Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What can we learn about math from homeschoolers?

So I'm talking to my niece and she has 2 girls that are freaky good at math. This is more the exception than the rule in the real world. And so I learn that her secret is that they are homeschooled. But I suspect that their performance has less to do with homeschooling and more to do with the attitude and teaching style of their mom. A series of studies reviewed and published by the Math Forum clearly shows that these 2 things have the greatest impact on math performance by girls.

In this case their mom believes that math skills are important for girls to learn and her approach is very cooperative, different than the competitive approach she takes with her 2 boys. She also tends to spend more time creating exercises to practice math and their favorite is cooking and recipes. They get to experiment by doubling or cutting in half family favorite recipes. Not only do they get to learn math, they have a great payoff at the end of the lesson - dinner!