Thursday, January 28, 2016

I Stopped Using Maths Curriculum

I stopped using a maths curriculum. I have a collection of maths curriculums. I put them all away. Maybe we will use them in the future but for now I put them away. J still has his maths curriculum. No way am I teaching Algebra I without a book. Actually, I don't teach Algebra I, DIVE does that. I just grade the work.

On my shelf I have Math-U-See (MUS), Saxon, Horizons, and we have tried computer based programs as well. Now they are all moved off my shelf.

I have written at various times about the challenges Miss K has with maths, MUS here, MUS here, and Saxon Math here. It won't take long to read those updates that maths has been a struggle.

The reason I put them aside is that these are going a bit too fast or there just isn't enough review for her. For example after working on math facts for three years, she still does not have her math facts down. That is such a basis that it is difficult to continue without math facts.

I said and considered the goals for Miss K in regards to maths. I am not giving up on math facts but we are working it slow. At this time she has her plus zero facts and plus 1 facts. We are working on plus two, doubles and making ten.

So in order to learn these we have been working on drill and trying different ways to get the facts into her memory.

We have used various manipulative to add the kinetic aspect to our learning. Here she is using blocks to visually show the "making ten" facts.

Today we worked with our treat manipulatives to again make ten.

Miss K can count by 2's and so I have her write it out both odd and even. That gives us a guide for the plus two facts. With the numbers on her paper we go through the drill cards.

We also spend some time counting and skip counting. I have a dot-to-dot book that we have used over the past few years. I still improvement because she used to struggle with doing it and now she is almost able to do it on her own.

Money and time are practical things that we are working on. Her Christmas gifts included some maths games -- Pop to the Shops, Bus Stop, and Tell the Time.

I really like Pop to the Shops. It is a good money game with buying and selling. It helps learn some of the coins and if you have enough money to buy something.

So for now we are using various things to learn the math facts. Maybe someday we will go back to some of the maths curriculums on the shelf but for now we need to learn our facts.

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Week in Review 22 January 2016

I know it is Saturday morning. I think that tends to be the time that I have to just reflect on the week.

Our week began with a bit of snow. I love how quiet and beautiful the world is with even just a bit of snow on the ground. We only got 1-2 inches.

Here are the signs inside that there is snow outside, clothing drying on the radiator. Miss K did a bit of sledding/sledging on the road before church.

As I was finishing my quiet time on Monday, I saw this beautiful sunrise. I love the morning and the reminder of God's faithfulness.

We had a somewhat normal week of school.

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Week in Review - 15 January 2016

I know it has been quite a long time since I wrote a week in review. As we get back into school, I want to do a better job of documenting our week.

This week began with my husband traveling. He was visiting his parents and was able to stay with my parents as well. We missed him and were glad when he returned on Wednesday morning.

"Nobody bakes a cake as tasty as Tastykake." We have Tastykakes. These are two new flavours. I think my favourites used to be the chocolate with vanilla inside and the butterscotch krimpets. I put a pack in the freezer for me for February since I am on a food challenge this month.

The exciting gift was daddy with grandpa's help boxed up Miss K's doll cradle that was in storage and brought it here. It was one that grandpa had made for her and for whatever reason we put it in storage. She has asked at various times for her cradle and so she was excited to get it.

Miss K and I began a FutureLearn science. We have done this in the past so I was pleased to find another course. This week we were seeing how much water is in a potato.  Quite a lot and I am not sure my microwave will recover from that science experiment.

We moved to World War I in history. I found a timeline of major events and it worked great as we were reading to just review the events.

We did World War I in three days. That was not much time but we covered the highlights. We watched the Sainsbury's commercial which gives a bit of the Christmas Truce. It does bring to tears to my eyes.

I discovered some new history videos today. We enjoyed the World War I in 6 minutes.

Miss K wanted to make a fruit owl that she found in her Peppa Pig magazine. I am not sure it really looked like an owl but we had fun making it and enjoyed the fruit.

This afternoon the sun was shining and we went for a walk and played a bit in the woods. It was nice to be able to be outside for a bit.

That about wraps up our week.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Birthday Gift

Birthdays are important to Miss K. If you say, "July" she will quickly say, "my birthday." She begins counting down for her birthday the day after her birthday. She told someone the other day, "I am almost 12." Almost in another 6 months you will be 12. Well, not only is her birthday important but so are friends' birthdays.

She knew that her friend Ruth turned 15 today and she has been talking about it for a week or so. She wanted to buy a gift for her. I opted for making a gift.

I was sorting through my donate box and saw the yellow sun smile clip and the blue cup. I had bought some Cadbury chocolate packs at Christmas for 89p and we didn't give them all away. I pulled those out, some Hershey's kisses for weight in the bottom of the cup, some curly ribbon, and we were ready to make a gift.

Miss K helped to tape the chocolates to the bamboo skewers. Then we put them in the cup, tied some curly ribbon.

I think the Chomp was a bit shy when I was taking the photo. It kept turning to the back. Getting both the Curlywury and the Chomp facing the same direction was difficult.

Success! All the chocolates are facing the right direction.

A gift for Ruth. We gave it to her mother this morning and she was excited to get it this evening. Her comment was that, "Miss K is a legend."

Something so simple can brighten someone's day.

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Goals for 2016

I have spent a few days thinking about my goals for 2016.  I have shared my word for the year, challenge. One of goals for the year is a monthly area that I will challenge myself in. In addition to that I do have a few other goals for 2016.

1. Reading Challenge - I want to expand my reading, reading classics, varied authors and books. To help me I am going to use the Reading Challenge that Tim Challies created. My goal is at least the Light Reader. I would love to do Avid Reader but not sure.

2. Less Unfinished Projects at the end of 2016 - I had that goal last year and was successful but I still have a few unfinished projects sitting waiting to be finished. I have nine unfinished projects at the beginning of the year.

3. Hiking - We live in an area with so many walking trails. I want to try to do 6 hikes this year.

4. Outings - There are so many places here that I would like to go and visit -- Chester, Liverpool, Nottingham, and small places as well. I think 6 outings would be a good goal for this year. We get busy living and don't get out and do things.

5. There is still the goal of using my camera - that has been on the list for a few years. I don't know what the goal is except to practice and feel more comfortable.

6. Less stuff at the end of the year - I am learning to think before bringing things into the house.

Those are some of my goals for 2016.

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Life in Balance

Balance is one of those words that brings up various images. A balanced meal has different food groups. At the same time it is so easy to become unbalanced. As we ended 2015 and began looking forward to 2016, I wanted to talk a bit with my family about Life in Balance. A Life in Balance is one that uses the time we have each week to do all the things that help us to grow. A Life in Balance is not ignoring certain areas but striving to have time and energy for each area.

Luke 2:52 says, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man." This gives a framework for balance.

The categories that I came up for our family were as follows:
  • Spiritual
  • Work
  • Relational/Social
  • Physical
  • Family
  • Creative/Hobbies
  • Entertainment
  • Intellectual

We each sat with our paper and thought of things that we do in each category. How do we fill the 168 hours that we have each week. There are some that fill a few categories. It was a good exercise for each of us. We the talked about some goals that we had in those areas.

We talked a bit about our word for the year. I shared by word, challenge. Miss K said her word was Peppa Pig but in the end she said it was precious. I think some were still thinking of their word for this year. It is a goal to review these each month and see how we are doing at living life in balance.

Do you have a time as a family to reflect and set goals? What are some ways that you live life in balance?

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