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# SCM living math

Tagged: math

- This topic has 24 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 6 years, 6 months ago by Richele Baburina.

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- lizParticipant
I am loving the new living math resource, I have watched almost all of it and am reading through the book. I will be using this with, a 1st, 2nd and 7th grader. I have some questions 🙂 Would these be taught in 3 sesperate classes so to go at their own pace? My 7th will greatly benefit from this, we have always used MUS, she is very bright, scores well on the tests but still struggles and has the desire to just get it done. Where would I start with her? My 2nd grader has dyslexia and auditory processing disorder and this is going to be wonderful for her. I used MUS alpha with her some but next year plan to use CM living math and start at the beginning. We are using dianne crafts brain integration therapy and have seen wonderful results with reading and I think this will work perfectly as her math. Is it ok to use as a stand alone math? I was also hoping to find a manipulative list with amounts needed, I.e. how many popsicle sticks, buttons, money, etc…. Maybe I missed it. Does each student get their own set of manipulatives? Thank you so much!!

Richele BaburinaParticipantHi Liz, I’m really glad you like the resources and are finding them helpful. I have italicized your questions below with the answers following.

*I will be using this with, a 1st, 2nd and 7th grader.**Would these be taught in 3 separate classes so to go at their own pace?*Depending on your 1st and 2nd grader, they could easily be put together. Not knowing your 7th grader, she might like to help in the younger one’s math lessons. My older son loved to help with reading lessons for his younger brother. When you have two students together I find that the mental math part becomes even more fun with children posing questions to each other. A spirit of competition should be avoided though. I have one child who is more intuitive with math yet he is easily frustrated (will admit defeat before even beginning) yet when he remains calm his problem-solving skills are remarkable. Our second student, who is even-tempered, learned to have compassion for his brother while I internally called on the Lord for how to help him learn to get himself out of that pit of unfounded frustration. This is just an example of something that could arise in any classroom and home. My two students might both be covering fractions but my older son will have more difficult problems posed so they are going at their own pace, though they are in different grade levels.

In the end, it’s up to you. Teachers in Charlotte’s PUS schools definitely were teaching different grades (forms) at the same time and learned how to do it. I know I’ve seen examples of this in the Parents’ Review under “Notes on Lessons” on how they handled this. The example I saw wasn’t specifically with math but with reading and geography but may be of help. It’s p.847 if you ever read the Parents’ Review archived at Ambleside Online.

Whenever dealing with questions regarding specific subjects Charlotte always pointed her teachers back to the 20 Principles and I like to do the same when I’m working through things like which subjects to have our kids together. Is our schedule set up so as to promote a healthy atmosphere in our lessons? Is the time allotment proper for the digestion of the ideas and not too long to tire the brain? In this case, 20 minutes for your 1st and 2nd grader and 30 minutes for your 7th. See if you can effectively have your kids together or not. You may find that you are able to or you may find that you prefer to have your 1st grader doing something else while you work with your 2nd grader on arithmetic. I’ve had my kids together in arithmetic on some years and not on others.

*My 7th will greatly benefit from this, we have always used MUS, she is very bright, scores well on the tests but still struggles and has the desire to just get it done. Where would I start with her?*I think I’ll need a little more information, Liz, to answer this. Is she showing real mathematical understanding or is her work mechanical? Page 45 of the book lists some guidelines (in question form) for Arithmetic in the Upper Grades. We don’t use MUS but I’m aware how it operates.

*My 2nd grader has dyslexia and auditory processing disorder and this is going to be wonderful for her. I used MUS alpha with her some but next year plan to use CM living math and start at the beginning. We are using dianne crafts brain integration therapy and have seen wonderful results with reading and I think this will work perfectly as her math. Is it ok to use as a stand alone math?*The scope and sequence with the underlying principles and methods make for a stand-alone math for arithmetic. Personally, I keep a couple of books by my side for problem examples to use in giving oral problems, written problems and exams. I like Ray’s New Arithmetic and Strayer Upton’s Books 1-3. Together with manipulatives found in the home it’s an extremely economical curriculum.

*I was also hoping to find a manipulative list with amounts needed, I.e. how many popsicle sticks, buttons, money, etc…. Maybe I missed it. Does each student get their own set of manipulatives? Thank you so much!!*Oh, wow, that’s a real “Why didn’t I think of that?” regarding a list. When the time came we spent a few math lessons putting the ten bundles together with craft sticks and stringing beads. We have a shared box of about 20 ten-bundles and 30 loose sticks.

The beads have long since been unstrung but I’m guessing it was about the same amount. Matchsticks take up little space and are inexpensive if you are willing to have them in your home. Each student and the teacher will need their own coin bag. We made these for a handicraft and, if you use eco-felt, can be made as economically as 30 cents or you can make nicer ones in suede or leather, which my guys were really into. I filled them each with 20 dimes and at least 100 pennies (they hold a lot for the bag’s deceptively small size). We also have a change box that I grabbed from if we ever find ourselves in the position of needing more coins.

I honestly don’t recall how many play money bills I had on hand but I believe they come in packs of 100 and you shouldn’t need more than that since once you get to ten $1’s the student is changing it into a $10 bill and ten $10’s are exchanged for a $100. Those were just kept in a general math manipulative box and my kids didn’t have their own. I would just have stacks out on the table for class for them to grab from.

I hope this helps you out Liz.

Best, Richele

MamatotoParticipantWe are attempting to make leather coin purses to hold our money, as used in the video. My son excitedly picked out two pieces of soft leather at a craft store, and we successfully cut circles, but couldn’t figure out how to punch holes. We purchased a rotary leather press that was hanging in the same aisle as the leather, but it doesn’t work at all. I’m guessing the leather is too soft, but I don’t know because I’m not crafty. I called another craft store to ask for ideas, but they didn’t have any. Please help! What should we use to punch the holes?

BlessedMommyParticipantIf the leather is thin and soft, you should be able to push a good leather needle through w/out hole punching. Just be sure to use a thimble. I have a leather hole puncher but, I used it on a thicker sued leather. I purchased it from TLC (Tandy Leather Co.).

BlessedMommyParticipantAlso, the holes I punched were for the buckle as it was a belt I made. I used a leather needle on my sewing machine to sew the leather together. No hole punching needed to sew it.

MamatotoParticipantThe holes are for weaving a harder leather lacing through (to cinch the coin purse tight). Would a leather needle get a hole big enough for that? I think the cord is maybe 4mm thickness? Thanks!!

Richele BaburinaParticipantHi Mamatoto,

Oh, I hope your son’s excitement holds as you get this worked out. It’s usually a simple project that shouldn’t cause frustration. I’ve used two different punches to make the coin purses, one was a rotary punch like you describe so it should work with the soft leather. The one I used was a vintage tool though so I’m wondering if the quality of the product from the craft store is inferior or isn’t sharp? I’ve also used a 1/8″ paper hold punch which didn’t punch the circle completely out on some of the holes but it worked well enough to lace it and it looked nice. If you go this route you just need to be sure to get a hole punch that allows you to go in far enough from the edge. Home Depot carries a general hollow punch set for about $10 but maybe you would know someone that has such a set?

I used the soft leather from the craft store as well. On some bags I fused wool felt fused to the leather and also punched through just fine.

All my best,

Richele

MamatotoParticipantThanks! We found another rotary punch at ACE Hardware this weekend for $10, and it worked MUCH better than the Michael’s brand!!

Carol-AnneParticipantHi Richelle,

We have just started homeschooling and I believe the CM approach will suit my 10yr old daughter perfectly. She had Asperger Syndrome, Central Auditory Processing Disorder and Neurofibromatosis, and ADHD. She doesn’t understand the ‘why’ (especially in division,) and hates maths. I was just wondering if your book would help her and where do we start.

Thank you

Mama Chook

Richele BaburinaParticipantHi Mama Chook,

It’s really a wonderful gift you are giving your daughter to help her develop mathematical understanding while making discoveries herself (those moments where things “click” or the proverbial lightbulb goes off). Since I don’t have experience myself with teaching children on the spectrum I’ve asked a teacher at a charter Charlotte Mason school where they both use the SCM math handbook and dvd and have children on the spectrum if she can lend additional wisdom. I will let you know if I hear back from her.

Charlotte Mason’s methods in arithmetic at this stage will include short lessons, interesting problems, manipulatives to convey ideas, writing used very sparingly, patience and slowly graduated lessons. The lessons are highly adaptable to each child so I would think they would work very well for your daughter. I recommend the dvd so you can see exactly how to go about putting into practice what you will read about in the handbook. Division specifically has two ideas to convey: the idea of

*continuous subtraction*or*sharing*and the idea of*fractional parts*, also known as*measuring*. You may need to go back a bit to make sure that her understanding of the “why” in subtraction has been secured.Many blessings,

Richele

Sonya ShaferModeratorMama Chook, I’ve been using the techniques described in Richele’s book with my youngest who has autism, pervasive developmental delays, and processing disorders. CM’s methods have been the only ones that “clicked” and let me see my daughter understand the concepts. Now, we go at a snail’s pace (a very slow snail) because that is what she needs, but it’s worth it to see her actually comprehending the Whys.

Betty DickersonParticipantSo I will start homeschooling my youngest (and last boohoo) child in the fall. I am going to watch the video again to make sure I understand. I certainly wish I would have started with this with all my older children!!

Is there a curriculum the blends well with these techniques? Richele used Ray’s Arithmetic, correct? I’ve never used Right Start Math but I do have their Abacus, is this a good one? And Christian Light? Believe it or not, my children did not do well with MUS, although I loved it. We also used Horizon’s, Teaching Textbooks, and a few others. Math has been the weakness for all my children so far, so I would like to change this with my youngest. Thanks!

Richele BaburinaParticipantHi anabetica,

Thanks for your question. Ray’s New Primary Arithmetic was written to be used orally so I found it worked well with the CM living teaching of math. From there I switched to Strayer-Upton Book One, Two, and Three (though I used Ray’s as well just because I had them), being sure to use the problems only, not the ultra-wordy and oftentimes confusing explanation of the concept introduced. This is just what Charlotte’s schools did -which allowed the child the great satisfaction of “discovering” the rules on his/her own. The books, when combined with the SCM handbook and dvd, provide an inexpensive but full curriculum up through pre-algebra.

You may also choose to add in Paper-Sloyd in the early years followed by one day of Practical Geometry in Years 5 & 6. We used Ednah Anne Rich’s book for sloyd, found in the public domain, just be sure not to skip around on projects as they build on skill. Sonya and I do a (somewhat humorous) paper sloyd project on the dvd and I encourage you to try one yourself before having your child do it is not quite as simple as it looks.

Though a bit early for your child, for practical geometry we used one of the two books Charlotte’s schools used. I believe HathiTrust.org has online copies so you can see which you like best. Practical Geometry day was always a hit around here.

I believe SCM offers an explanation of why they list RightStart. I have no experience with it nor have I held it in my hands but know that Charlotte’s experience with Sonnenschein’s “ABC of Arithmetic” had her steer clear of special or costly math manipulatives.

Warmly,

Richele

Betty DickersonParticipantThank you so much Richele! I really appreciate your thoughts and comments.

I was unclear which book (Ray’s or Upton Strayer) was the one with the wordy explanations? For book 1, how do these two math books compare? One thing I see with Ray’s is that there is a teacher book by Ray and by Beechick, but I guess it’s not needed if we have your book, Richele?

I’m so sorry to hijack the thread. I’m so appreciative of this conversation.

Richele BaburinaParticipantHi anabetica,

Truth: If you are beginning at the beginning then you don’t need more than the SCM book and dvd for Year 1. The only reason to have Ray’s New Primary by your side is to give you examples of simple oral questions (like those I give Sonya on the dvd) if you need to jumpstart your own brain. That’s the only way you will use Ray’s.

If you noticed in the video, you are just repeating the same sequence of events with each number 1-9. Point out one of somethings, learn the symbol, pick it out of a group of symbols (just like Charlotte’s beginning reading lessons!), learn to write 1 (first on the board, then in the math notebook), then go on to number 2 and do the exact same sequence, but this time do little sums using concrete objects as well. You can make a small note in your planner or in your calendar of where you finished for the day.

Strayer-Upton Book 1 will not be needed until Year 2. Most math books begin with a lengthy explanation of the new concept to be learned. Charlotte skipped those pages in any book she used, teaching the concept with the problems provided but using her methods, and returned to it only after the concept was understood and the child had discovered and stated any rules themselves, quite a bit like getting the idea of what an author said and narrating it.

The dvd goes through how to teach each new concept in elementary arithmetic. Your job will be to gather the manipulatives, dry erase board or slate, large grid graph paper or math notebook, and sit and enjoy that 20 minutes with your child as you guide him or her in discovery while they do the work themselves. Go at their pace, stay in conversation with the Lord, and you will enjoy the same sweet relationship you have with them in the other subjects as well as nurturing good habits in them. We all have days that are harder than others when homeschooling but it is always worth it.

As far as Ruth Beechick’s manual, it provides the scientific basis of how a child’s mind works from concrete to abstract, reminds the parent that the child’s math lesson doesn’t mean recess for the parent, and breaks Ray’s down into weekly lessons with exams. If you are going at your child’s pace and using Charlotte Mason’s methods, it isn’t necessary.

Does that make sense?

Best,

Richele

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