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Category Archives: Math
The Homeschool Mother’s Journal–11/11/11
In my life this week…Well, how many ways was today an important day? It was Veteran’s Day, Martinmas, and 11/11/11! I suppose that I should be especially grateful for Veteran’s Day as my mother once told me that she and my father would have waited longer to have children, but he was leaving for Vietnam and she didn’t want to risk waiting until he got back to have children.
Overall, this was a good week. My sinus surgery recovery has gone well and I got the go ahead to start exercising again. I ran four miles yesterday. Unfortunately, at the ripe old age of 42, taking a week off results in much more muscle atrophy than I would like. It used to be that I’d take a week off every once and a while just to let my muscles get a good chance to repair themselves, but I was pretty sore today from doing my usual 3x/week run yesterday.
What’s working/not working for us…I don’t know if I have Curriculum ADD or what, but I sure seem to have trouble with constantly switching Gohan’s curriculum. This year, history and science have been our only constant. This week, I decided that Singapore Math just doesn’t work for Gohan. I ‘m not sure why I even tried it again as it was so disastrous for him in elementary school. For one thing, he needs constant review. Masterybased math programs just don’t work for kids with his type of learning disabilities. Secondly, on Monday he started the chapter review and the questions were nothing like anything he’d done before. They were applications of what he had learned, which he should have been able to do, in theory. In reality, he looked at them, saw something completely unfamiliar, froze, and basically forgot everything he learned about math this year.
So we’re switching to Saxon Algebra 1/2. I actually always liked and used Saxon until a couple of years ago when Primo started using their Advanced Mathematics book. At the time, there were no video lectures available, and I was spending hours teaching, correcting, and reviewing assignments with him. I finally decided that Saxon had started to go downhill in the upper grade levels, just when I needed them most. I later learned that the upper grade level books were actually written by different people than the early grade level books, so my theory wasn’t totally off base.
Since then, however, Saxon has release new versions of many of their books, has come out with a standalone geometry book, and has released DVD’s with teachers going over all the lessons and solutions for the upper levels of math. Combine that with the constant review and their nononsense approach to math, and I am cautiously optimistic that we will have a good match. Math has become Gohan’s least favorite subject this year, while it used to be his favorite and best subject, so things have become quite dire here.
I’m reading…My last Jane Austen book challenge book, Persuasion. I saw the play with a dear friend and we both cried during it, because it moved us so. Thus far, the book is not entertaining me as much as the play did, but I am not far enough along to say “yay” or “nay” yet.
Disclosure: Several item links in this post are affiliate links. I will make a small amount if you click on them and make a purchase. All opinions expressed, however, are 100% my own.
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Labels: Math, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff
Fun Math Videos
I recently learned about Vi Hart’s math doodle videos, which have caused the inner geek in me to do a happy dance. I thought I’d share this one.
Labels: High School, Math, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff
Free Math Resources Online
Well, this post took a lot longer to write than I had anticipated. There is so much great stuff on the web for helping kids with math! Plus, we’ve had internet connection problems, which has made it hard for me to post. This is a list of free math resources. I will add it to my math page and update that as I find more math resources.
 Curriculum, textbooks, and workbooks
 19th Century Schoolbooks that are in public domain, hence free to download, and have stood the test of time
 Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching – A free UK math curriculum. I don’t quite get how the UK grades/years translate to U.S. grades, but you should be able to figure out which level your child would be in.
 Glencoe Parent and Study Study Guides – designed to help parents support, monitor, and improve their child’s math performance. These guides make excellent supplements to any math curriculum for added reinforcement. Honestly, you might even be able to use them as a full curriculum.
 Mathematics Applications and Concepts: Course 1
 Mathematics Applications and Concepts: Course 2
 Mathematics Applications and Concepts: Course 3
 PreAlgebra
 Algebra 1
 Algebra: Concepts and Applications
 Algebra 2 Practice Workbook, Skills Practice Workbook, and Study Guide Workbook
 Geometry Concepts and Applications – Practice Workbook, Skills Practice Workbook, and Study Guide Workbook
 Houghton Mifflin Math Leveled Practice – basically, black and white workbooks online, meant to be review, but could work as curriculum (there is also a corresponding site with virtual manipulatives, brainteasers, etc. for each lesson)
 Llevada’s Algebra 1
 Totally Free Math
 Games, drills, puzzles, and other online activities for kids
 ABCya!
 Absorb Mathematics Resources
 Academic Skill Builders
 Algebra 4 Children
 Aplusmath
 BBC
 Big IQ Kids Math Program
 Conceptua Math’s Fraction Tools
 Count Us In Games
 Crickweb Numeracy Links
 Cyberchase
 Cynthia Lanius’ Math Lessons
 Dositey
 Fun4theBrain
 Funbrain’s Math Arcade
 HSP Math
 ICT Games
 Illuminations
 Interactivate
 IXL
 Jefferson’s Lab – Math Games
 Johnnie’s Math Page
 KidsNumbers.com
 Learning Games for Kids
 Learning Planet
 Maggie’s Earth Adventures
 Manga High
 Math 4 Children
 Math Active
 Math Cats
 Math is Fun
 Math Playground
 Maths Zone
 MathUSee Drill Page
 Mr. Nussbaum’s Math Lab
 Multiplication.com
 NCES Kids’ Zone
 nrich
 Oswego School District’s Math Games – several games, but the one that stood out for us is the Stop the Clock series, which is a great way to work on telling time skills
 PBS Kids
 Play Kids Games
 Primary Games
 Quia’s Shared Activities
 Seeing Math Secondary Interactives
 Sheppard Software
 Smarty Games
 Study Jams
 Teaching Tables
 That’s a Fact
 Timez Attack – the free version of the BigBrainz game
 Toy Theater
 Tux of Math Command
 XP Math
 Lessons and “homework” help (for kids)
 Cool Math (for ages 13+, Cool math 4 kids is the sister site for ages 312)
 Cramster
 Cynthia Lanius’ Math Lessons
 Khan Academy – free, highquality, video math lessons, especially helpful for upperlevel math
 Llevada’s Algebra 1
 Math 4 Children
 Math is Fun
 Math Mammoth’s You Tube Channel
 Math TV
 Purple Math
 Living Math Book List – want to try a different approach to teach math, use living books! Choose “Search Categories” on right to access list of books.
 QuickandDirty Guide to the TI83, TI83+, TI84, and TI84+ – learn how to use those graphing calculators that are now required for advanced math
 Virtual Manipulatives
 Worksheets and flashcards
 Fun Extras
 Aunt Math – math challenges posted every other week
 Bronowski on the Pythagoras’ Theorem – Jacob Bronowski explains the significance of the Pythagorean theorem
 Calculus 1 in 20 Minutes – crash course from Professor Ed Burger from Thinkwell
 Cyberchase videos (lesson plans and more Cyberchase videos can be found on Teacher’s Domain)
 Dimensions – Nine chapters, two hours of maths, that take you gradually up to the fourth dimension
 The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics
 Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Section Kideos’ educational videos
 Math Maven’s Mysteries
 Paper Models of Polyhedra
 Project Euler – Project Euler is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve. Although mathematics will help you arrive at elegant and efficient methods, the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems. The Story of “1” – The story of the number one is the story of Western civilization. Terry Jones (“Monty Python’s Flying Circus”) goes on a humorfilled journey to recount the amazing tale behind the world’s simplest number. Using computer graphics, “One” is brought to life, in all his various guises.
 Teacher’s Domain – Teachers’ Domain is a free digital media service for educational use from public broadcasting and its partners. You’ll find thousands of media resources, support materials, and tools for classroom lessons, individualized learning programs, and teacher professional learning communities.
 WolframAlpha introduces a fundamentally new way to get knowledge and answers—not by searching the web, but by doing dynamic computations based on a vast collection of builtin data, algorithms, and methods.
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Labels: Math
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff
pi10k – The Online Experiment That Meshes Math and Music
pi10k is a really cool experiment for anyone with a little bit of inner geekiness. Felix Jung has created a program that converts the first 10,000 digits of pi into a musical sequence. You select ten notes and your corresponding selection translates into an integer. As your computer cycles through the numbers of pi, it will play the note that you selected to correspond to that number. The result is not exactly beautiful, at least using the notes I selected, but it is really interesting.
ALEKS Offers Homeschoolers a 3Month Free Trial

Free Scott Foresman Math and Science Online
Happy 2011! I’m sorry that I kind of disappeared last week. In addition to the regular holidays, both Gohan and I have birthdays that fall between Christmas and New Year’s. So, things can get a bit crazy around here during the end of December and I just did not have the time to blog last week as a result. I hope everyone had a nice holiday season.
One of the things I did accomplish during winter break was to start going through a whole bunch of links that I have saved to my desktop and not had a chance to follow up on.
One link that I had saved was to these online math and science textbooks by Scott Foresman. The page says “Welcome to Prince George’s County” on top, so I am not sure if this page is supposed to be open to everyone like it is. The site was recommended to me by several homeschoolers though, so I’m going to pass it on. The teacher’s editions are not online.
Free Pattern Blocks for You To Download for Your Homeschool
I made some pattern block puzzles for my daughter. They are simple, as she is only two, but I thought I would share them. They were made for my printable magnetic pattern blocks, but should work with regular pattern blocks also.
Labels: Apps, Blogging Business, Freebies, Math, Printables, Toddlers
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff
Magnetic Pattern Blocks for Educational Fun on the Go
This school year, I will only be officially homeschooling my son, who is eleven. My three eldest will be doing college classes, but I will also have my daughter, who will turn two this fall. My son really likes to socialize and be out and about. He loves taking classes, joining clubs, etc. It so happens that all of his activities are located about 1 hour away from our house this year (if things continue this way, we plan to move closer to these programs). As such, my daughter has to ride in the car a lot. Then, we don’t have time to go home, so she also spends a lot of time hanging out at all the places that my son has classes at. Sometimes, there are playrooms and other kids for her to play with. Other times, she will want to stay outside and explore. And at other times, I have to get creative with the things that I keep in the car. As such, I am always on the look out for good travel toys, books, art supplies, and other educational materials.
Currently, she likes to play with math manipulatives, but they are not very easy to play with in the car as the pieces fall in the cracks and so forth. So I have been trying to find manipulatives that travel better. I bought her a really neat case (Magnakase) that stores her art supplies and has a magnetic wipe board on the outside of the case (plus magnets that will hold papers still if she wants to color). So I thought it would be nice if I could find some magnetic pattern blocks. Unfortunately, I was not able to find any magnetic pattern blocks that I liked. So I finally concluded that I would need to make my own.
I decided to post these printables in case anyone else wanted to make their own pattern blocks. These printables can be printed on magnetic paper or regular paper and then laminated or attached to an adhesive magnetic sheet. Kids can then use these pattern blocks on any metal or magnetic surface. I am storing them in a metal tin that I got at Ben Franklin.
I will also make some pattern block puzzles as we go along, but right now she just enjoys playing with the blocks and making designs.
Here are the links to the printables.
Labels: Apps, Blogging Business, Freebies, Math, Printables
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff
Homeschool Math Curriculum
Right now, I am continuing to plan what curriculum we will use next year. Ironically, I’m having a harder time planning to homeschool one child than I did when I was homeschooling four. This is largely because my son has some major learning disabilities and as a result, is years behind in certain subjects. He is entering middle school next year and I am beginning to panic about closing that gap before high school. Fortunately, his reading is coming along nicely now, so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Ironically, the one subject that he has never struggled with, math, he has been struggling with some this year. Long division has been giving him fits and I have been pulling my hair out trying to help him. I have been investigating many math curriculums, as a result, in an effort to find one that presents long division in a way that makes sense to him.
I thought I’d pass on the long list of homeschool math curriculum suppliers that I have accumulated in the process. (For my list of online and distance learning curriculum suppliers, click here.)
Labels: Curriculum, Math
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff