Periodically I get fed up with the boys and their boyish behaviour (jumping off the back of the couch, needling each other, generally being unpleasant) so I call for a rest-time. Nicholas goes to the girls' room and Jonathon goes to the boys' room, and the timer keeps track of a random length of time. Today, it's 55 minutes, because I felt like it. And because I wanted to catch up here and 20 minutes wouldn't cut it. Call me selfish, go ahead. I can take it.
This week's topic is Math. There are some fabulous books, a TIME-Life series for Children, called I Love Math. Clever title, I know. But each book has a different focus (say, the body or a zoo) and over about 60 pages it covers multiple math facts with that topic. For example, the Zoo Math book has pages on estimating a large number of flamigoes, measuring lengths of animals that are all curled by up using a string and ruler, solving a mystery that asks time questions, and a story about a mouse in a rainforest who solves math word problems to escape various creatures trying to eat him. Inside the front and back covers are board games to play that teach odd/even and addition.
Another series we're using this week is called MathSmart. They are short books that each cover a single topic in a story form. The one I have in front of me is about counting to 100 and guides kids with a number line along the top of the pages. This series is broken up into levels of difficulty but they're all for the K and under crowd.
What's nice about both series are the adult guidance portions either at the bottom of the pages or at the back of the book. They outline what the kids should be getting out of each page along with supplimental activities.
On-line, the site primarygames.com has a section of math games rated for different levels. The boys have spent a good deal of time this morning moving from one page to the next for counting, adding, completing patterns and matching shapes. If you prefer printable materials, enchantedlearning.com has a large section wth printable number lines, subtraction worksheets, sorting activities and many others. I'll probably head there when we finally get around to doing money. Just a warning, many resources there are for site members only. If you're a homeschooler, it's probably worth the minimal yearly fee to have access to everything though.
Most of what we're covering this week is reinforcement for the boys. They are familiar with the concepts but need regular daily practice with telling time, remembering left from right, using a ruler, patterns, recognizing a hexagon and all the other aspects of Math. It's fun though and they enjoy it quite a bit.