What is Living Math?

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Have you ever heard of the term “Living Math”?

“Living Math”, what a strange sounding term. “Math is boring and dry, and in a textbook. Math is taught from a white board or chalk board, with a boring teacher with a monotone voice. How can it be alive?” Those were my thoughts when I first heard about Living Math!

A lot of Charlotte Mason Style homeschoolers embrace and enjoy teaching math with Living Math books and lots of hands on, fun math manipulatives. Charlotte Mason never used the term living math, but she did use living books and over the years, living math has been embraced by the Charlotte Mason style homeschooler.

So what is “Living Math”?

Living Math is Math with real life concepts:
Living Math is teaching math in a way that presents mathematical concepts in real life situations, that makes sense, and is relevant to the student. Math can be taught without a boring, dry textbook. Living Math books teach math skills and concepts within a story, that make math come alive to the reader. When you are reading a story that has math in it, you are immersing your child with math and they don’t even know it yet. They are being exposed to math in everyday concepts that make sense to them!

Living Math is Play!
When you use living math in your homeschool, you are most likely doing a lot of hands on play, and catering to your child’s learning style. If you have an auditory learner you may play lots of math songs. read fun math stories or make up catchy rhymes. If your child is visual you may already be using colored math blocks, snapping cubes, counting bears or an abacus to help your child understand the concepts. There are so many amazing ways to play with math that can help your child understand the concepts better. 

Living Math is Living: 
You will be surprised at how much math you are exposed to in a regular day. You can teach math in the most basic of everyday situations. If your child has a piggy bank or gets an allowance, you can teach them how to count money and budget for what they want to buy. When you are cooking and baking you can teach measurements. When you are cutting coupons you can explain to your kids how much the coupon is and how much the retail price of the item you are buying, they can then calculate how much you will save and how much the item will cost. My girls love seeing how much we save at the grocery store! Grocery stores are great ways to teach math. You can weigh produce, measure with the bulk bins, figure out savings with buy one get one free deals and more!

Written by Sarah


Sarah is a wife, daughter of the King and Granola Mama to 4 children ages 16-5. She is a Charlotte Mason style homeschooler and has been homeschooling for 13 years now. She is still trying to find the balance between work and keeping a home and says she can only do it by the Grace of God, Coffee and Green Smoothies!

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