Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Summer Reading and Skip Counting

This has to be one of the busiest summers I have had in a LONG time. How do I know? See Exhibit A below. We did not even complete our library's summer reading program this year! If you know me, this would normally be an EPIC fail on my part. But, alas, I shouldn't let the library define my life anyway!   

It was a nice thought... 
This summer has been full of roadtrips and new schooling adventures for our family (namely me becoming a tutor for Classical Conversations at the end of the month), so I don't feel too bad about taking a break. I'm really looking forward to what this pseudo-schoolyear (my oldest is 4) holds for us! 

Did any of your summer reading plans go better this year?  

So as I said, I'm starting Classical Conversations with my 4 year old at the end of the month. I went to the training last month to hear more about classical learning. A big idea they push is mastery through repetition, not mere exposure. In other words, you don't do a lesson and never revisit the concept again in a meaningful way. It can also mean a lot of worksheets end up being time-wasters. I wanted to find a way to redeem worksheets and use them as repetition to supplement what my daughter is going to be learning in CC. 

Here's my first venture -- Skip Counting:         

It's a good thing this is landscape. My daughter is a lefty.
I found some great skip counting mazes from 2's to 12's here at Confessions of a Homeschooler. Notice how I have them arranged? I put them all in page protectors so my daughter can use dry-erase markers and wipe off when she's done. We get to use them over and over again, so I don't feel like I am wasting time or ink! I like these mazes because my daughter can practice skip counting on her own or we can do it together out loud. It's helping her understand place value and it's fun for her to use. 

I also found some skip counting connect-the-dot pages from a huge workbook I bought at used bookstore. NEVER underestimate the potential of cheap/free things people give you as a resource. I've hodgepodged all kinds of things to find different ways for my daughter to practice her mastery in numbers so she can have a good foundation for math.       

And finally, the official math curriculum we're using for her is the Primer from Math-U-See. She has really enjoyed using the blocks to understand place value. Although the Primer has a lot of good review in it, I found some worksheets that reinforce the place value concept where she can have another excuse to use her blocks. I stuck it in her notebook again with the page protectors.  

Now, I have said all of this as a homeschool mom, but this is an idea for ANY household. Any of you can make folders to help your child master a subject. I'm not suggesting you burn your child out on education if they've been at school for 8+ hours, so use discretion. However, I know of friends who were afraid of their child being bored in Kindergarten (the mom worked with the daughter A LOT before she went to school) and wanted to find ways to enrich what she was learning. I think the idea of a folder with repeatable concepts could help with that! As a parent, it would be a great way to be involved in what your child is learning every day. 

I am really liking the protector cover notebook idea, so I'm sure you'll see this idea come up again. 

Any of you have other ideas to achieve mastery in a subject?