Math On-the Go!
For a person who most definitely didn’t grow up liking math at all -in fact, I had quite an aversion to it to be honest – it is shocking that I am once again, writing a post about all the FUN Niamh and I have been having with Math!!! As we are very busy running from program to program, we have come across ways to enjoy math on-the-go and it would be very unfair for us not to share with all of you, so here you have it!
Upon researching stimulating ways to engage Niamh in mathematics, I came across the following brilliant ideas:
License Plate Math
While you are driving in the car, randomly select license plates to work with. Try skip counting, using the first or the last digit in the license plate. You may even try ordering the individual digits from greatest to least or least to greatest!
Did you hear what became of the humans on Earth?
Choose a color or a make and model of vehicle. Each person in the car then predicts how many cars bearing that particular color or make/model they will see from the beginning of your trip to the end. Have your child tally the number of cars spotted and give the grand total at the end of your drive, announcing the winner! (encourage your child to think about how many cars he/she thinks you will pass in a specific time frame. Ask if he/she thinks that number will increase or decrease depending on the distance you are traveling, the time of day and even ‘where’ you travel – highway, city, rural streets)
I’ve written about this before, but it definitely warrants a re-post.Instead of hogging the GPS to yourself, hand it over to your child with our children exposed to so much technology, they navigate around a GPS quicker, and discover more hidden uses than we do!
Hand him/her the GPS on your next trip as I always do with Niamh. Allow your child to direct your trip and give as many prompts as you can -Will I be turning left up here, or right? How many miles do we have left to travel? Is 2.6 mi closer to 2 or 3 miles? In how many ‘equal pieces’ does the GPS break a mile? What time is it right now? What time does the GPS estimate we will arrive? How much time do we have left to travel?
This is just a few of the many ways to engage your child in mathematics as you travel. So, instead of singing,John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidtone more time on the road, engage your children in on-the-go mathematics!
Multiplication with Playing Cards
Remember Multiplication Facts To Music? Well, here’s another wonderful way to practice multiplication facts with your child and have fun doing it:
1. Take out a deck of playing cards and your child’s multiplication table/grid up to 12.
2. Shuffle the cards and deal them between you and your child until all cards have been dealt (including the Jokers).
3. Explain to your child that each card is worth its value (2,3,4, etc…). The Ace is worth 12, the Joker is worth 11 and the Queen is worth 1 (or value them in any way you would like). If you leave the entire deck intact, you will have many opportunities to practice the 10 times tables with the 10, Jack and King. If you would rather reduce the number of times you will be multiplying by 10, simply remove all Jacks and/or all Kings.
4. Set up a score board with your and your child’s name on it. Now, just like Snap, you and your child turn over your top card. The first person to say the multiplication sentence and get the answer, wins that point and the game continues! For example, you turn over a 3 and your child turns over a 6. The first person to correctly state, 3 x 6 = 18!, gets the point! When Niamh and I play this, she screams out the answer! If she doesn’t know it off hand, she quickly refers to her multiplication table! Of course, I don’t let her get all points but we sure have a lot of fun playing this multiplication game and I’m sure you will too!
This site will give you more information on The License Plate, Predictability and Multiplication card games – New York Adventures in Homeschooling!
Get into Math! It’s Cool!
This is a guest blog post from Carreen Schroeder and New York Adventures in Homeschooling!
Creation Illustrated is a Bible-based nature magazine. It publishes every season (fall, winter, spring and summer), and each magazine’s articles, recipes, photos and more are coordinated to the specific season.
Each magazine has a similar format, and things that stood out to me include:
- Front cover pic and accompanying Scripture (a lovely picture and meaningful Scripture that set the tone of the magazine)
- Nature articles that refer to Scripture
- An instructional guide which is designed to help students understand the spiritual and character building lessons contained in the articles
- Lovely (very attractive) photographs
- A section entitled Creation Stewardship (I really appreciate this eco-friendly section)
- Healthy and inspiring recipes (yes, there are many I want to make)
- Ending nature pic and poem (very nice)
- Back cover pic and accompanying Scripture (I like how the magazine comes full circle—it ends just like it begins)
If you’re interested in receiving a sample magazine, you can click here for a free issue, and you can subscribe here (plus, save $5!). Want to give the magazine as a gift? Click here.
Back issues are available for purchase too.
And fyi, FREEbies are available on their website (everyone loves freebies!) – http://www.creationillustrated.com/article/14/freebies.
Creation Illustrated helps students unplug and get out into nature while helping Moms and the whole family “Stop and smell the roses”. Really, after reading a magazine and looking at the pictures, you’ll want to get up close and personal with flowers, leaves, and nature in general!
22 Years Strong as the Leading Bible-based Nature Journal
Readers call it, “The Christian answer to National Geographic” — EVERY ISSUE A KEEPSAKE!
Spring Break (Educational!) Fun
This is a guest blog post written by Jennifer Campbell, from RedAppleReading.com.
Red Apple Reading has five spring break ideas that will not only bring a smile to your kiddos’ faces, but will engage their minds as well.
Write and Illustrate a Book – This spring break, why not collaborate on a book as a family? Come up with a story and assign each member a job (author, editor, illustrator, etc.). There are several different story creation websites (such as StoryJumper) that can be helpful in this endeavor. When your project is complete, send off your book for publishing. Your kiddos will have a beautiful book to show off and they will have learned about the writing process as well.
Put on a Play – Anyone who has ever read Little Women knows how much fun the March sisters had creating and putting on plays. Have your little men and women produce, direct, and act in their very own production over spring break. After daily rehearsals they will be ready to perform their play for friends, neighbors and grandparents at the end of the week!
Tour a Local Business/Charity – Your children’s spring vacation provides a good opportunity to tour a local business or charity organization in the community. For instance, local farmers are usually happy to give tours and explain the ins and outs of farming if you call and set up an advanced appointment. Also, if there is a charitable community organization you would like to know more about, set up a time to tour the facility and ask questions. Afterward, arrange a time to come back and volunteer as a family!
Enjoy Cultural Evenings – Tour the world over spring break without ever leaving your town! Pick 5 different countries and have a dinner each evening featuring cuisine from one region. Make sure to involve the whole family in these cultural evenings by enlisting everyone’s help. Have the kids do research about the country of the day and present their findings over dinner. Children also should help mom or dad prepare the meal. By the end of the week, your kids will have acquired new knowledge about 5 different countries and made some fun family memories in the process!
Learn a New Skill Together – Hopefully, your child is constantly taking in and learning new information at school; but when was the last time you (the parent) learned something new? Just because your school career is complete doesn’t mean your education has to be as well. Over spring vacation, join your children in the educational process and learn a new skill together. Take knitting lessons at your local knitting supply shop, buy a bird identification book and bird watch, or join ancestry.com and research your heritage. Whether you choose one of these activities or something different, the important part is learning and doing it together!
This spring break, avoid allowing the kids to sit in front of the television or computer all day. Instead, plan an exciting and educational week that your kids will always remember. If you have a spare moment, treat the kids to some computer time and visit us at Red Apple Reading. Like your spring break plans, you will find that we are both fun and educational!
Jennifer Campbell is a mom of 4 and blog writer for RedAppleReading.com. Red Apple Reading offers online learning fun for your kiddos during spring break.
Did you give 100%, today?
This is a guest blog post written by Joseph Semprevivo: Award Winning and Bestselling Author of Madness Miracles Millions and CEO of Joseph’s Lite Cookies. And he’s a homeschool Dad!
I was so worried, pacing back and forth in my room before I decided to get the courage and just walked out into the kitchen and handed my mom and dad my report card. I’ll never forget this moment, I was 16 and I gave my mom and dad my report card with a D in history, one of my dad’s favorite subjects. My heart was beating super-fast, my hands were sweating, and legs were shaking. I decided to pull the Band-Aid off fast and handed him the report card. I was ready for my punishment. Was I going to get grounded, lose my computer, or the phone? I did not know.
Instead the outcome was something I never expected. My dad said “I noticed you got a D in History?” I responded with a shaky voice “Yes Sir”. “Son, Let me ask you something, did you give your best for this class? Did you give it 100% effort to pass this class with an A?” I quickly answered, “No Dad, I really didn’t give it 100%.” I never knew that the words that he was about to say would change my life forever “Whether it is a History Class, a girlfriend, job, friendship or a business venture, you give it 100%, no matter what. I want you to go to your room and just think about what I just said.”
I didn’t realize the importance of that message while sitting in my room, but years later it hit me hard while studying macroeconomics in college. I realized that there are 168 hours in a week and If I were to give 100% towards anything that would mean 168 hours a week I would have to work to achieve 100% efforts, but I don’t think that is what my dad meant, so what did he mean. This is when It hit me, OH my dad means read this economics book from page one until the last page (100% of the book), attend every class (100% of classes), listen to the professor (100% of the time), take notes (100% of the time), read your notes after each class (100% of the notes), and give every effort to learn everything in the economics book (100% knowledge). When I took my final exam and I got a 100% I realized this is giving 100%.
As time went on, I applied this approach to everything I did, I joined 12 organization in college, pledged Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, took 18 hours a semester with a 4.0 GPA, worked in my cookie company and I gave each of these 100%. I went back to my dad and explained that I was giving everything 100%, my dad immediately responded “Son, I’m really proud of you, but one last thing you need to do every night; ask yourself every night before you go to bed, did I give 100% today, and if your answer is yes, than you can have a great night sleep, but if you answer no than wake up the next day and don’t stop until you can answer “YES I GAVE IT 100%” and when you give 100% towards something, even if you fail, than you and I will never be disappointed because we couldn’t have given any more or tried any harder.”
Now ask yourself every night before you go to bed, did you give 100% today?
Theory Time® designs, creates and publishes material for general music theory education. They offer a K-12 Workbook Series, a Medallion Workbook Series, a Reproducible Series, Fun/Challenge Sheets, Camp Curriculum, Teaching Aids (including scale and rhythm blocks—very cute!), Games, Test Paks, Answer Sheets and MORE (over 100 products). For general website descriptions of all their products, click here. The Theory Time materials are perfect for students of voice, piano, strings, brass, woodwinds or percussion instruments. Homeschoolers can use them (you don’t need to have a music background), and professional teachers can use them as well, to teach in a studio environment. They’re very versatile—and very thorough.
|| The K-12 Workbook Series includes thirteen books. Each book offers age-appropriate concepts and step-by-step explanations, which if followed, should make it easy for kids to complete the music drills/learn music theory.All the ear training drills are available online, free of charge, via the Theory Time YouTube channel. Simply click on “Free Ear Training Videos” and then click on the grade level followed by the appropriate Ear Training exercise. I really like and appreciate this.
The Teacher’s Editions offer the answers to the Ear Training drills, as well as the answers for every page of every workbook. The Teacher’s Edition Volume 1 covers the Primer and Grades1-3—so you don’t have to buy a Teacher’s Edition every time you purchase a workbook. That’s nice—it saves a little money.
Also nice? Theory Time offers free vocabulary drills and games –a plus for sure.
If you’re not sure which book your child should start with, Placement Tests are available. Theory Time suggests—”Late beginners should consider starting at the Grade Four workbook, or consider working through the comprehensive workbooks in the Medallion Series, beginning with the Bronze workbook.”
I took piano as a child, but haven’t played for years. I can still play easy sheet music, but I’m rusty. The Primer and the Grade 1 book were very easy/very fundamental, but there were things in the Grade 2 book that I had forgotten (quarter, half and whole rests). So for me, I started with the Primer and I’m working my way through all the books (Theory Time was kind enough to send them—I’m going to use them!).
A workbook can last an entire school year if a student completes one-three pages a week. If a student wants to play catch-up (is in the third grade but starting with the Primer), multiple workbooks can be completed during the year.
Want to learn more? You can watch a video on the Workbook Series here.
The Medallion Workbook Series is an accelerated general music theory method– an accelerated version of the K-12 series mentioned above—and spans entry-level through college prep music theory. This series is designed for adults, college students and late beginners. There are five workbooks in the Medallion series including
- Theory Fundamentals – Bronze (covers concepts taught in the Primer-Grade 3 workbooks mentioned above)
- Early Intermediate – Silver (covers concepts taught in the workbooks Grades 4 and 5, mentioned above)
- Intermediate – Gold (covers concepts taught in Grades 6-8)
- Advanced – Platinum (covers topics taught in Grades 9-10)
- College Prep – Diamond (concepts taught in Grades 11-12—upon completion, a student is more than ready for freshman college theory)
You can watch a video here of the series here.
I think both sets of workbooks are GREAT. They are thorough and easy to follow. They give a student confidence and a sense of accomplishment. I’m looking forward to working through all the books. That’s how great these books are—I really don’t want to miss a thing!
Theory Time is available from music distributors nationwide & font> Amazon.com. The K-12 Series books are approximately $10 on Amazon, and the Medallion books are approximately $15—what a deal!
Keyboarding – SO Important! OR Are Your Children Prepared For Online Testing?
Although the debate continues across the United States about when, how, and even whether to adopt Common Core educational standards, it’s likely that homeschooling parents and their children will be impacted in some way by one major trend Common Core will be relying on in a few years: online testing. While your state may not require homeschooled children to take or pass these computer-based exams, there are good reasons to make sure they’re prepared with adequate keyboarding skills.
2018 is a milestone year for many school districts around the country, because that’s when the guidelines set out by the Common Core program will make the final transition to phase out paper tests and focus on computer-based testing. Keyboarding is built into the curriculum already – students need to be able to use a computer keyboard and mouse, take online quizzes, and write essays and papers of one to three pages – all by the 6th grade. If you live in a state that requires compliance with these or any other educational targets, you know how important it is to make sure that your children have the skills to meet those targets. Even if you don’t have to follow outside guidelines, it’s a good idea to be aware of them; rules change quickly sometimes, on a local, state, and even federal level.
When it comes to computer and keyboarding skills, however, there are more reasons than state-based guidelines to make sure your kids are prepared for a successful future. Many employment agencies and human resources departments use computer-based testing to weed out unskilled workers. More and more jobs these days involve the use of computers, and touch typing is often required for even basic entry-level jobs, especially in an office setting. If you and your children are looking at higher education, they’ll need to be able to type quickly and accurately in order to keep up with the demands of a university degree.
While many kids are used to texting and two-finger typing, and can be fairly quick on the keyboard when sending an SMS to a friend or writing out short e-mail messages, they need to learn the principles of touch typing as early as possible. Here are some of the benefits of learning proper typing skills:
- improved hand-eye coordination
- better spelling skills
- fewer typos and less time spent editing text
- time saved in completing assignments
- reduce risk of muscle strain from incorrect technique
- more confidence in using digital and online resources
Although it’s still a few years before computers and keyboards take over from paper and pencil entirely, this is one technological trend that isn’t going away. No matter what age your child is, you can start them on a touch typing program today, and they’ll start enjoying the benefits of their new skill almost immediately. Ultimate TypingTM 2015, developed by educational software company eReflect, can be used by children as young as 6 or 7, but its personalized instructional methods means that older children and adults will get the typing training suited to their level as well. The software lets you target two goals: first, to get your kids the touch typing training they need; and second, to help them learn to use computer-based systems and tests efficiently.
Ultimate TypingTM 2015 uses video lessons, online demonstrations, interactive lesson suggestions, and fun games to teach basic and advanced touch typing skills. Because children can use the software to play games, they’ll learn to type without realizing that they’re spending time studying! The software’s progress tracking technology lets you and your child set typing goals, and see how quickly they can meet those goals.
One of the many reasons why Ultimate TypingTM 2015 is ideal for homeschooling parents is because of how easy it is to include it in any (or all) parts of your current lesson plan. You don’t have to spend more than a few minutes a day on the actual typing tutor activities, but you can still use the Ultimate TypingTM 2015 software while you’re studying other subjects. For example, if you are learning about the Arctic Ocean, you can link to articles about famous explorers, polar bears, ice sheets, and more. The software will use these articles as text for the typing exercises. That means your children will be learning about those topics as they type – a real time saver for you and your kids alike.
Contact eReflect today to find out more about the Ultimate TypingTM 2015 system, and how you can start using it to make sure your children are prepared for whatever the future may bring.
About the Author: Chassie Lee is the Content Expert for eReflect – creator of Ultimate Typing and Ultimate Typing EDU which is currently being used by tens of thousands of happy customers in over 110 countries.
Woo hoo! Friday is the first day of Spring! The Vernal Equinox! This year, with such a harsh winter in so many places across the U.S., we thought you might want to celebrate a bit!
In case you do, here are a number of spring-fun printables, coloring pages, activities and more -
Of course, you can google and find a lot more – but this is a great starting point!
Fun! And fun learning is forever learning!
Easteraser is an American company that offers study and art supplies with a Christian theme. Their very first products are fun, colorful, and color-changing erasers, with a Biblical viewpoint. You can order 4, 8, 16, 24, 48 or 108 erasers at a time.
There are a number of reasons these erasers are more fun (and more educational) than the basic pink school eraser—
For the main fun factor, Easterasers change color with the warmth of your hand. We all know kids love things that change color! And think about it–this is a science lesson in the making!
Four eraser colors are available, and they change as noted below—
- Blue to White
- Purple to Pink
- Green to Yellow
- Orange to Yellow
For the most color change (the best results), erasers should be kept in a cool place. Then when they are used, there is a greater amount of change.
In addition to changing colors, each eraser has an uplifting Bible or spiritual quote printed on it. Another teaching moment! Students can learn to draw, solve math problems and study Biblical material, all at the same time!
Each eraser also contains a Christian graphic, giving parents an opportunity to explain the meaning of the particular symbol, and to go into greater religious detail, if they’d like.
The erasers can be used with pencils or charcoal and are perfect for art projects, math problem solving and penmanship/writing classes.
Plus, Easteraser donates a portion of its annual profits to charity. So not only do you get colorful and unique art and study supplies but you also help support a charity.
Yes, I guess it could be argued that these are just erasers — but these bright and unique erasers offer more than just the opportunity to remove a stray pencil mark. They’re teaching tools for so much more.
You can get your erasers here. In plenty of time for Easter!
Spring into Reading! by Jennifer Campbell, from RedAppleReading.com
Spring has finally sprung, and it’s a great time for your family to start fresh reading habits. In honor of this much anticipated season, here are five suggestions for how you and your family can spring into reading!
- Indulge in a New Book - When was the last time you purchased a book purely for pleasure? Oftentimes we only visit the bookstore when our kids need a book for a school assignment. Why not take the family on a surprise trip to your local bookstore and treat everyone to a new book? Make an agreement to finish your books by a certain date and then celebrate with a special supper!
- Start a Book Club - Spring provides the perfect opportunity to begin your own book club. Invite friends and family to join you monthly or quarterly to discuss an agreed upon book. Take turns choosing what you will read so everyone will have ownership in the club. Remember, book clubs are not just for grown-ups – kids love getting together to chat about a favorite book as well. With a little forethought, you can come up with some creative activities related to their book; and instead of coffee, you can serve milk and cookies!
- Read Outside - There’s only one thing that beats reading a good book – reading a good book in the spring sunshine! After all those months your kiddos spent cooped up in the house, they are probably overdue for some fresh air! You don’t have to choose between reading and enjoying the outdoors; both activities can easily be combined. If your kids see you taking a book outside, they are likely to follow suit. So set the example by grabbing a book and a blanket and heading for the yard!
- Collect Books for a Local Charity - Many schools and public organizations could use some new books for their libraries. Your family can lead the way in organizing a book drive for your community. As a family, decide what charity/organization you want to receive the contributed books. Next, get to work gathering books from the people in your community. If a family member has an upcoming birthday, you could ask guests to bring a book instead of a gift. Instead of having people bring donations to you, go to them to collect gently used books. For more tips on how to hold a book drive, visit the Do Something website.
- Get Your Kiddos on Red Apple Reading - Another fantastic way to help your family “spring into reading” is by giving them access to a fun reading program! Sign up with Red Apple Reading and your children can easily access fun reading videos and games from any computer or laptop. Visit RedAppleReading.com today to learn more about this exciting reading program and spring specials.
Jennifer Campbell is a mom of 4 and blog writer for RedAppleReading.com. Red Apple Reading offers online learning fun for children ages 3 to 9.
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Bringing Computer Science to Your Homeschool
By Chris Yust, from Homeschool Programming, Inc.
You probably already have the basic subjects covered in your classroom. Reading, writing, math, history, arts, science, geography, social studies…all of these things have an endless variety of resources available to you! None of them are likely that intimidating to teach either; after all, those topics were part of your own fundamental education. But how are you going to handle Computer Science? Today this critical subject is more important than ever, yet many teachers and homeschool parents are not sure how to get started!
Imagine providing a subject in your classroom that your students can’t wait to study. Tell your kids they can learn how to create their own computer games, apps, and websites, and watch their eyes light up. You will not have to twist any arms to get those homework assignments finished. Instead of sitting around playing video games, your students could be learning the skills necessary to write their own!
Growing Up in the Digital Age
Kids in school today have never known life without the Internet, laptops, cell phones, and a dizzying array of computer games. Your students may be more techno-savvy than you are! Using email, word processing programs, web browsers, and social networking tools are probably second nature to your plugged-in children. But how much do they really understand about what is going on underneath the covers?
Who is writing all the software that your kids are using? Computer scientists or programmers are the ones driving these innovations! Computer programmers understand the tools, languages, and techniques needed to create new software. While this may sound like an arcane, difficult subject, in reality computer programming is very accessible to every student. Modern, easy-to-use programming languages and robust, free development environments can be used by anyone with the proper training.
Find a Lifelong, Rewarding Passion
You might think that all computer jobs have been outsourced overseas. That’s simply not true! Research from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows there is a real shortage of trained software engineers to fill the computing needs of local technology companies. Throughout the recent economic downturn, computer jobs have seen steady growth and salary increases.
Some of the more widely used computer languages in academic and professional settings today include Java, C#, HTML, Visual Basic, and C++. Skills your students build in these languages will not be thrown away as they move to the next level in school or business. A solid foundation in these languages can support a nearly limitless variety of applications from personal computers to robotics to mobile phones.
Your Most Popular Subject
Odds are that your own computer science experience is somewhat limited. You might never dream of trying to teach a programming language to your students based on an old FORTRAN course you suffered through 30 years ago. Fortunately, today, self-study courses from Homeschool Programming can guide your students step-by-step through the programming process with minimal teacher involvement. You don’t need a fancy computer lab. If your students are already comfortable using a computer then they are ready to learn how to write their first program.
The KidCoder and TeenCoder courses for 4th-12th grade students cover a variety of topics such as:
KidCoder: Windows/Game Series – Learn Visual Basic to write your own programs and video games
TeenCoder: Windows/Game Series – Use object-oriented concepts to write programs and games in C#
TeenCoder: Java/Android – Learn Java and Eclipse, study for the AP CS A exam, and write Android apps
You can provide a quality Computer Science education for your homeschool student even if you’re not an expert yourself. Let’s spark a passion for Computer Science in your student today!
About the Author
Chris Yust has 17 years of experience as a software engineer and is co-author of the KidCoder and TeenCoder computer programming courses for 4th-12th grade students. Find out more about computer programming and website design for kids and teens at www.HomeschoolProgramming.com!