Monthly Archives: September 2011

Memorizing Math

We’re working on basic addition and subtraction facts, and it’s just a bit frustrating. I am taking a week or more (as needed) off from our regular curriculum just to get these down with a bit more speed, accuracy and confidence. Here’s at least a partial list of strategies/games I’ve collected from various sources. Some of them we’ve tried, and others I haven’t had a chance to do yet.  Thanks to my friends at the homeschooling board for many of these ideas.
Dice- regular and/or 10-sided: simply roll them and add ’em up. Play with a friend and whoever has the highest sum wins.
Uno cards- Pull out all non-number cards. Draw 5 or so cards, flip one over from the deck. From the cards in your hand try to match, find a sum or a difference. If none draw a card (can either draw one, or til you can play- house rules). Whoever clears their hand first wins. Each time flip the new answer from the deck.
War- one regular set of cards per person, pull out J,Q,K’s. Each person flips over 2 cards at a time and adds (or subtracts) them. Player with higher answer wins all the cards on the table. Play thru deck at least once, player with most or all (depending on how long you want to play) cards wins.
13 Pyramid. Lay out cards in a pyramid, on at top, 2 below it, etc til whole deck is laid out. As you lay out cards going down overlap corners of ones above. Choose an answer and try to clear the deck by making pairs that add up to that answer. Traditionally done with 13s using J,Q,K. Can choose any number and use only A-10 if you like.
Shut the box game- played with either the real game box, or a number line, and 2 dice. Roll dice and use either addition or subtraction to try and be the first to cross off each number (1-12 if using 6-sided die).  is a very simple site that asks one equation at a time. Also has a how-to video which Brooklyn seemed to think made it fun. Offers subtraction as well.
This is just kind of cool. Fill in the numbers to get to the top and unlock the pyramid.
Cuisenaire rod trains- Choose a rod and see how many trains of equal length you can make. Randomly draw 2 rods from a grab bag and find the sum.

Juice on the wall- to the tune of 100 bottles of beer on the wall 🙂  10 bottles of juice on the wall, take 3 down and pass them around 7 bottles of juice on the wall.  Pick whatever numbers work for you.  Count down, then add up if you like.  Go to the store and buy 3 more for example.  This one I know I got from a carschooling site.

What other ideas do you have for me?

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That’s how much of a year we’ve completed if you figure we only do the minimum of 180 days. And already thinking about next year. Or maybe next semester. Who knows? lol
So what have we been doing so far? I’ve learned tons about Mesopotamia- a place I’d never even heard of before. We’ve made cave paintings, a pyramid, cuniform clay tablets and garlic dinner rolls following an ancient recipe. Spelling is another subject I’m learning right along with Brooklyn in. You can count syllables by putting your hand under your jaw. C says /s/ following e, i or y. “O” makes 4 different sounds.
Science is kind of boring me with just reading, reading, reading about different animals. Trying to find a way to spice that up. I am considering switching to unit studies for that, but it seems they are all pretty light on the history and you have to keep math and LA programs, so it’s really just switching science curriculum’s. Do I even want to keep going with SOTW and obscure history? I mean it’s kinda cool at first, but again tons and tons of reading. And I feel like I’m lacking by not doing local or US history. How do you do all of it? Feeling kind of lost again.

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