Mom, it isn’t really math. it’s too fun.

Mom, it isn’t really math. it’s too fun.

The idea that math…of all things…is fun, well, who would have thought it! Lilac Mohr’s self-published book, Math and Magic in Wonderland is a whimsical story where math and science are interwoven with literary prose. It is both engaging to read and at the same time, it is educational. We often talk about the journey through learning at SEA Homeschoolers and this book fits that sentiment. It is a fitting tribute to the Carroll masterpiece upon which it is styled.

Mohr’s degrees in Engineering and Computer Information Systems provide a solid basis for her educational and insightful offering while keeping the interest of students and parents alike. The educational aspects should not be overlooked simply because this book is so entertaining.  The journey in the book is much like life’s journey.  You learn as you go, and the only way to move forward is to solve your current problem.

The rich eloquent flow of the author’s prose will transfix readers from the first line. And don’t let the Math in the title intimidate you.  The answers are included, and the process is clearly explained for all.  To quote my son, “Mom, it isn’t REALLY math, it is puzzles and stuff. You know fun, not like math!” So, it is math, but not really.

If you adhere to the left vs right brain theory, you will particularly like Math and Magic in Wonderland. This book allows for creative and unique ways to develop pathways between these opposite sides of the brain.  It is difficult at times to apply literature this way.  By teaching different modalities and weaving subjects together and applying them in a real-life way, you create an excellent project-based learning unit that weaves math, science, and literature. The experience is further enriched by the free unit study available on the SEA Homeschoolers’ website which ties in the science component seamlessly. The unit study really brings the lessons from the book up several notches. I often find it hard to apply math to real world situations in ways that my children find engaging. With the pairing of the science unit study and Math and Magic in Wonderland, Mohr does it for her readers. My children and I are fans of this book, and we all hope she writes more of these types of books and unit studies.

This unique and clever book is a must read for all ages.  It is one of those rare books to be treasured and shared within generations, not just for the intrinsic educational value of the book itself, but for the delightful story that unfolds as you are transported via Mrs. Magpie’s Magical World.  I enjoyed reading and working through this with my 9 and 14-year-old children.

This review contains an affiliate link.

Check out our post on a home school dad’s service trip to Guatemala here.





2017 SEA Reading Challenge

This is the time of year when I see so many great reading challenges, but I often struggle to adapt them for my kids. This year instead of trying to find one that my whole family could do together I decided to create my own and share it with our SEA Homeschoolers’ community.

My kids are two and twelve so they certainly won’t be reading the same books. For my youngest we will find children’s books to read aloud and my oldest will probably use audio books for most of his. Some books we read may check off more than one challenge on the list, some we may not realize fit a challenge until we finish reading them, we might not make it through the 24 main challenges, we might complete all 36 before the year is over. My goal is to expose them to new ideas, new authors, new genres, and to see things from a new point of view, however that happens is ok with me. I’d love for you to join us on this literary journey and please be sure to share with us about any treasures you find along the way. There is a printable checklist of the SEA Reading Challenge 2017 available free for SEA members in our store and we will add a printable certificate of completion soon too! If you’re not already a member simply sign up for our newsletter to gain access to these and other great members only content.

  1. A book published the year you were born.
  2. A fiction book that uses accurate science in the story.
  3. A book set in a place you would love to travel to, but have never been.
  4. A book you know little or nothing about, but the title makes you smile.
  5. A book with a main character who is part of the LGBTQ community.
  6. A book about climate change.
  7. A book with a non-human main character.
  8. A book, fiction or nonfiction, about the Holocaust.
  9. A historical fiction set in the country your great great great great grandparent was born in.
  10. A book with a main character who has your dream job.
  11. A nonfiction book on a subject you know nothing about. 
  12. A book from a genre you don’t normally read.
  13. A book originally written in a foreign language.
  14. A nonfiction book about Native Americans.
  15. A fiction book with a social justice issue in the story.
  16. A book mentioned in another book.
  17. A book by someone famous for something other than writing books.
  18. A book which takes place in more than one time period. 
  19. An award winning book.
  20. A book set in the state you live in.
  21. A book with more than one author.
  22. A biography.
  23. A book that has a movie based on it that you enjoyed, but have never read the book.
  24. A book published in 2017.

Bonus Challenges

  1. A book whose movie version is being filmed or released in 2017.
  2. A nonfiction book about the same social justice issue from #15.
  3. A fiction book with a Native American main character. 
  4. A book whose main character or narrator is an inanimate object.
  5. A book with at least one homeschooling character.
  6. A book whose author is under 21.
  7. A book mentioned in or seen on the set of a movie or tv show.
  8. A book that is a creative retelling of one of Shakespeare’s works.
  9. A book that you have never read, but is written by one of your favorite authors.
  10. A book whose character does not conform to traditional gender roles.
  11. A book about an immigrant or refugee.
  12. A book which is based on a fairy tale or folklore.

Free 2017 SEA Reading Challenge Worksheet

One of our teen members made a YouTube video about the reading challenge. The name of her channel is At Wonderful Meep, where she “vlogs about books, anime, and other geeky things.”