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Monthly Archives: October 2018

Is Counting on Fingers Ok?


One of the most common “go to” math manipulatives students use to learn their math facts are their fingers. Is counting on fingers ok?

We all know the importance of math fact memorization as a part of the framework that underlies success in all math concepts. One of the most common “go to” math manipulatives students use to learn their math facts are their fingers. Some students are able to transition from finger counting to rote memorization. However, many…
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10 Math Games for Early Learners


Try some of these fun and educational math games to introduce your child to math.

Young children love to ask questions and play games. Early learners crave experiences that incorporate their senses, that require them to experiment and make observations, and that allow them to explore. As your child’s first teacher, you can start introducing basic math concepts such as numbers, counting, shapes, patterns, and measurement while playing together. Try…
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Your Child’s Math Experience is Not Your Math Experience


How often do we take our adult math experience and shove it onto a child, expecting them to conform to what has taken us years to accomplish?

“Your child’s math experience is not your math experience.” Oh my goodness, these are words I wish someone had said to me twenty-plus years ago! I became a homeschool parent because I knew my math skills were weak. I wanted more for my children, yet I had no idea how I was going to get…
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A Military Family’s Guide to Homeschooling


As a military family, what might appear to be obstacles to homeschooling can transform in to catalyst for exciting and enriching educational adventures.

A little over a month ago, we received our official orders. We had two and a half weeks to rent out our home on the East Coast, find a rental on the West Coast, purge adequately to squeeze into a cottage one-third the size of our former suburban abode, ship our vehicle, pack up our…
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How to Use the Math-U-See Manipulatives


Many people wonder how they should use the Math-U-See manipulatives to teach math. If you don't use them properly, they are not going to be very helpful.

Many people wonder how they should use the Math-U-See manipulatives to teach math. If you don’t use them properly, they are not going to be very helpful. They are such an integral part of the Math-U-See program that it might be useful to understand Steve Demme’s intention in creating them in the first place. Steve…
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Theater Matters Because Democracy Matters


Oskar Eustis, in his 2018 TED Talk, sees three features that emerge from the interplay of democracy and theater in Greek culture.

Oskar Eustis begins his 2018 TED Talk with this statement: Theater matters because democracy matters. Theater is the essential art form of democracy, and we know this because they were born in the same city. Oskar sees three features that emerge from the interplay of democracy and theater in Greek culture. 1) Conflicting Voices Can…
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How Important is Careful Handwriting in Spelling You See?


The goal of a Spelling You See experience is to have a student develop their long-term visual memory. How important is careful handwriting in that?

How important is careful handwriting in Spelling You See? When a parent asks this question, I know I’m speaking to a parent who really wants to see their child have beautiful handwriting like Laura Ingalls Wilder in Little House on the Prairie. I might have been that parent as well, having been kept after school…
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5 Reasons to Homeschool with Pets


Other than their obvious cute factor, pets can provide a variety of added benefits for your homeschool family that are sure to last a lifetime.

Other than their obvious cute factor, animals can provide a variety of added benefits for your homeschool family that are sure to last a lifetime. Here are five reasons to consider pets in your homeschool. 5 Reasons to Homeschool with Pets 1) Teaches Responsibility Your child will take on the role of caregiver. A child…
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Actual Minds, Possible Worlds [Book Review]


In "Actual Minds, Possible Worlds", Jerome Bruner explores the power of literature as a pathway to this important ability to imagine new possibilities.

The German philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein famously declared: “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” Wittgenstein’s insight is that thinking is dependent on language. Think about how an infant’s world expands as she learns to communicate, and how the young child’s world expands even more as her vocabulary rapidly expands. (Notice that…
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Math Manipulatives Aren’t Just for “Little Kids”


Educators have discovered that using math manipulatives helps students of all ages to learn new concepts and deepen understanding.

For many people, the mention of math manipulatives calls to mind using marbles for counting or craft sticks tied in bundles of 10 to illustrate place value. Once such elementary concepts have been learned, the role of hands-on math tools may be less clear. Educators have discovered, however, that using manipulatives well helps students of…
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