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Spending Time Making Math Beautiful

Education methods home made math Math Art

The last few weeks I've been spending time preparing the resources for a new unit: Swallows and Amazons. 

Swallows and Amazons Unit Math Fractions Nautical Flags Worksheet

Some of them have taken quite a considerable amount of time to put together but it has been so enjoyable. It has made me appreciate something that is fairly lost in my culture; making beautiful utility items. Sure this is making a bit of a come back in more hipster, instagram conscious circles, but in the main we make things as cheaply and with the least time as possible. Making for everyday use has lots its beauty.

A friend told me recently that in Bali there is no word for art. Everything is created with a sense of art, it is not a separate part of the culture but is present in everything.

Really it is very in keeping with the Montessori ideals of using beautiful tools or the Charlotte Mason way of presenting an education "atmosphere".

Slowing down and making beautiful hand drawn resources was not only enjoyable; it brought me back to this idea that if it is worth adding to this educational space, to our children's experience of knowledge, it is worth doing beautifully. 

Swallows and Amazons Resources

Lingering, carefully tracing, drawing and colouring also forced me to really meditate on the work I was creating. Especially with a reproduction I made of a compass illustration from the book. I carefully folded the lines, traced circles, measured and ruled triangles, traced with fine black ink and experimented with colours. It was slow but I learnt a lot. I considered each point of the compass and how it represented each fraction, I counted, I double checked, I savoured it. I appreciated the beauty that can come from order and number.  

Compass Fractions Swallows and Amazons beautiful homeschool maths homemademath

I hope these resources bring you as much joy as they have brought me. I hope they inspire you to linger over your math. 

PS The Swallows and Amazons Unit will be available from early February 2018 in the shop



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