Welcome to the fifth virtual meeting of *The Core* Bookclub here at Hope Is the Word. You can read more about the bookclub, as well as find out the schedule, in this post. Be sure to like Hope Is the Word on Facebook to participate in the discussion over there, too. (should such a conversation ever materialize 😉 ).

Well, I intended to write up my post this weekend, but as I’ve already mentioned, we had a super busy weekend of working on school plans and a few ongoing home improvement tasks, so that didn’t happen. In fact, I only read chapter six of *The Core* last week, so my discussion today will only be of that chapter. I’ll try to double up for next week. We’ll catch up at some point. 🙂

So. . . math. I like it. I really do. Teaching it has been fun for me, and I’m truly understanding things now that I only grasped the *how* of and not the *why* up until now. (And yes, we’ve only made it through second grade!) However, I thought that math might be the subject at which Leigh Bortins would part ways in terms of our philosophies and approaches. I have been rather pleasantly surprised, though, at the commonalities I’ve found between our approach here at the House of Hope and the one she espouses in *The Core*. You see, my husband has definite opinions about math curricula, so a certain popular-among-homeschoolers-curriculum is *verboten* in our household. He is much more concerned our little students having a conceptual understanding (as far as it is possible at their ages) of the processes and not just memorize a bunch of stuff. (This, my friends,** this **is why I love RightStart Math. I truly feel like RightStart gives me, the tutor, the ability to teach the *whys* and the *hows*. I also love that by the time the *whys* are really hammered home, the *hows* are, too. But that is a post for another day.)

Still, though, I did like much of what Bortins has to say about math, but mostly what I got out of the chapter is a picture of what math studies look like in the Bortins home on a daily basis. This is very helpful. I also like the high expectations she sets forth for grammar stage students at the beginning of the chapter. I mean, I don’t even have the multiplication tables memorized through 20 X 20 (yet!). I also like how she walks the reader through all the skills necessary to complete a math problem. Like she does the writing process, Bortins helps me see just what a complex thing even a simple math problem is.

After reading this chapter, we did make a few minor changes in our school plans for next year. Both girls will be working more consistently through Math Mammoth worktexts independently in addition to doing RightStart Math with me. I am also more determined to make our math something we don’t abandon next summer for a long period of time like we did this summer, despite my best intentions. {*Sigh*.} I am looking forward to the math memory work we’ll be doing this year for CC, and I am excited about the prospect of math continuing to be a strength of our homeschool, and not something I begin to dread as the girls get older.

Did you have any new math revelations after reading this chapter?

Links to previous bookclub posts:

- Chapter 1: “What’s Wrong with Education Today?”
- Chapter 2: “Why We Need Classical Education”
- Chapter 3: “How Classical Education Can Help You”
- Chapter 4: “Reading”
- Chapter 5: “Writing”

(Rather than put up a linky each week, I’ll just ask you to link up your blog posts in the comments. If you’re reading along and would prefer to just share your thoughts in a comment or on Hope Is the Word’s Facebook page, that’s good, too.)

Angie Wiggins

Aside from the Geography chapter, the Math chapter had the most impact on our homeschool. I felt affirmed in much of what we do in Math and chastened on a couple of points.

We also don’t use that certain popular homeschool curriculum. We used Right Start for a couple years and really liked it. When I began homeschooling all 3 girls, the Rightstart one-on-one time became too much for me to manage. So we began Math Mammoth with all 3 girls last year and it’s working very well. I especially appreciate its emphasis on mental math. Back to the Core, the advice that stood out to me was never to neglect math practice. If there are 10 problems on a page, the child should do all 10 problems. I was in the habit of only assigning only 6 problems if my daughter already understood the concept. This book reminded me that more math practice is even better. Such much to my girls’ dismay, I’ve changed that practice. I think it’s been beneficial to show them that the more math they do, the easier the facts will come to them.

Amy

Angie–YES! I forgot to mention that–the part about more practice instead of less. It’s a point about which I have often felt conflicted, but Bortins has helped me see the light. 😉

Carla

Sorry I have been absent for the last few chapters I did read them. One of my best friends was visiting and now my son is here 🙂 Anyway, math love it , I guess I didnt get alot of revelation from this chapter since we are already doing CC and we do emphasize math because it is one of our favorite subjects. I do have hope that what we are learning in CC will help Faith later when its time to do Algebra 🙂 I like Algebra but her older brother has struggled with it!

Barbara H.

I wanted to let you know you won my blog anniversary giveaway of the book Not By Chance by Layton Talbert. Congratulations! I sent you an e-mail about it as well, but thought just to be safe I’d let you know here, too. When you get a chance, just send me your snail mail address and I’ll get it to you as soon as I can.

Amy

In school I was always very good at math, but I came to realize that I only knew the HOW and not the WHY. I could do any problem and remember the formulas and all of that, but the WHY was never really taught to me. I hugely desire my kids to understand WHY for everything, including math! We’ve been using Ray’s Arithmetic with my little one, and I love how at has to visually see what is going on in the problems. I don’t know what it will be like as my children grow, but it’s good for now. Thanks for another great review and for sharing is with us at Trivium Tuesdays!