I could see early on in our homeschool journey that math was going to be a challenge for our son who was fine with 2+2=3. Fortunately, I knew a bit about how math is taught in Waldorf schools and it has saved us from many possible frustrating math moments. One of our biggest successes with Waldorf math is skip counting, which will make multiplication so much easier. One technique we us is saying the numbers as we wrap yarn on a ring board that has 10 pegs numbered 0-9. (It is a great fine motor exercise as well.)
|skip counting the 1's (1, 2, 3, etc.)|
|3's (3, 6, 9, 12, up to 30) -to wrap for 12 & up use|
the single digit number (i.e. 12 wraps on the 2,
15 wraps on the 5, etc)
|4's (4, 8 12, etc)|
|5's (5,10, etc.)|
Beyond 5 the numbers become mirror images of earlier numbers (6 wraps around the same numbers as 4, 7 matches 3, 8 matches 2, and 9 matches 1.)
To make your own number wheel, purchase a round wood disc, and a dowel rod, both of which can be found at craft stores (Ours has a 5" diameter.) To figure out where to drill the holes, wrap a piece of string around the outside diameter of the disc & cut it where the ends meet. Measure the string and divide it by 10 & you will know how far apart to drill the holes. Drill 10 small holes, glue in 1/2 inch dowel rods, write on the numbers and you are ready to go.
Our kids are fascinated as they wind the yarn around the pegs to find that simple math can lead to beautiful design.
We have several other ways we practice Waldorf math and skip counting that I will be sharing in future posts.