Sunday, June 3, 2007

More CM Math from Volume 1, pp. 259-60 – Weighing and Measuring

We are to work with measures by actually measuring.

"On the same principle, let him learn ‘weights and measures’ by measuring and weighing; let him have scales and weights, sand or rice, paper and twine, and weigh, and do up, in perfectly made parcels, ounces, pounds, etc. The parcels, though they are not arithmetic, are educative, and afford considerable exercise of judgment as well as of neatness, deftness, and quickness."

I’m not sure I even know how to do up such a parcel, but maybe it would be sufficient to do it in plastic containers without actually wrapping a parcel?  Or would that be leaving out an important part of the process?  I suppose it would since CM mentions that the parcels themselves provide training in valuable skills.

"In like manner, let him work with foot-rule and yard measure, and draw up his tables for himself."

What does it mean to let him draw up his tables himself?

"Let him not only measure and weigh everything about him that admits of such treatment, but let him use his judgment on questions of measure and weight. How many yards long is the tablecloth? How many feet long and broad a map, or picture? What does he suppose a book weighs that is to go by parcel post? The sort of readiness to be gained thus is valuable in the affairs of life, and, if only for that reason, should be cultivated in the child."

We should take every opportunity to estimate and then test the accuracy of the estimate.

"While engaged in measuring and weighing concrete quantities, the scholar is prepared to take in his first idea of a ‘fraction,’ half a pound, a quarter of a yard, etc."

And we should use these exercises to introduce fractions in a gentle way.

All my Charlotte Mason math posts.

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