Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Homeschool math

As most of you know, I am homeschooling Robin and Elsa in 3rd grade and Kindergarten. We had a great start with the online homeschool curriculum provided by K12 and the Arizona Virtual Acadamy. Well, the last couple of weeks have been tough for all of us and I finally realized that I was pushing myself and them at a very academic pace that isn't suited to our highly creative personalities. School wasn't fun for any of us and that is definitely not what homeschooling is about!! So, I stepped back and regrouped, did a bunch of reading and drawing back upon my roots, and decided that I can add an imaginative "Waldorf" flair even to such a highly academic curriculum. I have to say, today is going much better! We are all having fun and much more relaxed, and the intellectual results are amazing! For example, Robin was at a little bit of a sticking point with subtraction with regrouping. Not real bad, but I knew I would need to work through it. So today we took the chalkboards and went outside and sat in the grass, I introduced both sweeties to the "Math Gnome Family". Papa King Plus (loves to add to his treasure), Mama Queen Minus (subtracts from papa's treasure to give to those in need) Sister Princes Times (quickly and cheerily multiplies papas treasure) and the twin dividing Princes (divide the treasure equally amongst the family members). It was so fun, and both kids took part in our little excercise.
Here is a picture of the result:

Now it was time to get to the serious business of teaching Robin regrouping. First to keep Elsa busy! We talked about the shapes of 1 and 2 and drew them big on the sidewalk and "walked" them, then traced them in the air. (She has been having a little trouble forming 2 so this was really good for her) Then I set her to work with her little chalkboard to write and illustrate 1 and 2.
Here are her results, she took the photos herself!

Finally it was time for regrouping. I found a great way to teach subtraction from the front end where you start on the left side and proceed to the right, looking ahead and giving to the next column if needed. I explained this to Robin using the King and Queen characters and he caught on with no problem!!
Here he is in deep thought:

And here is his final problem after several practices. He totally understands the concept and we actually blew through FIVE of the k12 lessons in one!! We came in and he took the K12 assesment while I fixed his lunch and he did great!! Yay!!

This problem is 910 - 179. You can see the extra ones where he "gave" them to the next column.
Now it's time to get back to school!


SylviaBielefeldt said...

I'm astonished at the process and progress. Wow! So much creativity!(and what cute kids)Love, Mom

Hanne said...

WOW! I love it!

Tammy said...

Those math gnomes are busy little gnomes! They are helping my youngest with her math, too. :)