I just posted this in another group I’m in so figured I’d do it here too. 🙂
Months ago I read about an old arithmetic experiment of the 1930’s, at http://www.ithaca.edu/compass/storyI-III.htm. It’s a 3-part story. Part 2 outlines how Mr. Benezet thought math should be approached for grades 1-6. Basically, no formal instruction–no tables, memorization, worksheets, drills, etc. All narration, games, incidental encounters (like learning to recognize numbers up to 100 from looking at books, which honestly my 6yo is doing on his own), experiments, hands on fun, etc.
Has anyone ever seen this, used this, know about this, etc? I’ve NEVER seen it mentioned in CM circles, yet it seems so CM to me! It may not follow her exact Scope and Sequence but the ideas and methods are definitely inline. I’m excited to use it and have made my own Scope and Sequence chart so I don’t forget my aims. 🙂
I highly encourage you to read it; the results of his experiments are astounding!
I have read it and it’s a very interesting study. I don’t follow the recommendations though. I do teach math formally from age 6, though at whatever pace needed using Ray’s Arithmetic. That said, my kids did pick up so much even before then without teaching it to them so I’ve no doubt it can work.
Yes, I’ve read that article. Very interesting! I’m sure it would work, but for me I need something prepared. Originally I was planning on doing that, but it ended up being too stressful for me. (and I now have about 20 living math books I want to sell, if you’re interested!) I’m not confident that I would do enough games etc with my kids, and it would hang over my head. I think it is a problem with *me* and not the idea itself. If you want, I say go for it!! I’d love to hear the results!
I agree with Alice, I love the idea of the relaxed and informal but in reality it just doesn’t “happen” for me. I am saving to invest in RightStart for next year. I hope that will be the right balance for us.
Let’s see if I can give a cohesive response to this. Currently we are not introducing math to our 7 yr old. First, he has learning delays so our approach has had to be less than a traditional track of studies… Our older child, was on track with everything and things went awry with math by gr.3. which resulted in us having to back off altogether… (we had been using a very popular program that was not very traditional) she is now in 8th gr. and we are using “systematic mathematics ” to restore the years the locusts had eaten away” About a year ago I found the article of this experiment mentioned (by the way we live near Ithaca NY, where this exp. began and I never heard about it living nearby) When I took that info and thought about our experiences it really made sense to us. And thinking about how there is so much to introduce to a typical child to begin with to get them reading/writing etc. why would we want to overload them with something so abstract as math…Hence we have become advocates of this by default due to my 7 yr olds delays , but it would also be choice because it makes so much sense. Meanwhile we play dominoes, read many books involving numbers, we have piles of polished rocks and take them out and I lay down a pile of 3 and just say “how many is this and he says 3 w/o counting them individually, then I make another pile , say of 2, and repeat the question, then I group them together and say, “watch this, here is 3 +2 and it is 5” then we start taking some away from the pile etc etc etc. I consider his chore of putting away the silverware , setting the table for meals (figuring out how many family members are home for the meal) measuring cups of flour when we bake, etc etc etc as math skills .. When we begin “formal” math, I intend to use the Strayer Upton series, it isn’t quite as archaic language as others, but using the same word problem/thinking format…Hope this is helpful.. KK P.S. Systematic Mathematics has this above article on their website and he also has a theory about how children start out fine with math and then things going awry , interestingly for me , my older child fit the exact timeframe of that happening …
Wow, thanks for sharing your experience! I was one of those kids that caught on to math fast, was good at it . . .but I HATED it!! I think all kids by the time they hit a certain age/level ask a very pertinent question: what is the point of this? So I think starting off with the point, rather than the method, is going to be very helpful. Also, my oldest has learning delays, so this really will work great for us. He is learning faster and better, but abstract is VERY difficult for him, and when he can’t grasp something he gets frustrated. This gentle approach will work wonders, and I’m glad to hear it worked for you.
Alice–I KNOW! I’m the same way! So that is why I’ll be “scheduling” in a math time to SPECIFICALLY play a game, talk about something, etc. And I will have to each week consider what we will play, cover, discuss, etc. So even though math won’t mean drills and workbooks for us, there will still be “math time” each day. Which will force me to do something. As long as I keep my scope/sequence in front of me when I plan the week or month, I can be sure to schedule one thing for each week or day (I don’t know if I want to focus on one skill a week or switch it up every day, it’ll be a work in progress). But I completely understand. I’ll try to report back on how it goes. 😛
Kainklan – I plan to use Systematic Mathematics when dd10 is ready. I like Strayer-Upton, too, but we were already familiar with Ray’s and their similar, so we’re sticking to it until ready for SM. The SM approach makes much sense to me too.
Thanks for posting the article – both the method and the care Mr. Benezet took were really interesting. I’ve also enjoyed reading what others are doing. I ditched worksheets, purchased math curriculum, etc. this school year (Grades 1 and 3) with great results. Story with pics are here at Math with Charlotte Mason. We’ve done this now for the past eight months and like it so much I hope to continue as long as possible.
I did have to take time in the planning stages but it seems balanced by the ease we now experience and a real joy and excitement for math. Just as you said, I have my Math scope and sequence on a clipboard that I keep visible and it is on my schedule to make sure it doesn’t get overlooked. I do give our kids Term Exams ala CM.
All my best and look forward to hearing those results.
I hope you are well in Misawa.
I’m wondering if either of you ladies who have made you own scope and sequence would like to share. It would be really nice to see what you’ve come up with.
I didn’t post mine as I used Ruth Beechick’s and thought it could be an infringement. Specifically what I did was take her “Easy Start in Arithmetic” and pulled the Scope and Sequence (or Knowledge and Skills) by grade. I listed that in black and then took her “Teaching Suggestions” and “Activity Ideas” (these are especially for home schools) and listed those in red under it’s relevant place in the scope & sequence. I then went through and added any of Charlotte Mason’s suggestions I found in her writings or games that we have on hand, and then searched for good living math books like “The Librarian Who Measured the Earth” or “Blockhead – The Life of Fibonnaci.”
So, say first grade math lists Addition:
ability to add any two groups with sums of six or less (not including zero) – maybe up to ten
third grade lists Addition:
master all facts in the addition chart
Charlotte Mason would suggest using counters (beans or something of the sort) to show three in one group and two in the next group, all together making five. Counters are used to make addition charts as well. (note, I don’t think Tanya’s Mr. Benezet has students learning charts at all).
Here is a Google doc of Ruth Beechick’s. but her book(lets) are sold on Amazon used for about $1.50 and up and are usually in the library.
Couldn’t edit that but just wanted to clarify that the Google doc is not “An Easy Start in Arithmetic” but an article from a homeschool journal and includes a simplified S&S.
Richele, the link to the Google doc was not working when I tried it. I got a 404 error, page not found, when I clicked on it…..
I too have hesitated to post my S&S because I just took what Benezet outlines in part 2 of the article and put it in chart form–it’s easier for my brain. I added a few things, and stretched grade 5–which he divides into 2 parts–into grades 5 and 6. I will have to take a look at your links, Richele, I am interesetd in what Ruth Beechik outlined.
Thanks for the details. I’m starting to work on my own s&s. I read the arithmetic portion of Vol 1 today and Benezet’s article last night. I found it very interesting to compare their thoughts. They both emphasized understanding math rather than doing complicated problems and mindless drill. I’m still feeling a bit unsure about not using a pre-made math curriculum, but I really do like the idea.
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