Monday, March 10, 2008

Numbers of things

“You can’t really want to do these ghastly sounding sums,” said Hal.
“They’re not ghastly when you understand them.”
“But can you?”Hal asked it doubtfully. It did not seem to her that anybody could.
“I could if they were explained to me.I have to. They’re…they’re my language,” said Una.
“The Peacock Spring” by Rumer Godden

I am one of those who see the study of Mathematics as just that; a foreign language. However I have a daughter who just as Una said “speaks” in Mathematics(and probably dreams in it too) Years ago when we were new to this homeschooling business I worked my oldest two children at the same level and pace in Maths. My oldest plodded away at it(when his mind wasn’t drifting away to a ‘national Geographic article he’d “successfully” hidden behind the text). He couldn’t do much more though, because like me, it wasn’t his language. His sister only sixteen months younger probably cut her teeth on numbers! She tells me now how there was never enough Maths in our schoolwork. Still it took a work of fiction to make my language orientated brain understand this!

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