They said it would happen. I didn’t quite believe it at first….no, scrap that, 99% of me didn’t believe it at all.

That 1% faith came from listening to those around me. I had read the stories, I had had the conversations with Unschoolers further along the road than us, I had listened to the podcasts and the YouTube videos telling me that it could happen.

Well guess what?

It did.

[insert gob-smacked, wide eyed emoticon here]

[and a few more here too]

I see with Clay that the penny has dropped on many mathematical skills. He really gets it. And I’m not talking about math questions. Give him a grade level test and I don’t have a clue how he would go. Nor do I care.

What I care about is that he understands math that is relevant to him. He can cook, he can use measurements and temperature, he understands volume and division when it came to working out targets for his new smart watch, he understands the graphs that come along with it, he can work out how many pieces of iron he needs to make how many iron ingots that he needs to make enough iron chest plates and boots for all his friends.

He gets what is relevant to him.

And there’s a lot of math in his world.

Then today, Jessie showed me just how deep her understanding goes also. Coming home from a trip away, Jason and I brought back the kids some presents, including some lollies. They divided them equally, 4 each. During the day, Clay offered Jess a piece out of his share, and she exclaimed “That means I get 5 lollies and Clay only gets 3!!”.

[pop in another of those emoticons here]

It was immediate, there was no pause, she is 4 and she worked it out, bam! Not because it was math time. Not because there was a test. Not because she was forced to. But because it was relevant and interesting enough to her to say it.

Well I’ll be.

Do I believe that Clay will pick up higher order calculus through daily life? No. But in the very slim chance that calculus becomes relevant in his life (who knows, he does enjoy algebra…), do I believe he could learn it?

Heck yeah.