[...if you know algebra then you can figure out how old Maria is if we know that she is two years older than twice her age seven years ago!" (As if anyone would ever have access to that ridiculous kind of information, and not her age.)Another very Charlotte Mason kind of quote,
Algebra is not about daily life, it's about numbers and symetry- and this is a valid pursuit in and of itself: Suppose I am given the sum and difference of two numbers. How can I figure out what the numbers are themselves?
What other subject shuns its primary sources- beautiful works of art by some of the most creative minds in history- in favor of third-rate textbook bastardizations?I'm going to watch again The Story of Maths. As the Lockhart says, how can we not learn math and have no mention of its 'history, philosophy, thematic development, aesthetic criteria, and current status?'
I'm more excited than ever about getting the Life of Fred books for elementary, they seem to me written by a person passionate about math, with a math outlook in life for the sake of it, and someone who has questioned himself about math or is able to see what others have said in response to genuine intellectual art exercises in a quest for the simple and the beautiful, for the fantasy world of ideas and their amazing perfection.