Saturday, October 18, 2014

Math and Attachment Parenting: What do these have to do with each other?

My three-year-old likes math. A lot. Like she doesn't want to stop doing pages in Mathematical Reasoning (Brumbaugh & Brumbaugh). Mommy is the one who needs a break. Mommy is the one who says, "Okay, but just one more page. Then how about some TV?"

We watch a lot of TV. Today, in the park, my daughter pointed to a squirrel and said, "Mommy, if I had squirrel powers, I could activate that squirrel. And you could activate that squirrel over there." (This is a reference to the PBS show Wild Kratts, in which the main characters wear creature suits and "activate" their creature powers to learn more about various animals.) She wanted us to be able to dart across the park and speed up trees.

But math...
Mathematical Reasoning Level A (for kindergarteners) is 250 pages, and my daughter has done 100 of them (80 in order, from page 1 to 80, then about 20 scattered throughout the book). Prior to Mathematical Reasoning, we used dot-to-dot pages from a Kumon workbook, as well as Unifix cubes and a hundred grid, for practice counting and one-to-one correspondence, etc.

I just kept finding really fun resources. Keep finding.

 "Of all his early studies, perhaps none is more important to the child as a means of education than that of arithmetic."

Of all his early studies. Charlotte Mason just didn't mean this early.

I know this is very un-Masony of me, teaching my child to add before she's six. But children are born persons, and my person likes math. (And reading. And science. And...)

I think what drew me to Charlotte Mason were the same things that drew me to aspects of Attachment Parenting. I liked the idea of birth bonding, that my baby, a person with whom I'd spent the past nine months in the closest proximity possible, would be right there with me, not down the hall, out of sight, away from me. Sleep training had worked great for a friend of mine, and I read books on how to do it before my child was born. But then, there she was, a person who needed to be worn in a sling, needed to co-sleep, and needed to nurse on demand. So that's what we did. As she got older, it was about "appropriate responsiveness," saying no when she wanted to do something dangerous, and saying yes when I could say yes. (For example, at age two, when she wanted to stand over an open flame and saute shrimp in hot olive oil, my answer was yes - with me right next to you.) And my friend Anita gave me some of the best advice early on, which was to listen to my baby because she would tell me what she needed.

But math...

Right now she's telling me she needs numbers, shapes, and patterns.

Sometimes I think about the pace she's going, and if this continues, how she'll be finished with this book before she turns 4 (in seven months) and on to Level B (1st grade). I think about how I was in 1st grade the year I was ages 4/5. I think, okay, maybe this makes sense. Maybe this is what she needs. But I also think, Yikes, keeping up with you takes some doing.

If only I had squirrel power...


  1. What Darlings, both Mommy and Baby! Tell us more about the math book...

  2. I say go with it. If she's enjoying it, that's what we want. Pretty amazing little girl!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement. :) And, yes, I am grateful to God every moment for making her.