Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Math Bits, Buying Books, and the River Out Back

We've had a pretty worksheet-free couple of months. We were ahead in all our worksheet packets, so we took a little break from them (which was very nice). But now we're going to get back on them for a while, to make sure we have the packets finished and all our bases covered.

So, lately, our days are kind of like this...

Quick 10-minute math review
(about 30 problems like these) with Dads Worksheets

(4 worksheets in about 30 min) 

 New math concept with this resource.
(anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes) 
I'm still not really even sure if this resource is for 4th grade, some of it seems more middle school. But we like how straightforward and easy to follow it is. We leave some of the problems from each new concept for a review at the end of the chapter.

History -
Reading about Egypt (30 min approx)
He reads 2 pages from this DK Eyewitness Ancient Egypt book, 
and then I ask him questions about the pictures.

What was this thing for?
How was that thing used?

Now, let me sidetrack on the subject of this 
fancy (as in, purchased new) book for a bit...

If you've come here a few times,
you know I'm BIG on FREE stuff.

I'm a Freebie Hunter.

I pride myself on home educating with hardly any expenses.
I brag about how I never spend,
and turn my nose up to those expensive 
pre-packaged homeschools...

but when I started looking on Amazon...
all those lovely books...
(and a relative who was offering to bring them)
I couldn't help myself...

We ordered a bunch of them.

 They're nice. We're using them.

But I don't think I'll make purchases like that again. What I (the barely high school graduate) put together for our History classes was way better - just with the free stuff I found on the internet (documentaries, articles, history papers...). The books weren't really necessary, even though I somehow thought I was upgrading Lu's education by getting them. (duh)

Nevertheless, Lu likes them and the pictures are great. 
So I don't regret getting them. But I've learned my lesson.

Okay... back to our day.
More math...
MEP keeps us on our toes, thinking outside the box, and using our math skills in nifty ways.  Lu is pretty much doing these on his own now. One worksheet takes him about 20 minutes. (we use the Spanish version)

Science -
We continue learning about biomes/ecosystems,
now with this great Animal Hide & Seek book.
This was not part of the Amazon purchase. This was given to Lu when he was about 3 years old. Just something we had on the bookshelf. Have you looked through the books on your bookshelf lately? You just might find some old forgotten book that is perfect for what you happen to be doing right now. I'm always surprised by what I find on ours.

 So, as you can see, basically, it's:
 read, math, read, math, read, math....
And it's what works for us right now. 

Because we're using a few different math resources, it works better for us to break math up into little bits throughout the morning, than to try to sit down to one full hour of it.

All of this was done by about 9:40am.
(we started at 7am)
Then Lu worked a while on some earrings.
(he makes and sells them)

And then we went out back,
to our lovely little river that has just come back
with the recent heavy rains.

The river bed is dry most of the year, 
so we're always very happy when it returns.

It was late this year.

 (a rare glimpse of the mama)

We waded, and threw rocks, and got some sun,
and played with shadows.

The last few months have taught me this most of all:

Not having such a tight schedule let's us take advantage of sunny days - to go outside, take walks, swim, explore, kayak, or just hang out in the yard. And these are all very good things. These are the things we will remember most.


  1. I'm such a resource and material addict right now. I tell myself that it's just because I'm still relatively new to all this . . . but I'm secretly harboring the fear that I'm a full out curriculum junkie! Kudos to you for not caving on impulse purchases!

    Love the photo of you peeking through the leaves with your son in the background. Great shot!

  2. It sounds just wonderful!

    We used to avoid worksheets entirely, but as my kids have gotten older, I find that they need a bit of "paperwork" to really make the concepts stick.

    I know what you mean about finding treasures on your bookshelves! Every so often I try to cull books and it's amazing what I find! And it's great when my kids get excited over a book they haven't seen in a while.

    Ooooh, I bet that water was a bit chilly! Looks like fun!