If you don't consider yourself a math person, teaching this subject to your children can feel daunting. Amy and Leah dig into Charlotte Mason's principles for teaching math, and how to teach it in a living, meaningful way.
"Never are the operations of Reason more delightful and more perfect than in mathematics. Here men do not begin to reason with a notion which causes them to lean to this side or to that. By degrees, absolute truth unfolds itself. We are so made that truth, absolute and certain truth, is a perfect joy to us; and that is the joy that mathematics afford. " Ourselves
(1:00) Amy is a "math person" with a Bachelor's degree in math, but generally people love math or hate it. Why is math so polarizing?
(1:58) Negative attitudes about math typical derive from parents and teachers. There's a math stigma going on!
(2:45) Math is not a living-book subject.
(3:13) Why did Charlotte Mason think it was important to study math?
(4:15) We don't study math for utilitaritian reasons: we study math because it's beautiful and true.
(6:28) Mathematics depend upon the teacher, and not the curriculum.
(7:35) What makes math different? Why do we not use living books?
(8:35) Math is the study of patterns. We learn patterns of number and patterns of shape, statistics, probability... When we're preparing for a lesson, we can say, "What's the pattern, rule, and truth that we want our child to be in touch with?"
(11:34) Real world examples: The number 5 can be broken down in many different ways. 1+1+1+1+1=5, or 2+3=5. Or, it doesn't matter in what order you put the numbers in addition, it will always have the same value. Whole numbers can be broken down into smaller units, fractions even!
(13:22) Teachers need to be able to take the time to pull out those "captain ideas" of math. How do we plan? Buy the teacher's guide!
(15:10) Using the teacher's guide is the equivalent of pre-reading.
(16:50) Finding just-right math problems.
(18:35) Growth mindset is so important! We can push through and feel victorious when we do something that's a little bit hard.
(19:05) Children can prove math to themselves with manipulatives. "Demonstrate everything demonstrable."
(20:00) In math, you'll find yourself at a disadvantage if you understand the process without understanding the principles behind it.
(24:00) It's so important to start with the concrete. The symbols are just convention.
(24:55) "The teacher must be content to go slowly." Home Education
(31:15) Can we derive a math curriculum from Charlotte Mason's writing?
Home Education (available to read online from Ambleside Online)
Ourselves (Ambleside Online)
Singapore Math- Primary Mathematics
"Therefore his progress must be carefully graduated, but there is no subject in which the teacher has a more delightful consciousness of drawing out from day to day new power in the child. Do not offer him a crutch; it is in his own power he must go." Home Education, page 261
"Mathematics depend upon the teacher rather than upon the text-book and few subjects are worse taught; chiefly because teachers have seldom time to give the inspiring ideas, what Coleridge calls, the 'Captain' ideas, which should quicken imagination" Towards a Philosophy of Education, page 233.
2 thoughts on “Math: It’s Not About The Curriculum”
Thanks for sharing your article. Mathematics may not teach us to add love or subtract hate, but it gives us hope that every problem has a solution.
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