Can you learn math by knitting?

I have people ask me all the time “how do I teach math to my kids” or “how can I get my kids interested in math.” Well here is an idea for you. Find something they are interested in that uses math. What a simple and wonderful concept; find something they are interested in that uses math! ** **Teaching math to children has a lot to do with inspiration.

One day I saw an except from a book called At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women who Knit Too Much by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. You are going to LOVE this!

“I failed 10th grade math four times. I hate [math] so much that the very thought of a return to it in any form is enough to make me want to run away to Belize, screaming all the way. It is a deeply bitter truth that knitting has math in it. Division to place increases, addition to enlarge, subtraction to shrink, even some multiplication to work out how many times a Fair Isle motif will fit across a row. If you want to be a knitter, there is going to be some math. It is incredible to me that the very same computations that made me want to claw my eyes out in math class are completely worthwhile in knitting. Why couldn’t they have used knitting to teach math in 10th grade?”

Math is everywhere. You can find math in everyday life, games, puzzles, and projects. You find math in life skills. The math found in workbooks is supplementary to all the stuff in the world. If workbooks are the only place a child is being exposed to math, then it’s no wonder that they don’t care for math, or that they think it’s hard – it’s doesn’t mean anything to them. They don’t have the opportunity to learn that math can be fun and that it has meaning in their lives!

So pay attention. What are your children interested in that uses math. Find math in the real world – especially concrete math. Use math, and everything else for that matter, to help your children engage with the world we live in, and understand it better. Help your children love learning math by using what they love to teach it. They will find that math can be fun.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Excellent post! A refreshing concept on teaching math is to simply find something that “math kids” are interested in doing which uses math and expose them to math concepts that way.