Okay, I stray: math, part one

I confess I don't know much about what Charlotte Mason says about math.

When I come to sections about math in her writings, I skim them and then hurry along to topics that interest me more. I'm perfectly competent in math, but I'm not crazy about it.

now it's working...
It was easy to do mathy things with my kids when they were younger. We counted together, sorted socks and silverware, found patterns, played dominoes, and set up shops with a cardboard box for a cash register. Then I started doing formal math instruction with my daughter, and it was fun at first. it's not
Somewhere around age 10, my daughter and I started struggling with each other during math. In response, I began blowing off math lessons, but doing math occasionally instead of daily frustrated her all more. When she announced she didn't like math, I knew I had to change the situation.

I didn't know what the problem was, but I didn't want to encourage any notion that she wasn't good at math, and I definitely wanted to discourage a habit of the two of us fussing with each other over a school subject. While I don't know much about what Charlotte says about math, I do know what she says about habits and relationships, and I set aside the math books while I re-grouped.

To be continued....

Photo of early childhood treasures: bottle caps collected and sorted in a city park. As little kids, mine knew which beer brand was the most popular in various neighborhoods based on the caps they found in the parks. How lovely.


  1. Having never been a fan of math, I sat up and took notice when Charlotte referred to the truth and beauty of mathematics. Having gone through a similar experience, we now all love math.

  2. It's hard to put something away while you regroup. I look forward to reading part 2!

  3. hah! so which beer was it? hilarious.

    yes. we've been to the edge of the canyon with math too... and we found a tiny winding trail that leads down to delight... well, when we actually do math lessons that is, we're currently on an extended break... :)

    amy outta peru {temporarily}

  4. I'm truly curious and expectant about what you will say about this.

  5. Hoping you find joy in math...a challenge I think many of us face from time to time. You are wise to take a break rather than let something escalate unnecessarily.
    Can't wait to hear more about your journey :)

  6. I think math is a test for all of us, but we are going to pass in the end.
    I am trying to decide what dirrection we are going to go in for the upcoming year. What we are doing is not working either. I pray God will help us all find the path He would have us all to travel.

  7. Just dropped by to see what you guys were up to. Happy Mother's Day

  8. Amy: I asked my son about this when I read your comment, and to my utter dismay, he remembers, lol! According to my bottlecap-collecting expert, depending on the neighborhood, El Presidente and Corona Extra were the top contenders in popularity by far. Coors bottlecaps were rare finds.

    Everyone: Thanks for your comments. I'm very encouraged that others struggle with math (or another subject) and are willing to address the struggles and not shrug them off. I'm hoping we find the beauty in mathematics that Richele mentions in her comment. Right now, we're seeing the fun in math and working our way toward seeing the beauty, though we're not all the way there yet.

    And Traci: Thanks for the Happy Mother's Day wishes! I wish them to all of you homeschooling mamas as well!