Wednesday, August 19, 2015

development and math...

kindergarten occupations in Trondheim
Yesterday our staff orientation meeting was dedicated to our math-u-see program at Clear Spring School. As we know, kids can be all over the place in their development. For instance, a child may begin walking at 9 months, or as late as 19 months and still be within the range of normal development. And so, by the age at which a child is ready to enter formal education, the timing of certain areas of brain development can take quite a spread.

There are things that a young mother and father can do to stimulate counting, number recognition and pattern recognition as preparation for math, but there are some concepts that the child just won't get until the brain is ready to process the understanding. For instance board games can help a child as young as three or four to recognize patterns representing numbers on the dice, and can give both purpose and practice to counting exercises. Still, there are elements of math that won't be understood until the brain is more fully developed.

The approach taken by public education in the US is to put children on a developmental timeline based on the necessities of classroom  and staff management. If the child is not developmentally ready, the learning won't happen. The child becomes frustrated, decides he or she hates math, and the wonders of math are there by extracted from the child's range of discovery.

It surprises me that more people are not in a state of outrage over schooling that ignores children's developmental range in the process of learning.

Math-u-see is individualized with each student progressing at his or her own level, with no stigma attached to what that level is.

In the meantime, Scott Bultman's kickstarter campaign to create a film about Froebel is on track for fulfillment. I signed up to be one of the sponsors, and I hope you will, too.

Make, fix and create... help others to do likewise.

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