A place where research on how children learn was the University of California, Irvine, a research and development lab school established in 1969. The math program developed and used successfully for over thirty years is based on the insights, ideas, and teachings of Professor Michael Butler. The heart of the Farm School philosophy is learning by discovery and having meaningful conversations between a student and a teacher. A strength of home schooling is being able to interact one-on-one and have these productive dialogs. The Patterns in Arithmetic series is now available to enrich the home school and Charter School learning experience.
"We wanted a school where children would learn to do what finders and makers do, not just master more or less badly and mechanically some scattered things they had worked out. The students would ideally acquire some of the skills and habits of mind of mathematicians and historians and writers and scientists and artists, and even learn to do what good thinkers do when they are thinking well, independent of a particular practice; and they would learn to find matters of interest in and around themselves, and to develop and sustain those interests, as creators of new art and knowledge must do. These were not the only aims of the school, called the Farm School, but they were central. In this sense we were elitist in our ambitions for children, but populist in our belief that most children could realize those ambitions."