Last year I made a change in our homeschool.
LittleMan wasn’t thriving anymore and he needed the freedom and power that comes with leading his own education. So I stopped planning his lessons and I stopped telling him what he needed to learn. Instead I worked with him to develop an unschool approach that would ensure he and I were both satisfied with his education.
With each small change we made, we instantly felt happier and more excited about homeschooling.
Soon friends started noticing the changes in our attitudes and our learning styles.
We were asked, “How did you do it? How did you make the switch to unschooling?”
So I thought back over the past year and all the little changes we made, and I consolidated all my methods into one 30 day workshop. (more…)
LittleMan has been flying through the math work this year; mastered double digit addition and subtraction, addition and subtraction of negative numbers, started addition and subtraction of fractions, and even memorized a large portion of the multiplication tables. Try as I might to slow him down and have him practice what he’s learned, LittleMan gets bored of reviewing the basics after he feels he grasps them well enough to move on.
Now I’m not usually a fan of worksheet math, preferring to give more hands-on “real world” opportunities to practice what he’s learned. That said, I found that it saved a lot of time and headaches to hand LittleMan some basic worksheets that highlight the patterns in the math facts he’s learned already.
Each worksheet focuses on one number (0-12) and includes basic addition, subtraction, negative numbers, and multiplication. I wouldn’t advise these worksheets for a child who is still learning these skills, but as a review tool, they are quick and convenient.
If you haven’t already, go check out our tutorial on how to build a Viking Longboat out of plastic bottles. The following are the finished product pictures and LittleMan’s dreams come to fruition as we sailed around a local lake, aptly named Lake Valhalla.
LittleMan has inherited his mother’s knack for dreaming up big projects and, while we’re not always keen to jump on board with his time consuming and expensive ideas, we do try to support him when possible.
This plastic bottle Viking longboat was one such idea that we could get behind. (more…)
For those not in the know, Odd Squad is a fairly new tv show on PBS. The premise of the show is simple enough: an organization run by children which investigates odd occurrences. I didn’t expect it to be very good based on the previews but when I sat down and watched it with LittleMan, I was floored by awesomeness.
The show is essentially a sci-fi for children which also talks about basic math concepts. Very geeky, very cool. Bonus: the main character is a strong, intelligent girl yet the show isn’t inherently “girly.” The characters are divided pretty evenly between boys and girls, with both genders having a silly character as well as several examples of brilliant characters. The online games for the show are a based off specific episodes and are a great way for children to practice the math concepts they learn about from watching the show.
I recently sat down and played each of the four Odd Squad games available to play for free on pbs.org. Below you can find my detailed reviews of each of these games including math concepts covered and age recommendations.