Math, and what 'Fluent Forever' says about it

The following quote is from chapter three of 'Fluent Forever': "As long as I could connect every new thing I learned to this universe, I have an easy time with math. And I noticed that classmates who had problems with math weren't struggling with math; they were struggling with connections. They were trying to memorise equations, but no one had successfully shown them how those equations connect with everything they had already learned." Gabriel, obviously you are very busy with languages at the moment, but please will you consider writing a book on math in the near future? In school I did OK at math but my father, my brother and my nephew (fifteen years old and soon to be taking important exams) have all struggled with it. Sadly it is too late for them but it seems like such a waste that so many intelligent children miss these connections and end up under-achieving in such an important subject. Does anyone know if there are any written or online resources that teach math in the way Gabriel has described and if so please will you point me to them? My niece is thirteen and she still has time to improve if she could only be shown the right way.

* Originally posted by Arwuh.

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  • there are several books by James J. Asher on math. He is also the inventor or re- discoverer of total physical response, which has been used to teach languages. Amazon carries his books and you can get more information from the Sky Oaks Production website at

    * Originally posted by James.
  • James thanks for the useful feedback
    Arwuh, it may seem a bit off topic but there are commonalities betweens maths and languages as far as the science of the brain and how to most effectively learn.
    There is a man named Jain in Australia whom teachs Vedic Mathematics. He has produced a DVD series which is very very detailed and very clear and accessible. I have only seen the beginning but that was enough to be truly awe inspiring. It is aimed at adults and children. He wishes for this style of mathematics to be taught in schools and I believe Steiner Education (at least locally to Jain) has made a lot of progress in this area.
    The little bit I saw explained how mathematics from the Vedyas is a practical, real world maths unlike the 2D linear abstract 'nonsense' taught in schools now.
    By visualising various types of 3D objects (tetrahedron, cube, etc) one could compute sophisticated equations by mentally tracing the lines that comprise the shapes.
    Another 'practical' skill was how to count to one million on your fingers.
    And this was just the beginning! I definitely recommend it (I'm not associated in any way)

    * Originally posted by Meher Baba.
  • when I said present day maths is 'nonsense' it was just me vaguely echoing Jain saying pretty much what Gabriel says in his book about language learning in secondary education.
    'why is it so hard for children to learn maths? Why does it not relate to things they can see and feel and hear? why is it so abstract - mathematics is an ancient science and indeed a spiritual discipline - it's beautiful and wonderful and we need to teach it in a way that reveals this beauty - it should be really easy to learn and grasp'
    So indeed I am reminded of Gabriels holistic appraoch.
    I vaguely recall the DVD introduction explained how these vedic maths techniques could be used for complex surveying and landscaping/architectural plotting on site, without any tools - just your eye sight and brain

    * Originally posted by Meher Baba.
  • @Arwuh: You're the first person to suggest that, and that'd actually be a super fun book to write :) I don't have suggestions for resources - it's not something I've looked into - but thanks @Meher and @James for those recommendations! (And if anyone else has more suggestions, keep them coming!)

    * Originally posted by Gabriel Wyner.

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