~ Insisting a child must be taught traditional, scope-and-sequence arithmetic to learn mathematics is like saying one must learn classical notes and scales before one can learn music. You might get there, but you miss out on the inspiration of beautiful music created by the masters along the way. We need not master all the "basics" before being able to experience the appreciation that carries us through the hard work of learning. Think of applying living math principles as developing a "mathematical ear" while working toward the mastery of basic theory. ~
This site is dedicated to sharing resources for learning, exploring and enjoying math in a dynamic and holistic manner, for all ages.
I want to build a bridge. I'd like to close the gap between math and history, science, literature and humanity created by the isolated way we traditionally approach math education.
In teaching my own children, tutoring and furthering my own self education, I've seen the results of early exposure to real mathematics in natural settings, without requiring mastery of arithmetic on a set timetable - this has been a key to the ease with which my kids attain mastery when the time is right for them. I've also found that math literature and history humanizes math, makes it come alive, and provides a context to enjoy and retain learning. Patricia Kenschaft of Math Power refers to a goal of preserving the "rage for learning" that every child has inside of them. I believe that the way we isolate mathematics learning with the contrived, unrealistically applied arithmetic our children are traditionally taught, without real context and the human drama that created it, has caused much of the math phobias and illiteracy ("innumeracy" to use John Paulos' term) our generation of educators, whether in home or classroom, experienced and pass on, as they know nothing else.