Homeschooling: Kindergarten Math

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Today was a big math day for us.  I love math days.  Math is awesome.  I want my kids to love math too, so I try to make it fun.  When I am choosing a curriculum, unit, worksheet, or activity, regardless of the subject matter, I try to make sure it’s going to be fun.  Sometimes, when I pick up a curriculum book or see a worksheet online, I feel like I would be bored to tears if I had to do it.  I’m not going to torture myself by trying to make my kids drudge through something boring and monotonous.

We did a lot of math today, and NONE of it felt boring or monotonous.  We even did two worksheets.  Some of you need to change your attitude about math – at least around your kids.  If you show interest and enjoyment in what your kiddo is learning, chances are they will show interest and enjoyment as well.  This is going to vary some, especially as kids get older, but I definitely see that my kids take their attitude cues from me.  On the other side, if you talk about how much you hate something, your kids are generally going to hate it too.  If you tell them math is boring and hard and terrible, they will believe you.  So stop it!  Learning about numbers is FUN.  We are skip counting, adding, learning about money, and even solving story problems.  STOP right there with those mental eye rolls – story problems are awesome!  “Jan needs 10 dollars.  She has 5 dollars.  How many more dollars does Jan need?”  The answer is not that Jan needs to get a credit card.  Maybe this is why so many people are bad with money.  Somebody needed to tell them in Kindergarten that math and numbers and story problems are awesome.  I’m not here to have an argument about algebra or calculus with you (although, I love them too).  But I do wish more parents fostered a love for numbers in their small children, rather than training them, by example, that math is just a dumb chore.

I get that some of you just don’t love math.  For me, it’s history.  I never enjoyed history in school.  But rather than avoid it and have a bad attitude, I’m so excited to learn alongside my kids.  I’m trying even harder in this subject area to make it come alive, because the traditional way of doing things just did NOT work for me.  This is one of the BEST things about homeschooling!  I can change it up and do what works best for US!

Math is probably the subject we change things up in the most.  I love that I am able to see my daughter’s strengths and weaknesses so quickly and change the plans as needed.  We can advance in certain areas beyond her “grade level,” and go back in other areas to pick up something she has missed.  Today’s math lessons are a great example of this, so I wanted to share with you an example of what we use and how we adjust.

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Our main math curriculum is called Math U See.  I started her in the Alpha level in the spring, and after a few lessons, realized we needed to go back and start with Primer instead.  We skipped at least 10 lessons and then got going.  It is BEAUTIFUL to be able to tailor your child’s schooling to what THEY need.  I did my research before picking our math curriculum, and I hated the more traditional school books.  I am very impressed by the simplicity and reasoning behind Math U See, and I believe it is challenging, yet still fun and flexible.  It comes with a teaching DVD so that another teacher is teaching your kids the lesson, which takes a lot of pressure off as well.  Sometimes your kids (and you) just need someone else to explain it.  As of now, we have covered (and enjoyed) subjects such as place value, skip counting, certain addition facts, and solving for an unknown.  (Excuse me while my heart skips a beat…solving for an unknown in Kindergarten…I love it!)

This week, we have added in some other math items to supplement, though.  Through going over our daily calendar time (this particular day it was in the car), I realized Tenley was struggling with the teen numbers.  She will often transpose the numbers (calling 13, 31).  To be fair, that set of numbers is weird.  We should pronounce them “ten-three, ten-four, etc,” but we don’t.  Since she’s not retaining it with me just explaining it (over, and over, and over….), enter Pinterest.  I found these awesome number reinforcement worksheets, and since she can read, they are perfect.  Plus, we’re getting in some handwriting at the same time, which she can be hesitant to do.  Sneaky learning is the best.  I printed off 11-19 and we will do one each school day.

I also found some awesome resources for learning about money.  We have talked about this a little bit on our own, and she knows what money is.  She knows that you earn money by working for it, and we have taught her to break up her money into 3 categories: save, give, and spend.  But it is obvious she doesn’t understand the values of each piece clearly.  I understand this will be a process, but we are starting now!

While she was working on the money puzzles, she grabbed her Money Mini Book as a reference.  (Great way to problem solve, girly!  Use the resources around you!)  I also printed, laminated, and cut out these money clip cards, for her to use with clothespins.  Pinterest can be so helpful, and I am SO thankful for these fellow homeschooling mamas who have made these resources available FREE!

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As you can see, we are kind of all over the board here.  We have gone backwards to pick up some skills she maybe “should have” known already.  We have moved forward into some advanced skills.  And we have grabbed some practical items to learn about on the fly as well.  I absolutely love having the ability to control what she is learning, depending on what she needs.  I also love having the ability to go with the flow and not plan so much.  We have a loose plan, but we are able to be flexible, and adjust based on needs and desires.  I still have a lot to learn, but I am so thankful God has us on this journey for this season.  It has already been more of a blessing than I ever had imagined.

How did YOU feel about math in school?

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Who is the Modified Mommy? …And why you should be one too

Hi, I’m Angie!  I am the modified mommy, and this is my blog.  Together, you and I will explore marriage, parenting, budgets, fitness, and homemaking.  Life has taught me that things don’t always turn out the way you thought they would.  Sometimes life throws you curveballs, and you have to learn to roll with it. But through it all, the most important lesson I’ve learned is that God’s plan is better than mine.  Every day is a blessing, and I’m learning to adapt and find joy in every part of life!

Before I got married, I pictured my future life as a stay-at-home mom, completely relying on my husband’s income to support our family.  I would happily follow a color-coded cleaning schedule, joyfully prepare home-cooked meals every night, and have a steaming hot love life to boot.  I was going to submit to my husband’s authority without question, lead a couple’s Bible Study with my leadership-gifted hubby, and DIY the heck out of every part of my life.  I told myself I would read lots of books, wake up early every day, and produce obedient, genius children who would never dream of throwing a fit at the grocery store.  *I’ll pause here so you can get a good laugh in.*

Boy, has my life been flipped upside down.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’ve learned that it’s okay not to fit into some stereotypical mold.  It’s freeing when you stop trying to be somebody else.  And I’ve learned a secret that I’ll let you in on…NOBODY fits that mold.  I’m not even sure who that “somebody” was that I was trying to be.  But I have a feeling we all have tried to be a certain “somebody” at one time or another.  God has beautifully created each one of us uniquely, and the diversity is extraordinary.  It’s beautiful.  So let’s celebrate it!

Does that mean I don’t clean, cook, or work hard in my family life?  Of course not!!  But I modify.  I am learning about my unique gifts from God, and modifying my original expectations to fit my natural leanings, desires, and callings from Him.  Over and over throughout different areas of my life, I hear my fitness instructor (and friend), Jessica, in my head: “You can modify, but you can’t quit!!!!”

For example, I always dreamed of the day I would send my kids off to the private school I attended, and then felt the calling to homeschool.  WHAT?!  I don’t like crafting or routines, and I’m terrible at follow-through.  “You can modify, but you can’t quit!!!”

Or when my third child was born and surprised us all by having one normal leg & one extremely short leg with a tiny two-toed foot.  We wondered if and how he could ever walk, run, and do the physical things our other kids enjoyed so much.  He has taught us over and over, “You can modify, but you can’t quit!!!”

So, here we are.  Adjusting when we need to, but not giving up.  There is so much freedom in this, and I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned as I’ve “broken the rules” over and over again!

Need to provide budget-friendly and healthy meals for your family, but hate to cook?  …Modify; don’t quit.

Love fresh food and flowers, but have a brown thumb?  …Modify; don’t quit.

Have early-rising kids, but function better as a night owl yourself?  …Modify; don’t give up!

 

God bless you, and I appreciate you following along through this journey!  I hope you will be blessed beyond measure!

What is something YOU would like to modify in your life?

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