When numbers really matter: A look at math in the real world

Unschooling and math in the real world

I’ve got a bachelor’s degree in advanced math, and a 12-year-old daughter who hates anything to do with the subject.

I’m an unschooling mama who loves to do math puzzles and logic problems for fun.

I’m not sure if that combination makes me an expert or just crazy, but because of it, I agreed to take part in the iHomeschool Network’s “5 days of…” series this week with a look at 5 days of real-world math.

This series is for you if…

You’re an unschooler who is afraid to “let go” of a math curriculum. We started out that way – all “interest-led” except for a requirement that Sarah do a page of a math workbook each day. Guess what? Having her HATED subject be her only required subject did not exactly help, but seeing what she’s learned since we broke away from that has been amazing!

You’re following a homeschool math curriculum with your child, but aren’t super-confident about your own math abilities. It’s hard to know if your kids are “getting it” if you’re not sure that you are – and I’ve been there! If you have a checklist of practical skills to measure against, though, you can much more easily find out if your program is working.

You’ve got preschoolers and aren’t sure how to “get started” with math. The great thing about these real-world concepts is they’re tangible – and that makes them a solid starting point for early learners.

You’ve got high-schoolers who will soon be entering the adult world. Even if your 17-year-old can handle algebra or geometry, can he or she pay the bills and manage a trip to the grocery store?

What we’ll talk about

Monday: The math you need at the grocery store
Tuesday: The math you need in your kitchen
Wednesday: The math you need to manage your money
Thursday: The math you need to play sports and do other fun stuff (yes, really!)
Friday: Real-world math resources you’ll love

You can read all the posts here!

The prerequisites

No algebra required. Just please, don’t tune out if you hate math!

I do ask that you kick off the week by reading this article from The Atlantic: “The 11 Ways That Consumers are Hopeless at Math.”

Please realize that this piece is written about people from all SORTS of educational backgrounds. The fact is, many of us are college-educated and still “fall for” all sorts of mathematical fallacies every day!

I can’t save the world from mathematical mischief or leap tall buildings in a single bound. (Which, of course, is totally a physics equation.)

What I can do is give you a list of what a well-rounded person should know about math to be able to function in the world!

More five-day fun

This post is part of the iHomeschool Network’s summer “Five Days Of…” series. Click the collage below to see how some of my fellow bloggers are spending their “five days,” and to learn more about our series sponsor, the BEECH Retreat bloggers’ conference!


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