Speak faith over…Math

We opened up our Math time with a quote from Keith Kressin’s book Understanding Mathematics: From Counting to Calculous. He writes, “Math…is a subject which is often either loved or hated. If the subject is hated, it is not the math, but the failure to understand the math that gives considerable frustration to the student” (page 1, section 1-1). This quote came on the heels of some pretty profound words spoken by one of our students when I asked a question to draw our hearts toward the word “faith” (our character quality for the day). Jacob answered something to the effect of, “We want to speak faith over our mind regarding Math.” Yes! Talk about perspective! Faith-filled.


Grasp the Reality

In Math, first week of Challenge B, we compared real numbers with imaginary numbers. Although, imaginary numbers cannot be measured on a number line, we know they exist (Understanding Mathematics, page 19 & 278). It is the same with God’s love,  although it cannot be measured on a number line (yet He gives us the Cross—as a plumb line—in Ephesians 3:17-18), we can still grasp the reality of His love through His Spirit.
“And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-18).
Recap: Math, Challenge B, Week 1, Semester 1

The Identity Property

In Challenge A, one week, we defined both the “Identity property of Addition” and the “property of zero for multiplication” (see Lesson Two of 8/7 and 7/6 Saxon Math).  Then we compared them by asking the question, “How are these operations different? How are they similar?”  We talked about relationship between the operations and (brought a new operation into the relationship) by asking the question, “What will happen if we multiply 2 by 1 instead of 2 by 0?”  We talked about circumstance by asking, “If we call zero the “additive identity” in 2+0=2, then what would we call the number 1 in 2 x 1?  How do these “identities” affect the circumstances of the “math problem”?  We wrapped up every conversation with testimony, “How do we know this is true?”  The answer we consistently came up with was that we work it out and check our answers.  Our Saxon Math book is also a great witness.  We also compared our relationship with Christ to the “Identity property of addition” and the “identity property for multiplication” by observing that no matter what the given number was in the equation, the number 0 or 1 could not change its value.  That’s us, in Christ, no matter what we try to multiply or add to our relationship with Him, we cannot change our value in Him as His favor and His love is based upon His own love for us and not upon anything we bring to the equation (add or multiply) or don’t bring to the equation (subtract and divide).  Our identity can truly only be found in Him.  We talked about Ephesians 2:8-9, “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast” (HCSB).

Identity property of addition: “The sum of any number and 0 is equal to the initial number. In symbolic form,

a + 0 = a. The number 0 is referred to as the additive identity. The identity property of addition is shown by this

statement 13 + 0 = 13.” (Saxon Math 8/7).

Identity property of multiplication: “The product of any number and 1 is equal to the initial number. In

symbolic form, a x 1 = a. The number 1 is referred to as the multiplicative identity. The identity property of

multiplication is shown by this statement: 94 x 1 = 94.

The Inside Heart and the Outside Life

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world-your mind and heart-put right.  Then you can see God in the outside world” (Matthew 5:8 MSG).

Students love talking about Math.  I think Logic was one of my favorite subjects this year.  I was not much of a Math person in high school (or middle school for that matter).  However, God cultivated a love in my heart for Mathematics this year, as I homeschooled my own children, that I was not expecting.  I recall one particular day, we discussed math terms, “perimeter” and “area” by first defining them.   The “perimeter” is the “outside edge of an area or surface” and the “area” is defined as “the surface included within a set of lines.” (See http://www.MeriamWebster.com.)  Simply put, the perimeter refers to the outside of a given shape or surface and the area refers to the inside of a given shape or surface.  We discussed the terms first from a mathematical perspective and then went through them again from a biblical perspective (expounding memorably on concepts from verses like First Timothy 4:16, “Watch your life (perimeter “outside”) and doctrine (area “inside”) closely.  Persevere in them (travel “the distance around”).  Because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”  We closed by sharing testimony concerning the “inside” heart and the effect it has on the “outside” life.