Monday, January 16, 2012

Math and my love for Mary Pope Osborne

The subject of Math and Mary Pope Osborne really don't have anything to do with each other, but that's this week's title none-the-less.

Okay, so math....math has been going really well.  There hasn't been any struggle or frustration with it, we just do it everyday, and that's just how it is.  Maxwell's personality might be in this happy equation.  I think I might be spoiled with my first pupil.

Rightstart mathematics has been really good.  We do each lesson twice to really sink the concepts in.  Rightstart is great because it teaches mostly reasoning skills, geometry, and how concepts work.  Basically, it teaches you how to THINK like a mathematician. Maxwell's liked all their interactive lessons.

But, there's no worksheets.  That's where Saxon math comes in.  I believe in drilling.  In music, you can know where the notes are, you can know rhythm, but unless you actually PLAY the song MANY times, even hundreds of times, you don't master the song.  It's the same with math.  You can know the concepts, you can understand the principles, but unless you drill the numbers and write out 2+2=4 a hundred times, it's not second nature, and the basics of math need to become second nature.  I don't do ALL the busy work that Saxon offers, because it's just too much, but we try to do something like the following each day:

Isn't he getting good?  It's SO NICE that he is at the point of doing these type of worksheets (worksheets that you can do without reading instructions) so I can give it to him and leave to do Hyrum's learning or clean.  My eventual goal is to have my children basically teach themselves math once they can read good enough.

The combining of these two math curriculums has been pretty smooth. I did have had to jump ahead in the rightstart theories so that Maxwell would understand how to add 6+6, 7+7, 8+8, and 9+9. For example:

I had him enter two 7s onto the abacus for 7+7:

I showed him how the two groups of five made ten (Rightstart really pounds it in that 5 and 5 is ten.) and  then there are 2 and 2 left which equals four.  So, one-ten four....or 14 (Rightstart kind of discourages saying "fourteen" at this stage since it doesn't make any sense mathematically)...well, Maxwell gets it, and that's what counts.

Okay, now moving on to "my love for Mary Pop Osborne."  I LOVE her books!  Fiction and non-fiction. I have been reluctant to read them to Maxwell, because I've wanted him to discover them when he could read them himself, but I figure, there are SO many books that if I only read the ones that pertain to the history we are learning at the time, that there will be plenty left over for him to discover for himself.

And this week we are studying the olympics.  There's something wonderful about snuggling up on my bed with my boys and reading and reading and reading.  The two younger ones end up wresting and running off, but Maxwell and I are carried away into the land of literature.  It's so cute how he hides under the covers when the stories get too intense or if it gets too romantic.

By the way, out of all of the Greek myth books we've read (and I've looked through a lot this month) I think probably the best one was "Usborne Greek myths for young children."

To celebrate the olympics we also had a miniature olympics of our own.  It included races and dart throwing.  The jump roping didn't work out very well though...

For science we learned about the water cycle.  We made our own miniature water cycle by putting water in a small jar and taping it to another jar and warming it up enough that it steamed up to the top and rained down again.

We also reviewed how gases expand and how heat rises at part of the water cycle and blew up a balloon with just the air in a bottle being warmed up.

For preschool we learned that "I" says ihh ihh ihh icky and ate pudding without utensils.  This was supposed to get my boys "icky" but they were amazingly clean.  I emphasized to Hyrum that we needed to get icky, so he purposely put some on his nose to fulfil my plans....he's pretty cute.

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