A few months ago my oldest was nearing the end of her kindergarten math curriculum. We were using the frequently recommended Singnapore math. The one that is supposed to be common core free, with Homeschoolers in mind. Well apparently Singnapore math is no longer CC free.
The Homeschool Resource Roadmap makes this claim about Singnapore math, “Singapore Math has several series, all of which are either correlated (Kindergarten , Primary , Secondary ) or explicitly aligned (Kindergarten) to the CCS. Singapore Math no longer sells any resources that are wholly independent of the CCS.” My husband and I are fairly opposed to CC aligned curriculum (an entire blog article for a different day) and if it is tainted with it, we try to move on.
I briefly considered a non-common core computer based math program. My oldest is very visual and technology draws her in, especially when it is interactive. Yet two things didn’t apeal to me:
- It’s more screen time (good screen time) but just more that I have to take into consideration.
- No hands on manipulatives which was a draw back from Singnapore. (I had rods anyway, but it didn’t come with it)
For those that strictly adhere to the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education, I imagine that a computer math program wouldn’t fit into the purist perspective. I do think this would have been best for my daughter if it hadn’t been for the two aforementioned issues. Which encouraged me to keep looking and I am glad I did. I was on the Simply Charlotte Mason website and discovered that they were coming out with a Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic series.
Charlotte Mason Elementary Living Math
Charlotte Mason doesn’t say too much in her volumes about math, but she does make a slight recommendation and cite sources. I’ve researched other living math curriculum, which is typically a math spin off of Charlotte Mason’s concept of Living books. While other living Math curriculum are true to a living books style, The Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic by Richele Baburina is true to Miss Mason’s methods and philosophy of education.
Richele Baburina spent 10 years researching the sources Miss Mason cited to develop a real Charlotte Mason Living Math. Miss Mason is famous in CM circles for the phrase, “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” Here is how this notion is incorporated in Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic.
- Short lessons (20 minutes or less)
- majority of lessons are oral
- use of Math manipulatives
- Math lessons carefully progress your child using word problems
- manipulatives are common everyday objects
Charlotte Mason’s method in math intends to develop good habits, as an example: mental math. In Home Education (pg. 261) Charlotte writes, “short sums, in words rather than in figures,” greatly encourages “the enthusiasm which produces concentrated attention and rapid work.”
In a Charlotte Mason philosophy of education, math is meant to be a cogent pleasant sounding language. The Charlotte Mason method of math is simple and straightforward lesson using items you find around your house as manipulatives.
Math Concepts in Book 1
- Counting numbers 1-100
- Investigation and analysis of 1-100
- Numerals 0-9
- Symbols +,-,and =
- Numeration and notation through 100
- Money through $1 (all coins)
- Addition through double digits
- Subtraction through double digits
- Skip counting
- Review and Oral Work
- Mental Math
The Book 1 kit
If you purchase the book 1 kit it comes with two DVD’s lead by Richele Baburina and Sonya Shafer, explaining and demonstrating each topic covered in the math book. A math notebook containing grided paper to ensure neatness and accuracy in writing. The manipulatives include:
- 1 dry erase board with blank and grid sides
- 1 dry erase marker
- 125 buttons
- 125 beads
- 110 Craft sticks
- 110 mini pencils
- 25 chenille stems
- 11 metal rings
- 3 sets of number cards
- 1 felt sheet
- 1 lacing cord
- Number identification card
Parent instruction- Have your child get out five dimes, and then say something like, we know that four 10 bundles or four dimes are called 40. What do you suppose 5 ten bundles or five dimes are called?
One by one, place pennies with the 5 ten bundles in dimes and see if your child can count up to fifty-nine. Write in a column on the slate or on grid paper and have your child read: 50,51,52,53,54,55,56,57,58,59. Your child may now write on her slate the numbers 50-59.
3. Gianna purchased a bookmark for 35€ and gave the shopkeeper two quarters. How much change should she receive in return?
(book 1 Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic pg. 188-189.)
We are early in this book and so far it is living up to my expectations. One of the first lessons instructed for my child to look around the room and count various objects. This seemed to bring awareness to my oldest that she can use math in everyday life. Later on, the lessons gradually built upon themselves and encouraged my oldest to progress forward. The lessons are short and sweet, I prefer this to the redundancy in repetitive math problems on worksheets. Short lessons also stay true to a Charlotte Mason method and match with my daughter’s attention span.
The first few lessons simultaneously introduce number counting and simple addition and subtraction. The approach is so interconnected yet gentle that it has provided a deeper grasp of basic math for my daughter. I am also a very visual learner and I greatly value the companion CD’s that provide a visual source of direction on how to implement this math method in our homeschool. I know this is basic math but to me the Charlotte Mason method as a whole is an art. There is a finesse to her methods and to be able watch how Richele and Sonya demonstrate it really brings it all together.
I asked my oldest this question, “What do you think about your new math curriculum?” Her response: “I like it, it’s pretty neat, different and I like how I say the problem and what the answer is…I like the boxes (grided math notebook) it helps me to write well.”
I am so glad I made the switch to Charlotte Mason elementary math. This approach to math will build a solid foundation for my children to build upon. What are your thoughts?