GROW: The Book
@Lisa K I agree with the practical making sense out of math. The decimal system is much easier to understand when equated to the dollar. Learning to count change was the subject of another thread and how young people today are lost without calculators, tills, computers, etc., when it comes to calculating money. It is something that I was taught in school and despite the current use of debit and credit cards, it still should be taught. Helps to instil some thought of value to the money as well instead of it just being a plastic card.
That's how our math curriculum is set up (Life of Fred by Polka Dot Publishing), with identifying a problem & then solving it with math. It is nor like the memorize math solution and then hope that you find the problem that it relates to. It is way better than the "drill & kill" method! For reference, this term refers to doing enormous amounts of math problems with no connection to anything immediately practical.
It is so much easier to retain when kids can learn associate it with something practical, but also think about math from a real perspective.
We combine our book work with the practical day to day we encounter here. Examples: inches to cm, & miles & km, temps can be the same, baking & cooking (fractions, scaling up or down), portioning animal feeds, egg money, etc.
I am glad that the author admitted that it is nothing new. This is always how people have learned best. Homeschoolers who choose their curriculum (this can include non book learning activities) wisely know this. It is the best way for any subject. You make the materials available, but you still help guide to a solution. There should still be leadership with a goal in mind. Retaining the information works better if the child can discover age old knowledge through this process of inquiry.