Living and Loving Math

X (however many) Habits of Highly Effective Math Teaching:

Part 4: Living and Loving Math

You are the teacher. You show the way - also with your attitudes, your way of life.

Do you use math often in your daily life? Is using mathematical reasoning, numbers, measurements, etc. a natural thing to you every day?

And then: do you like math? Love it? Are you happy to teach it? Enthusiastic?

Both of these tend to show up in how you teach, but especially so in a homeschooling enviroment, because at home you're teaching your kids a way of life, and if math is a natural part of it or not.

Math is not a drudgery, nor something just confined to math lessons.

Some ideas:
  • Let it make sense. This alone can usually make math quite a difference and kids will stay interested.

  • Read through some fun math books, such as Theoni Pappas books, or puzzle-type books. Get to know some interesting math topics besides just schoolbook arithmetic. And, there are even story books to teach math concepts - see a list here.

  • Try including a bit about math history. This might work best in a homeschooling environment where there is no horrible rush to get through the thick book before the year is over. Julie at has suggestions for math history books to buy.

  • When you use math in your daily life, explain how you're doing it, and include the children if possible. Figure it out together.

I've talked about all this before, so I really don't want to go into repeating myself too much. But I did want to include this principle in my "mini-series" of effective habits of math teaching.
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