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Mathematics: The Language of Science

Posted Nov 08 2012 7:00am
Home Schooling

Mathematics is the language of science. It is a very necessary part of our education and especially important to be studied in depth because our world is math. Whether we like it or not, math is ever more necessary today because our everyday living is held up by so much technology.

“The real mystery of life is not a problem to be solved, it is a reality to be experienced.” –J. J. VanDerLeeuw

Mathematics serves a higher purpose than we realize. In A Philosophy of Education, Charlotte Mason writes: “The chief value of arithmetic, like that of the higher mathematics, lies in the training it affords to the reasoning powers, and in the habits of insight, readiness, accuracy, intellectual truthfulness it engenders.”

When your child is sitting at his desk doing his math studies so much more is happening in addition to 2+2=4. Character is being built, stick-to-itiveness, and logical thinking. Just as Charlotte Mason expresses, not only are your children learning math, but also how to experience and live in this world.

Once we realize the intrigue of the world is seen through math we are open to learn even more. Just by reading the book, Divine Proportion by Priya Hemenway you can see the magnitude of the mathematics that surrounds us daily.

“The spiral shape of the chambered Nautilus (Nautilus pompilius) grows larger by a proportion of Phi.” -The Divine Proportion by Priya Hemenway

Mathematics is a daily exercise in clear thinking and careful execution. With daily study the child will be learning far greater lessons than calculations. A character in excellence is developed when one is faced with regular thought and determination to execute a solution all the while being self-disciplined to stick-to-itiveness. Your student will not begin with these noble traits but as he works through his studies you are sure to see his noble side emerge and shine.

Mathematics is a subject that necessitates years of careful study. Each lesson builds upon the next lesson flowing into advanced math and upper sciences. Since math is the one of the most important, if not the most important core subject it is imperative that you do your diligence and find a whole and complete curriculum from which to learn math. Do not be distracted by the fun and entertaining programs. Select the program that will be whole and complete, supportive for your child to learn for the long term.

We cannot be lackadaisical when it comes to our children’s education and especially with the subject of math. Mastery in any subject comes from long term practice. Mastery is not something a teacher can force feed into the student. It can only come through the student practicing until it is easily recalled, practiced long term beyond mastery and then becomes automatic. Once a child reaches this point he is released from thinking so hard about trying to grasp the problem and it frees the mind to do considerable problems at a higher cognitive level.

At the same time he has trained his brain how to solve problems and how to think logically. This is not limited to just math. Logical and critical thinking skills that are learned in math carry over to the sciences as well as language and the arts. Thinking logically is a learned trait that comes with practice. When developed, your child will have the foundation necessary to achieve higher levels of understanding and knowledge permitting him to do, be and have anything in life he sets his mind to achieving.

It’s essential that children learn the fundamentals from which they can build to the highest level they desire. What a great sorrow it would be to have your child need a high level of mathematics to participate in his field of interest and have neglected the importance of math all those years. Many subjects can be learned quickly and time made up but with math it takes time and practice.

Don’t let math end in the text book. Bring it out in everyday living. With young children they begin their studies immersed in reading and writing. This is when you want to select books that incorporate math concepts within stories. As the children get older, begin incorporating the math classics into their reading list. You may choose some of these books to be read during family read aloud time so the whole family can benefit in the learning.

As you move throughout the natural course of living, allow the flow of learning by encouraging experiences in shopping, building, measuring, cooking, counting, art, music, telling time, playing board and card games, managing money, fixing something mechanical, and as children get older creating solutions for living, the environment and global issues. There are so many options I can’t list them all here. Let your imagination carry you to many great adventures together in the subject of math.

“Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.” –Albert Einstein

Parents Inspired to Action:

  • Move from a rewards-based system and guide your child to find his reward in the satisfaction of the work and the development of self-discipline, integrity, logical and critical thinking. Reflect on your mindset around mathematics. Whether you know math or not, you can homeschool your children by mentoring, using high quality materials and self-education. Create openness about math and your child’s ability to learn.

Children Inspired to Action:  

  • Provide the supplies your children need to explore math such as blocks, rulers, measure tapes, things to build with, creative supplies as well as time and space.
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