Math in Ancient Greece

Abacus

We learned that the Ancient Greeks invented the Abacus. For some reason, I’d always thought it came from the Far East. Tonight for Math, I’d wanted to do some really cool math projects having to do with building engines, and understanding torque, and really amazing stuff that would interest my boys, but Ben didn’t want to do his standard issue math homework tonight with a good spirit. So, we will come back at it again tomorrow night (the standard issue homework), and hopefully over time, he will learn to understand that the fun stuff can only happen after the basics are covered.

The encouraging part for me was that when I told him I had something exciting to do for Math tonight, he grabbed both my hands, and jumped up and down and cheered, “What is it?” That is not the reaction I was expecting. It is what I’ve been hoping I could create, but I wasn’t ready for it this soon. He still grumbles over doing one page of addition and subtraction homework. But, I think as I’m showing him what CAN be done with Math, he is warming up to the idea.

For reading time tonight, he was looking through his Dinotopia book, which has wonderful sections of tools and machines painted in the most exquisite detail, while I read to him about the Ancient Greeks. We read a little bit about Archimedes‘ inventions and his Stomachion, the Antikythera Mechanism (an early form of mechanical computer), and Pythagoras and his deductive reasoning. Whew – that was a lot for 20 minutes!

He is talking about building an Abacus tomorrow. To be truthful, that is not outside of the realm of possibility for Ben.

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