A Charlotte Mason Math Lesson
Before we begin A Charlotte Mason Math Lesson …
First, I explain why I’m focusing subject by subject. Also, I include Charlotte Mason quotes because I find her original lectures on education to be SO inspiring and helpful.
Next, please keep reading to see the break down of implementing lessons, the schedule, and resources I’m using that fit our family. Finally, I share the wealth of quality Charlotte Mason resources I have found helpful, from those mothers who have gone before me.
PREPARING THE FEAST
“Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests.” (Mason, vol. 3)
There are MANY subjects included in a Charlotte Mason education because she believed in spreading a wide feast. Sometimes, it feels a bit daunting for a new homeschooling mama.
Therefore, I’m attempting to learn, digest, and absorb how I’m going to be teaching each subject. I have decided to compose a blog post on each subject for Form 1B (roughly first grade). This will help me prepare to teach my oldest son in the Fall.
“The mind feeds on ideas, and therefore children should have a generous curriculum.” (Mason, vol. 1)
A Charlotte Mason Math Lesson
“Of all his early studies, perhaps none is more important to the child as a means of education than that of arithmetic.” (Mason, vol. 1)
First and foremost, math is essential to teach to children. We use math in our daily life, therefore, it must be taught. In the state of Texas, the homeschool law states:
“A home school may have whatever curricula the parents decide upon in whatever mode they choose, provided the curricula cover the five basic subjects of reading, spelling, grammar, math, and a study in good citizenship…”
Therefore, math is a required subject. Richele Baburina, who has created some Charlotte Mason Math resources, states: math is due to the person. Also, she says math is beautiful and delightful.
“The reason why mathematics are a great study is because there exists in the normal mind an affinity and capacity for this study, and too great an elaboration, whether of teaching or of preparation, has, I think, a tendency to take the edge off this manner of intellectual interest.” (Mason, vol. 1)
Math can be simple, straightforward, and a source of delight.
WHAT WE ARE USING
First grade math focuses on: rapid mental work with manipulatives, numbers and sums, and working with money.
1. CHARLOTTE MASON MATH ELEMENTARY BUNDLE, BOOK 1
We are using the Charlotte Mason Elementary Math: Book 1 Bundle from Simply Charlotte Mason because it is beautiful and affordable. This is a complete set, including: Arithmetic Book 1, dry erase board, graph notebook, and manipulatives. The set contains: buttons, beads, craft sticks, chenille stems, number cards, and a lacing cord. I love that common objects found in your home, are incorporated.
2. MATHEMATICS: AN INSTRUMENT FOR LIVING TEACHING
Also, we are using Mathematics: An Instrument for Living Teaching. This book encompasses beginning numbers and their meanings, all the way through algebra and geometry. Richele Baburina said she created the Mathematics Handbook to help guide the teaching of math, from first grade through calculus.
“A bag of beans, counters, or buttons should be used in all the early arithmetic lessons, and the child should be able to work with these freely, and even to add, subtract, multiply, and divide mentally, without the aid of buttons or beans, before he is set to ‘do sums’ on his slate.” (Mason, vol. 1)
ALTERNATIVE CHOICES FOR MATH
While I’m beyond excited to use the Charlotte Mason Math resources from Simply Charlotte Mason, my second choice for a math program was Right Start Mathematics. When comparing price, Right Start is three times the cost with the starter set. This factored into my decision. The Right Start Mathematics Math Manipulative Set is Here. The abacus appears to play a big role in this math program.
Also, I purchased Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 1 and ultimately returned it. While I love that this program offers math problems through story form, it seemed very reliant on the workbook, and didn’t move as slowly and carefully as the program I choose.
In conclusion, I ultimately decided on: Charlotte Mason Elementary Math: Book 1 Bundle.
Charlotte Mason describes the Math Lesson as occurring daily. Also, each lesson lasts about 20 minutes.
“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.” (Mason, vol. 1)
Math is very practical. Yet, it also is a gradual unfolding of absolute truth, which points to God, the creator.
“The future is before him: he may get the next sum right, and the wise teacher will make it her business to see that he does, and that he starts with new hope.” (Mason, vol. 1)
The ladies at ADE recommend to end the daily Math lesson with an easy problem. This is to encourage the child and leave them in good spirits about math.
Finally, my favorite Charlotte Mason Math quote:
“Let his arithmetic lesson be to the child a daily exercise in clear thinking and rapid, careful execution, and his mental growth will be so obvious as the sprouting of seedlings in the spring.” (Mason, vol. 1)
“Engage the child upon little problems within his comprehension from the first, rather than upon set sums.” (Mason, vol. 1)
A child should not be given math problems to work, which are beyond his comprehension. Therefore, a Charlotte Mason Math moves from concrete to the abstract, to help the child gain knowledge.
“Care must be taken to give the child such problems as he can work, but yet are difficult enough to cause him some little mental effort.” (Mason, vol. 1)
Ms. Mason encourages we should challenge a child to use their minds. Yet, the material should not so advanced, that the child becomes discouraged.
“Carefully graduated teaching and daily mental effort on the child’s part at this early stage may be the means of developing real mathematical power, and will certainly promote the habits of concentration and effort of mind.” (Mason, vol. 1)
The math lesson progresses in an orderly fashion. Constant reviewing and scaffolding are implemented, in order to aid the student in learning.
Finally, Ms. Mason reiterates:
“…nothing can be more delightful than the careful analysis of numbers and the beautiful graduation of the work, ‘only one difficulty at a time being presented to the mind’.” (Mason, vol. 1)
A CHARLOTTE MASON MATH LESSON
- First, use concrete objects, such as buttons, beads, beans, or rocks, to understand the concept of one number. Ex. “Show me ‘two’ with your beans.”
- Then, math stories/problems can be given to the child. Ex. “If Jackson had two apples, and gave one to Emily, how many apples does he have left?”
- Finally, move forward to abstract thinking. Ex. “Two minus one equals?”
NOTES ABOUT THE MATH LESSON
- Of most importance, move along at the pace of the child. Therefore, the child should be able to completely understand one number, or one concept, before moving onto another.
- Full attention and focus is required, which is why the lesson is short.
- Next, use of the senses helps the child understand math.
- At the end of the Math Lesson, ask the child to tell back what he learned. Also, he is free to use manipulatives as a helpful tool to explain his narration.
Finally, I have come across some outstanding resources in learning about a Charlotte Mason education. I’m so happy to share them with you! Some of these are sources I return to daily because I’m preparing to teach my children. Additionally, I list specific resources for a Charlotte Mason Math Lesson.
GENERAL CHARLOTTE MASON RESOURCES
- A Charlotte Mason Soiree Educator Courses (free and amazing!)
- A Charlotte Mason Soiree Facebook Support/Discussion Group
- Charlotte Mason’s Home Education Volume 1
- Volume 2 Charlotte Mason’s Parents and Children
- Charlotte Mason’s School Education Volume 3
- A Delectable Education Scheduling Cards
- Another Delectable Education Curriculum Templates
CHARLOTTE MASON MATH LESSON RESOURCES
- Mathematics: An Instrument for Living Teaching
- Charlotte Mason Elementary Math Bundle, Book 1
- A Delectable Education on Teaching Math
- Another A Delectable Education Podcast on Elementary Math
- Interview with Richele Baburina on the Relevance of Charlotte Mason Math
- Beautiful Nature Inspired Number Cards
- Volume 1 Charlotte Mason’s Home Education (pgs. 253-264)
Also, check out these previous blog posts in the series:
- A Charlotte A Mason Picture Study Lesson
- A Charlotte Mason Special Studies Lesson
- A Charlotte Mason Nature Lore Lesson
- A Charlotte Mason Nature Study Lesson
- A Charlotte Mason Geography Lesson
- A Charlotte Mason History Lesson
- A Charlotte Mason Literature Lesson
- A Charlotte Mason Writing Lesson
- A Charlotte Mason Bible Lesson
- A Charlotte Mason Summer
- 29 Charlotte Mason Inspired Preschool Books
Thank you so much for checking in! Finally, please stay tuned for the next ‘A Charlotte Mason Subject Lesson’ post.
All of the quotes mentioned in this blog post, come from Home Education by Charlotte Mason. The Living Press published my favorite version of her books. Finally, I TRULY recommend any parent read Charlotte Mason’s books! They are truly treasured words I believe I will be reading and re-reading for many years to come.