Really Fun Math Documentary

What did I just say? Yes, we watched a really fun math documentary today. I guess that is what you would call it. The title of the DVD is The Story of 1 (and it is available through Netflix). All about, you guessed it, the history of the number 1. Pretty cool stuff actually. How people started counting using lines on sticks which then progressed to using tokens and the development of math. Takes you from the Sumerians, to the Greeks, to the Romans, the Indians (who invented Arabic numerals we use today and the number 0), and continues on until the importance of binary numbers today. Throws in a bit about Pythagoras, Fibonacci and other important mathematicians. Talks about just why 1 and 0 are so important. (I know that I personally had never given it much thought!)

And they do it in a really fun way…hard to really explain, but it had Jason (9 years old) laughing out loud (always a good thing!) Kyle (6 years old) did not enjoy it as much…found some of it boring. Mainly because much of it went over his head. He did laugh at certain parts and I am sure that he got something out of it. But I could see the connections going off in Jason head as he watched it. At one point when Kyle was complaining about a boring part, Jason told him to be quiet because he really liked it and it was not boring!

When we finished watching it, Jason went back to certain parts to watch them over again. I have noticed that while Jason does not like doing "arithmetic" he actually does grasp (and enjoy!) math concepts very quickly. He also really seems to enjoy the historical aspect of math. We read The Number Devil several months ago (still need to review it here!) and he really liked it and I had a feeling that he would like this as well. They had a similar feel…irreverent and focusing more on math concepts then math facts.

I also want to check out a book called Mathematicians are People Too which sounds like fun. I personally love history and Jason seems to be enjoying the math history that we have done. I love being able to tie everything in together…and it really is the way that Jason learns best. He needs to have some context and interest in what he is learning. I have also heard good things about the Theoni Pappas books like The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat.

I have to admit that this stuff is as much fun for me as it is for the boys! I know that I am learning tons and I love that I get to learn right along with them. Homeschooling at its' best.


MathStephanie5 Comments