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. Mastery-based 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 stand-alone 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 no-nonsense 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.

I’m linking this post to:

Labels: Math, This and That, Wrapping Up Our Week
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

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.

I’m linking this post to:


Labels: Math
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.

Labels: Math, Music
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

ALEKS Offers Homeschoolers a 3-Month Free Trial



It’s the start of a new year and the perfect time to try out a new math curriculum with your children. For a limited time, ALEKS is offering a complimentary 3-month trial for homeschooling families.
ALEKS can provide you with the instruction and support that you need to homeschool your children in mathematics for grades 3-12. With a comprehensive course library ranging from elementary school math to complex subjects such as PreCalculus, ALEKS acts much like a human tutor to help take the stress off of homeschooling parents.
To take advantage of this limited time offer, you must request a trial by January 27, 2011 and activate it no later than January 31, 2011 at 11:59pm PT.

Begin 3-Month Trial


ALEKS is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system that uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn’t know in a course. ALEKS offers truly individualized instruction that meets the student at her learning level and instructs her on the exact topics that she is most ready to learn. As a result, no two students will experience the same learning path while working in ALEKS.



ALEKS is a registered trademark of ALEKS Corporation.

Labels: Freebies, Math
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Free Scott Foresman Math and Science Online

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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.

Labels: Freebies, Math
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

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.

Bug - Level 1 Flower - Level 2Hex-Trap-Par - Level 3 Houses - Level 1

Rocket Ship - Level 2 Snowflake - Level 3 Sun - Level 3

Labels: Apps, Blogging Business, Freebies, Math, Printables, Toddlers
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff

Magnetic Pattern Blocks for Educational Fun on the Go

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         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

Homeschool Math Curriculum

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 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