Our theme for school in December if I had to pick one would be hands-on. I knew the month would be even more relaxed in terms of school than our normal level of relaxed schooling.
We had several doctor visits to take care of and some field trips and parties planned.
After talking with someone about what their 5th grader has been doing this week in a brick-and-mortar school, I am even less worried about our relaxed approach to December. 🙂
In math, we continue to work on some developmental areas concerning fractions, decimals and percents. For one of my older students, this has required going all the WAY back to whole and 1/2. I am proud to say our two littles have a solid grasp on these concepts and Li’l Miss understands 1/4 and 3/4s as well.
I have used khanacademy quite a bit this month and will be incorporating it more in our school days. I just don’t like teaching math, so why re-invent the wheel when these free videos are available and our boys like watching them (well relatively speaking). I HIGHLY recommend this site. It is that good. And it is FREE. No ads either. You can even register an account and do practice problems and keep track of videos already watched.
My goal here is for the older boys to understand solidly that writing or saying 0.5 is the same value as 1/2 and finally as 50%. Of course, they get this but sometimes things get muddled when the values are not as easily identified or related to. So, we have been practicing, practicing, practicing.
In some ways it seems strange to teach a concept to 3 children of different ages, abilities and levels, but for 1 it is total review, which I’ve seen was clearly needed as a refresher, another it is challenging but he can do it, and still another he is just learning and my expectations are reasonable for his ability and understanding. I think language plays a huge role in understanding or lack thereof even with math.
As for the littles mentioned earlier, we still use a lot of games and copywork for math concepts. They both thrive in this. Li’l Miss just about has counting to 100 mastered. She picked it up very easily, but we practiced while playing board games. She can count to 29 every single time. She gets stuck at 30, and of course wonders why it is not “threety.” I don’t know. I did tell her it is like “thirteen”, but she still forgets that on occasion. So … once we get past thirty, she usually sails through to 49 and then there is “fifty” which is not “fivety.” 🙂 You get the idea. Sixty. Seventy. Eighty. Ninety. Those make sense to her and use the actual number.
Li’l Dude is counting to 20 now. I can’t believe just a few months ago, he was stuck at 5. I am very proud of him. He used to always forget 7 and 8. I finally started putting 7 things on his plate at lunch, things like 7 pepporonis or 7 potato chips or whatever that I would give him more than one of. I asked him to count them before he ate them and within a week he had 7 mastered. Then I did the same with 8. Sometimes it really is that simple, and getting him to do repetition with flash cards or something like that would be disastrous but the food really motivated him. 🙂