You're tired of the homeschool math battles with your child.
You wish you could just throw out the traditional
math textbook and unschool math.
You wish that your family could have more fun with math,
but, you don't know how.
I'm Gloria Brooks. Here's the rather remarkable backstory about my eGuide, Math Learning Secrets. It was the summer of 1997 and I was 23. I had recently graduated the previous year with my bachelor’s in K - 12 education and recently finished my first year of teaching in a private school.
I picked up a used copy of David Bergamini's 1963 Time Life hardback book, simple entitled, Mathematics.
Not one day in any of my schooling, from primary, secondary, to college, had I ever been taught these beautiful math with real life connections. How woefully too late it was that my math education lacked any knowledge taught to me and the rest of my classmates about any of this!
Yet, there I was at this used book sale...
being introduced to these math concepts for the very first time in an old beat up Time Life hardback book, literally the year JUST after I graduated from college!
Here's a summary of my relationship with math as a student growing up:
I was disinterested in math. I always rushed to get through and complete any of my math class work or homework just to get by, please my parents, and get the grade. In school, for me, math was always abstract, lifeless, dry, and yet another subject I had to trudge through every single school day just to get a passing grade.
I absolutely dreaded the higher maths in high school, especially Algebra and Geometry.
I could have definitely used inspirational boosts by being shown how the higher maths connects with real life!
What was worse, after I left the book sale and went home to do research about these numbers...
I couldn't find out very much more information about "living math" on the Internet or at the local libraries. I found a few more old books about it at a couple of thrift stores. Lastly, I did manage to find a set of 8 photographic posters online illustrating nature's patterns. I ordered them and put them up on my classroom wall. That was it.
Deeply disappointed that I couldn't find anymore information about...
nature's numbers after months of research, I soon gave up my hunt and forgot all about the "living math"..
Fast forward to 2003. It was my 7th year as a private school elementary teacher...
I was burned out and exhausted leading a multi-grade classroom of 3rd - 5th graders in a tiny private school of 30 students in Newark, DE. I couldn’t see my way out of the endless days of grading, testing, using boring curriculum, and asking the same students to please stop talking and interrupting me for what felt like the millionth time.
I knew that something was missing and I needed to change how we did math and the rest of the academics.
Many of my students weren't getting or connecting with math. It was more and more becoming the DREADED hour when I taught math. I was tired of using the same old curriculum year after year. I was weary and discontented with the whole scene of traditional education, especially with math, but...
I didn’t know any other way but to be an automaton and keep using a math curriculum to ensure my students were ready for the next grade.
I felt stuck. I had this sinking feeling that I was failing at teaching math to my students in such an uninspiring way and that I could do so much more for them. But, I didn't know how.
Then, one day, just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore in a traditional classroom...
Don Tolman, a health and wellness teacher, came to our school to do a series of health and education seminars. He talked about his special weight loss food called Pulse. Pulse is a mixture of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds and legumes. What was unique about the Pulse was that the portions of food were all carefully measured out and prepared according to a proportion called the golden ratio (1.618...). My ears perked up at his words, the golden ratio. The math connections didn't stop there.
Don went on to teach us about nature’s numbers, patterns, and shapes, which totally grabbed and riveted my attention....
He showed us beautiful connections there are between math and nature. He shared about the Fibonacci number series (0, 1, 1,2 ,3 ,5 ,8 ,13 ,21 , 31...etc) found repeatedly in nature. Don pointed out nature's five most common patterns: spirals, hexagons, fractals, concentric rings, and lines all found in plants, animals, and even the human body!
Don called it "living math".
At long last! I had finally found the living math again! Or rather, it had found me again!.
These simple yet profound truths about math’s connections with real life re-awakened something within me.
Before his seminars were over, I was on the Internet again researching nature’s numbers and patterns. This time around, I found an explosion of information about the Golden ratio, Fibonacci numbers, and nature's numbers, patterns, and geometric shapes. Now that the information was at my fingertips, I was hooked on learning all that I could about nature's numbers and how I could present them to my students in math class.
After Don’s seminars were over, I became a ravenous researcher of nature’s numbers and patterns almost overnight.
I obsessively filled 24 thick three-ring binder notebooks with all the resources I could possibly print out from the Internet and university libraries. On and on my research went. Not only did I research nature's math, but, I got outdoors with my camera every single day after school looking for, photographing, videoing, and journaling my observations of math found in nature like a treasure hunt.
I enthusiastically shared my new found math/nature passion with my 3rd - 5th graders. My enthusiasm became infectious among my 15 students!...
When My 5-step Math System Put Me And My Math Students Way Ahead Of My Colleagues in Every Private School and Homeschool Program I Taught at. I spoke with my principal and shared my passion of this "living math" with him. And then something truly miraculous happened...
When My 5-step Math System Put Me And My Math Students Way Ahead Of My Colleagues in Every Private School and Homeschool Program I Taught at.
I spoke with my principal and shared my passion of this "living math" with him. And then something truly miraculous happened...
My principal asked ME to create a new course that I could teach to both the elementary and middle school classes called Math Lab. I said yes, and that is how my 5-secrets math system was born..
My mathematical life changed forever for me and the thousands of school and homeschool students I’ve taught my 5-secrets math system to, also called MathArt.
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"The more I learn in MathArt, the more I realize the infinite number of ways math can be used. I have absolutely despised math since I was old enough to add and subtract; therefore, math has always been a cold, empty, meaningless subject to me...Now, I realize that math is in fact a helpful tool. Once I began thinking of math as the key to imagination, rather than the locked door that blocked creativity, I noticed a change in my art.."
-Megan B, Student
"My children loved the options of all of these multi-sensory things to do. They worked in groups on various activities throughout our studies.."
- Hillary Moore,
"My son was inspired to do his golden rectangle on Minecraft. He was pretty excited, and I loved that he could do it in a way that gets him excited about it.."
-Desiree Winz, Homeschool mom
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