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Welcome back to Classical Mamas Read! I'm excited to be back here with you today to discuss chapters 6 & 7 of The Well Trained Mind. If you want to take a look back at our previous discussions, click the picture above to take you to a list of each chapter we have talked about.
Ch. 6 - The Joy of Numbers: Math (grammar stage)
The four years of elementary math lay the foundation for the high-level abstract thinking required by algebra, trigonometry, and calculus later on. (page 87)
What you should cover in grammar stage math -
- Addition & Subtraction
- Multiplication & Division
- Geometric Shapes & Patterns
- Thinking through word problems
- Relationships between numbers
My notes and thoughts on grammar stage math -
- Start with manipulatives and use them again as you teach each new concept.
- I really love the concept of teaching math by using manipulatives. We use Ray's Arithmetic, which teaches you to do the same thing.
- Move to mental arithmetic (picturing the manipulatives in your head instead of having to move them with your hands)
- Finally reach abstract thinking (doing math by just using the numbers and symbols)
- Math work should be done daily in the grammar stage.
- We have not typically done math every day. I think next year I will aim for that (after seeing this recommendation)
- Have your child memorize the math tables once they have reached the abstract thinking stage (after the manipulative and mental stages)
- Do not allow the use of calculators until the math facts are memorized
- I have not have my kids memorize any math facts yet, but I was thinking about it since I know Classical Conversations starts it at age 4. Now I'm thinking that I should wait. What do you think?
Do you have your children memorize math facts? If so, what age do you start and why?
Ch. 7 - Seventy Centuries in Four Years: History and Geography (grammar stage)
History is not a subject. History is the subject...A grasp of historical facts is essential to the rest of the classical curriculum. (pages 104-105)
My notes and thoughts on grammar stage history -
- History is a story and should be told from beginning to end.
- Stay away from text books. Rather use living books that tell the stories of history and use your library to supplement each topic!
What main texts to you love to teach history with?
- Cycle through history in each stage of the trivium, adding to the depth of understanding each time. The book recommends a 4-year cycle.
Do you follow a 4-year cycle? 3-year? etc?
- Keep a notebook (like they suggested for reading/writing/etc.) For each week/event, add...
- Narration page (either write down your child's verbal narration or have them write their own)
- Illustration (either a coloring page, or their own drawing of the story)
- Map page (color in the area that they learned about on a blank map)
- We do forms of all these things, but definitely not exactly like she laid it out.
- After adding to your notebook each week, take a visit to the library to find more books to read on the subject.
- History is important, but it is not the most important thing in the grammar stage. Learning to read and write is vital, so don't neglect those in favor of history.
- I've been trying to do history a little each day. They recommend studying history for a longer stretch (1 - 1 1/2 hours) only 2-3 times a week. I think I will try this next year.
Do you do history every day?
- Include memory work for history.
- We have recently started using Veritas Press for history and I LOVE their memory songs. I also created a history sentence for each week. I really like it so far and plan to continue it next year.
What have you had your kids memorize for history?
Next week we will be discussing chapters 8 and 9 which talk about grammar stage math and history. Hopefully it won't be to much for one week, but I don't want this book to take all year to go through, so we will try! It looks like a lot of pages, but a good chunk of it is resource suggestions, so I think we should be ok.
If you don't have the book already, you can look for it at your library or get it on amazon. (The Well Trained Mind)
If you are behind, feel free to still comment on chapters 1 & 2 or chapters 3 & 4. If you want to be emailed when someone makes a comment, make sure to click "Subscribe by Email" right under the comment box (right hand side), so you won't miss out on any discussion!
Classical Mamas Read Link-Up
Did you write about these chapters on your blog? Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)? Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)? I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read!
I think I'm going to keep this link-up ongoing since there aren't going to be a huge number of posts and then anyone new will be able to be encouraged by the other book reading ideas and discussions. If the number of posts gets too large, I will fix it.
Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).