January 21, 2011

January 2011: Week 3

This week flew by, but at least it was productive.  We started math this week.  Most of it was a review of carrying (addition) and multiplication.  We did start fractions and weighing/balancing though too.  We have never "formally" studied any of these topics - just what comes up in everyday life.  I thought it might be fun to go through the arithmetic videos at Khan Academy.  Robotson really digs them.  He's done addition and carrying before (but only on his standardized test), so this time we focused on speed.  I suggested he break down the numbers 6 through 9 into 5's with remainders.  So when adding 8+7 he was thinking 5+5+3+2.  This sped him up quite a lot and he flew through the exercises much faster than he did on the test back in August.
Tinkerbell by Funny Girl.
By the end of today he was easily adding numbers in the millions.  While that's not that impressive for his "grade level", I'm thrilled because I specifically remember being in the fourth grade and still not being able to add.  Eventually my teachers showed me how to put dots on my numbers.  I was soon passing tests, but I was still mentally adding dots until last year when I learned the 5's trick.

Multiplication was really just a quick review, we need to work on it. Robotson has a much easier time dividing than multiplying. This week was his first introduction to fractions, but it's easy to throw them into everyday life. He's getting interested in cooking more - that's one way, but I can also talk more photography with him now. Yay! Next week we are going to review borrowing (subtraction) and division. Aside from actually working problems we've been reading about famous mathematicians too. That's my favorite part, learning about the people who made amazing mathematical discoveries, but maybe were poor students, or were difficult to get along with, or were terribly messy people that forgot to eat when they got an idea into their heads. Normal, brilliant people.

**I think I should add that it is now 12:12am on Saturday and Robotson is begging me to find him books and worksheets so he can learn more math.  It seems that he will not be going to bed anytime soon.  Gee darn.

Our light reading for this week was James and the Giant Peach.  I was going to stretch the book out for two weeks, but the kids insisted I finish it today.  They loved it, and the movie.   Guess we'll have to pick something else for next week.

Heading to movie night.

Beautiful day to train for the Warrior Dash.
I had originally planned to do something with the girls, whatever they wanted really, but our week was so jam packed.  We spent Tuesday evening doing dinner and a movie with our homeschooling friends.  Thursday I started "training" for the Warrior Dash, the girls both had their annual check-ups, and we splurged at IHOP.  By the time we got home everyone was full, tired, and sore so we took the day off.  Then the girls got it into their heads that they were going to spend the night with Granny and Papa tonight, so after math and reading we spent the day getting ready for that.  It only just occurred to me how grown up they are right now.  Dimples will be three and a half next week, and this is her first sleepover without me.  She didn't even say good-bye when I dropped her off, just ran off to play Barbies with Granny.  *sniff*


  1. We love Khan Academy! I have never heard of the 5's trick... that is going to make things so much easier. Now if there were only a trick like that in multiplication for the 6s, 7s, and 8s.

  2. Yeah, those are the ones you just gotta memorize....