Spontaneous Learning - Math After Hours

In the years my children attended traditional school, I was a bedtime Nazi. Dinner was at 5pm, baths immediately afterward. By 7pm, both kids were in bed, stories were read to each, prayers were said, and lights were out by 8pm. Peanut would be out cold within minutes. Bug, not so much. He takes after his mother a bit. But still, he was in bed, albeit often reading for a few more hours before finally passing out cold with a book over his face.

Since we've been homeschooling, specifically unschooling, bedtimes are less relevant. We don't have somewhere to be at 8:30am 99.9% of the time. My kids have also reached a point that if they stay up late, they sleep in. (This was not the case in their younger years...the later they went to bed, the earlier they awoke. Pure Hell.)

So, bedtimes have been creeping. I am, by nature, a night person. I think morning people are weak. I think they are afraid of the dark. Their superiority complex makes me want to shove the sunshine down their perky little throats. But, I digress.

My point is that as my children have stayed up later, interesting things have been possible. We can socialize later when visiting with family or friends. And, without the pressure of a set bedtime, we can do more impromptu learning.

For example, Peanut and I were sitting on her bed tonight, chatting and winding down. We started to talk about how she wants to study math now that she's homeschooling. Does she want to use a text, do an online course, use an eclectic approach? Then, I said, "You know how you want to paint your room? Well, that's a great opportunity for a real-life math problem."

Next thing you know, we've grabbed the whiteboard off her bedroom wall (Velcro rocks), a measuring tape, and set to work calculating the area of the walls to be painted in her room. We talked about squared numbers, calculated the area of two walls (then doubled each), one ceiling, and have plans to calculate the area of the window, closet opening, and door to subtract them from the current total.



Peanut working on the problem of the area of the ceiling, which she calculated last as she then had the length of the already determined from measuring the walls and could just plug it in to figure the ceiling area.

What time did this math lesson happen? After 11pm, right when it was supposed to happen. When did you learn to calculate area? Do you remember? I don't know if Peanut will, but I'm guessing she might.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]