Classical learning fills two needs with one deed by engineering your mind to love learning. For example, reading entertaining stories to build reading skills while the tales also give lessons on another subject such as math. Classical education is not a new teaching technique, but a tried and true approach that develops learning skills and character building attributes also referred to as leadership training. There are three universal components to classical learning: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The critical objective of classical learning is to engage students to become lifelong learners by creating a passion for learning.
Some of the traditional classical education includes the study of Latin and Greek to enable reading of not translated great works. A keystone of this teaching style is to use classic books that nurture their character and build virtue to help children think well. In non-secular environments, this includes the Bible and other religious teachings. Parents and teachers alike can prepare children to be passionate learners early in their development. Is it ever too early to foster a love of learning?
In general, the grammar phase is the first phase for ages 1 to 4 years old. In this stage, you begin to introduce fun songs, counting, alphabet, drawing, and vocabulary to start teaching language and writing. Simply put, showing them the facts. You will notice a lot of the children’s stories rhyme and tend to have a rhythm to help children enjoy learning. Kids are sponges that love to learn, so why not have fun? Another area taught during this phase is virtue and character building, or to “think well.” Learning right and wrong is expanded in the second-phase by introducing some fundamental books. Those great works might be old-fashioned but are still relevant.
The second phase is the logic phase, where they begin to learn more facts because they always ask “why” and build upon their fundamental skills acquired in the grammar phase. The age range of the pupils is 5 to 8 years old. Students expand on their basic facts and knowledge to break ground to examine critically. Cognitively, they are beginning to question ideas and problem solving, also known as conceptual or human knowledge. It is a challenging age to teach because they think they know everything. Instead of becoming frustrated and exhausted with persistent questions, take advantage of it and ride the wave of their curiosity. Give them all the exciting facts they can absorb. It takes crafty engagement to rouse their interest to question their logic and think beyond themselves. They need to develop from a knowledgeable person to an understanding person. Children continue problem-solving in the last phase, called rhetoric, sometimes referred to as tertiary education.
The teenage years are the rhetoric phase of classical education, also called leadership education. During 9th grade to 12th-grade, the lecture hones in on students’ emotional nature. Pupils begin to uses their passion and their desire to communicate and analyze. Therefore, teaching them to problem solve. Teens also ask lots of “why” since they want to know how the information you are providing them applies to their world. Classical education is language centered and helps students to communicate impressively.
Many great works are applied to a pupil’s education in any one of the three phases. These are just a few of the cherished authors that continue to keep giving: Aristotle, Plato, C.S. Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, Louisa Alcott Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, St Augustine, and Martin Luther. Of course, do not forget the Holy Bible. Modern classical education models omit religion and just add the subjects of Latin and Greek to the curriculum. Accessing these great books is the design of the leadership learning theory, but you must start somewhere first. The best places to start are at a tender age as you introduce some fun and playful books to create a hunger for learning. Bedtime stories are a great way to begin presenting reading that is entertaining but also develops basic math principles. Keep it simple and just start with facts. Here are some excellent classical books to get you started on your journey to classical learning.
6 Bed Time Stories That Are Not Just Learning but Enjoying Math
- Counting Crocodiles, by Judy Sierra
A clever little monkey uses counting to keep him from becoming lunch. He beguiles a sea full of crocodiles to assist him in retrieving his beloved bananas from a distant island. All the while, there is teaching and counting throughout the endearing tale.
- The Grapes of Math, By Greg Tang
A delightful rhyming book to enjoy counting and learning about the world around them. Introducing new subjects every couple of pages with charming rhymes and lots of fun.
- Ten Apples Up On Top, by Theo. LeSieg
Three competitive friends try to balance apples on their head and do a variety of tricks to show each other up. Children are oblivious to all the counting because they are too busy being charmed by all the antics occurring on the pages.
- What’s Your Angle Pythagoras, by Julie Ellis
An imaginative story that shows how to problem solve using a right triangle. Young Pythagoras is dismissed by all the adults in his life when he tells them the solution to their private dilemmas. Nonetheless, he persists until he discovers a theory that will solve endless problems.
- Math Curse, By Jon Scieszka and Phillis Hor
What if math class takes a turn for the worst, and starts to feel like a curse? One student realizes that math is everywhere! How can this be? Everything seems to be a math problem? The perfect way to teach your children math is valuable and can be used in many ways, even if you’re not a mathematician.
- Whole-y Cow Fraction Fun, by Taryn Souders
Introduce fractions with this engaging story of a silly cow that decided it’s not going to stay in the barn today, but would instead go out and have some adventures and play.
Do you have books you use to help teach your child math? If so, please leave a comment below.