Monday, March 26, 2012

Homeschool Helps

I've been sharing things around the house that make our school days run smoother or that we simply use daily in our homeschool.  A couple more came to my attention this week & I couldn't help but share them.

We recently acquired a new school table. It's huge. It's awesome. It's one of those beautiful long farmhouse tables & it cost me all of $10. The top was in horrible shape so I scrubbed it, but haven't finished the top off yet as the weather hasn't been right for stripping & finishing. However, I put a piece of clear plastic table protector on the top.

The one in the photo has some crazy fold marks in it, because it was a cheap-o one from Kmart. If you buy the nicer stuff off the roll {like we're doing} you won't have creases in the protector & you can get a bit of a heavier weighted one too. The coolest part, because I could honestly care less if the top of the table got dinged up, is that you can then slip things under the clear protector. Things to view daily. Think number lines for math, world map for geography, or a prayer calendar for Mom to use while she's waiting on students. But, one of my favourite ways to use it is on Monday's Spelling Pre-Test days. I have to give two spelling tests, & despite my careful planning, they always happen at the same time. So, I write the boys words on the table cloth, I mark the jail words so I can let them know before I read it out. I put a tick next to a words as I go along, ones they might have gotten wrong, ones they might have gotten right. Depends on my mood. Clear table protectors are amazing!

Flash cards & timers are probably nothing new to most homeschooling mammas, and non homeschooling mammas for that matter, I'm sure. However, we like to combine them both together. The boys have done so well on their multiplication facts {memorization} that I decided it was time to pull out their addition & subtraction facts for the same purpose to help them speed up even more in math. First I made some triangular math cards because none of the ones online {free & sale} were what I wanted. I loved the number recognition, but I have a visual learner who was going to need those facts written out for now as well.  To keep the kids on their toes & our morning routine going quickly I set the timer for 3 minutes & we go. The goal is to obviously be able to get done with the cards & have time to spare. Right now they can't quite get through the addition/subtraction ones, but they are really close.

Just to clarify.. they don't do both addition and subtraction at the sam time. or now we're concentrating on the addition part. Once they can do those, & quickly, we'll move into the subtraction. Once they can do those & quickly I'll dump all the facts into our Joey-Joey can & we'll go back to using the daily. Someone was a little rusty on his facts & I figured the quickest way to fix that was with the flash cards.

The timer app was free & can be found in the itunes store. It's actually a fantastic app. You can create many preset timers so that when you need them you can just click start instead of having to actually set the timer. I love the different noises you can pick too, all though be warned if the video game timer goes of in the Optometrists office while he's examining your child's eyes, he will most likely stop & look around and say, "Do you hear an elephant?"


Kylie said...

Hi Kendra, Haven't had a chance to visit in awhile. I really like what you did with the Triangle flash cards, are you sharing the download?

I must get myself a timer app too ;-)

Tasmanian said...

Hi there Kendra, always lurking here, and just wondering if you'd be happy to share your triangle cards?