24 February 2010

Dr. Seuss's Birthday is March 2

How will you be celebrating?

Here's some ideas to get you started.

Request those library books now!

17 February 2010

Guess the Number

Lately we've been playing a great little math game in the car.  It's actually a lot like the Clock Game from the Price is Right, but without the time limit.  I choose a number between one and 1000.  She tries to deduce the number by making guesses, and I tell her bigger or smaller.  She's starting to figure out how to choose her gueses wisely, rather than guessing consecutive numbers.  Little sister often chimes in, but her guess is almost always 64. 

You can adapt this by choosing a greater or smaller range of numbers, depending on your child.   You could add a challenge by using a time limit.  Or switch things up by having your child choose the number, and they tell you if your guesses are higher or lower.

This is just a fun way to get a little more fun math in your diet and a great way to make a car trip go little faster.

10 February 2010

The Addition/Subtraction Connection

Over the course of this year, Gracie's been working on learning addition and subtraction facts.  Addition, seemed to be pretty straightforward for her, but subtraction proved to be a bit trickier.  Several strategies have helped her understand the addition/subtraction connection.

1.  Subtraction as reverse addition

Show how the digits of an addition fact such as 1 + 2 = 3 (1 2 3)can be written in reverse order (3 2 1).  Put in a subtraction sign and an equal sign to get a subtraction fact (3 -2 = 1).

2.  Writing equations

Give your child the three digits of an addition problem.  Have your child write 2 addition and 2 subtraction problems using only those 3 digits.

3.  Three-cornered flashcards

These flashcards can be used for addition or subtraction practice.  Each card has the three numbers of a fact family.  Cover one corner up with your finger and figure out the missing number.  (Multiplication and division are shown, but addition and subtraction are also available.)

Three-Corner Flash Cards - Multiplication and Division

08 February 2010

Art Co-op

Our little homeschool group met at my house in January.  It came up rather quickly after the holidays, so I thought art would be a fun but easy-to-plan theme to explore.  After worship and sharing time, we started by reading Mouse Paint and followed the mice's example by doing some paint mixing in ziploc bags.  A drop of yellow paint, a drop of red in a bag.  Seal it up.  Squish.  And a new color magically appears!  This was great for our little kids (3) and our biggest kids  (2nd grade).  Sometimes finding activities for all the kids can be challenging, but this one was a hit all around!

Mouse Paint
We had three centers where the kids could spend as much or as little time as they wanted.

Station 1:  First we had Jackson Pollock inspired marble painting.  A few blobs of paint on some paper in a box (like one from a flat of cans).  Add a marble or two, and make the marbles roll all over the place.

Station 2:  We had some Piet Mondrian inspired art with primary colors finger paint, black markers, rulers and electrical tape. 
Station 3:  Plenty of magazines and scissors were available to make some collage art. 

When all the kids were done we had quite an art collection drying in the sun!

And of course plenty of mess!

06 February 2010

New supplies

A few months ago I posed a question to my readers:  what would you buy for your homeschool if you had a few extra hundred dollars?  

I got a jump start on curriculum for next year (Story of the World 2 and R.E.A.L. Science) and got plenty of things to work on this year. 
Lots of fun stuff! 

We have supplemented our ancient history study with lots of activity books. This is just what we needed to get out of the middle of the year routine rut. We definitely needed to mix some things up to inject some new freshness and excitment back into our school day.