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# Living Math- Practical Geometry

Tagged: CM math, practical geometry

- This topic has 25 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 8 months ago by Richele Baburina.

- AuthorPosts
- jill smithParticipant
Hi Richele,

I am trying to follow your comments on math. I have 2 dd ages 10 and 13. That being said, We started in Strayor-upton the end of this years (red book) for both girls. We jumped ahead for our 13 year old. She does struggle with math 🙁 So for next year where should I start her? She will be entering the 7th grade. My 10yr will be entering 4th.

Richele BaburinaParticipantPatty, yes. You may follow the sequence of Strayer-Upton, using CMs principles and practices as you go.

Richele BaburinaParticipantHi Jill,

More important than your daughters’ ages are where each is in her understanding. Math is a definite subject that Mason had children working according to where they left off rather than the grade they were working in other subjects. Think of it like rungs on a ladder and each step up is dependent on the one before.

A placement test can show where a child is working mechanically but not necessarily what she understands. We want our children to gain confidence and be happy in their individual progress without looking at where others are. I recommend starting the next year with a review and at a place of confidence, working at a rate that doesn’t send anyone into panic but not so slowly that boredom sets in. In short, the child’s pace.

Where do you think she is and where would you like her to end at 12th grade? A firm foundation is important before heading into any higher math. If you have Strayer-Upton Book 2, the beige book, then this will take the girls nicely through fractions, decimals, and percentages along with higher multiplication and division and some fundamental elementary geometry. Then elementary algebra can begin.

I am currently traveling and have my phone only. Upon my return, I will try to paste a sample of how a book like SU would be used in a CM classroom.

Remember, moms are atmosphere generators. If we can approach math with the same sense of wonder as we do nature, poetry, or history, it can do a lot for the math lesson.

All my best,

Richele

Joanne DowningParticipantFollowing (to see the SU example) x

educacioncmParticipantHello Richele,

All this information is a God sent for me. I truly appreciate your kindness!

I have a daughter in high school doing this level of math that you had explained here (due to some dyscalculia). Obviously I haven’t done the things right with her, because if I have used all this approach on time, she would be ok by now…I wonder if Charlotte could be also referring to this kind of delays (now we have a name for it) when she said:

*Let his arithmetic lesson be to the child a daily exercise in clear thinking and rapid, careful execution, and his mental growth will be as obvious as the sprouting of seedlings in the spring.” (Vol. 1, p. 261)*Even though I really don’t care if we need to spend an extra year o more working on her math before graduation, I’d like to help her to be more in tune with her age. So please, would you have a suggestion for me regarding time spent on the subjects?…or what else should I do?

Thank you in advance 🙂

Marina

Sandra WadeParticipantBump

Richele BaburinaParticipantHi Marina (and thanks for bumping this, Sandra),

How wonderful that you will sit and work with your daughter. I would encourage 30 minutes of concentrated attention in math along with 5 minutes of mental math at another time or at the end of your math lesson with your daughter on each school day if possible. Having a good portion of the math lesson be done orally can help her progress more quickly, especially with dyscalculia, with the added benefit of you knowing exactly where she is having difficulty than if she were writing each question out. She will, of course, need to do some written work and her geometry will be hands-on. Be sure to precede and follow the math lessons with an easier lesson or ones using either a different part of the brain or body.

If you are wanting to add in that practical geometry (which my dyslexic son loved, btw), there is a newer book out called “Hands-On Geometry: Constructions with a Straightedge and Compass” by Christopher M. Freeman that could be taken twice weekly (dropping two arithmetic/pre-algebra days). I wouldn’t show her the cover since it shows a grade level on it but each sheet can be cut out or photo-copied and the constructions worked right on it. The answers are all in the back. I’m just giving that as an option.

I’m going to copy and paste a little post I wrote below as it may give you some Charlotte Mason-ideas that help make sense of some abstract things for children with dyslexia and/or dyscalculia.

Warmly,

Richele“To briefly touch on the question of dyslexia and dyscalculia and Mason’s methods in teaching math: Common sense warning -I am not a doctor, psychologist, or specialist. I am; however, the loving mother of an incredible son with the gift of seeing in a visual-spatial way.

When we began our formal venture of faith in a CM-education with this child, I found a firm foundation in her first principle that ‘Children are born persons.’ I trusted in her observation that ‘every child has been discovered to be a person of infinite possibilities’ and the simplicity that each child sits down to the same ‘abundant and delicate feast.’

Miss Mason’s methods are so interwoven in her scheme of education and these seemingly small things help work together to teach the great in math. For example, a common symptom stated for dyscalculia is trouble telling time. In a Mason education, a child is not given a clock face first to work on telling time. Rather, a child will follow the rising and setting of the sun, changes of seasons, and come into contact with ideas of distance and direction in outdoor geography and nature walks before ever meeting the abstract concept of time in an arithmetic lesson.

There are a number of other fascinating dovetails with her methodology in teaching math -such as the use of history charts, the Book of Centuries, paper sloyd, the teaching of reading, and dictation, to name a few. Her methodology rests firmly upon her principles with the use of captain ideas, atmosphere of environment, and discipline of good habits. All this I have found to be instrumental in the living teaching of math for both of my unique children but even more so is the cooperation with the Divine Spirit. In Miss Mason’s words, ‘Such teaching as enwraps a child’s mind in folds of many words that his thought is unable to penetrate, which gives him rules and definitions, and tables, in lieu of ideas – this is teaching which excludes and renders impossible the divine cooperation’ (Vol. II, p. 274).”

educacioncmParticipantLovely!

And yes, I’m already living two days for geometry using Class lessons on Euclid by Nops, but we did just a few lessons; so if you think that this geometry book will help, I’ll go for it!!

Thank you so much Richele, I trully appreciate your time and all the help!

God bless you ♡

educacioncmParticipant^Sorry, I meant “leaving”…but living as well 😉

mblackbird81ParticipantRichele,

I’m bumping in hopes that you would be able to post the Strayer-Upton in a CM classroom example? I am new to homeschooling and the CM method. I am starting formally in the fall with my 14 and 10 year old kiddos. We have went way back in math to basic addition, subtraction, grouping etc using manipulatives. My kids are loving it and actually interested in math for the first time! Seeing their face light up when they understand concepts they never have before is wonderful! Writing addition problems such as a+b=c and also b=c-a and why is something they are actually understanding. I have your book and reference it continually. Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge!

Richele BaburinaParticipantHi mblackbird81,

So sorry I forgot to post that example. Thank you so much for your kind words and it’s so wonderful to hear of your family’s relationship with math.

Strayer-Upton isn’t CM “as is” but does provide a wonderful bank of problems and a nice scope & sequence that can be adapted to CMs approach to math. Here’s an example I use in one of my presentations:

Let’s take page 68 of Strayer-Upton Book 2. If you are teaching the reduction of improper fractions in a stale way, you would go to your textbook and

1. Read or have the student read: “To reduce an improper fraction to a whole number or to a mixed number, divide its numerator by its denominator.”2. Memorize the rule.

3. Do the problems.

Now, on to a more life-giving method and I’ll use a sample problem found on the very next page to:

1. Ask my student: If you have 3 quarters in one pocket and 2 quarters in another, how much money have you in all?

Your child may be able to tell you this easily without even having money out but, if not, get some quarters out. Orally, this would be 3 quarters + 2 quarters = 5 quarters or 1 dollar and 1 quarter. Show how it is written “3/4 + 2/4 = 5/4” From the previous math lessons and life your child knows a) that there are 4 quarters in 1 dollar and b) that line between the numerator and denominator is another way to express division.

2. Now, she may work another simple problem orally and then have her write it down one she has solved it. At this point she may be able to tell you herself that she is dividing the numerator by its denominator and has “discovered” the rule for herself.

Does that make sense? I hope it is a help. I did use Strayer-Upton books with my youngest and love the sample problems. There is a lot you won’t need (diagnostic tests, some convoluted teaching) but it is a wonderful resource to use with CMs living methods.

Warmly,

Richele

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