I imagine that many of you are pulling out the school books and getting ready to begin “school” again with your children (I put “school” in parenthesis because you’ve really been schooling your children all summer long too—we’re always learning). I thought it might be helpful for you to have a couple fall/back-to-school related ideas you could use to help bring math into everyday life, showing your child that math is a real-life tool we use to help us describe and quantify God’s creation.
–Have your child help you figure out how many pages they need to complete in their books each day.
My mom used to tell us at the beginning of the year how many pages/chapters we’d need to read each day/week. She figured out this number by dividing the total pages/chapters in the book by the number of days/weeks in a school year (minus any vacation days).
As you sit down to plan your child’s lessons, why not let him help you? Explain that we can use math to help us with the tasks God has given us to do. Talk to your child about how, by using math to plan the school year, you’re using math to help you with the task God has given you.
–Talk about Adam and Naming the Animals
You may want to open up Genesis 1 and 2 and discuss how right there in the Garden of Eden, God brought animals to Adam to name. The numbers 1, 2, 3 are just symbols we use, like names, to help us refer to quantities.
For some added fun, have your child try to come up with his own number system. Making up a number system is a great way to reinforce the idea that our number system is just one set of symbols that we use to help us describe God’s creation.
–How long until…?
Children are notorious for wanting to know how long it will be until something happens. At least I did! : ) How long until my birthday? Until Thanksgiving? Until dinner?
Take advantage of these every-day questions to show your child how math helps us keep track of time. Because God gave us the sun, moon, and stars to serve as signs and seasons (Genesis 1:14-16), and because He gave us the ability to develop calendars and time-keeping devices, we’re able to keep track of time. We can use numbers to represent the passing days and years.
I hope the above ideas will prove useful and inspire other ideas of your own!
May God bless you as you start the new year seeking Him in everything–even math!
After having her own view of math transformed, Katherine has been researching, writing, and speaking on a biblical worldview of math for more than a decade. Her books on math and a biblical worldview have been used by individuals, homeschool groups, and Christian schools and colleges, and she recently finished a junior high math curriculum. Receive her free Math from a Biblical Worldview e-mail course at mathisnotneutral.com