Understanding <em>That's Math!</em>

During the Texas Home School Coalition Convention, That’s Math! had its “booth debut”. It was a bit difficult, at first, to decide how to present it (verbally) to attendees.

The Early Attempts

I found myself saying things one minute, and reversing my conceptualization, the next.

“Well, it’s not really a curriculum. In fact, it’s not a curriculum at all.”

60 seconds later…

“It’s actually more of a curriculum supplement.”

A few minutes after that…

“Are you familiar with the term ‘stealth-schooling’ or ‘un-schooling’… that’s essentially what this is.”

How to mentally “package” That’s Math!?

To be completely fair, and to try not to pat myself (ourselves) on the back too much, there is a lot going on with That’s Math! – it’s got a lot to offer.

After three days at the THSC Convention (which Bon presented at), I spent a lot of quiet time digesting the rhetoric and trying to mentally “package” That’s Math!.

Trying to tell someone all that That’s Math! does, much less explain how, in a matter of seconds is extremely difficult. Why? Because That’s Math! is a “multi-faceted” approach to parents’ involvement in their child’s math development.

There are a lot of parts that make up the whole (multi-faceted). And they all help do the same thing – just in different ways.

So where to go from there?

That’s Math! is a toolbox.

That’s Math! is like a well stocked toolbox you buy brand new. It has a ton of different tools already in it – many of which you will use often, some occasionally, some perhaps never.

You don’t need to utilize all of them all the time to enjoy the real value and purpose. The ones you use often are well organized and where you need them.

And the occasional ones – it’s great to have them there when you do use them.

Different parents – different tools

I’ve shared with you a few scenarios below. Chances are, at least one of these will apply to you:

Someone who has a bit of math anxiety, themselves, but wants to be a positive influence in their child’s life uses more of the practice elements and does more glossary perusing. This helps you to develop your own “relationship” with math so that this “rubs off” on your kiddo (and it will).

A (currently) math confident parent uses the activity pages (or worksheets) from the DO MATH section. These sets of “tools” give you fresh ideas of how to engage your child in the math around them.

Engineering and other STEM career parents may find themselves talking about intangible worksite projects that have confused their child.

You can use the Quick Reference Cards to help you find the math in your home and acknowledge that math in their world.

A busy parent who doesn’t have time to log on to the site utilizes the once a week mini-module “That’s Math! Quikies”.

They’re sent to you via email and can be done in a matter of minutes to keep you consistently involved in your child’s math development.

After the Conference

I realized That’s Math! can be described in a number of ways. It just depends on what you, the parent, need and want:

  1. Influence your child with positive math statements
  2. Engage your child with math happening around you
  3. Stealth schooling outside the “classroom”
  4. Supplement a traditional “pencil & paper” curriculum
  5. Socially model a healthy relationship with math
  6. Improve your own comfort level with math
All this in the service of being a positive and active part of your child’s math development.

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