Maths now mainly consists of Billy asking questions as he needs to know something and me explaining how to get the answer. A few months ago he asked me "If we had 25 kids coming over and we wanted to give them each a small drink bottle filled with Coke, how many 2 L bottles would we need to buy?" First of all I got him to fill and measure the smaller bottle's volume with water - 250ml. Then I talked him through the calculation I was making - we'd need 25 lots of 250ml, or 6250ml. We talked about the fact that "milli" means 1000, so there are 1000ml in 1 L. So we'd need 6.25 L of coke, and then I got him to work out how many 2L bottles we'd need to make sure we'd have enough. Now that question was obviously hypothetical - 1) I am not having 25 kids at my house and 2) I wouldn't feed them Coke if they were! - but he came up with it, so to him its far more real than anything you'd find on a worksheet.
He'll also ask questions like "if the pizza is cut into 8 pieces and there are 3 of us, how many pieces will we get each?". He likes to give his own twist though and after working out the proper answer, he'll usually come up with one like "or we can have 2 pieces each and then whoever finishes first can have the 2 leftover bits!"
There are some other maths resources that get picked up & put down as he wants.
Cyberchase - This is a really cool series of cartoons dealing with a maths theme - its a group of kids in cyperspace who have to foil the plans of The Hacker who has infected Motherboard with a virus. I even enjoy watching them with Billy! There's also an associated website that has fantastic games etc on it.
Timez Attack - This is a Doom type game where they learn times tables (there's no shooting or blood & guts though). The character has to find his way around the dungeons and attack the ogre by answering his times tables questions. The free version you can download is complete
and all that's needed - the purchased version just has extra floor plans. They can't move on from one level until they answer all questions correctly. I got out of bed the other morning and Billy was playing this!
Mathletics - while this is Australian curriculum based, it's still a good tool that can appeal to kids in different ways. Billy might go months without using it, and then decide to sit down and do it for an hour.
ABC School shows - our government-run TV station plays several maths related education shows each week.
For a while I was saying "hey, do you want to watch cyberchase?" or "let's play Addition War?" if I thought he hadn't had enough Maths for the week, but now I'm comfortable enough to see how it all evens out over time.
And let's not forget the maths in everyday life:
Cooking - this has been great for concepts like fractions, volume, doubling, halving etc. He can work out things like to measure 1 1/2 teaspoons with the 1/2 teaspoon measure means he'll need 3 of them. I'll often ask him questions like "what if we only had a 1 tsp measure or 1/4 tsp measure?".
Shopping - weighing the fruit & veges, comparing prices, working to a budget (can I afford the lego & the lollies??), paying for items, working out change.
Craft - estimating, measuring.
In the time since we started unschooling maths, he's been exposed to the following subjects, some in more depth than others.
- Addition / subtraction with carrying
- Simple division
- Fractions - 1/2, 1/4, 1/3, 1/100, mixed fractions
- Measuring & estimating
- Perimeter & area
- Tessellating shapes