Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Family Camera: Kelsey's Self Portraits

My digital camera is docked by the family computer and the children are welcomed to it anytime, without having to ask for permission. This 'open camera' policy means that I am always happily surprised by the lively unconventional images that I find on my camera when I finally pick it up to use it.

Each child documents their play through photographs. Kelsey likes to take self portraits or mug shots. She will take about 10 pictures of herself in various poses making different faces. She is our little family photographer. But, her subject is so cute, how can she go wrong?

Oh, to be a child!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Multiplication FUN FUN FUN!

Memorize your multiplication facts by playing fun interactive games! (I think the was posted through the Texas Home Educator’s List) - Links to interactive games, free downloadable software, and ideas to help give your child added practice with multiplication! Why do the worksheet when you can play games to learn or master the same skills while having fun? - Learn Multiplication through FREE interactive Games, including Multiflyer! (remember that game that was sent out months ago?)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I would rather a child appear "behind" in Math and LOVE Math than for a child to be considered 'on track' while hating it.

I feel like such a fruit loop! I hope there are no cereal killers out there! All the cool little worksheets and activities that I was planning on doing today are just not her "thing!" I keep forgetting that she has her own natural scope and sequence and that we should follow hers and not someone else's - or the one I imagine for her. She completed the silly math worksheets that I printed out for her (up to the 12’s) in just a few minutes. She completed them just to show me how beneath her they were. Oh well, we are having some good laughs at my expense! I guess I should go back to letting her interests determine our activities and her interests guide our day – I need to be more trusting. But it is really hard! She seems to learn more and “higher level” stuff when I am able to follow her lead. Repetition insults her.

For example, my idea of school was to do some fun little work sheets that I had found on the web. She thought they were silly (actually, she's more creative than the worksheet allowed) and she decided to do some work out of her brother's 5th grade math workbook that he used years ago. By letting her do what she wanted to do, we ended up doing something that was above her 'age-level.' She loved adding and subtracting 3 and four digit numbers and asked me to create "more" each time she would work a page of problems. So, we are keeping a Math journal.

Today, August 23, 2005, I gave her several equations and she had to find the different variables (a, b, or c) to make the equation true. 2+b=7, b=? a+6=13, a=? 8+4=c, c=?

She loves adding and subtracting four and five digit numbers. This is what she wants to do for Math. I started to "stack the numbers up" by giving her about 4 four digit numbers to add. This naturally led into multiplication-division and I showed her the many different ways that you can express "division" including fractions. She believes that Math is fun, and that is my goal!

I would rather a child appear "behind" in Math and LOVE Math than for a child to be considered 'on track' while hating it.

The child who loves it, will not be “behind” for long! I was "on level" and I hate it to this day! Maybe I would have loved Math if I would have been allowed to focus on the things that I loved about it and to spend more time with Mathematical concepts, instead of just busy work.

I remember when she Kelsey learned to read; she would lock herself in her room because she didn’t want me to know that she could read. Sounds silly, but I think she had a fear of not being 'perfect,' as if she was still working on the skill and she was not ready to take it public? I caught her reading a book to her beanie babies and that’s how I found out that she could read. Back then I felt like a fruit loop too, because at this same time I was trying to teach her "a apple...." It insulted her because she already knew how to read, but she wasn't letting on to it! Has anyone else experienced this?

Who's doing the teaching?

I always start off the year with fantasies of the perfect day filled with learning and excitement. Well, I’m the one learning today! I gave Kelsey our little Fact Family Graphic Organizer Math worksheet that I mentioned a few blogs ago, and she rolled her eyes like I was stupid. She exhaled and said, “Mom, this is too easy.” I didn’t mean to insult her with the worksheet, just to live out my school-room fantasies! To me, easy is fun.

I said, “Oh, it’s just for fun, really! You just start with the answer and think of all the equations!” Then she said, “There needs to be more spaces because I can do 1+1+2 to get four.” I felt really stupid because I had never thought of that! When I read ‘fact family’ I imagined 2+2, 3+1 and 1+3….. as did the person who designed the worksheet?

She is more creative than I am. Talk about thinking outside the box! She thought of more answers than spacing allowed! I saw the directions as a “no-brainer” and she saw them for people with ‘no brains.’ She saw the directions as limiting her where I saw them as obvious. So, once again, my kids are teaching ME!

Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. -Roger Lewin

Create Your Own Worksheets! (hey, they are free!)

You could create individualized activity sheets for free! It is easy to make up little "work sheets" to go along with anything that you read with your children. This only takes a few minutes for YOU to create and only a few minutes for your CHILD to complete!

I took a few paragraphs from our Nature Reader and designed an activity sheet around them. I selected some words that could be used for Spelling, took a few informative sentences that could be used for copywork or handwriting practice, and then created a little activity to demonstrate one of the concepts that the selection taught. I combined Spelling, Handwriting, Science, Reading, and Drawing into one! Less time, less stress! You could even go to Puzzle Maker to make puzzles with the Spelling words that you have selected! Collect these activity sheets in a three ring binder if you feel you need to document what your child has learned....


“A Look at an Ant”














The body of an insect is divided into three parts. The first part is its head which contains the mouth, eyes, and feelers. The back part, or abdomen, of the body of many insects is fastened to the middle part, or thorax, by a small joint. God Created insects in this way because they need to bend, or even double up, to do some of their work.

Draw an ant to show the three parts that make up an insect:

(Reading selection from Christian Liberty Nature Reader)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Math with Graphic Organizers!

Today, for Math, I printed out the 'math facts' graphic organizer sheets from this website:

For example, the “facts that add up to 4” page: Instead of working from the ‘bottom up’ and having Kelsey review by completing the math equations, I want to have her think ‘top down’ and come up with the equations herself! This is just a twist on the standard way we did Math in school. The ‘worksheet’ actually looks really cool as it has the number four in the middle of the page surrounded by cute shapes where the equations can be added.

It allows her to be a little more creative! Instead of finding the answers, she’s going to give the questions!

Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. -Roger Lewin

Our Greek root for this week is SAUROS "lizard."












Homeschool Victoria


Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. -Roger Lewin