Hey friend ...
Will you join me in a math challenge? Not a challenge for your children. A challenge for you.
You are probably no stranger to the 30-Day-Challenge world. If you search 30-Day-Challenges, you will find a plethora. Nutrition, fitness, mindset, organizing, budgeting, reading, photography, crafts. The list continues.
Over the past several months, I have been diligently searching for a challenge that includes higher-level math. I have yet to locate one. What they say is true -- Mom! Please don't make me do this. I will never use Algebra again.
I often tell other homeschoolers that homeschooling needs to be treated like a job. Naturally, it is a job with a very flexible schedule, but some days, in order to get the work done, a homeschooler needs to clock in and complete her necessary responsibilities. Distractions need to be left at home. Dishes (ignore them!) Facebook (log out!) phone calls (decline!) cannot be completed at work, and sometimes they cannot be completed during a home educating day. Save the distractions for when you clock out!
Also, if an employee wants to keep her job, and do it even a little bit well, she needs to be willing to learn new responsibilities and duties. The accounting software is unfamiliar and overwhelming on day one. But with time, training, and learning, the software is mastered. Using it might even become enjoyable. With much confidence, this employee might even start training others.
I have mentioned this before, but I will say it again ... This year my children and I have focused on math. So. Much. Math. Let me digress by saying, I think it's totally acceptable for a homeschooler to outsource some of their math journey at the higher levels. Whether it be via video curriculum, private tutor, or an outside class, there are experts in this field that can and will teach your children this subject. That is ok. But, I think if a homeschooler wants to do the job, and do the job well, she will need to revisit higher-level math.
This year, I have learned that I don't need to know all the math. But I do need to know some of it.
I have an average mathematics back ground. I took math in high school because I had to. I took exactly one math course in college because that was all I was required to take. Because I have committed myself to learning math and helping my children master math, I'm amazed at how much I've relearned and rediscovered in a matter of months. In fact, like most subjects, I wish I could go back and retake it!
So, this brings me to my challenge. In the challenge-world, we witness better results if someone has done a little bit of fitness everyday, as opposed to skipping 29 days of working out, and cramming it all in on day 30. Same with dieting. We know that the house stays organized if we make it a priority to tidy a few minutes a day, rather than being forced to invest an entire weekend just to sort through the mail. We improve in photography, crafting, reading, and more if we commit to it daily.
Will you join me in completing one "higher-level" math problem a day? I'm putting "higher-level" in quotes because my problems range from 7th grade math to Algebra II. I've spent most of my spare time this year solving math problems. I know that's not a hobby that sounds delightful to most people, but I have come to truly enjoy it. I've unearthed a few that I think will challenge your mind and build your confidence. A little bit everyday goes a long way.
I'm planning on posting one problem to Instagram each morning in April, along with a teaser one for this post. (Wish me luck. This requires serious organization on my part!) At some point during the day, I will also post the answer. In the future, I will write an entire post on how valuable it is to give your children the answer guide while learning math. Each problem will take you less than a few minutes to solve. I am confident that you will build your math confidence. If you have questions, let me know. If I can't answer you questions, I will default to my husband and/or my son.
My Instagram can be found here. I will be using the hashtag: #30daymathchallenge. Tag away if you have any a-ha moments.
I also want to add that if you aren't a homeschooler (and you've read this far, kudos to you!) this challenge is still for you. We model learning to our children regardless of the specific educational path that we're on. Plus, you might actually uncover a few tricks to help your children if they have homework questions.
I'm anticipating being smarter with you at the end of April! Let's math together. Here is today's problem: