From Living Math:
~ Insisting a child must be taught traditional, scope-and-sequence arithmetic to learn mathematics is like saying one must learn classical note and scales before one can learn music. You might get there, but you miss out on the inspiration of beautiful music created by the masters along the way.
We need not master all the "basics" before being able to experience the appreciation that carries us through the hard work of learning. Think of applying living math principles as developing a "mathematical ear" while working toward the mastery of basic theory. ~
I couldn't have said it better myself.