Interviews,  Podcast,  Show Notes

S5E68: The Beauty of Mathematics with Melissa Bair

We take strong ground when we appeal to the beauty and truth of Mathematics; that, as Ruskin points out, two and two make four and cannot conceivably make five, is an inevitable law. It is a great thing to be brought into the presence of a law, of a whole system of laws, that exist without our concurrence,––that two straight lines cannot enclose a space is a fact which we can perceive, state, and act upon but cannot in any wise alter, should give to children the sense of limitation which is wholesome for all of us, and inspire that sursum corda which we should hear in all natural law.

Charlotte Mason, Philosophy of Education, p. 230-231

Show Summary:

  • Today’s guest on The New Mason Jar is Melissa Bair, a homeschooling mother of 4 who loves math and has degrees in mathematics and computer sciences
  • How Melissa first discovered Charlotte Mason’s philosophy
  • How Melissa came to love mathematics and what impact her teachers had on her
  • What kinds of activities and materials Melissa uses to teach math in a more beautiful way
  • The building blocks of math: notice, wonder, and discover
  • Is math a language or an art?
  • Does seeking to find the beauty in math put too much pressure on homeschool parents?

Listen Now:

Books and Links Mentioned:

Affiliate links are included below.

John Holt

Poetic Knowledge by James Taylor

Leisure: the Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper

For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

Real Learning by Elizabeth Voss

A Mathematician’s Lament by Paul Lockhart

Caleb Gattegno

Chasing Rabbits by Sunil Singh

Mater Amabilis

The Mandelbrot Set

In a word our point is that Mathematics are to be studied for their own sake and not as they make for general intelligence and grasp of mind.

Charlotte Mason, Towards a Philosophy of Education

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