Blog reviews are one my favorite things to do because I get to talk about other peoples' cool stuff!  Learning to read was a common theme during the month of November.  There were suggestions of how to interest kids in reading without pushing reading; fears that society at large would never quit pushing reading; and 10 reasons why it's best to let kids learn to read at their own pace.

Kids learning to read at their own pace factored heavily in RedHeadedMom's post.  She suggests 10 reasons kids should be left alone to learn reading when, and how they'd like.  Many of the reasons focus on not causing undue stress and shame.

Unschooling the Kids provided a plethora of fun tips for enabling your kids to read at their own pace.  My favorite ideas were to ask your kid to read your emails to you, and to write things on the fridge that make them laugh.  Other ideas that have worked for us include frequent trips to the library, (our library has toys in addition to books) and leaving the subtitles on for all TV shows.

Finally, at Jitterberry, the author airs their unschooling fears with regards to the way reading is pushed not only in school, but in society at large.  What's at risk?  Among other things, a kid's right to the sense of accomplishment and discovery, as well as their sense of self-esteem.
“a child doesn’t grow into shame unless those they care about project it”

All photos credited to their respective blogs, except that first one, that's all me :)

### Cool Math Tricks: Deriving the Divergence, (Del or Nabla) into New (Cylindrical) Coordinate Systems

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The following is a pretty lengthy procedure, but converting the divergence, (nabla, del) operator between coordinate systems comes up pretty often. While there are tables for converting between common coordinate systems, there seem to be fewer explanations of the procedure for deriving the conversion, so here goes!

What do we actually want?

To convert the Cartesian nabla

to the nabla for another coordinate system, say… cylindrical coordinates.

What we’ll need:

1. The Cartesian Nabla:

2. A set of equations relating the Cartesian coordinates to cylindrical coordinates:

3. A set of equations relating the Cartesian basis vectors to the basis vectors of the new coordinate system:

How to do it:

Use the chain rule for differentiation to convert the derivatives with respect to the Cartesian variables to derivatives with respect to the cylindrical variables.

The chain rule can be used to convert a differe…

### Division: Distributing the Work

Our unschooling math comes in bits and pieces.  The oldest kid here, seven year-old No. 1 loves math problems, so math moves along pretty fast for her.  Here’s how she arrived at the distributive property recently.  Tldr; it came about only because she needed it.
“Give me a math problem!” No. 1 asked Mom-person.

“OK, what’s 18 divided by 2?  But, you’re going to have to do it as you walk.  You and Dad need to head out.”

And so, No. 1 and I found ourselves headed out on our mini-adventure with a new math problem to discuss.

One looked at the ceiling of the library lost in thought as we walked.  She glanced down at her fingers for a moment.  “Is it six?”

“I don’t know, let’s see,” I hedged.  “What’s two times six?  Is it eighteen?”

One looked at me hopefully heading back into her mental math.

I needed to visit the restroom before we left, so I hurried her calculation along.  “What’s two times five?”

I got a grin, and another look indicating she was thinking about that one.

I flashed eac…