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Why Homeschoolers Hate Math

Why Homeschoolers Hate Math

I sighed and dropped the math materials onto the table. My children’s laughter and wriggling twittered into silence as their faces now reflected my own anxieties. I was burdened with perfectionism, lack of confidence, and my own math-relationship baggage. There are several reasons why homeschoolers hate math. Perhaps this is the main one. 

What’s Your Relationship with Math?

Charlotte Mason explains “Children are born persons…with possibilities for either good or evil” and that parents-teachers are “limited to three educational instruments – the atmosphere of environment, the discipline of habit, and the presentation of living ideas.” Our children may be born with talents that make certain skills easier to learn than other skills, but they are not born with love or hate of any subject. Their attitude is shaped by their experiences and environment, and Charlotte calls this atmosphere.

Our children have a bad relationship with math because we have not properly introduced them to the subject. We prejudiced them against it from the start with mutterings, sighs, anxiety, and frustration. We must revisit and repair our own relationship with math so we may model and nurture a proper one.

Repairing Our Relationship with Math

Let’s start at the beginning:

“Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness….And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”

In the first 4 verses of Genesis, we see form (or shape), volume, measurement, time, and the beginning of symmetry and pattern – all mathematical distinctives. When we see the application of math in the beauty of creation, might we begin to enter a place of wonder and delightfully infuse this into the atmosphere of our home education? One may enjoy nature without fully understanding it, and the same applies to math. If we approach the subject with a sense of discovery (instead of dread), we begin a lifelong interest in something larger than ourselves.

Understanding and Application

No matter our level of mathematical talent, we can develop our math skills as we grow in our knowledge and understanding of how math is hidden all around us. What we do understand, we may then apply. Those who understand more will be more adept at application, and that is their gift and responsibility. We are all limited in our understanding, and it is an act of humility to actively learn what we can while appreciating those who can go further.

Once we have corrected the atmosphere, we may move on to the discipline of habit. Math requires attentiveness, focus, and regular interaction. The disciplined student will reap the rewards of steady growth in mathematical comprehension as well as the skill of precision and the virtue of patience. Mastery is the goal at each level, and repetition of levels may be necessary. 

Growing with Math

We must grow past the initial memorization of processes and move into the understanding of principles. The question now becomes “Why do we solve this problem in this way?” Now it’s important to either understand math or partner with someone who does. Hire them, barter with them, but do what it takes to acquire personal assistance in comprehending mathematical principles.

When partnering with a text, tutor, or teacher, be sure that learning and assessment are purposeful. Do not fall into the trap of doing math just to say it was done, move on, and do more math. This is the fallacy of the teachers in 2 Timothy 3:7 who cause others to always learn but never come to a knowledge of the truth. Math comprehension is just as important as reading comprehension and doing math because “that’s the way it’s done” is like only knowing sight words. Move into comprehension.

Math is our Friend

Dear Parent, if you never moved past rote math and into the beauty of understanding, please stop hitting your head on the wall and begin to model the path of the humble learner. Normalize the humility of not knowing all the things and still being curious. This is the presentation of living ideas – noticing symmetry in nature, measuring ingredients while adjusting a recipe, counting fingers and toes, planting seeds at the correct depth and distance, and asking the lady behind the paint counter how to calculate the number of gallons needed to paint the room you measured together. Let me introduce you to my extraordinary friend, Math.

Just use the coupon code: July4TNHA5 at checkout and save 5% off of your entire cart. No exclusions. Including our award-winning CTC Math classes! 

The coupon expires soon, so go ahead and start planning for Fall 2022 and your best homeschool year ever with True North Homeschool Academy. 

Article was written by Mrs. Tamara Pool.

Tamara Pool

Tamara Pool

TNHA Teacher: Latin I, section II; Medieval World History, National Latin Exam Prep, and Study Skills

One of Tamara’s favorite things is encouraging parents and inspiring teens to pursue deep relationships with God and family and embrace their educational journey. Tamara has served as a writer, conference speaker and homeschool consultant for over 10 years. When she’s not teaching, you’ll find Mrs. Pool enjoying family time, making (or tidying) a creative mess, or studying for her Master of Arts degree in Classical Studies.

Latin, Math, Music: Universal Languages

Latin, Math, Music: Universal Languages

Latin, Math & Music: Universal Languages

Latin, Math, and Music are the three universal languages. In other words, they transcend the cultural barrier and speak to people regardless of what language they were raised with. It’s a great time to be learning all three and if your homeschool doesn’t integrate them into your program already, now it is the time! Students who understand the three universal languages have more tools in their toolbox as they interact and communicate with the world!

Universal Language: Math

Math is symbolic and defines shapes, space, time, volume, and concepts. As you can see math concepts go way beyond a simple math text. You don’t need to share a language to share the beauty and simplicity of math. Students do need math to cook, build, create, shop, and so much more.

Universal Language: Music

Music is evocative but also keeps time, allowing us to understand something basic or complex with emotion, cadence, and rhythm. The beauty of music allows us to respond to each other and the universe despite ability, age, reason, or language. We all know that music can reduce anxiety and stress, refocus our energy, and helps us memorize and hold on to memories.

Universal Lanuage: Latin

Latin because it is the basis of western culture and the root of so many romance languages. The Ancient world was governed by this fascinating language it and it was integral to the formation of western culture. This fascinating language teaches your kids critical thinking skills, vocabulary and so much more!

Latin, Math & Music: Simplify Your Homeschool Journey!

It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the plethora of choices available. Homeschooling offers an abundance of riches that can offer us so many possibilities, but also decision fatigue! You do not need to feel lost and burdened by how much you could do; take heart and simplify! Focusing on Math, Music, and Latin would allow you to provide a superior education to your kids!  Personally, I would add in some fantastic Bible studies, and you would be golden!

Create a Plan, Get a Homeschool Partner

Like me, you might not have considered these three subjects as actual languages and it is a bit of a paradigm shift to think of them as such. Doing so allows us to see the importance and beauty of each, and gives us a great apologetic for spending the time, money, and resources needed to really dive in with all three of them.

Online opportunities abound to learn these three amazing languages; including both free and paid options. Our Academic Advising team is ready to walk you through a typical course of study, based on your student’s needs and goals and help you create a Personalized Learning Plan that is affordable and doable.

 

 

 

5 Homeschool Mom Success Hacks

5 Homeschool Mom Success Hacks

Every homeschool mom wants success as a homeschool mom. Wouldn’t it be great if there were homeschool mom success hacks? Seriously.

  • You’ve combed the internet looking for the best deals.
  • You’ve spent hours visiting your favorite homeschool groups, social media pages, and blogs.
  • You have what is starting to look like a plan.
  • You’ve told yourself that you are ready to get started.

I have a question for you, Mom. What about YOU?

Easy Homeschool Mom Success Hacks You Can Actually Do

We get so wrapped up in preparing for our kids to have a successful school year, that we don’t stop and make a plan for ourselves.  That’s what I want to do in this article today. I want to talk about some sanity savers that will help YOU prepare YOURSELF for back to school!

Homeschool Mom Success Hack #1: The 4 20s

When attending a workshop held by Oginga Carr, a business coach in my network, I heard about the 4 20s. These are four things that you do every morning before picking up your phone or doing anything for anyone else. Here they are:

  • 20 ounces of water—Most water bottles are 16.9 ounces, but you can still find some 20-ounce bottled water, guestimate with your own water bottle, or find a 20-ounce water bottle.
  • 20 ounces of reading from a physical book—GASP! Who does THAT anymore? The truth is that we are less likely to be distracted when we read from a physical book because it has no notifications popping up!
  • 20 ounces of body activation—Yes, exercise is what I mean. This is one that I have to get better with myself. Sigh!
  • 20 minutes of planning—What do you want to get done today? What is it going to take to get it done? Do you have it? If not, what can you use instead? Get things together before your family converges on you!

Homeschool Mom Success Hack #2: Chore and Responsibility Chart

Everybody in the house needs to help—and you need to LET THEM HELP! Let go of the perfectionist mentality and give your children chores. Take advantage of teachable moments because it is all stuff they need to know by the time they leave home anyway!

Consider using a loop schedule to keep down arguments about turns. Here’s what a loop schedule looks like:

SundayMonday
TrashDadMom
KitchenMomKid 1
LaundryKid 1Kid 2
Living RoomKid 2Kid 3
DenKid 3 Dad

Homeschool Mom Success Hack #3: Define Your Working Hours

If you work at home or run a business out of your home, establish definite working hours and get your family on board. Let them know that if no one is bleeding, on fire, or has severed a limb, then you are not to be disturbed. Have things prepared for them to do during that time and teach time how to help each other! Call in reinforcements if you need to, especially if you have little ones.

Homeschool Mom Success Hack #4: Meal Planning and Prep

Having a meal plan can make dinner time simple and shut-down time less chaotic. Start with family favorites and then develop a rotation based on what you know your family will eat without question! For freezer meals, you can use sectioned containers from Amazon. The ones we have are dishwasher, freezer, microwave, and oven safe!

Homeschool Mom Success Hack #5: Commit to Mom Days

Contrary to popular opinion, you need to have a day and time to yourself to do the things that you enjoy. Doing so does not mean that you don’t love your family. The best thing you can give your family is a complete and whole YOU! So, even if it’s just going for a quick walk, a movie, and a snack in your room, or reading a book while they are doing their work. Make a way to do something for YOU!

Back to school isn’t just about them. You need to do things for yourself, too!

Original article by: Tammie Polk is a married homeschooling mother of three girls who has penned and published over 20 books on life, faith, family business, and fiction — all while working as a substitute teacher and virtual assistant, running two businesses, traveling to speak at various events, hosting an international radio show, and hosting her own events! When she’s not running the world, she enjoys gaming, crossword puzzles, and making board games.

Edits, graphics, and updates by Gina Noble.

Organize Your Homeschool

Organize Your Homeschool

Even for the naturally tidy parent, the ability to organize your homeschool can feel like a daunting task. 
This is so much more than laundry, meals, and getting to ball practice on time. You’ve taken on the immense responsibility of educating your children. Disorganization in your homeschool can leave mom feeling overwhelmed and on the edge of burnout. As bad as that is, there’s more. 

Disorganization by Definition

What is disorganization, anyway? You might think organization is cleanliness, but that’s just the fruit of organization.
So, what are we talking about? Disorganization is defined as a “lack of proper planning and control” or “inability to plan one’s affairs or activities efficiently.”
If we apply this definition to homeschooling, it’s easy to get a mental picture. Every homeschool parent has been there.  It might look like being late to important events or not being able to find papers, books, curriculum, supplies when you need them. It can make the homeschooling parent look out of control of the situation to outsiders and even her own family.
And does she feel this? She does. The stress of disorganization is real and it can completely derail your homeschool!

How Disorganization Impacts Homeschool Children

  1. Disrupts focus. Disorganization keeps everyone in multitasking mode rather than deep focus mode. This can make study time more challenging.
  2. Disruptive behavior surfaces. This study demonstrates the impact of clutter and disorganization on our children’s brains. Emotionally regulation is impacted.
  3. Embarrassment.  When children are small, they don’t show embarrassment the same way an older child might experience embarrassment about their surroundings, but disorganization on our part can be a painful experience for our kids.

Disorganization Impacts the Homeschool Mom, too.

When we homeschool, the truth is our homes are in a perpetual state of looking pretty lived-in. Our kids have Lego projects going on, science experiments on the kitchen table, and don’t even get me started on books! 
So, there is a certain amount of clutter we’re likely to live with in this step of our mom journey. But, when it tips over and touches our inability to keep our head on straight (can’t I just have a quiet corner to sip this cup of coffee?), or getting to important places on time (why can’t I find my keys?), or simply finding a pair of matching shoes or socks — it impacts our blood pressure, cortisol, and general mood. 

What We Can Do to Organize Our Homeschool

While the idea of getting organized can feel a little scary, it will bless our families in the long run. And you’ll feel relief at being able to relax in your surroundings!

What can we do?

  1. Set up systems in our home that support us.
  2. Make decisions about what is most important in our surroundings.
  3. Create a rhythm of organization in your homeschool.

No need to embrace mom-guilt, take simple steps to start organizing today. 

 

Still need help? We’ve got you covered with this How to Organize Your Homeschool Masterclass. 

 

Homeschooling and the Power of Boredom

Homeschooling and the Power of Boredom

As summer rapidly approaches, the likelihood of hearing that ominous word—boredom—grows increasingly probable. I learned to carefully avoid this word around my parents in my youth, as it typically meant being given a long list of chores. Our summers involved mostly outdoor activities: riding bikes, woodland exploration, and swimming—with a bit of reading thrown in on rainy days. Our family often had one vacation in the summer, with destinations chosen by my parents based on their interests and tastes, not mine. This was the norm, and it worked.

Modern Parents and the Boredom Principle

It’s safe to say that modern parents appear more obliged to provide the bored child with incessant vacations, camps, and activities to assuage their boredom than previous generations, which begs the question: is boredom a bad thing?

When I was pregnant with my first child, I read a book on childhood brain development for a continuing education credit for my social work licensure. I wish I could recall the text now, but I do remember that the author was emphatic that denying children of downtime—time to be bored—affects them in two significant ways. The first is less creativity, which was no surprise, but the second point was a bit of an epiphany for me. They also struggle to develop clear values and a subsequent moral structure. 

Recently I was reminded of that book while listening to a TED Talk on boredom. Experts agree that free time and daydreaming are essential parts of childhood brain development. Over-scheduled children denied the time to reflect and be creative are not only starving their brains but wrestle with issues of moral ambiguity and difficulty solving problems. Sound familiar? Not to mention that modern children now possess devices that continually entertain and occupy their thoughts—regardless of what the calendar says. Modern science concurs on the subject of boredom with that 20-year-old textbook.

Building Quiet Time Into Your Day

Consequently, as soon as my children were old enough, I built mandatory quiet time into our daily schedule. Each day, my children were required to spend one hour alone in their rooms, where they did not talk, watch TV, or engage with any technology. Total silence. They were allowed to exercise, read, do crafts, build Legos, or anything creative, but they were not to do schoolwork. This was their time to pray, ponder, meditate, be mindful, daydream, analyze, stargaze, imagine, and think deeply.

We had a few more fun things on the schedule when summer approached than when I was a kid. We had a pool, so we had friends over quite a bit. The kids were allowed to pick one day-camp activity, such as horse or robotics camp, and sometimes we would go camping. Otherwise, we expected our kids to ride their bikes, explore the woods, and swim—with reading thrown in on rainy days. If they made the mistake of telling me they were bored, I always had a list of chores or projects handy, and I resisted the urge to fill in the blank spaces on our family calendar.

The Biggest Benefit of Boredom

What happened most was they built tree forts and mud pies and dammed our creek. They went berry picking. They colored pictures at the picnic table. They played with the dog and cat. They played kickball. They pitched a tent in the backyard. They helped me dig weeds in the garden or lay on blankets watching clouds, trying to find cartoon characters in the shapes.

They deliberated internally on their actions, observations, and experiences. They had an epiphany or two, which we would sometimes discuss over their bedtime prayers, and which helped solidify their values. They also had some of the most creative ideas! Through the power of boredom, they nurtured their brain development and pondered what was essential and what kind of people they hoped to be.

Parents, don’t waste the boredom! Instead, recognize it for the opportunity that it is and watch the great things your children will accomplish.

 

Postscript: 

If you would like to watch that TED Talk on boredom, here is a link:

Ted Talk on Boredom Link

Grab our FUN Summer Bucket List– perfect for summer days!

 

About Angie

Mrs. Ferrell lives in southwestern Ohio with her husband of 23 years, her youngest child, and several pets.  Mrs. Ferrell has many hobbies, including gardening, bicycling, quilting, photography, writing, and curriculum development. She is an avid reader and in constant pursuit of new challenges.