Our local YMCA offers homeschooling classes. This winter I signed my children (and me!) up for a 10-week Logic class. Its description: A focus on developing logic, mathematical problem solving, and reasoning skills. Students will learn how to think mathematically as well as develop a love for logic and reason. We will practice quick recall of facts through fast-paced games. Geometry, algebra, and pre-calculus will be integrated with logic and problem solving.
Neither of my children were thrilled with this opportunity. To be honest, the main reason I signed us up was to hopefully gather a few new ideas for my Essentials class. Truly, I had envisioned I would post once about the entire class.
Well, imagine my surprise when during the first week of class I felt that I had stumbled into a gold-mine. The class is taught by a former high school and college math and science teacher who is now a homeschooler. Each week, she has offered something fun yet challenging that has renewed my vision to teach my children math. I've now realized I will be posting many times about all the wonderful new tools she has equipped us with.
Last week, we "warmed up our brains" with a few rounds of a Knight's Tour. If you are a chess player, you are probably familiar with this game. The student is given an 8x8 checkerboard. The object is to fill the board with as many numbers as you can (up to 64) only moving in the sequence that a knight can move on a chess board (an L-shaped pattern). Start anywhere on the board with the number 1. Then move in an L-shape and place the number 2. Continue the sequence until you are blocked. Once your number is blocked, the game ends.
I made a few copies of her worksheet and placed them in page protectors, so that we can play this game regularly throughout the week.
Highest praise came from my 12-year-old daughter who exclaimed, "This can't be math. It's just too much fun!"
If you are interested, I found an online printable checkerboard here, and if you want to try your hand at online play, follow this link.