Monday, March 25, 2013

More Fractions

Sticking with my plan to rotate between, fractions, geometry and operations studies in math means an update is in order.  Deciding where to go in our fraction studies has been frustrating and it is one time that after pulling all of me resources I wished I had a more concise program to follow, every program seems to teach fraction in a different sequence. So, excuse the mish mash but here is what we studied in our last rotation, I hope it helps.

We used our Fractions of a Pizza game to review our previous fraction identification work.  A bit to easy for the bigger children but still fun for the younger.

I cannot say enough about the usefulness of our fraction circles.  We used them to review addition and subtraction of fractions and then moved on to finding equivalents and reducing fractions.
I love this picture, my boy is so handsome plus this is what homeschooling a boy is like, he has to have a monkey  on his back, a shirt over his head, sounds coming out of his mouth and feet rocking something.

finding equivalents

reducing fractions with a homemade booklet

making fractions

We also used our Fraction Contraption game to find equivalents.

I quickly realized when we moved on to multiplying and dividing fractions that K was not going to keep up so I provided her with a few activities of her own like this fraction match up activity:

We also used videos from Kahn Academy and Study Jams to introduce or review concepts as needed.

We are currently in our operations rotation using the peg board, stamp game and small bead frame, I'll share about that soon.

Go check out Living Montessori Now to see what other Montessori Inspired homeschoolers are teaching their children.

Have a happy week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Monday, March 18, 2013

Life Outside Homeschooling

Well. it is Montessori Monday and I want to make a post but so much is swimming in my head, like my to do list.  I actually thought I wouldn't post today but here I am. How about a look beyond our home education?

We are an imperfect bunch being perfected (very slowly) day by day to hopefully to bear fruit for our Lord.  I wish I was perfect, I wish I didn't make mistakes, get distracted, loose my patience or yell.  But guess what I live in a house with 5 other people so friction is bound to happen when the demands of life stack up on this wife and homeschooling mama.  I remind myself that it is only 4 but some days it feels like a whole lot more.  I have been in desperate need of encouragement lately in the area of parenting.  So yesterday I sat in the warm sunshine and reviewed all of my bible study notes on parenting.  Many of the notes on parenting actually just pertained to good old christian living.  So after my time of  review this is what I came up with for my parenting job description:  to teach my children with encouragement and gentleness and to diligently discipline them with careful instruction.  It was amazing to me how just spending a small amount of time with my bible notebook, God was able to speak and I could hear.  Now, to just put teeth to His instructions.  Pray for me.

So, how about that closer look at our life outside home lessons?

 Here is hubs.  He is the man of most women's dreams and mine.  He works hard, cooks and sews and is easy on the eyes.

Making pasta.

Fresh mozzarella made by hubs.

He also makes wonderful waffles, pancakes, crepes, cinnamon rolls and breads.
 Hubs wears many hats, he is a civil engineer, Beachbody fitness coach, a tax guy and a ski coach.  The ski coaching is all so we can enjoy days like these:

Our children are close to fearless, it is hard to see the magnitude of this half-pipe.  But, they all ski down it, "catching air" when they can.  Note the small figure to the right of the picture?  That is B.

Daddy and K.

B and me. I was once scolded for wearing a sweater with a bow on a ski day.  I was told skiing if for old clothes.  I think I am sporting the right look now.

We love a good bargain because we are frugal at heart .  All of our equipment was bought used from Craig's list, the thrift store or a local sports exchange.

I love this boy but homeschooling him is just plain hard sometimes and being home taught by me is no cake walk either.  Ask him, I'm sure he would agree so we press on toward the prize as iron sharpens iron.  He is a handsome lad.

The beauties of the family.  We shop at Winco.  It is a lot of work but saves a lot of money.  Did I mention we are frugal? Winco and the bulk bins support our financial constraints. Why do I have a picture of my daughters in the grocery store?  Project Life of course.
We nap for a long time around here.  Our 6 year old still naps every 2 weeks or so.  I need the break and so do they.  So from 1-3 ish, I strive to have a quiet house so we can all rest.

And if you didn't know it we are small town people and love our purple mountains' majesty.  

 So how about you?  What is life like outside of homeschooling?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Games for Learning and Fun

I don't know about you, but do your children always want lessons to be fun?  Mine do, just even this morning E prayed that school would be fun.  I remember a high school teacher who taught geography and economics, going off one day about children expecting learning to be fun and entertaining.  "Fun" is a pet peeve of mine.  Yes, I want my children to be excited about their learning and engaged with each topic, but "fun" is not always possible or beneficial.  Since the beginning of time we were placed on this Earth to work.  Remember after all, God gave Adam a garden to tend.  I have read many books, blogs and articles in an effort to bring interest and fun to our learning but never the less, boredom (there has even been boredom to tears), disinterest and negative attitudes sometimes prevail.  I have given up, sometimes learning is not fun and just has to be done.  "Boring" lessons is where character training begins and for me that is the hardest thing about homeschooling.  The character training never goes away, whether in the home, out of the home, during lessons or not during lessons, these people, myself included, need to be trained to persevere even when they have a job that is not fun.

All that being said, here is a look a some of my attempts to bringing "fun" to our learning.

Math Games
Money Exchange game from The Education of Ours.

Pizza Fraction Game from Lakeshore Learning.  A great game to practice recognizing fractions.

Fraction Contraption  from Lakeshore Learning (sorry, I couldn't find the link).  This game teaches fraction equivalents.
Geography Games

A fun U.S. Geography game from Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational.  This is my favorite blog for free game printables and ideas.

I would love to add Sequence Stated and Capitals to our game collection.
So dust off the games and try bringing some "fun" to your home learning day.  Our fun for the day--watching Drive Thru History: Greece and the World and maybe a bit of file folder games.

I'm linking up with Montessori Monday.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Saturdays & Free Time

I always feel so bad that our younger children do not receive as much creative arts time as our older children did in their primary years.  Well I figured out how to add it in---Saturdays.  Saturday is the perfect day for  us to enjoy some creative time that is not available during the week.  Now, I know Saturdays are a day off so to speak, not another day of education, and I whole heartedley agree.  I just keep a mental (and sometimes on paper) list of quick creative activities that might engage the children.  So I thought I would share a few of their recent endeavors:

K painting a flower.  I picked up several small wooden shapes for the children to paint at Michael's, I think they were $.25 each.  These shapes were stocking stuffers but would also be great for Easter hunts or baskets.

Sensory play with shaving cream.  I think next time I will add a bit of food coloring for some color mixing fun.  I can hear B's excitement now.

This was an idea I saw last summer on Pinterest.  It is baking soda on a sheet pan then a dropper is used to drop vinegar mixed with food coloring.  Fun.

Painting with watercolors.

More watercolors.

Picture book reading is also another wonderful Saturday activity to pull out.  The younger set also have been read to far less than our older children.  Saturday reading makes me stop my tasks and focus on time with my children to enjoy quiet moments of togetherness.  You can see below that I like to mix our reading up with some classics, some seasonal stories and some stories in areas of interests, trains for example.

 All of the above activities were things I suggested when the children came to me needing something to do.  Now here is a look at the creative things they come up with on there own during free time.

I know it is winter around here when our stairs become cluttered with race track and cars.  This track is a darda track that we have loved to death.  The cars are long since broken but it is still a great create your own set with lots of options and fun. And yes that is a giant pile of cars at the bottom of the stairs, many we have bought and many more have been passed down to us from friends and family.

Playdough! Here you see the playdough cake set and candy shop.

Perler beads.

And somedays even if it is cold we go and enjoy our neighborhood school and play for awhile.

If you need some activity ideas check out our Kid Crafts and Concoctions board on pinterest. Also the blog Let's Explore has a monthly play list that I keep in my planner to stimulate ideas.

What do your children do with their at home free time and weekends?

It's Montessori Monday, go have a look!