Rose’s Guide: elementary arithmetic

This is strictly my own interpretation of how to go through this section (which begins on p.231). It was authored by James Kilkenney.
Rabbit trail here: James Kilkenney’s wife is named Barbara. My parents are James and Barbara. James Rose’s wife’s name is…you guessed it. Barbara. Three James and Barbaras. Kind of odd, no?

I must say that I really enjoyed this section more that I thought I would. It’s really amazing how exciting a subject can be when you get to the principles, the reason behind it all. I love how easy it is to see God in math (which I elaborated on in a earlier post). So here we go.

  1. The basic principles of math are illustrated on p. 232. This will give you definitions and help you understand what he talks about later. This is must-reading for anyone afraid to teach math to their kids, even at an elementary level. Of course you can do this! And read the section on the language of math (p. 233). This is helpful for planning your lessons.
  2. As always, we begin with the beginning. Page 234 defines for us the Biblical Source and Origin of Mathematics. To understand how to teach it, we must understand its roots and its Creator.
    Next there is the Biblical End and Purpose of Arithmetic (p. 236) and the Rudiments (p. 237). I really loved his subtopic “The Principle of the Plan for Solving Problems (p. 239d-241).” This was very helpful.
  3. Next I would recommend reading his part on the Seven Principles and Mathematics (p. 247) to get you in the PA frame of mind for lesson planning.
  4. Now it’s time to start planning your lessons. The Course Goals (p. 242) will give you a direction. The stories he highlights here are also helpful. His chart on p. 244 gives you an at-a-glance view of K-4 mathematics, which is helpful if you are planning to teach multiple grades. It’s good to see what everyone will be learning at the same time. And keep in mind that these are guidelines.
  5. Don’t freak out if your child isn’t at the same pace. Maybe he just needs more teaching. He’ll catch up. Or maybe your child is ahead. Don’t hold reign them in because a chart said they should be at a certain level. Let them excel.
  6. Now that you have your goals you can read his section on organizing your course (p. 245). If you are wondering about using textbooks, read his section on “Resources” (p. 249).
  7. As you are planning your lessons, make time to read “Arithmetic and the History of Liberty.” It will add depth to your lessons.
  8. The bibliography (p. 250) has a great list of books for you to peruse at your leisure. His bio on p. 251 is also quite interesting. I really like to see how other families get into PA.

Personally I use Ray’s Arithmetic. The lessons are constructed in a simple sequential order so there are no grade restraints. We are free to go at our own pace. If you like worksheets you can find them that coordinate with Ray’s for the different lower grades here. And you can get higher math–even algebra, calculus and trig for the high schoolers-here. (And it doesn’t hurt that an entire K-12 curriculum on CD-ROM with teacher’s keys–a 20-volume set– is $59 !) But of course use what you are comfortable with.

When you read Mr. Kilkenney’s writings I hope you’ll consider planning lessons and teaching math yourself, and not simply going through a textbook. Especially in the lower grades it is so satisfying to instill these biblical principles that will last a lifetime. For more along this same train of thought read Lisa’a great post here.

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