Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Math Conversation

Math doesn't always look the same from one homeschool to the next. Each family has a different way of teaching and their learners each are unique and have their own way of learning the concepts and information. (zoning in on the way your child learns can be key to success in learning math at home)

In our home math workbooks are becoming quite obsolete~ at the request of my boys from time to time they enjoy a worksheet from their workbook ( Horizons) but often we work mostly on our wipe board and do math notebooking, math games, math projects, 5 a days and also use math readers.

One particular math reader we are reading right now is a book called 7x9 Trouble written by Claudia Mills. It is a delightful book about a 3rd grader who is learning his times tables. My youngest son loves it. We have been practicing our times tables and I thought this book would be a perfect fit for him.

We had not read it for a bit since I had been away and we wanted to get back to the book because is it so entertaining.
While reading the book we started a math conversation, which happens often while we read our math readers. Today as we read we talked about Associative Properties with multiplication. The book explained - when we know certain number of times tables - we may know more than we think because if we turn the factors around then we find that there are some we already know~

Our youngest thought this was really interesting. We had introduced Commutative Property once before but never in this capacity so this (coming from a different angle if you will) made things seem much different for him. He had learned about this in his old workbook and did very well, however, once discussing it in a kind of math conversation, (for him) this seemed quite different.

We went on to discuss this and I gave examples and I believe he understands and yet he is still unsure~ we will work more and "talk" more about it tomorrow~

Do you have "math conversations" with your learners? Reading from a textbook on how to do a particular concept is one way of learning a skill, however, adapting it to real life or a conversation can seem quite different for our learners. In some ways it helps to see if the information has been processed correctly or has been internalized. Many times we think they know something because right in front of us is the worksheet or workbook that shows they "can" do it, but can they? Can they explain the process back to you? Hmm, not always.

Math readers and taking time to have math conversations can play an important role in their math learning. Either at home or anywhere.

I plan to find more opportunties to expand our math conversations for my learners at home~

Happy Math Learning~

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Teaching Computer Technology~ some great resources

One goal I had for the remainder of this year was to try to incorporate lessons that teach computers and technology to my 13 year old.

He loves the computer and does very well, but it is time for him to be learning a bit more about computers and technology as he moves forward within his home studies. These lessons can be very beneficial to our learners, in the classroom and also at home.

Computers are everywhere and are used daily by many people. We have a total of three computers in our home. I have a laptop for my personal use and for my 13 year old to use for writing and researching for his studies. We also have a desktop computer in my instructional studio that we use for schooling and also a desktop we have in our den for everyone to use.

I had asked about any resources others have used for teaching about computers and technology and was given some wonderful resources from Velma (an AKOL member and author of the blog: Hilltop Homeschool )that I wanted to share with all of you~

Books for kids:
The Internet (First Books - Science Series) by Kerry Cochrane
Home Page: An Introduction to Web Page Design (First Book) by Christopher Lampton
The Internet for Kids (True Books: Computers) by Charnan Kazunas
Hello World! Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners

To download Computer Systems: Gateways To Cyberspace and more advanced books in the "Professor and Pat" series, go to https://mathrider. dev.java. net/alm-process/ 2-ebooks/ Programming% 20newbies% 20series/

For learning to use the computer see:
http://www.ctdlc. org/remediation/
http://www.bcot1. com/
http://spclc. themlc.org/ curriculum. html
http://tech. tln.lib.mi. us/tutor/ welcome.htm
http://www.umuc. edu/distance/ odell/ctla/ basic_skills/ basic_skills. shtml
http://www.ehow. com/topic_ 733_basic- computer- skills.html
http://www.webjunct ion.org/220

for videos:
http://www.ehow. com/videos- on_5682_learn- basic-computer- skills.html

I started going through these resources and found them to be SO helpful. I just had to share them with everyone. :)

I also found through the Pass Program some lessons regarding technology and may use some of this to practice research and such on the internet with him~ the actual lesson are in unit 1 found here.

A few more resources to check out:


A computer unit study: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=188830605X/holyfamilyhomescA/

Computer Concepts: http://lessonplans.btskinner.com/computercon.html

Computer Training: http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computer/

Beginners Tutorials: http://www.homeandlearn.co.uk/

We plan to dive into these this Spring and try a few things out over the summer with building out some blogs and websites together, computers can be fun and helpful while still keeping our children safe and happy. :)

** a special thank you to Velma for helping me along in finding these great resources**

Happy Technology Learning! :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Learning about Big Cats~ a bit of child led learning~

My boys love Animal Planet Channel. We have it on very often and both boys love learning about animals of all kinds ~ we happened upon a show I wanted to share with everyone. It is my youngest favorite show and has become a favorite of mine as well. We usually sit together and watch the show because it is so unique and interesting.

I had never been completely interested in "cats" until this show~ and now we are hooked. :)

A wonderful show that takes you through daily routines of prides and cats and how they are all so very different. We have learned so much from this show and my youngest loves this kind of learning SO much. Never could we have learned and experienced these things from reading a text - we just love it. As we watch we begin to build a connection with the animals, Bella, Simba,(King of the Marsh pride) Queenie, the Marsh Pride, (the biggest pride of animals in refuge) Shadow and Keekay ~ etc... we begin routing for them and their survival.... and begin a true appreciation for them and their survival~

Big Cat Diary~ a link for more information about the program.
A Cheetah Lapbook - by Homeschool Share- ( one of my son's favorites is the Cheetah)
Animal and Pet Blogs~ there is much to learn from these blogs as well

Be sure to check out these and other wonderful shows to aide in your home teaching~ :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Science Learning - Human Body and Scientific Method

Our science learning has really ramped up lately due to my most recent surgery and lots and lots of questions so it is kind of convenient that one of our newly acquired science programs would begin with the Human Body~ more specifically with The Nervous System.

I found some great resources for studying the Human Body and wanted to share them with all of you ~

We are working right now with Abeka Science (which my son picked out personally and was very excited to use). We only use this as a guide and I tend to begin with the chapter work through it and then we tend to augment and add to things as we go along with notebooking pages, lapbook folds, posters to make, projects to do, videos to watch etc.... so far our youngest loves Abeka and is very pleased with his choice he made.

So, onto the resources I wanted to share:

Human Body Lapbook Lens by Jimmie~ this is a great resource with lots of information for teaching about the human body. Information on notebooking, lapbooking, reading recommendations etc...

We are going to be using a book I found that creates a paper model of the human body. The book is called The Body Book and is by Scholastic. ( see above for picture)

I also plan to use the free printables on the Science with Me site also which I find excellent for a visual learner.

Our older son also just started a "new" program for his home learning by Oak Meadow and is studying the Scientific Method. Here are some resources for this concept~

Scientific Method Printables~ this link resource is a Squidoo Lens by Jimmie~ it contains much information about notebooking and things that pertain to the area of science. Scroll down to the Scientific Method printables~ if your looking for a lapbook for chemistry and physics you can find it here too~ :)

The boys are having lots of fun with their new programs and having the flexibility to change things up as we like or twist and add things makes science learning even more fun for all of us.

Happy Science Learning~

Friday, January 15, 2010

Home Sweet Home ~ Learners who teach themselves

It has been a while since I have posted. I hope everyones holidays was filled with special memories and lots of fun.
We had a wonderful Christmas, busy but it was very nice~ after the holidays we went back to our studies for about a week and I started to not feel very well.
Early last week I had to be rushed to the Emergency Room and underwent emergency abdominal surgery.
I just came home yesterday evening and am SO glad to be home in the comforts of our own home can make us heal much faster.
I will not be up and around much or out and about for the next 4-6 weeks so there will be lots of time to catch up on things I have missed with the boys.

While I was in the hospital the boys had taken over the chores and their daily studies, carefully following their weekly checklists and it went very well. We were very proud of them. Often they would help eachother and oldest brother (home from college for winter break) took it upon himself to give some LA classes as well :)

Here in New Hampshire we also had some very important Legislation that was upcoming and I was very frustrated I could not attend to~ Below is a very inspiring You Tube clip that had been posted on our local homeschooling group~ I really enjoyed watching it and hearing the supporters. I thought I would share it.

Over the next few weeks while recuperating I am hoping (if I feel well enough) to post/share about our daily lessons and things we are going to be doing. I am hopeful this will inspire others who may have chronic illness or find themselves in situation you may not be able be continually with your learners for particular reasons)

I want to thank everyone who has written me for your thoughts and your prayers - they have really helped me get through a very tough time and I will be forever grateful for your support.

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