Using beer to teach maths!

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using-beer-to-teach-mathsLast year, there was a moment in Little Miss Green’s life when the time was right for her to do joined up writing.

We didn’t ‘teach’ her, she just did it. She had realised there was a difference between our writing for some time and one day, she grabbed a pen and produced her first two words of ‘grown up’ writing.

This weekend we had a similar story with maths.

Out of the mould

One of the reasons we took her out of school was because she was not getting the help she needed as an individual.

She was excellent at reading (so didn’t get chance to read every day because there weren’t any ‘problems’), but was labelled ‘bad’ at maths because a number line just didn’t make sense to her.

Unfortunately, because number lines is how you teach maths these days, she got left behind, panicked, became fearful of maths (she still is) and told she was no good.

The power of belief

More damaging than that, she started to believe that she was no good at maths.

Heaven forbid that the teacher find another way to teach maths; one that speaks to the child in their language.

At home, we ‘do maths’ as far away from sitting on a chair with a pencil and worksheet in hand as possible.

Creative teaching

We cook, plant seeds, share things at mealtimes, sort clothes, pay for things in the shop and measure things.

This weekend we parked outside a pub to go to a local shop. On the blackboard, Little Miss Green had noticed that it was £2 for a pint of beer. She’s her father’s daughter through and through!

As we were crossing the road she said ‘If it’s £2 for a pint, then it must be £1 for half a pint and erm, 50p for quarter of a pint’.

Wow! Fractions!

All that from a child who is ‘bad’ at maths …

What about you? What wonderful moments have there been in your child’s life when you realise they have learned something all by themselves?


  1. John Lennon on May 7, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Raising four boys I found that everyone has a different rate of learning, and a different way that they learn. You as a parent have to put the work in to make sure your child gets the education they need. You cannot just rely on the schools to do it for you.

  2. Mrs Green on May 7, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    @John Lennon: Hi – thank you for taking time to comment. I agree – we are all individuals and not many kids fit into the mould of what schools expect. Those that do can get on great and school can be a very positive experience, but for the rest of them it can be a struggle at best.
    It’s lovely to meet someone who understands that and is doing the best for their children – your boys are very lucky 🙂

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