Living Math — Don’t Miss This!

January 23rd, 2006 by admin Leave a reply »

Recommended Website:
Living Math

I want to thank ClickSchooling list member MaryAnna, for recommending today’s website. She wrote, “Imagine teaching math through reading fun literature together! The math-themed books recommended at this website are arranged by topic to make it easy to pick just the right book to meet a student’s current needs/interests.”

I’ve never seen anything quite like this, and it should come as no surprise that the owner of the site is a homeschool mom (and CPA). When you get to the site you will see an introduction that explains the philosophy behind this unusual approach to learning math:

Insisting a child must be taught traditional, scope-and-sequence arithmetic to learn mathematics is like saying one must learn classical note reading 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 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.

…In teaching my own children, tutoring and furthering my own self education, I’ve found that math history and literature humanizes math, makes it come alive, and provides the context needed to enjoy and retain learning. Early exposure to real mathematics in real settings without requiring mastery of arithmetic on a set timetable has been a key to the incredible ease my kids have attained mastery when the time is right for them. …I believe that the way we isolate mathematics learning with the contrived, unrealistically applied arithmetic our children are taught without the human drama that created it has caused much of the math illiteracy…and phobias our generation of educators, whether in home or classroom, experienced and pass on, as they know nothing else.

This site is dedicated to sharing resources for learning, exploring and enjoying math in a dynamic and wholistic manner, for all ages.

The site lives up to its promise. When you get to the home page you’ll see the introduction and a menu on the left that includes:

  • Starting Out - This section will help you figure out where to begin in developing your own or your child’s math education. Read inspirational and practical articles by well-known math and education authors such as Marilyn Burns, John Paulos, Frank Smith, Theoni Pappas, and many, many more.
  • Book Lists - An astounding list of math-themed literature for Pre- K through Middle School, High School and beyond, sorted by various math concepts from simple addition and subtraction to fractions and percentages, to Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Economics, Finance and more.
  • Reviews - Read reviews of math-themed books to get an idea of what they are about and whether or not the subject matter is suited to your family’s interests and needs.
  • Math History - Follow the links in this section to learn about the history of math concepts and notation in ancient cultures. Learn about famous mathematicians like Archimedes, Pythagoras, Copernicus, Pascal, Newton, LaGrange, and many, many more.
  • Math Links - An extensive archive of links to sites that explore math and music, math and art, math humor, math and nature, math games, math history, math activities and more.

In addition to the hundreds of free resources here, the site offers a Living Math Through History Course for purchase.

Bookmark this one, you’ll want to refer to it often. :)

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