Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Math Facts

     By this point every spring, we're itching for summer.  We're wishing we could just call the work we've done good enough, but we can't.  To motivate myself to persevere, I let myself start planning next year, and get excited about school all over again.  Inevitably, some one else gets excited with me, it's contagious.  
     I've been reading about Ray's Arithmetic over at Large Family Mothering.  Realizing Arden is an entirely different child than any of our other three, we're trying a new course with his kindergarten math next year.  We think holding a pencil and filling in those work sheets might tax Arden to his limit, and therefore Bryan and I to our limit as well.  Bryan is the math teacher here, but he's given me permission to create a math "program" Arden can do that will be hands on and fun, and still teach everything a little guy needs to know.  Yes, and nearly free.  We're not investing in an expensive new curriculum.  My mom and I are talking through some Montessori at home ideas, and we'll do lots of real life math, too.  Then I read the posts about Ray's Arithmetic and I'm thinking I might follow that book as I teach math facts to Arden.  I plan to buy the "Math Flashcards and Helps," but started out making my own flashcards for numbers 1-10 because we don't have a color printer.  Armed with paper packs, number stickers and wild animal stickers from Hobby Lobby we (yes, you know I had help!) made the cards and used them this morning.  I knew we had hit on at least one right idea, Arden smiled just seeing those wild animals.
     But math takes a back seat to courtship rituals and the cardinals were at their finest right outside the dining room window.  We all crowded around, watching the males strut their stuff and fight and the females feign disinterest.  Then Sam spotted woodpeckers about the same business.  This is what I love about homeschooling, this togetherness.  When there's something amazing to appreciate, we can all take the time to enjoy God's creation, then reluctantly turn back to math again.

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