Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sharing the Wealth - Book Giveaway

I have a few books to share. This is the first in a series of giveaways. Stay tuned to catch the rest.

The girls and I most enjoy learning through exploration of the world around us. We've hiked every legal kid-friendly trail in two counties (and written books about them), traveled 18 western states including one of our favorite Hawaiian islands, and popped in and out of Canada. We make the most of our forests, tide pools and beaches. We do math on the road, in town, wherever we can find it. Writing's a piece of cake with maintenance of our own personal travel journals, letters to family and friends, and creative writing both at home and on the road.

Still, I am a product of public school and do feel the pressure from the mainstream folks to be sure the girls are up to speed with their peers. Life can change in a heartbeat, and our situation is as tenuous as the next family's. Should the girls head for mass schooling, I'd like them to be prepared to answer their grade-level question. So, we occasionally resort to workbooks for core subjects.

A few years ago, I tried A Beka Math for E.  She absolutely hated it. It wasn't as visually appealing then as the sales piece shows now, and for young kids, that's important. She's not big on repetition, and while math may best be learned through repeated practice, she was having none of it. I could hardly blame her.We found Reader Rabbit Workbooks fantastic, but of course is no longer being printed (so grab 'em when you see 'em), and Math Made Easy, which was also repetitive but not ad nauseum.

This year, we're working on our own math curriculum using the state standards and developing our own problems. (Yesterday, the girls figured the perimeter and area of our yard before Mr. B asked them the volume of our trampoline enclosure - back out to the yard they ran.) Most of our workbooks are gone.

On the language arts side, both girls enjoyed Harcourt Family Learning's "Writing Skills" and "Language Arts"
grade level series. I like their simplicity, and their opportunity to individualize ("write your own story..." using the lessons of the chapter).

Somehow, we ended up with an extra copy of Harcourt Family Learning Writing Skills - Grade 2, so I'm giving away this workbook to a random reader of this blog. To enter, write a note below about how you teach math to your home-educated kids. I'll use to pick the winner on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010 at 8 p.m.

Good luck!


  1. Not sure I totally count, since My kids bot attend private school, however we do A LOT of in home education as well. Aiden LOVES math. and he also LOVES helping me coupon shop. To learn a little subtraction, I have him calculate the prices of items with whole $ coupons... Like mayo is 3.50 - 1.00 coupon = 2.50.... we have not yet jumped into portions of dollars because he is just 5, but somehow I feel that coming fast. Addie who is three...loves to MATCH the coupons to the items and then count to make sure we have the right number of q's to items...even 3 year olds love math!

  2. I am always so delighted to read about your family's homeschooling journey.

  3. Well, being that we are new to homeschooling we do use ALOT of books and internet based worksheets and programs. However, I am starting to get my feet under me and am finding some FUN ways of teaching math now. When we are on trips I have the kids take the numbers off of license plates and add, multiply, subtract, and divide them. It is tricky so we have to be fast at writing them down, but it can be done. For our 5 yr old, we just have her add 2 or 3 of the numbers together.

    OR we will have the kids take a map and add the miles to find the distance from one city to the next like if we are going from SM to SB. Or have them tell us going by train and how fast the train goes how long it will take us to get there. The older kids are having fun doing this now. At first they were not so excited, but they like taking the road trips. We got these ideas from the carschooling books.

    We also use the same concept for cleaning. That is that we have them time how long it will take us to clean the house if we take ____ mins per room. This makes them have MORE fun cleaning and it does not seem to take them SOOO long!

    One final -- well just final way that I am writing about -- is that I have now started each child a bank acct. And I also take them to the store and have them help plan all the menus and shop for what we need. This helps them see what things cost. It also helps them estimate the price and then allows them to see how much they go over when we do not stick to the list.

    Next month we are starting a rent system. During school the kids will have a lap desk or table. They will be alloted so much money per month. They will have to pay rent on their desk. IF they can pay rent, eat, get clothes, and everything that they want they can continue to use their desk or table ... otherwise they will be laying on the floor to do school work until they get another "paycheck" ... lol .. this should be fun. I am still trying to work out the concept. I have taught a lesson on choices and money so it is a good transition :> Now time to do it ... I will keep you posted.

  4. I teach math to my "2nd grader" with GameWright games like Ka-ching, Sleeping Queens and Rat-a-Tat-Cat. That makes it fun. He also learns a lot from Time4Learning. He went from adding single digits to adding three digit numbers with carrying in half an hour!

    Writing has been really difficult for him due to some very bad experiences in public school so we'd sure appreciate the help of your book.

    dspringer squiggley-symbol


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