This is our 5th week of homeschooling! I can’t believe it. We’ve learned so much, had so much fun, strengthened our mother-daughter bonds and I’ve had one tiny break-down. I’d call that a success. We’re following Susan Wise Bauer’s book “The Well-Trained Mind” which is a classical method for homeschooling. Our curriculum is centered around history and literature, which both happen to be my favorite subjects. Take last week for example: we’re studying ancient Egypt and learned all about Cheops and the great pyramid at Giza. We also studied Joseph and how he was sold into slavery in Egypt. These studies lend themselves to cool and exciting projects. We made pyramids and a coat of many colors which we all thoroughly enjoyed.
We decided to make the ‘coats-of-many-colors’ doll size, so that our American girl dolls could wear them….
Anything painting or crafty goes over so well….my girls love art and are both talented with their hands…..
Their dolls, Kit and Emily, even made guest appearances at school while we made the ‘coats’. They sat in their own little desks and did their own little spelling sheets. They were quite well behaved except for the fact that Emily (the doll) kept falling out of her seat! We had to spread her legs really wide to keep her from falling. We all though it hysterical! Then there’s the latin, grammar, writing, spanish, spelling, art, music, memory work……all of which I love…to learn about and teach. I hope my enthusiasm is contagious. It seems to be. Then there’s math…….
So, why is it that I can’t manage to make math exciting enough for them to get those blasted math facts in their heads? It has to be the most frustrating half hour of the day for me. I seems to always pray that someone will visit or the fire alarm will go off or something during math. I sometimes use that time to switch out the laundry or water the plants. I just don’t like math and I don’t know how to make it fun. I’ve tried the manipulatives but we end up making some fun art project out of those usually.
Secretly, inside my head, I am frustrated, feeling like the worst mother ever to embark on the monstrous task of teaching her own children, and yelling at the top of my lungs (all to myself remember) WHY CAN’T YOU JUST REMEMBER THAT NINE PLUS EIGHT EQUALS SEVENTEEN? WHY? JUST MEMORIZE IT. OKAY. AND DON’T ASK ME TO ANOTHER ART PROJECT UNTIL YOU’VE GOT. GOT IT? Hence, my tiny breakdown. All to myself. So, how do I handle tiny breakdowns? I bake chocolate chip cookies and eat them warm….with milk. And I solicit the help of two darling little girls who are creative and love to bake and paint and craft and memorize……and who may never be mathmeticians. God help us when we get to multiplication.
So, we measure (that’s sorta like math)
and scoop…..and voila….
then we bake and enjoy. This recipe happens to be Kimmie’s and I’m gonna go out on a limb and say I’ve made it a good 150 times in the last few years. It’s the best recipe ever. Ever. For chocolate chip cookies. Ever, I tell you. You must try it.
“So, if mom ate nine chocolate chip cookies and Elea ate four and Emme ate four, then how many did they eat total?” See how I make math fun? At least they’ll be able to do the word problems where cookies are involved.
Gosh your two girls are so cute. I love the SHOUTING part too, I feel for you. For math (Saxon) I bought DIVE Into Math which is an interactive video lecture. Neither Jaxon or I love math so we’re hoping this will do the trick if we run into a problem. I think it will be very good for him. He can also email the teacher with questions, rewind and all that helpful stuff. Thanks for the tag, I’m working on it. Oh yeah, we just made a pyramid model last night that we will finish up today. We had started on vol 3 with Story of the World but we all voted and everyone really wanted to start at the beginning so we are also studying Ancient Egypt. Have a good one.
Denise C says
Gosh Edie,I am loving those colorful coats….and the American Girl dolls who “came for a visit”…oh, and the YUMMY, WARM, SUGARY…chocolate chip cookies!!!! Ummm…Yummo!! Chelsi wants to enroll in your homeschool! hee-hee!
As for math..we have used Abeka…(it is OK..but lots of work and boring)….Saxon (last year… with the DIVE CDrom like Jessica mentioned. We liked it very well)…but this year I bought “Teaching Textbooks”…and Chelsi absolute loves it!!!! It comes with CD-Rom(s) as well….and is a bit more interactive (and fun) than DIVE.
Thanks for you sweet email….and yes…we will most definitely “do lunch” when you are in my “neck of the woods”!!
Have a blessed day….am I smelling cookies in your future??? *wink*!
Self Confessed Lamp Tramp says
What fun, makes me want to attend your school. I’ll try that yummy math cookie!
Baking is all math and science. Alton Brown ‘s show GOOD EATS used to be our science class sometimes when I was homeschooling Brielle (2nd grade). 😉 BTW That recipe sounds YUMMY!
Another day of a hard working mom who does a great job 😀
what a fun day! Learning can be fun.. And here is the proof!
Great blog! Thanks so much for including the recipe!!! I can’t wait to make it…I think i will start in a few minutes!:) The CC cake is adorable!!
Buzzings of a Queen Bee! says
I am not sure what to say about math…it was my least favorite subject too. I used to teach 8th grade (history) and I’ve rubbed shoulders with math teachers enough to know that some people just “get it” better than others, and those people should teach math because they can make it fun. I wish you could find one of those people to learn from! But I am no help, sorry! I love the chocolate chip cookies idea though!
Sandy Toes says
What fun! You are such a great mommy. Your kids are making such great memories!!! What a yummy chocolate chip recipe!
Love the picture of you yelling!
p.s. I love their dolls sitting and watching!
Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! says
Looks like you make learning lots of fun!
I love the cross country runner on the cake…too cute!
The recipe looks good….I could eat some chocolate chip cookies right now!
Have a good night!
Blessings on your homeschool adventure! We all feel like failures sometimes.
We struggled (tears included) with math for a couple of years. Then I switched to RightStart. (Math U See is similar, I think.) It uses lots of manipulatives and games. Here is another resource I found online: http://letsplaymath.wordpress.com/2006/12/29/the-game-that-is-worth-1000-worksheets/
I think doing math in the kitchen is a great idea, too! It definitely counts. 🙂
Peace to you,
Edie I have got to ask, where did you find that table and chairs for your schoolroom? I have looked on IKEA…it looks very IKEA’ish…no luck…so seeing it again here I am forced to ask. 🙂 Redoing our school room over the course of this summer..would love a table like this.
So, you are into so many other things, and wondering where math comes in?
“If country A send 90,000 soldiers to fight in a war, and country B sends 80,000 soldiers, how many soldiers is that altogether?”
I’m sure you can think of others.
Renee Gremillion says
Not sure how old your girls are, but Maria Montessori developed an excellent series of math materials specifically for memorizing the math facts (for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division!) – I know that in the 3-6 year old classroom I used to assist the children LOVED progressing through the various activities (that move forward with just enough added difficulty with each step). Wow, and I just realized that this post is from 2008… your kids are probably quite proficient with the math facts by now… 2011. I’m looking forward to some cookies!
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