One of the many concerns I had when we were still on the fence about homeschooling was how much it would cost. When I was in public school as a child I remembered there were field trips to plays, expensive science lab equipment, and of course using math manipulatives to learn basic addition and base ten concepts. It was a relief to find out that many people homeschool for a mere few hundred a year, and I’ve even read articles by women who have homeschooled on a zero-dollar budget.
Kindergarten math is one of the easiest subjects to teach with very little monetary investment. In fact I’d venture to bet that I could have taught the entire year using less than $5 worth of tools, though I do admit that I splurge from time to time on seasonal things to make it more fun.
I got the inspiration for this project from a tutorial on Instructables to make paper superheroes for math facts. The superheroes had a problem on their belly and you could pull their cape out to see the solution. The project was a bit advanced for LittleMan, so I decided to make my own version. We just happen to be doing a robot theme week so we made math fact robots.
I started the night before by making a template for our robots. I envisioned something similar to Futurama’s Bender, with a door on the abdomen that could be opened to find the solution to the problem. I also wanted them to be easy to cut since I was going to be cutting quite a few of them.
Once I had my template the way I wanted it, I traced it onto sheets of construction paper and got to cutting a large stack of them for LittleMan.
This was how I presented the activity to LittleMan.
Life is hectic right now. It is just the nature of this season to be busy and sometimes we need a lesson or activity that we can grab real quick without a lot of prep.
LittleMan is starting to understand that some coins are worth more or less than other coins. Math isn’t his favorite subject so we tend to take things slow and make them fun whenever possible. This activity was meant to be not only a simple sorting activity, but also a conversation starter about coin values in general.
We used magnets that look like coins but you could easily do this same activity with real coins.
Oh how I wish I could take credit for this awesome idea I am about to show you, but alas I cannot. I got the idea for this puzzle pumpkin activity from Blog Me Mom. (more…)
LittleMan has kind of a weird quirk with coloring books. Most children I know will look for a page they like, color it, look for another page they like, color it and when they are done there may be 5-10 pages colored and they are content to move on to a different activity leaving the rest of the pages for another day. LittleMan starts on page one then moves to page two, then page three and so on coloring in EVERY. SINGLE. PAGE. refusing to do anything else until the entire book has been finished. His reaction when offered a coloring book is almost obsessive. For this reason, we have had to limit his access to coloring books, which is something we never wanted to have to do.
On the plus side, there are many ways to make garden variety coloring books into an educational activity. Here are some of the ways we utilized a dinosaur coloring book from Dollar Tree in our homeschool classroom:
We love autumn. We especially love Halloween. Our family does more to celebrate Halloween than any other day of the year, including birthdays and even including Christmas. It is not uncommon for us to have our costumes planned in June nor is it uncommon for us to have carved a dozen pumpkins before Halloween.
That said, we bought our first pumpkin of the year on Friday. We had errands and chores on Saturday, but Sunday, our first free day, we jumped at the opportunity to have a whole day to explore our pumpkin.
Combining gross motor activities with learning is something we strive to do on a regular basis. I’ve written before about our alphabet mat which is obviously a learning activity.
There are other gross motor games that can be used for learning, such as (more…)
There are alot of educational games you can play with dominoes, even things as simple as adding and subtracting the numbers of the two sides together. Domino sets don’t have to be expensive, I’ve seen sets as cheap as $1. But there is just something fun about a homemade set of dominoes.
You can go all out making them out of wood or stone, or make a simple set from felt or paper.
We made our domino set from Sharpie markers and small LEGO plates we happen to have laying around unused:
I came across this great idea on Train Up A Child: paint by number in the shower.
The original idea was done with flowers and a ladybug, a real fun spring theme. As usual, our family decided to put our own geeky spin on it…