Tag Archives: Mathematics


Another reason I love home school ….math book today, doing subtraction, tried to tell us “you can’t subtract and get a number less than zero (or you are in debt)” — but left it at that, and did not address negative numbers.  The directions for the pages said to “mark out subtraction problems you can’t do”.  The student was also supposes to “break down” a number in to as many subtraction problems as possible, “remember do not subtract more than your biggest number”.   Well Big Brother already knows negatives numbers (the number line goes both ways, right?).  So we did all the problems and just had our negative answers, easy as pie.

Big Brother:

  • Handwriting
  • Math:  pages 80 to 84
  • Phonics: work book pages  78 to 85
  • Sight word flash cards

Together:  (Momma reading)

  • Bible: 13 to 33
  • SOTW Vol: 136 to 152

Little Brother

  • Handwriting (his name)
  • Getting Ready For The Code Book A: 56 to 63

Then we took a page from Charlotte Mason and took a walk in “nature”.  It was just a park walking path, but it got up out, got our bodies moving, and saw some of God’s creation.








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learning our math facts

We are going to use Mammoth Math for our ‘full math’ curriculum.  However, I have held off starting it while we mastered our math facts (though 12).  I realized recently while he is getting faster at his practice sheets, and while he has a great feel for doing the work, we are not as far along in the ‘committed to memory’ as I would like.

So I created a practice book for us, rather than just counting on repeatedly working the problems on our daily sheets (40 problems a day).  I made two pages for each number.  On the front I did a column of the number plus each other number (1 + 1 = 2, 1 + 2 = 3 and so on), and the 2nd column on the fromt of the page is the same list of facts mixed up.

8 + 1 = 9 8 + 4 = 12
8 + 2 = 10 8 + 6 = 14
8 + 3 = 11 8 + 1 = 9
8 + 4 = 12 8 + 5 = 13
8 + 5 = 13 8 + 10 = 18
8 + 6 = 14 8 + 8 = 16
8 + 7 = 15 8 + 3 = 11
8 + 8 = 16 8 + 9 = 17
8 + 9 = 17 8 + 2 = 1-
8 + 10 = 18 8 + 7 = 15

On the back I kept all the problems the same but removed the answers

2 + 1 = 2 + 4 =
2 + 2 = 2 + 6 =
2 + 3 = 2 + 1 =
2 + 4 = 2 + 5 =
2 + 5 = 2 + 10 =
2 + 6 = 2 + 8 =
2 + 7 = 2 + 3 =
2 + 8 = 2 + 9 =
2 + 9 = 2 + 2 =
2 + 10 = 2 + 7 =

I laminated the pages and hole punched them to put them in a binder.  Now we are read though the facts on the front page, Big Brother is very verbal and learns well from hearing, and repeating, data.  i plan to read it to him, over and over, and to get him to read the facts to me, now that they are all easy in one place.  I can quiz him and he can practice on the reverse of the page using dry erase crayons (which wipe right off the laminated pages).

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Just a Day at the Park

Spring weather being so nice recently we had a spur-of-the-moment meet up at the park with another home school family we know.  I love being done with school, and having the kids out to play before the public schools are out for the day.

Sadly I did not get a photo of all the kids sitting around waiting for their turn to play the math facts game on the other mom’s phone (ans trying to help each other, and getting told to stop it by the game player who wanted to do it alone).  That was cool, blanket under a tree at the park begging to do their math facts!  I did get a picture of all the kids trying to work out balancing the see-saw.  Note the other mom and i did not help, they argued about it, moved around, had a hard time directing the two little ones, and finally got it on their own — then lost interest and deserted it.

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Good day to be a kid here.  Little Brother and I finger painted while Big Brother practiced for preschool gradation.  Then both boys got to finger paint outside this afternoon.  Toss in some hose / water play (and all time perfect activity here) on a sunny and 70’s day and you have pretty much a grand day to be a child.

*giggle giggle* As most of you know I am deep into trying to get big Brother to count to 100 correctly.  It is the ONLY ‘preschool’ goal I had for him that he has not met (and frankly had not checked off 9 months ago).  So I am keep trying to find ways to engage him, I think he’ll master the skill as soon as I can get him to practice it.  Part of our problem I think is the tediousness of counting to 100 – after 20 it is the same and so he gets his 30’s and his 40’s all mixed up.  Today Little Brother wanted a treat and I had a great idea.  I pulled out a bag on chocolate chips and told Big Brother that he could have as many as he counted correctly!  So Little had a vested interest in NOT brothering Big too – since they both get the same serving.  Today we got to 14; he skipped 15 to go to 16, so the chips stopped at 14.  For once he didn’t argue my serving number; I think he kinda saw his role He asked if we could do that again tomorrow. 

Have a folding hanging rack for hanging drip dry clothing on?  I do (got it for diaper covers and other stuff like that).  Best use for it ever…

We are attempting to garden again this year, I say attempting as last year did not go so hot.  Daddy got a tiller this year and the garden spot has been enlarged to 3x the size it was before.  We’ll see.  I hope it grows better the boys made a real effort in the planting and seem a lot more connected to it this year. 

This plant is currently in a glass of water, to see if we can grow new roots.  Little Brother tried to pull it out of the starter cup to plant like Big Brother was successfully doping with Daddy.  He was very upset to break it, but there are many more plants, it was ok.


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 Photo by Little Brother

In Math today we finished the 10th lesson in the Receptive year of MEP.  None of these lessons have been a challenge for him (today for example one part of the lesson he drew a picture of his family, counted the members, divided adults from children and considered the age difference in the kids) but I am looking at it more as ‘following directions’ practice (another part of today’s lesson had 5 lines and he was asked to draw different things on different lines). Also practice ‘doing and accomplishing’ and staying at a task till a realistic stopping point (as opposed to just walking off and being done). I am hopeing / planning to have all the Receptive year done by fall (since there really is nothing new to him in it as far as I can see looking even at the end of the year).

I am all excited. We ventured into Trader Joes for the first time this week. I found affordable candy the boys can have on their diet. Gummie bears with no artificial colors or ingredients; also gummie penguins (and since Little is all about penguins, this was a big hit)!! We found safe gum drops!! I also was able to get safe jelly beans for them for the Easter Bunny to hide (in addition to the toys). Momma was as excited as the boys.

Worms worms worms!! Today the boys each got their own worm (and Momma is calling it Science). We took jars, momma put holes in the lids then the boys got to put in the dirt. Molly got to hang out in her play-pen the back of the truck, because she will not allow anyone to sit on the ground without jumping on top of them. It was impossible to sit and dig, and talk with her help. After the dirt, each boy got to pick a worm from the night crawlers I bought. Big was willing to touch them and actually grabbed his own; Little pointed, and seemed very excited, but let momma actually pick his up for him. Both worms toured on the big wheel and then got to watch GhostBusters with the boys.


then at the end of the day — Little Brother helped make snack….


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Thanks to paperbackswap.com the boys got, this past week, The Children’s Book of Hero’s.  Big Brother loves it.  He sat down and looked at all the pictures and has chosen a different story each day, and paid attention.  (Character Dev)

Got a couple of new books today, fitting our theme of making our reading time a bit more meaningful (gotta love that 4 for the price of 3 deal on amazon.com).


Some photos from today:

Chores are more of a challenge if the puppy doesn’t like to give the broom to you. 

Told you are boys work, Big is picking rocks the snow plow pushed off the gravel drive to earn money (we all work on this).

Little Brother is trying really hard to petal forwards and not backwards on the trike.  Big was successful on the trike the first time he got one it at 25 months, but Little still really can’t move forward. 


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Big Brother is such an odd child.  I love him, and watching him learn is amazing.  I introduced the number line to him today, both the concept of greater than and less than and the symboles.  He took to it right away.  This was after acting incapable of counting pennies.  I sat down with both boys, with the intention of seeing just how high (one to one relationship) Big Brother could count.  He acted goophy and silly and slow and never did count, correctly past 13 and I know he can do better than that.  I sent him off, and started a momma project:  I got out a calendar and turned it into a sticker chart for him to keep track of his non “time out days”.  He responded well to a small reward for going 7 days without having to be “parent removed” self control is a big struggle for him, but he is so proud of himself after the fact.  He loves “challenges” so I decided to challenge him to go more days this time.  Since learning the calendar is a goal we are working on right now I thought recording his successful or not successful days on a real calendar would give him a more tangible way to learn days and ‘how long’.  The number line sprung up as we were trying to come up with a challenge day count.  At first he was all over the board, I do not if he was just shouting random numbers at me (“let’s do 2 + 1 days Momma, is that a lot?”) and knowing he was being silly or if he really still has that weak a grasp on  the sizes different numbers.  His suggestions were all over the place from 3 to 156, by then I think he was just writing random numbers.  He seemed pretty amazed that 150+ days would be “after this summer, it would be getting cold again”.  So I made a small number line; circled the 7 (the last challenge he met) and use the < and > symbols for the other numbers on the line.  I did it more as ‘something to write as I talked’ to try to just get him to look at the number line; but he got it.  He seemed to really be paying attention to the line and how the numbers related on it.  “This side is always littler momma?”  Now we’ll see how much retention he has tomorrow and if he really ‘grows in understand’.  We’ll see if he can USE the concept of greater or less than (< and >) or bigger and smaller as we talked about them in relations to numbers.  Nevertheless for today he seemed to be ‘getting it’.  We looked at the number line (1 to 15) and talked about all the numbers, in more or less random order, compared to 7 and he was right on them all.  Pretty exciting.  It continues to amaze me how some things are so quick for him, and others he just doesn’t seem to ‘grasp’.  We’ll see …


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