Maths made sense at home, but it didn't at school. There, it just seemed like one long stream of hoop-jumping to no end whatsoever. I think that's yet another reason why I prefer to educate my children at home. It wasn't until I was 25, having done A level maths, and stats as part of a business management college course (and I was shocked to learn that mathematically manipulating figures to fit political arguments has spawned its own professional field) that I finally found a maths course to inspire me. It was the Open University's Open Maths course, and I'm glad to see it's still running, because I'd recommend it to anyone who wanted to be excited about real maths, whatever their background in the subject.
In our house we had some real, applied mathematics taking place last night. I'd done some to help me decide whether we could afford to tax our car this month, or whether we'd need to make a SORN declaration and use public transport instead. I realised that if we could halve our usual spending at the supermarket for the next six shopping sessions, we could afford to tax the car.
Zara and Lyddie are the two who most want us to have a car to use. The boys and I don't mind either way, really. And the girls are the ones who love to come supermarket shopping with me and decide what we're buying. So I gave them the last three till receipts and told them that if they could find 50% of the bill total in items we didn't really need and could avoid buying for the next few weeks, we'd tax the car.
Quite a challenge, involving a lot of sums, calculator-stabbing, and peering at the abbreviated names of things to try and identify them, but they managed it in the end. If they really do save the money when we shop, I'll buy the tax disc at the end of the month.