Friday, August 28, 2015

Story of the World - Volume 1 ultimate nightmare and the one subject I dreaded the most as a kid growing up.  I mean, who cares about all of those ancient people and their Gods, spears, and armor anyway?  Ok that was a little harsh.   I'll apologize to all of those history buffs and lovers out there but the thought of history really does leave a bad taste in my mouth for whatever reason......until I discovered Story of the World by Susan Bauer.  Granted, we are only in Chapter three of Volume 1, but I am already in love with how she presents the information and makes it intriguing for the children. After all, the second plane child loves to hear a good story.  This is how you capture their attention and then let their imagination run free.

For those of you who are not familiar, Story of the World, it is a four volume set ranging from the Ancient Nomads to Modern Age.  There are several formats from paperback to audiobook.  Susan Bauer also provides a great resource with the Activity book.  Included in this for each chapter are additional literature resources to find at the library, review questions and several activities to go along with the current chapter.  It is actually quite awesome and I have learned a lot so far.  It is so great to be able to learn along with my daughter.


These two pictures are of a "cave painting" that Kui needed to do as one of the activities for the chapter on the Earliest people.  She was to try and create a painting like a prehistoric man would on a cave wall.  Her picture is of a goat with two people carrying bows and arrows trying to kill it for food.  She struggled with the technique that she was supposed to use, but overall I think she got the general idea that these prehistoric men would leave messages on the walls.

This is an example of a coloring sheet from the activity book.  The earliest nomads turned into farmers and created a leather bucket to capture water for watering their crops.

Our next step down the history trail is to utilize our history question charts.  Stay tuned for a post on our progress in learning about the Egyptians through the use of SOTW (Story of the World) and these charts.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Decimal Fractions - Part 1


Yay!  We have finally started something official for math this year: DECIMAL FRACTIONS.  I am shocked that I actually have my act together enough for this.  It isn't "easy peasy lemon squeezy" like my daughter goes around saying.  The tricky part to all of this Montessori homeschooling business is that I have to first understand it, figure out how to do it, and then be able to present it to the kiddos in a way that makes sense!  Thanks be to God for You Tube and all of those teachers who like to video themselves doing these presentations.  Just when I think no one in their right mind would video themselves talking about how to read decimal fractions, what do ya know?  There are at least 100,000 videos on the topic.  Go figure! 

We have moved along pretty quickly with the first few initial presentations.  Simply explaining that whole numbers are a unit multiplied by 10 to get 10, 10 x 10 is 100, 100 x 10 is 1,000, and so on.  Then, if you take a unit and divide it by 10, you get a tenth.  You have to almost spit on your child to emphasize the "th" at the end.  (Ok, how many people just tried to say tenth to see how much spit you produce?!)  Then if you divide 10 x 10 you get a hundredth.  A hundredth divided by 10 is a thousandth, and so on. 
The picture above is the "pinwheel" shape that is created when you write out the whole numbers and decimals with the cards.  I didn't get a picture of it, but if you stick a pin in the middle of the unit, you are able to spin it around, thus showing that everything revolves around the unit.  (Sorry about the glare in the photo.)
We jumped right into working with the decimal board which Kui really seems to enjoy.  She is using the piece from her chess set to show that the unit is King.  This reminds her to either multiply or divide depending on which way she is moving away from the unit.  If she is moving to the left, she would multiply to get a whole number.  If she is moving to the right, she would divide to get a decimal fraction.  Side note:  Don't mind the tray of beer bottles in the background.  She was working with those earlier to create different pitches with varying amounts of water.  Yes, #herdaddrinks

Here is a simple problem using the decimal squares and then locating the corresponding card.  She has 8 decimal squares in the ten-thousandths column and has found the 8 ten-thousandths card.

We did quite a few more examples of the simple problems and then moved into problems that involved exchanging.  For example, if she had 12 millionths, she would exchange 10 of those for 1 hundred thousandth and have 2 millionths remain on the board.  So, it is getting used to the idea of moving to the left to exchange quantities (which is a lower amount if you think of it as a whole number).  So far, so good though.  She enjoys it and keeps pulling it off of the shelf.
Stay tuned for adding and subtracting decimal fractions!