I cannot tell from the sample. Does the math book (Instrument for Living Teaching) include actual lessons or just Charlotte Mason’s words on teaching math? I’m wondering if there are real ideas for teaching in the primary years (1-3) without a curriculum.
The book includes ideas for teaching w/o a textbook, a suggested scope and sequence based on what was taught in Charlotte’s schools, and quotes from Charlotte. No complete actual lessons.
Great question. Yes, there are real ideas for those primary years and, better yet, they are the ideas that worked with Charlotte’s own students. For example, the chapter on Arithmetic will walk you through how to teach a CM Elementary Arithmetic scope & sequence entirely textbook free and in a way that fosters good habits and will open up the beauty and wonder of mathematics. This will be Grades 1-3 in their entirety with a foray into grades 4-6, such as weights & measures, how to lead your child to discover the rule for finding area him/herself through a series of steps, and practical geometry.
These are things you won’t find in Charlotte’s original homeschool series alone but were revealed through extensive research using the resources she used. The book will take you in-depth into mental arithmetic as well as manipulatives. It will tell you why paper-sloyd in handicraft and out-door geography are important to math teaching as well. It will show you the how and why simple money problems work so well and were the “manipulative” of choice. I’m confident that anyone that uses the handbook can teach Elementary Arithmetic textbook free and also use it as a guide for the later years.
Karen is right, it does not give you twenty examples for each and every number. For example, here is an an idea you will find in Mathematics: An Instrument for Living Teaching that I don’t think you will find anywhere else in any other textbook or curriculum that says it is CM-friendly: How CM used the act of writing in her math education. Click to read about it.
I’m free to answer any questions you may have.
Thank you very much for your detailed reply. 🙂
Do you have plans to write a book covering CM suggestions for the middle and upper grade level math topics? It seems that math and science are the areas in which many CMers move away from living books as their children get older. I enjoy finding ways to continue using them, but rarely find others who don’t panic or reprimand me for continuing in this beautiful, research oriented fashion.
I’d appreciate your thoughts and suggestions,
@IrieMomma, you are welcome.
@TailorMade – Becca, thanks for asking and kudos for your continued approach in offering a living education to your children as they get older. Independence does seem to be the rallying cry for many homeschoolers in the highschool years but we would do well to remember Charlotte’s words, “Where science does not teach a child to wonder and admire it has perhaps no educative value” (Vol. 6, p. 224). If Mathematics is the language of the sciences, should it not also teach a child to wonder and admire?
Currently, I’ve got a few projects going on. In July I’ll be presenting at the LER on CM math- from the early years through highschool, two break-out sessions where we recreate the CM-classroom to teach multiplication, then a final presentation on Charlotte’s “Great Recognition” and how it relates to the teaching of mathematics. Once the presentations have happened, I will need to prioritize.
The handbook does take you through how arithmetic, geometry and algebra were taught in her schools in what we term “highschool.” One way I see her upper level maths and sciences being alike is that she would have a number of branches of each going at the same time whereas today we separate everything out so. For example, in the upper years she would have two arithmetic classes (mainly business math), two geometry classes and two algebra classes each week. So the schedule would look like this in 10-12th grades:
Monday: Business Math
Thursday: Business Math
The sciences were similar in that one day you may have geology, physics on the next, then botany the day after that.
In both mathematics and the sciences, the approach was careful and thoughtful and, since highschoolers don’t stop being persons, they are allowed to wonder and ideas are allowed to germinate.
One way these studies differ is that Charlotte didn’t use a literary presentation in the maths like she does in the sciences. Though of a literary quality, her science books were not at all superficial but extremely scientific and included experiments and classification. Whereas Charlotte believed mathematics, like music, was a living speech in itself and, as such, fell outside her rule of literary presentation. Just as in elementary arithmetic, in the upper years, the students were guided in discovery and allowed to think for themselves. The approach was slow but steady with lots of practice (for example, with geometry, her students had two full years of a half-hour lesson each Friday in Practical Geometry before beginning its formal study.
The handbook goes into it a bit more with some of the practicalities along with guidelines to look at if looking for a math curriculum to fit the bill. The exciting thing is that, though many of her math books couldn’t be used in modern America because of the old British currency system, her practical geometry books are timeless.
Personally, if my boys were heading into highschool tomorrow (mine are just 11 and 8) and I wasn’t allowed a cup of coffee or a chocolate croissant until I divulged what I was going to be using with them for maths, I would have to say Harold Jacobs’ Math books, (Mathematics: A Human Endeavor, Elementary Algebra and Geometry) are looking really good to me. Once we’ve accomplished these we will see where their interests lie to determine where we go from there. I reserve the right to change my mind.
Thank you so much for your thoughtful response, Richelle. My eldest daughter is enjoying Jacob’s Geometry. Our older sons used Saxon math (yuck, in their opinion.) Learning from them, I’ve decided to use all three of Jacob’s books for our youngest son and daughter when they are prepared to tackle each of them.
You are always patient with my mathematical questions. I truly appreciate it.
Monday: Business Math
Thursday: Business Math
I think this would’ve suited our older children much better. I’m putting it in my long range planning notes for our younger two. I’m almost finished organizing this next year’s plan, so it’s a perfect time to get this written down to implement into next year’s plans.
For your long-term plans: My sister wrote Mr. Harold Jacobs last year regarding simultaneously studying Algebra and Geometry using his books. He suggested studying the first two chapters of Algebra before starting his Geometry book, then continue as planned to make the subsequent interweaving work better.
Excellent! Thanks so much! Happy tears of joy right now. 🙂
Do you (or your sister) have plans to use Mr. Jacob’s Mathematics: A Human Endeavor?
Human Endeavor placement suggestion? Prior to Algebra? After? Rotate in place of Business math?
Also, the Veritas Press catalog states that they called Mr. Jacobs and asked for his advice concerning Algebra 2. He recommended Algebra II and Trigonometry (one 2 year text,) by Paul A Foerster (a student of Jacobs.)
Catalog says it covers both topics so well that Calculus is the natural next step.
Thought I’d throw that info out there for those headed that direction.
Hi Becca, I’ll definitely take a look at those Foerster texts.
I do plan on using “Mathematics: A Human Endeavor” and think it could be a nice rotation in place of business math. I’ve read of homeschoolers using it as “Applied Mathematics” or “Advanced Topics in Mathematics” and assigning it one credit hour for highschool. I’ve seen it in a college catalog as meeting the requirement for Qualitative and Quantitative Reasoning. I believe it will require the basics of algebra but I’ve read reviews stating you can use it before Algebra 1. You may want to repost your question on the forum under the title of the textbook as maybe we’ll get some responses from people that have used it.
Not knowing anything about Saxon, I’d also read that Jacob’s Elementary Algebra covers what Saxon does in Algebra I and II. Hmm?
HTH. Again, maybe repost the question under a different title for those that have used the books?
That’s what I was thinking…meaning, use it in place of business math in the weekly rotation. Saxon drags out everything (at least the older versions which is what we have used.) So, I’m willing to bet that the JAlgera does cover both.
Off to post under Textbook heading. ;0)
Thanks a bunch for helping me hash this out,