Sacramento Homeschool Math By Hand

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A Year in the Life: Ambient Math Wins the Race to the Top!

May 31st, 2014 · No Comments · Homeschool Math Curriculum

Day 143

For one year, 365 days, this blog will address the Common Core Standards from the perspective of creating an alternate, ambient learning environment for math.  Ambient is defined as “existing or present on all sides, an all-encompassing atmosphere.”  And ambient music is defined as: “Quiet and relaxing with melodies that repeat many times.

Why ambient?  A math teaching style that’s whole and all encompassing, with themes that repeat many times through the years, is most likely to be effective and successful.  A brief disclaimer before embarking on the Common Core ELA standards for Grade 2.  Waldorf is a “slow start” curriculum, but in the spirit of the famous fable The Turtle and the Hare, it can be seen that slow beginnings might very well make for more victories in the end.

Slow and steady wins the race, is the moral of this tale and can be extrapolated to match the wisdom of the Waldorf philosophy.  Going against today’s rising tide of hurrying children out of childhood in too many ways to count while espousing a “sooner is better” philosophy across the board with education, Waldorf chooses to stay the course that’s true to childhood.

In this vein, children are given the gift of literature that’s steeped in the age or culture that resonates with their developmental stage through the grades, but are not expected to read or write until those abilities flower and fruit at the optimal time.  In Grade 2, the trickster comes to the fore through the fables’ wily, sometimes ill-intentioned animal characters.  The morals of the tales are deeply taken in, parallel to the inevitable fading of childish innocence.

In Grade 1, the fairy tales supported the child with the belief that good will win in the end, but now the polarities are starker and more pronounced.  Reynard never comes to justice, no matter how many evils he perpetrates on the community.  The deep, long-suffering goodness of the saints and heroes do however, serve to balance the justice scales in a complex way that lives deep within the child, deeper than any direct moralizing or proselytizing ever could.

Math By Hand is math and language arts integrated so it makes sense to include the language arts component here, but the standards will be reviewed much more briefly with three, five, or more appearing in each post, starting tomorrow.  Knowledge ensues in an environment dedicated to imaginative, creative knowing, where student and teacher alike surrender to the ensuing of knowledge as a worthy goal.  Tune in tomorrow as we move on to the Common Core ELA standards and their ambient counterparts.

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