Saturday, 19 November 2011
Math and Money!
I've been thinking lots this week about maths, what with the Primary Maths Challenge coming up, it always makes me feel the same! The children are always playing board, computer games, baking and weighing so I know the kind of maths they are doing to be more practical and more like real maths. They are good at adding up their pocket money, working out if they have enough to buy whatever it is they are after, how much change they will get, how many weeks pocket they need to save up for something etc. All good practise in life skills I think. Filling in workbooks and sheets is all well and good for short periods but I find it uninspiring sometimes so tend you use them for gap fillers really. A friend gave me the link for this website, its called Mathwire and is American but has lots of theme related maths which the children have really enjoyed this week. Cordelia sat a few days ago and discussed Prime Numbers and also pie (not that kind but the maths kind. No symbol on my pc available though). We discussed it for a good hour and she came away feeling much more confident about both of the things I'd introduced her too. I think maths is also a lot about confidence and that's one thing that I'm trying to give them all lots of. I wasn't very good at math at school and only re-sat my GCSE 4/5 years ago, gosh I'm so glad I did because its been so useful. I really like the Schofield & Simms workbooks, especially their problem solving books as that is very much like real life math problems. I'm not saying I want my children to be accountants when they grow up (although that would be fine, if they wanted too of course) but I just think its important to be able to work things out yourself and it can only help them to be good with money etc when they get older. I think lessons in money/finance etc begin now and if we don't help them with it now then where will it lead too? My parents were not the kind to save up and wait to buy something, they were the 'stick it on the credit card and pay it later' generation. So I too have grown up with that, its only in recent years I have learnt to be much more careful with money, although that is very tricky when you have four children, unfortunately they rarely grow out of shoes/coats/clothes a month at a time! So I want to bring the children up to save and make sure they can afford things and also to know that not everything has to be expensive, charity shops/car boots are part of our life now and I think its helped them to see how much more they can get for their money. They are also good at making things for presents rather than going and buying them, which is lovely. As they get older they see things in shops and have started to say "I can make that myself, much cheaper" so I'm hoping that's a good sign. They've also learnt that money isn't everything, it can't buy you happiness. That's a rather important lesson to learn I think.