Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesdays with Words: The Principality of Mathematics

Linking up with Cindy at Ordo Amoris for Wednesdays with Words.

Since I began the work of educating my children I have become more and more interested in math. In fact, I think I can even dare to say that I have fallen in love with it. It is a living, breathing landscape full of wonderful, exciting truths and I have been taking so much joy in discovering them, bit by bit. Then I heard Chris Perrin say in one of his videos (I think it was this one) that music is math incarnate and I just about swooned! Ever since then I have been actively seeking out opportunities to dig deeper. I have been slowly working my way through Euclid's Geometry and every time I work through a proof I feel like I have had a nice deep breath of fresh air; it's as though I just finished an invigorating mental workout.

Just the other day I found the following passage in Charlotte Mason's 4th volume, Ourselves, which put a big smile on my face. She said,

The principality of Mathematics is a mountainous land, but the air is very fine and health-giving... you cannot lose your way, and... every step is taken on firm ground. People who seek their work or play in this principality find themselves braced by effort and satisfied with truth. 


  1. I like that: "every step is taken on firm ground." What I like about math, especially something as rigorous as Euclid, is that it demands that you make SURE that you're on firm ground, and gives you the tools to check that for yourself. I think studying Euclid, or something like it, is so important because it gives you a sense for what certainty feels like. Being familiar with the feeling of knowing or not knowing is indispensable for learning anything else!

    Even if my kids end up going to a shoddy public school and never learn Latin or Greek or read Homer, we'll be doing Euclid over the summers...

    1. I wish there was a like button for this comment.

  2. This was also an AHA moment for me when I first heard it. So obvious when you think about it but hard to grasp.


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