Math Blog: The Learning Process (Plus New Videos)

I recently watched a video on New Year’s resolutions that got me.

In the video, a little girl pointed out that if she wanted to ride a bike, it took more than a resolution. It took a willingness to fall and try again and again.

That illustration seemed to capture very well the learning process. It’s easy to start the new year with resolutions of how much better things will be (or how much better math class will be), but the reality of getting there will involve taking steps…and being willing to get back up when we fall.

As students try to improve problem-solving skills and stretch themselves, they will likely get problems wrong, just as we will fall off a bike when learning to ride. It’s part of the learning process. And as you try to teach math from a biblical worldview, you will likely fall short of what you hoped. Make sure you’re striving for the right goals–for God’s goals. But if you are, don’t give up–get back on that bike 🙂

New Videos
For the last several months, I’ve been working on an eCourse supplement to go alongside Book 2 of Principles of Mathematics…and it’s now finished! In the videos, I present the various concepts step-by-step. Whether you’re using the Principles of Mathematics program or not, feel free to check out some of the sample videos. I’ve put together a page with more information about the video eCourse.


This feedback made my day yesterday.

“Thanks again. We love this book – it’s the first year in about the last 8 years that we haven’t had tears in our math time with this child, and she loves seeing the connections in math to real things that God created.” – Debby [referring to Principles of Mathematics: Book 1]

Free Math Video & Information
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Back-to-School Math Encouragement and Free Resources

Transforming Math

It’s the time of year again where many of you may be heading back to school after a summer break.

Here are some free resources to help encourage/equip you to teach math from a biblical worldview as you go.

  • Free Transforming Math Video – Watch this 18-minute video to get a glimpse into how biblical principles really can transform math, making it an exciting exploration of God’s creation. When you sign up for the video, you’ll also get a free read-aloud story that illustrates how often we really do use numbers, and a series of emails with other information and reminders to help you teach from a biblical worldview.
    Transforming Math
  • Math, Lightning, & Thunder – I recently blogged over on The Creation Club about how we can use math to help us approximate the distance to a lightning strike. Even a summer thunderstorm gives us an opportunity to explore God’s creation and marvel at God’s greatness (after all, He’s the one who makes the lightening and brings forth the wind – see Jeremiah 51:16).
  • Upcoming Articles – I have articles coming out this fall/winter in both the Old Schoolhouse Magazine and Homeschool Enrichment. If you get either of those magazines, be sure to take a look.
  • Sample Lessons – Watch a free preview of a lesson on place value, one on fractions, and one on lines and angles.
Note: If you’ve found these resources helpful, please share with a friend.

When Math Feels Daunting – Plus Summer Reading Coupon

Math—especially upper-level math—can feel daunting. Teaching it can seem insurmountable.

How do we do it? Step by step. Whether a course, concept, or problem, it becomes doable when we break it down into steps.

In our next post, we’ll take a look at some ways to help to teach your child problem-solving skills. For now, I just want to point out that the same principle of breaking problems down to steps applies to teaching. While it may be tempting to look at your child’s whole future math courses and wonder how you’ll get through it, just take each day step-by-step. Trust that God will provide solutions at each stage. He gives us our daily bread, not grace for the rest of our lives. Run to the One who knows math inside out and seek His grace and wisdom. As you do, you just might find math class teaching you (and your students) more than just math.

Side note: Summertime is a great time of year to explore supplemental math resourcesBiblical Math Resources you might not have time for during the school year. To help, we’re offering 10% off the math resources in our store through June 30, 2014. Just use code SUMMER10.

Whether you have your older students work through something like Revealing Arithmetic (just have them read the first section of each chapter to gain a biblical view of arithmetic) or Mathematics: Is God Silent?, or have fun Exploring the World of Mathematics together or doing some of the hands-on suggestions in Revealing Arithmetic, we hope you enjoy!

Remember, too, that your library may have some hands-on math books with great summertime ideas, and feel free to explore our blog for some other resources we’ve mentioned over the years.

New ICR Fibonacci Numbers/Math Video

This 1:26 video from Institute for Creation Research touches on Fibonacci numbers…and ends with a reminder to “praise God for all He has created”…which includes math!

Enjoy 🙂

Letting the Fear Go

The back cover of Math: Facing an American Phobia states that “more than two-thirds of American adults fear and loathe mathematics. Math is right up there with snakes, public speaking, and heights.”

Perhaps you’re one of those two-thirds. Perhaps you’re afraid of how to teach your child math…especially as you approach or enter high school. Maybe your fear is that they’ll encounter a problem you can’t help your child solve…or maybe you’re afraid your child won’t succeed in a career because you missed something in math. Perhaps you’re afraid of others’ criticism and their remarks about how behind your student is.

With the traditional school year upon us, I just want to remind us all (myself included!) that God has not given us a spirit of fear.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

As you think about teaching math this year, focus your heart on God’s greatness. He created and sustains the consistencies around us that make math possible. He knows you and your child intimately. And He will never leave or forsake us.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Joshua 1:9

As always, feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail with thoughts or questions!

When You Feel Like Giving Up

I buried my head in my hand, frustrated beyond words and feeling completely incapable. I’d been trying to get through this chapter for days now, and it just wasn’t jelling. To top it, the computer was misbehaving, and I wasn’t feeling well. Why was I writing this again?

As you teach your children math, do you ever find yourself feeling discouraged or frustrated? If so, you’re not alone. We live in a world where things do get difficult. But we also serve a God who works all things together for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

For me, the discouragement forced me to reexamine why I was doing what I was doing. I realized anew it was because I’d been called—and with that came the knowledge that, much as I felt otherwise, if God had called me to a task, then I could do it in Him. I couldn’t carry on—but He could. And if He’d called me to do this, He would make a way.

If an aspect of math—or the thought of teaching high school math—has you scared, run to your King. If He has called you to do it, then He will make a way…and you’ll be so blessed as you watch Him work.

P.S. I’d love for you to write me and let me know what areas of math are causing frustrations. It would be an honor to pray for you and to share any thoughts I might have.