Mason believed that success in mathematics depended largely on the power of the educator and the attention of the student. I have met so many adults who despise this subject: homeschoolers, teachers, uninterested bystanders, etc. It breaks my heart. People who delight in discussing the wonders of the universe fail to see the joy of the mathematics beneath the surface. If adults learn to see the beauty in this misunderstood subject, perhaps their excitement will spill over to children in their lives.
That being said, something interesting happened during recess today. I stayed indoors with the handful of students who prefer playing board games, doing handwork, playing the piano, etc. Since today's post includes free curve stitching patterns for you to download and try, I had to test the design myself.
A student who loves the school but finds mathematics his least favorite subject came inside to use the bathroom. He saw me drawing lines with a ruler and asked, “What are you doing?”
I said, “I'm drawing curves.”
He looked confused, “With a ruler! How?" I began drawing straight lines with my ruler and his eyes grew wide as he saw them form a curve. Then, I showed him the curve stitching I had drawn in my captain idea log during the layover in Houston. We looked at my drawings for the interior conjunction of the Venus and Earth and talked about how drawing a star repeatedly transformed a pentagon into a circle.
He smiled broadly and said, “That's amazing!"
How ironic that simply living out my search for captain idea enabled a boy disenchanted with math to smile about it.
If you would like to try out curve stitching, feel free to download the PDF. I loaded my efforts on the spoilers page if you want to compare results.