Tuesday, July 31, 2007

no math til 7th grade?

wow, this is a really interesting article! (that's the link to page 1, the link to the subsequent pages are on the bottom of each page)

it talks about an experiment done by the superintendant of schools in ithaca, NY back in 1929, where he has certain schools eliminate math from their curriculum because, he says, children don't need to use it til later anyway and so he prefers to have them focus on other subjects (english, for one) and work on just casual estimating of distance and such, but no formal math (long division, multiplication tables, etc) until 7th grade. very interesting idea!

i read the entire article and it makes me wonder if there are any schools out there that use this approach...certainly schools like waldorf and enki believe in a delay of academics...but not that long of a delay and not specifically math for that long.

benezet (the man in the story) has some very fascinating points...its very intriguing to me.

it does make me wonder, though, because he is specifically applying his theory to public school children...so the topic is not entirely relevant to my homeschooler, i believe, in that i could find a fun way to teach her about math, very casually (which i think i have in the right start curriculum) and still find a way for her to learn the concepts, casually and thoroughly. but i really like the idea that they really don't need it yet...and that they can catch up on everything quickly in a short amount of time at an older age when they are more able to grasp the concepts.
kinda takes the pressure off.

i definitely will be looking at that list of math concepts that he lists for each grade and see if there's anything in there useful to me.

very very fascinating! wonder what the kids' education would look like if our public schools followed his ideas?

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