Several years ago, I was asked to write an algebra program…and I said no. I wasn’t going to write a high school program unless the Lord sent me someone to coauthor it with me.
And then he sent me my husband, who has his doctorate in materials science and engineering, other degrees in physics and engineering, a job as a data scientist, and a passion for sharing God’s handiwork in math that mirrors my own. So…
We’re writing an Algebra 2 program!Principles of Applied Algebra 2 (working title) is well underway, with an anticipated release in the spring 2020, Lord willing. (We’re doing Algebra 2, as it was the more urgent need. Please see the Algebra 1 program we carry.)
Writing this program has been exciting. I was one of those students growing up who didn’t understand the purpose of algebra—I learned it, but didn’t see why I was learning it. Most algebra books come across as a whole bunch of meaningless, often hard-to-understand problems.
But algebra doesn’t have to be that way at all! I’ve been having loads of fun researching the different “tools” in algebra and seeing how they all really help us explore God’s creation and complete real-life tasks…and then conveying that in the program. We want students to leave their math lessons for the day understanding why they’re learning what they’re learning, equipped to really apply math, and awed at the Creator.
Ready for a sneak peek? Watch for an excerpt sometime next week!
I recently watched a video on New Year’s resolutions that got me.
In the video, a little girl pointed out that if she wanted to ride a bike, it took more than a resolution. It took a willingness to fall and try again and again.
That illustration seemed to capture very well the learning process. It’s easy to start the new year with resolutions of how much better things will be (or how much better math class will be), but the reality of getting there will involve taking steps…and being willing to get back up when we fall.
As students try to improve problem-solving skills and stretch themselves, they will likely get problems wrong, just as we will fall off a bike when learning to ride. It’s part of the learning process. And as you try to teach math from a biblical worldview, you will likely fall short of what you hoped. Make sure you’re striving for the right goals–for God’s goals. But if you are, don’t give up–get back on that bike 🙂
“Thanks again. We love this book – it’s the first year in about the last 8 years that we haven’t had tears in our math time with this child, and she loves seeing the connections in math to real things that God created.” – Debby [referring to Principles of Mathematics: Book 1]
Well, it’s finally public: I’m working on an eCourse to go alongside Principles of Mathematics: Book 1.
The eCourse will feature a short video to go with every lesson in the textbook. The videos will walk through the material covered in the curriculum, making it a perfect supplement for auditory or visual learners, or any student who needs a little more guidance in math.
The second book in Principles of Mathematics series is now complete! I’m super excited, not only because it is done, but also because it’s my hope that this material will help students see God’s handiwork in mathematics and realize to a deeper level what an amazing, faithful God we serve. Many students (myself included years ago) wonder why they have to bother learning math (especially when it comes to algebra and other upper-level concepts). This curriculum answers that “why” question, equips students to use math in their own lives, and encourages them that they can trust God completely.
It’s still hard for me to grasp the reality that it’s actually done. Writing this math curriculum has been an amazing journey, fraught with unexpected delays (such as a concussion that left me unable to work much on it for more than a year) and challenges. Yet as I look back, I see God’s provision each step along the way.
Thank you, dear readers, for being a part of that provision—for your prayers and your encouragement. I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me. (And please don’t stop praying! I’m still working on Year 2…which is due to come out late this year/early next.)
As you begin planning for next fall’s school year, don’t let the thought of math scare you. Math is a way of describing God’s creation—it’s a testimony to His faithfulness, wisdom, and greatness. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this short video I made a couple years ago for a quick reminder of how math can be seen from a biblical worldview. This version includes an ending I recently added that offers a quick overview of the curriculum too.
You know you might be writing a math curriculum when the sight of silos out the window causes you to think to yourself, “Calculating the volume of a silo would be a great application problem!”
Or when digging out your car from a snowstorm causes you to wonder at the thousands upon thousands of tiny hexagons—each a marvel of God’s creative engineering—that you’re tossing carelessly aside. (See my previous blog post about snowflake math.)
Or when a long drive has you pondering the amazingly consistent way God holds all things together that allows us to algebraically describe the relationships between speed, velocity, acceleration, distance, time, etc.
Or when you spend a snowed-in day researching trigonometry and functions and end up excited to no end at how they help us describe the order God has hidden in sounds!
I continue to be amazed at how math applies literally everywhere, pointing us to God’s faithfulness, creativity, power, care, and wisdom—and helping us with the tasks He’s given us to do. And I’m getting super excited about sharing some of those glimpses with you in my new math curriculum. The curriculum includes lots of these sorts of real-life examples so students can begin seeing math in connection with God’s creation.
While we’re still in the final editing stages, we’re close enough to completion that the curriculum is now available for pre-order (orders will ship later this spring). As a pre-order special, we’re offering the complete curriculum for $42.96(an $12.02 savings!).
I’d love it if you’d take a look…and tell your friends!
Any questions about the curriculum? Please leave them below.
For those of you who’ve been wondering where I’ve been…I’m still here! I’ve just been under tight deadlines to finish up a junior high math curriculum in order to have it available this spring. Master Books will be publishing the curriculum. I’d appreciate your prayers for the project, and I will try to post more details soon :).
For those of you wondering if I disappeared, I’m still here, and I am still actively looking at math. My math time has just been consumed with working on a middle-school math curriculum that will both firm up arithmetic/the foundations and give students a biblical worldview on geometry, algebra, and upper-level math.
I don’t expect the curriculum to be published for some time, but I would greatly appreciate your prayers as I work on it. It is a huge, often-overwhelming project, but I’m very excited about what it will offer when finished! Stay tune for more details and updates as time progresses.
In the meantime, does anyone have a topic they’d like me to address on the blog? A question, maybe? Leave it as a comment below.
I’m embarking on a supplemental book for high school students on math. My brother, a computer engineer, has agreed to write it with me, and we’re excited about getting into it.
But we could use help picking a title!
Below are three titles we are considering. Could you tell me what each title “says” to you? What would you expect to find inside the book? And which one do you think would most interest your teen in taking a look?
More to Math
We would probably add a subtitle to whichever one we chose that included something along the lines of “Math from a Biblical Worldview” or “Exploring Math from a Biblical Worldview” or “Developing a Biblical Worldview of Math.” We’ve been toying with the subtitles.
We appreciate your thoughts, as well as your prayers for the project.
P.S. I know it’s hard without knowing what is inside the book to assess titles, but I’m purposefully not posting much information to find out what these titles alone say to you (and your teens).
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