Waldorf In The Home

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Math By Hand

I had a delightful opportunity to introduce a kit from Math By Hand to my girls. I have been following Marin's work for about two years, always admiring her posts and her products. She sent us her Grade Two Kit #1.

First, there isn't anything much more exciting for my girls than getting a package in the mail. It was a nice kick-off to the start of our new season of  lessons, and I bet they would love to continue to receive the remaining kits throughout the year which will help me keep the lessons fresh and interactive and keep me on my toes. Math isn't my favorite subject, but please don't tell my girls that. 

This kit could not have been more perfect for me.  Introducing and reintroducing the times table - this kit was the way to go.  It included a huge poster to make our own poster-sized times table, colored pencils, an eraser, a card game and a great little booklet that really brought the times table to life. I couldn't have gathered all the materials as easily on my own, nor would I have been able to present it as well.  This kit did it for me. I was enthusiastic, Marin made the process so doable, so enjoyable, the presentation was fantastic. The girls were just as impressed. 

I am teaching both girls (ages 6 & 8)  the same math block. Second grade is middle ground for them and it is working out very nicely for us. 

We learned how to fold the poster to make 144 squares, then we highlighted the squares with yellow crayon and started filling the times tables we knew from memory. The we followed Marin's suggestions for building and filling out the rest the table. 

The process was a joy to experience.  Both girls are happy with their contributions to the table and the games. My youngest started to see patterns in the table right away, she seems to have a knack for numbers naturally, or perhaps she is just more fascinated with them.  Teaching Math from a Waldorf perspective was completely foreign to me and yet I am able to present it and I am having ah-hah moments. I have never understood the times table like I do now thanks to Marin and this very interactive Grade Two Kit. When I was a child, I used to sneak a peek at the table at the back of my composition book, and it was considered cheating, so I never really studied it the way Marin's little booklet suggests and reveals. If I had, I bet math would have been more enjoyable for me and I wouldn't have cheated. This huge times table poster has been the most useful tool for our math lessons thus far. It hangs proudly on our dining room wall, and it is as dear to us as it is invaluable to us. 

The kit spans several days of lessons. We started with it two weeks ago, and we will probably use the kit all year, and the times table poster for years to follow.  

You can find the Math By Hand kit here.  You can find her other kits here and her free newsletter. Marin's Facebook page is one of my favorites. Her posts are like receiving little gems in the mail. 

Thank you Marin. You are my math idol, no even better…a math Goddess. 

Happy Goddess Wednesday,


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