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How we teach maths naturally

One of the most common issues surrounding unschooling is people just do not understand how a child who is unschooled could learn maths! It seems such a crazy thing to think a child can naturally come to experience maths out here in the real world , without the need for a school or workbooks and Without forced lessons and piles of worksheets, but the truth is yes! simple maths comes so naturally to children,just like learning to walk or talk as a toddler did.

Maths is everywhere out here and its unavoidable .

Natural learning can not be rushed, its happening without you knowing and it will happen, if not straight away- then when your child feels they need it.

Will there be gaps in their maths? YES -but that does not matter because it is irrelevant in their lives , most students who go to school, do not use Geometry, Algebra ,Trigonometry, Pre-Calc, Calculus, pi or any of those other so called "important" maths lessons forced by teachers in their adult lives anyway and if your child does for some reason need or even want to learn it, then just trust in them that they will learn all the maths they require -guided by their curiosity.You need to remind yourself exactly how much of all that maths we were taught in the over a decade of our school life's ,that we actually use today in this advancing society.

My Unschooling children I like to think are quite good at maths for a 10, almost 9 and a 7 year old ..We have learnt maths so simple, so natural and free. They have never read a textbook, done any online maths apps/lessons or any maths worksheets ,yet over the last 3 years they all have learnt their small additions and large additions 1030+200+30 etc , 2x, 5x and 10x tables, 10% & 50% ,divided by 2's ,ml,cup,time,cm,m and money skills and are beginning to pick up on other maths concepts !


the way they have learnt this is from 2 ways

As mentioned in my previous post Top 4 free unschooling methods we use to teach , we use conversations and daily life as the way to teach my children and maths is no exception,this is the only way we have done it since we started our unschooling journey.

Down below explains how each work for our maths.


1) mental maths (conversations)

(mental maths means mathematical calculation that is performed mentally, without the aid of a calculator, abacus , pen and paper or textbook )

So every now and then if I get one on one time with one of my children(say my youngest is sitting with me at the beach, while my eldest 2 are running around climbing sand dunes and it feels like a good time to naturally discuss "maths" - meaning he is not preoccupied with something else and he has some spare time - I will ask if he wants to learn "more" maths as we call it. -this mental maths session usually lasts no longer then 5 minutes, and happens on occasions (about 5 times a month)

To do this I always start with explaining it simpler, for instance if we are learning 2x tables, when I start saying 2 times ,I will remind them that 2 x means " double" when we were learning divide by 2s I, would remind them it means "half" just like 50%, for 10% we say take away a zero or add a decimal. eg 10% of 50 (minus the zero you have 5) 10% of 55 (add a decimal and you have 5.5) we always finding a simpler way for them to remember -

I always start of with saying even numbers for the first few months or until I know they understand - like what is 10% of 88 , 50% of 240 etc- once they have learnt the easier side of it we will advance to odds and harder ones. I only ever teach what I think is relevant or what they have asked about like percentages as they noticed the shop sale tags and asked about it , Will we learn 3,4 6,8 time tables? I must admit ,I do not know them as I forgot from school,(actually I just never paid attention as school wasnt for me) have I ever needed them in my adult life? NO. if I need them I have a phone calculator. So I will not teach them this, if they need it for some reason or want to learn them- then we will learn together. That is what natural learning is about, its about learning what is needed for the now, what is relevant for daily life and learning in the moment if the time comes. It really doesn't take long for them to click on and begin to understand these maths concepts. They begin understanding that you add 32+14 by adding the 4+2 side first then the 1+3 side so right to left and they remind themselves with this for minus's and their larger 2 x tables, etc , sometimes they just surprise me because they understand so well.

these are my favourite 3 tips for mental maths

1) Soon as they start showing a lose of interest I will change the subject right away- and forget that math lesson

2) Be silly and make it fun with jokes, and enthusiasm ( by making them laugh and thinking of it as more fun games then a maths lessons) IT ALWAYS WORKS.

- if I had 50 cupcakes and I ate them all up to my self and I was still hungry so I brought another 120 how many cupcakes would be in my now big belly

3) Funny praises with lots of enthusiasm to make them enjoy it - like omg I cant believe you got that answer right,you have the biggest smartest brain ever - or omg how did you know that are you reading my mind or my youngest sons favourite, I will sing -(you are a genius, genius, genius ). (yes if you have ever watched Mr deeds)