09 June 2008
Unschooling Snapshot of Fractions
Last week, Kullen was helping me make biscuits. We were humming around the kitchen together and throwing ingredients into the mixer. He had the measuring spoons out and was measuring baking powder. I looked and realized he had a rather large spoon out. He told me that our set didn't have a 1/8th tsp. like the recipe called for, so he was going to use the 1/4th twice. Yikes! I tried explaining - which eventually took us to the chalkboard where I drew two pies and cut one into fourths and one into eighths. With that simple picture, he has a better understanding of fractions than all the 4th/5th grade worksheets in the world could've conveyed. Why? Because it had meaning in his world. It was applicable to life. I was a grown adult woman cooking in my kitchen and had "ah ha" moments where some comcept I had memorized in elementary school finally had applicability. When children are free to live life and learn as they go, things they learn have relevance. Instead of being random facts floating around in their head, they have tangible meaning. Life equates real learning. You can't live without learning even if you try! I'm all for it!