Asher used to love math and playing with numbers. I did a lot of math activities with the children in Malawi, as I felt that they weren't given a great introduction to really understanding numbers and how to play with them and observe them in daily life. In my own experience, math was either my favourite subject or the most detested. I really wanted my children to learn to enjoy numbers and math, so I tried to be proactive.
Now the children are at school all day, and the younger two have a math program that basically consists of self-paced worksheets. Ugh. Ana has started an integrated math program for high school that she enjoys, but Asher has come to have a less than warm response to all things mathematical. I also saw that he has forgotten a lot of what he once knew. I do love the children's school, as do they, but the math program is really a gaping weakness. So. This break, Asher and I are starting from scratch and reviewing what he should know and be comfortable with as a third grader. I thought I would share what we do as it might be helpful for others.
We began with a review of the basic properties of the digits 0-9. We looked at several a day (I wouldn't do this if I were introducing them), and made a page about each one. Some days he was feeling more artistically inclined than others, but we got through. :) We talked about a lot more than what I list (and what we drew) below, especially over the course of time. But this gives you a few ideas to begin with. I'm starting with 0-3 today, and will upload more as I have the chance.
Zero is potential. It is the point of generation, and what allows growth and decline, addition and subtraction, positive and negative, to take place. Sometimes it is thought of as a mere place holder, but I like to go a bit Zen with it. Far more exciting (and accurate, really).
One is fascinating as it is both underlying unity of form and uniqueness simultaneously. We looked at both the individual and the oneness of humanity; the unity of God; the earth, peace (Asher's idea), and in terms of geometry, globes and circles. It is both infinitely divisible and inherently whole.
Two illustrates balance and equality. Like the yin and yang, two apparant opposites provide stability and completion. We talked about many of these "opposites" and why we need both of them (life and death, dark and light, male and female, material and spiritual,night and day, sciences and arts). We discussed the force generated by the attraction of these two "opposing" elements, as found in the power of electricity between two poles, or the love between two people. We also looked at binary and morse code, and the ability for communication and complexity latent in the simplicity of duality.
Three is the beginning of complexity, mulitplicity and diversity. Three can be found in the family, in musical harmony, and the primary colours. The geometry of three is expressed in triangles, and can be found in natural examples such as the life cycle of frogs and newts, trillium leaves and flowers and clover.
I hope this is helpful for you! Or at least interesting. Numbers are fun, dag nabbit.