Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Traditional Arithmetic: Part 1

I guess I didn't look over my curriculum teaching books very well, b/c I have noticed some things that are in there that I didn't see before. For example, there is a scripture memory plan in the front of the arithmetic books. REALLY? I mean, I knew that there is a place for grades for bible memory verses, but I thought that was part of the Bible curriculum kit, which is separate from the parent and student kits. *slap my forehead*  

So we have begun to use this portion of the curriculum to learn scripture. I was already teaching the children verses on my own, but this curriculum is having the kids memorize 6-verse passages every six weeks. I didn't realize the kids were capable of learning such big passages! So we are currently memorizing Psalm 100. 

The second thing I didn't see in my curriculum lesson plans book is that the writers give reasons for choosing to teach traditional arithmetic. There are seven. I looked them over. I like what I see here. I didn't necessarily choose our curriculum based on its teaching principles. I just knew that it is Bible-based and it's pretty thorough.

So, I just wanted to take a little time here to share why we are using traditional arithmetic. There are seven reasons, but I'm going to share only three of them today. 

(Note: What you are about to read comes directly from the A beka's curriculum lesson plan book.)

1. Traditional arithmetic gives glory to God.
     Do you believe that God created the heavens and the earth? Do you believe that God had a plan for creation just as He had a plan for the salvation of man? God is never surprised by His actions. Our orderly, rational God used mathematics as He created the world and set it into motion. Traditional arithmetic promotes structure and order and shows children an aspect of the order of the real world. It helps children to know more about the character of God Who created them. Children find exactness, preciseness, and completeness in traditional arithmetic, just as is expected in God's world. 

2. Traditional arithmetic promotes absolute truth.
     Do you believe that there is a right answer and a wrong answer? Do you believe that Jesus christ died for your sins and rose from the dead? A Christian answers yes because a Christian believes that in this world of changing social standards, truth remains unchanged and unchangeable. Traditional arithmetic is the mathematics program that promotes absolute truth. In traditional arithmetic, children are not taught to manipulate sets and thus change truth. Instead, they are taught truth as created by an orderly, rational God. 

3. Traditional arithmetic encourages good work habits. 
     Do you believe that a job worth doing is worth doing well? Colossians 3:23 says, And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not to men. More than any other subject, arithmetic requires the stretching of the brain, constant thinking and remembering and complete attention. Just as the body is tired after a physical workout, the mind is tired after a math workout using traditional math.  But also as the physical workout strengthens the body, the traditional arithmetic workout strengthens the mind. 
     C. T. Studd, missionary to Africa, understood this principle of doing a job well and used it to his work with a people who had just risen from the depths of cannibalism. Studd's reasoning is described: 
     Every pole had to be exactly the right length, placed at the right angle, etc; and he had a purpose in it, for the natives must be taught that good Christianity and lazy or bad workmanship are an utter contradiction. He believed that one of the best ways to teach a native that righteousness is the foundation of God's Throne was by making him see that absolute straightness and accuracy is the only law of success in material things.   
(C.T. Studd, Norman Grubb, 
Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, 
Christian Literature Crusade, 1972, 1974)

(Back to me)

It may take us a little longer to get through the lessons than the plans say and we may have to work harder, but in the end, my children will know absolute truth, precision and how to work hard. 

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