Monday, March 20, 2017

Math Monday

Learning the value of money and exchanges can be challenging. My 7yo is very sensitive to not understanding a concept and will try to fake it (guessing wildly) and quickly get upset if I show the slightest bit of disappointment. Hard not to reveal when you've been working on a concept slowly, over and over for an hour. I gave up the first time because I have a hard time not seeing things logically. In my head it seems so simple, and then I get flustered when my seemingly easy explanations aren't understood.

So, the first day we had to take a breather. Then I realized I was missing an important tool: manipulatives and visuals. I had him get his little plastic money bank out and put the coins in piles according to likeness. I explained what a quarter, dime, nickle and penny looked like and on a piece of paper, placed one of each, with it's value above it. He was to create a pile of each above the paper.

Next, I explained how a penny is .01 cents, a nickle is .05 cents and so on. The concept of value is very hard to convey. We had to go over it quite a bit. One nickle is .05 cents and one penny is .01 cents so how many pennies makes one nickle? We actually started with dimes and counting by tens because that was easy. To show that if I have 5 dimes and each dime is .10 cents, when I add them up I can add the ones and then put a zero on the end. This was easier to understand and the flash of realization on his face was so rewarding. He knows that 5 + 5 = 10, but to count by fives is a little harder. Quarters are still being worked on, but pennies, nickles and dimes are easier after today.

So next I would give him four dimes and I would have ten pennies and ask him, "If I don't want so many pennies in my pocket, (cause it's heavy) how many dimes can I buy with the pennies I have? Then we would work up using the pile of pennies and dimes at our disposal until he had a good grasp of exchanging pennies for dimes, or the other way around. Then nickles and pennies, nickles and dimes, etc. 

What sorts of tricks did you use, if any, when teaching value and money exchange?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Fun With the Periodic Table

This is just a short post to share an awesome find I made. Learning about the periodic table can be a bit dry just reading it out of a book. However, an interactive chart that also explains how each element can be used makes it far more interesting. Enter, the Interactive Periodic Chart!

Screen Capture of the Interactive Periodic Table
Click HERE!! to check out the interactive table. Clicking on each element will bring up a description of each element in detail as well as other important information. There are additional links and printables useful for teaching a class.

I found this at and there are other links within the article that are fun, including a song to help learn the elements. So tackle science and have fun!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Homeschool Curriculum Giveaway!!

So I love giveaways. I love curriculum giveaways too. Because who can't use a free leg up in the quest to get great learning tools? When you have to make a dollar stretch any freebie of quality offered up, I jump at.

The Details
You will be given the opportunity to share this giveaway with a special referral link – do it! For every single person you refer who actually comes to our site and enters – you will get an additional TEN chances to win. AND – the second place prize (which is huge!) will go to the person who refers the winner. So there is no losing when you refer someone!!!! Not only do you have a better chance of winning one of these amazing prize packages – you can help a friend win one too!

So here is the breakdown of this great offer by Encouraging Moms At Home...
Homeschool Prize Package One:
  • Apologia American Literature Text
  • Apologia American Literature Student Book
  • Field Trip Journal by Apologia
  • Managers of Their Homes
  • Managers of Their Chores
  • Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell
  • Science in the Kitchen
  • Restoring America’s Biblical Foundations curricula
  • Financial Peace for Kids by Dave Ramsey with an extra set of envelopes
  • The Missing Link by Media Angels
  • The Christian Parenting Handbook
  • Flourish by Mary Jo Tate
  • First Language Lessons
  • Write With Ease
  • Sing Praise by Yancy
  • New Testament Eyewitness by Apologia
  • The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling by Debra Bell
  • Three high school science DVD sets from Apologia
  • Seven Tools for Celebrating Your Child’s Potential by Zan Tyler
  • Apologia Tote Bag

 Prize Package Two:
  • Writers in Residence with Teacher’s Guide by Apologia
  • Readers in Residence with Teacher’s Guide by Apologia
  • Field Trip Journal by Apologia
  • Math 6 with Teacher’s Guide by BJU Press
  • Homeschool Planner by Debra Bell
  • Flourish by Mary Jo Tate
  • A Stand at Sinai by Hope Auer and published by Raising Real Men
  • Three High School Science DVDs from Apologia
  • Seven Essential Oils from Rocky Mountain Oils including Lavender, Rosemary, Skin Tone, Cucumber Seed, Red Mandarin, Nutmeg, and Cedarwood.
  • The LOVE/HAPPY set from Pink Zebra including the base, shade and candle set with birthday cake sprinkles (scented wax melts). This was a limited edition set! (pictured below)

What are you waiting for? Follow the link to this great giveaway and while you're out, check out Encouraging Moms At Home. You won't be disappointed. Good luck, and... may the odds ever be in your favor.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Bell Class Pictures 2016

Contrary to what many believe, homeschoolers do have opportunities like public school kids. Yes, there are dances (held at a local church, gym, etc), and yes, there are "class" pictures. This year one of the teachers at I.D.E.A. (Interior Distance Education of Alaska) had her photography inclined husband set up in one of the rooms and take pictures for students. Some of the images were a little washed out due to it being a very sunshiny day, so I fixed them up and ended up with a wonderful set of pictures for this year's pictures. Here is a collage of them that I created:

Early Reading Encouragment


I've got two early readers in my house right now. I received a valuable bit of advice from a wonderful kindergarten teacher (lookin' at you Ms. Caston!)

Kindergarten Teacher Extraordinaire
when my first two were early readers. She told me to choose books in areas of interest that they loved and it would be both enjoyable for them and create a lifelong love of reading. She was so correct with this advice! My older two read a wide variety of books for leisure as well as school and it all started with age appropriate reading level books in the Star Wars genre.

So along with getting books that aren't just reading level and age appropriate, I look for ones that are geared towards their interest and I find they pull the books out on their own and try to identify words on their own.

Along with this bit of advice, I have also found a few software programs that make reading and identifying words fun because they make them a game.  The first one is free and it's called "Teach Your Monster To Read". The other is called Endless Reader and this is best used on a touchscreen and can be downloaded off the app stores for Windows, Apple and Google. It also features cute monsters and I think this one is the favorite right now. It's great for when I am making lunch so they are occupied, but still learning.
Endless Reader & the Monster Crew
I hope these suggestions help you with your early reader. Fostering a love of reading is so important, especially in today's tech obsessed society. I think we are providing our children the best way to disconnect and cope with stress by giving them an endless world of imagination to turn to within the pages of books.