A Year In The Life 2013 (“Houston, We Have A Problem”)

Yes, it is that time of year again. Before I break in 2014 with any new posts I must review our year of learning. How did it go? Where do we need to improve? What exactly DID we do anyway?

I must say, like all my year in review posts, I am amazed at everything we accomplished this year. SO much happened this past year physically and mentally. I am afraid 2013 will be remembered as the year spent in doctor waiting rooms and in the girls own words, “thank goodness for our 3DS” (and learning the difference between 2 and 3 dimensions, who said video games are not educational?). It wasn’t all a loss though, most of it I am labeling under “science”. šŸ™‚

First up to bat is mathematics (yay).

Besides the girls learning mathematics naturally by “living” Miss Sky decided she wants to attend art school at our local community college. This means the SAT and a few basic credits first. So we started a more formal study of mathematics late into the year to help her get familiar with test lingo. I really like the Scholastic Reading and Math Jumbo workbooks for Little Sis but am very disappointed they stopped at 4th grade. So for Miss Sky I am using the Math is Fun website to help come up with practice problems and the Common Knowledge Sequence of what is covered in each grade as a guide.

http://www.mathsisfun.com/

http://www.coreknowledge.org/download-the-sequence

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We needed to review the multiplication tables and jumped right into learning to multiply with regrouping. We moved along with multiplying 2 digit numbers and long division with 2 digit divisors and remainders.

Where one child may be a bit “behind” the other is very much ahead. I promise to keep my tangent small. I truly do believe this is because one, the individual doing the learning and two, because Little Sis never learned to dislike math in the first place. She learned basic mathematical skills simply by playing games. Games on-line, video games, and board or card games. She thinks mathematics is fun, and guess what? It is! How it is taught in school, not so much.

I am sure by now you know we started homeschooling using the Waldorf method of education. This method believes in keeping the child “asleep” until first grade then you begin introducing numbers. I no longer agree with this at all. Little Sis began learning how to play games at the age of 2 and started using the computer at 5. Please if you take just one thing away from reading here, do not hold your child back from learning. Don’t force them either, introduce numbers and mathematics as a normal part of their life, because it is. Mathematics is everywhere! Anyway I promised.

Besides the many games, which I will get to momentarily, she learned how to tell time, odd and even, recognizing patterns, 2, 3, 4 and even 5 digit addition with regrouping, and adding with multiple addends. She also learned 5 digit subtraction without borrowing. She started learning the 2,5,10, and 11 times tables with the help of The Table Trees computer game and helped Papa prepare 2014’s calendar.

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http://www.amblesideprimary.com/ambleweb/mentalmaths/tabletrees.html

She also enjoys playing Putt-Putt computer games

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and Jumpstart.

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Both girls are able to read and bake a recipe,

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introducing Little Sis to fractions, and Miss Sky is able to double it.

We busted out the tangrams

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and worked many puzzles together.

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Papa made us a travel tic-tac-toe game for our park outings

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adding to our dice and deck of cards to practice times tables, math war, greater and less than etcetera, etcetera.

Minecraft!! Oh how we adore Minecraft and the many created worlds of 2013. There was Wonderland, Ponyville, Swan Lake, Kingdom Hearts, Black Butler, Princess Tutu, Nintendo and lately the Palais Garnier(uhem, phantom) just to name a few.

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(Miss Sky’s)

Speaking of geometry, the girls *love* the 3DS game Freaky Forms (one of 2 3DS games I needed to buy 2 of and worth every cent)

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and both girls really, really studied how to draw rain and tear drops.

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You can really see the influence geometry played in my Christmas present from Miss Sky.

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Games, all the wonderful games.

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(Nacho Loco, still continuing with geometric shapes. šŸ˜‰ )

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(Monopoly)

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(Yahtzee)

Realizing there are just to many games we play to list I will bring this post to a close by listing one of our new family favorite games of 2013.

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Rat-a-Tat-Cat.

There you have it our year of mathematics. I am thinking science will be next (YAY).

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