The clay city is still going strong.

Tee usually starts projects and abandons them, so his continued interest in doing this is a bit of a change. He’s added “land” for friends that come over to play, and is now busy with making maps that delineate borders. He found it quite challenging to recreate the contours of the “land formations” onto a flat piece of paper, and was quite concerned about making it as accurate as possible. This led to a discussion of scale drawings, and in the process of trying to cut papers to represent the comparative size of each of the separate land areas, he asked me to show him two digit multiplication and long division, neither of which he had ever cared to learn before. We also talked about ratios, percents and equivalent fractions, all in the space of an hour.

*Oh! I get it! *he said in some surprise. *You learn math stuff so that you can use that stuff to figure stuff out! Kinda like using a hammer to build something. It’s a tool!*

So he can go for weeks, even months, without doing a titch of workbook math, and then learn 5 different math concepts in a morning, in a meaningful context, when he’s ready to learn it.

It’s a concept that I’m continually learning. It really is hard to un-learn some of the more unhelpful things I was steeped in as a more traditionally schooled individual. I find it very difficult to trust that the kids WILL learn, even if it’s not planned and structured and linear and thought out by me.

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