Children experience math in their play through the exploration of shapes, patterns, and designs. The materials of the Mathematics area provide the child with a concrete, sensorial foundation for understanding mathematical concepts. As the child progresses through these materials, they transition from the concrete experience to abstract thinking. The Mathematics Area is the most fixed area in the Children’s House. It is designed to follow a rather distinct progression and consists of numerous parallel ‘crossover’ activities within each of its sections. In the body of knowledge that is Mathematics, there are three main components. First, there is Number or Magnitude, which includes a systematic treatment or attitude towards numbers. The second component to Mathematics is the Relationships between shapes and forms that exist in the universe. Lastly, there is the Representation of numbers, which includes the relationships of the Symbols. It is important to acknowledge that Mathematics is a Human Activity; we as human beings act mathematically because WE are aspects of the universe, thus, obeying the laws of the universe. Some of these activities are esoteric and some are mundane, resulting in both profound as well as rather basic actions on our behalf.
Today, some level of mathematical fluency is needed to participate in the daily life of most human cultures. Many cultures have developed numerous esoteric formats rooted in Mathematics. On a basic level, everyone operates upon some sort of mathematical language. Truly, math is the universal language!