Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Math and UnMath

Hi. We're back. Things have been ups and downs here. We've been doing a lot of learning-on-the-fly, because our schedule has been topsy-turvy, and sometimes you just have to go with the lessons in front of you, instead of a lot of planned-out sit-down stuff.

Andy has been having some trouble with sit-down stuff. Partly, we've spoiled him, and he doesn't want to do stuff he considers "work." If it looks like work, it's Bad. This is not conducive to good study habits, or feeling good about homeschooling from the parental point of view. In fact, it's pretty frustrating to have a kid who can get through all three DragonBox apps in a couple of weeks, but when you pull out a math sheet, has a screaming meltdown fit.

But then I thought, wait; he got through all three of those math apps in a couple of weeks. He's got the logic of algebra down. Maybe part of the problem is that it is time to move on. Time to get into practicalities of math, and how it really is used. Algebra is how we really do math- we have formulas to solve a problem, and we need to find the missing information using the information we actually have.

We start pre-algebra when my classes end, so I am sure to have some solid time blocks to work with him. We start algebra this fall. He's ready.

Today, we worked on logic of coding and computer algorithms. This is the base work for starting computer programing and logical sequencing, and we are working on it through a game we got at the science museum. It has a minecrafty theme, and you have to get from point A to point B on the board, using the correct number of moves, with restrictions on direction you can move (this is level one. It's going to get more complicated, up to level 4.) He liked it, though we were both hoping it was going to have a two-player version of the game that might offer competition of some kind, so that we could both play; instead, the only multi-player involves one person creating the instructions and reading them off for the other person to put into action. Not even really a lot of teamwork there.

Yet we got through ten maps on level 1, and that was a pretty good math lesson for the day.

Then I told him I learned some basic coding from coding multi-user games. So he wanted to see one. And lo and behold, they still exist- and there were even some friends online! So I introduced my son to the world of MUDs. Text-based MUDs, people. Choose-your-own-adventure in real time. He was fascinated.

So coming attractions: Andy starts adventuring online, and having to READ to do it. Stay tuned.

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