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Tips for Learning Maths
by Beverley Paine
With maths, whenever I began to get hopelessly confused I would go back to using concrete materials. Work with counters or blocks or cardboard, or whatever, illustrating what you are doing with pens and paper if necessary. Children 'see' the principles and concepts with their fingers and by moving concrete materials around. Most children are asked to shift to using abstract thinking way too early. Some children continue to count on their fingers all the way up to high school but most are embarrassed and simply give up and fake understanding. A few actually understand but in my opinion they are in the minority. Most of us simply learn the tricks and how to apply them but never really understand what we're doing with numbers and why, even as adults. Using concrete materials for as long as we need to and even occasionally as adults helps us understand the principles and concepts at work. Let children work sums and problems out in their heads and by manipulating real materials for as long as they want to. It really does help.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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