Thursday, November 7, 2013

Our "One subject per day" experiment

Little Man has had some, uh, motivational difficulties with his schoolwork lately. I decided to try an experiment one day and do just one subject.

 Our first day was a great success. It was an all-math day. If you don't feel that those two sentences should appear in close proximity to one another, read on!

 First, we did some mental math using this book - The Verbal Math Lesson Level 2 -which I just discovered and Love (as much as one can love a math book)

 Little Man loves this because we make the lessons short AND he can do it all orally - no writing. He's a talker. Laboriously scrawling things on paper is worse than having to go to the pink Barbie/princess aisle at WalMart to buy a birthday present. He does a little better on the white board.

 Next, we got out the Fraction manipulatives and worked with those for a bit, then made random designs with them, while I took every opportunity to say, "Oh look, two of the one quarter pieces are the same as a half," and so on.

 My kids love pretty much anything they can do on the computer, so we next went to Khan Academy and he did some three-digit addition with carrying. The videos have always been great, but I love the fact that you can now do math problems and get instant feedback on your answers.

 Finally, we got out the toy cash register and "played." I used Department Store Math   which is great because it has a price list of items by department and pages of problems. The customers come in with all sorts of random needs, for instance: Sam comes in to buy a skateboard and frisbee to take to a picnic this afternoon. Little Man has to look up the prices, add them and then figure out the change to give back. We use real money too. That's a big motivator for him. Not that he gets to keep it or anything. I do the voices of the customers, who are usually so grateful for the help that they invite Little Man to the picnic, or tell him what a great employee he is, or "what a nice young man," if they're the grandmotherly type. Good fun! 

 And there you have it! It was a nice way to mix things up a bit and we both really enjoyed it.

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