Though I use “Living Books” for all other subjects, math was one that I held back on primarily because I just wasn’t sure how to apply this method in math. Sure, we talk about math in the grocery store or I ask him questions here and there for him to figure out on his own in everyday conversations, but for a daily lesson, everyday for the next however many years?! It seemed a bit daunting and overwhelming, with those nagging questions; What if we miss something? If I don’t follow a certain order, will he be unable to comprehend new concepts? So a few days a week we do Khan Academy to put those thoughts as ease and the rest- living math!
Though Charlotte Mason herself didn’t employ the modern notion of “Living Math”- as stated here from SCM:
Living Math Books—Charlotte believed mathematics fell outside her rule of literary presentations. She stated:
“…mathematics, like music, is a speech in itself, a speech irrefragibly logical, of exquisite clarity, meeting the requirements of mind” (Vol. 6, pp. 333, 334).
Charlotte did not employ the modern notion of “living math books” to teach mathematical concepts. She advocated acquainting the children with the “captain” ideas of math by introducing the different branches or their great thinkers through an interesting or exciting history.
With that thought, I’ve primarily used comprehensive programs using manipulatives with the occasional game (life, or monopoly or baking in the kitchen). However, it continued to be a struggle or a lesson in which “we just need to get through.” I knew what we were currently doing was just not working for any of us. So, with further investigation/research and inspiration from several other blogs and sites, we are starting to incorporate “Living Math” into the curriculum as of this week. With the find of these two sites, jimmies collage and A Thomas Jefferson Education, some books on the way, we are headed into a combination of “Living Math” and a CM curriculum. My approach is going to be to start with two Living Math days each week and progress from there with the use of Life of Fred/ Horizons math as well. My goal is to continue to do research, and blend the two worlds of comprehensive curriculum and Living Math together to “make math more meaningful”
*After just one week, my son, who hates math actually asked to do math! He wanted to” do more in the book, Math for Smarty Pants!”
Core Books: Life of Fred, McRuffy Math and Horizons
Simply Charlotte Mason: Teaching Math; Subject by Subject
Living Math Books/Programs:
The Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat by Theoni Pappas
Further Adventures of Penrose the Mathematical Cat by Theoni Pappas
Math Talk: Mathematical Ideas in Poems for two Voices by Theoni Pappas
Your Business Math Series from Simply Charlotte Mason
Each Orange Had 8 Slices by Paul Giganti, Jr.
Sir Cumference and the First Round Table by Cindy Neuschwander
Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander
Once you start looking, there is an huge amount of math stories and books out there!