. Chocolate, I suspect.

You do make homeschooling seem like a lot of fun. I have a feeling your children are nicer than mine, however.

xofrances

Angel said...

I always liked the tie-in between music and fractions. (Not to mention some of the cool maths that come up when you're starting harmony.) Even if the girls aren't playing instruments, singing and rhythm gets the basics.

And money! That was always a good one. And if you tie it in with Dickens or something, then you can use the old English money for pounds and shillings, etc., so everything isn't just base 10.

I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing your family, and your joy with them.

best regards,
Angela

Anonymous said...

How fun! I'm homeschooling my kids and my almost-seven-year old son hates practicing his handwriting. I let him pick what he wants to write and it really motivates him. His favorite subject is "Bad Things that Happen to Hermione in the Forbidden Forest". Poor Hermione...

My five-year old daughter is an animal lover, like yours, and aspires to be a zookeeper. Can she come help Rebecca take care of the tigers?

D.W.
Arlington

Julie said...

How to make difficult subject matters go more smoothly? Lots of alcohol! Just kidding. I watched a math documentary, yes there is one. It seems origami is an excellent tool for teaching math. But you're right, use whatever actually applies to them right now and they'll take an interest.

Angela said...

I think that the question "What is your passion?" helps find the way in to teahcing unpopular stuff - if it is tigers, or technology or Tolkein - then use it!

Mel R said...

Bribes. LOL