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|The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine|
January 16, 2013
Math in the Kitchen (Yum!)
Deborah Wuehler and family
Math doesn't always have to be done in a workbook or computer program. Math can be done many places, but especially in the kitchen.
Preschool: Make celery and peanut butter snacks. Have the child count out and place 4 (or however many they need practice counting) raisins on top. Use square, circle, and star cookie cutters for their sandwiches. Have them place the shape back in the sandwich like a puzzle, and tell you the name of the shape.
Kindergarten: Give your child beans, candies, raisins, chocolate chips, etc. Have them count groups of ten until they reach 100. Show them how ten groups of ten equals 100. Try it with groups of two and five also.
Elementary: Pick out an easy recipe for them. Go over the fractions with them with all the teaspoon, tablespoon, and cup measurements. Teach them how to double a recipe and thereby double the measurements. Visually show them an ounce; cup, pint, quart, and gallon by letting them fill each with water. For example, fill a cup with 8 ounces. Fill a pint with two cups. Fill a quart with two pints (four cups), and fill a gallon with 4 quarts.
Junior High and High School: Let a child choose a meal and prepare it from beginning to end. Start with whatever is needed at the store. Let them look through ads to find the store with the best price. Give them a set amount of money to work with. Let them decide which item is the most economical by calculating price per ounce, per pound, or per unit. Have them estimate the total before checking out. Have them double check the change they received. Have them make the recipe for the number of servings for your family, which means they might have to re-calculate amounts of ingredients in the recipe.
Whatever you do, ease up on being the homeschool math dictator, and add in a little fun or variety in math. And especially if your children are in tears over math, pray and ask God to show you a different way to teach the subject. Maybe take a break on the workbooks and take math to the kitchen. Here is an article from our January 2012 digital issue on the subject. Need understanding from the Master of Math? He is infinite in understanding!
"He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite" (Psalm 147: 4, 5).
TOS Senior Editor
P.S. There are so many approaches to math from games to manipulatives to workbooks and texts. We have tons of resources that have been reviewed by homeschool moms like you that just might also have kids your own kids' ages. Check them out here.
What's the recipe for a fun and educational kitchen?
- 1 kid
- a handful of baking supplies
- and SchoolhouseTeachers.com
Try out Ditch the Desk, one of our Schoolhouse Dailies. You'll find all our previous lessons in the Schoolhouse Library. Have fun with Fairy Tales: Piggy Math and enjoy the classic tale of The Three Little Pigs. While you bake (and sample) your goodies, practice a range of math skills with your kindergartners to your fifth graders. With just the lesson and a brownie mix, you can practice counting, fractions, estimating, measuring, multiplying, and finding area and perimeter. This recipe yields one tasty treat and an afternoon of memories.
Or, check out our Daily Math feature, also on our Schoolhouse Dailies tab. Today's worksheet takes a look at baby food, multiplication, division, and the principles of budgeting for groceries.
Need some help answering the ageless question, "What's for dinner?" Check out This Month's Menu for these tasty recipes: Diddle Diddle Dumplin's , Mini Cheesy Meatloaves, an Amazing Apple, Chicken, and Mushroom Casserole, and lots more.
And, the tastiest part? The special limited-time price of $49
for an entire year's membership! There's even a free tote bag and the 2013 Annual Print Book from The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine thrown in!
Come, do your homework--and your baking--with us. It's as easy as Point. Click. Teach.
Bonnie Rose Hudson
Todd Wilson, Familyman Ministries
In my opinion, kitchen math should definitely be considered higher math. Like the song New York, New York says, "If you can make it there . . . you'll make it anywhere."
No kidding. Advanced calculus has nothing on tripling a batch of sugar cookies. Not only is the math way over my head . . . but to add insult to injury, you have to clean up the dishes afterwards.
I know plenty of moms who may see the value of math as it is involved in the kitchen but would never count it as real math. In fact, I have homeschooling moms come up to me all the time to tell me how their children do all these real life "math" applications, but they're afraid to count it as real school.
Homeschoolers of the world, you can count almost anything as school . . . because almost everything is school. If you want your children to bake cookies, cook dinner, or make a smoothie in lieu of math . . . DO IT!!! And don't feel guilty.
But they still have to clean up the kitchen.
FREE Homeschool Workshop for TOS Subscribers
Tuesday, January 22 (9pm Eastern)
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Okay, would you agree with me that any subject gets more interesting when the kitchen is involved? Speaking of connecting great learning with food, I wrote two blog posts last week about an experience with blueberry muffins--showing how we can make curriculum more delicious! If you're interested, read here and here.
But math? How on earth do we do make math come alive--particularly in the kitchen? Well, here is some, ahem, food for thought.
Here's the deal: learning increases exponentially when we get physically involved. (Exponential. Now that's a good math term!) What I mean is that when you hear something or read something, you retain only a tiny percent. (Percentages. Another math term!) But if, in addition to reading and hearing, you actually do something physical (pick something up, write something down, cut something up, put something in your mouth), you will greatly increase the brain's ability to remember.
So, what does that actually look like with today's topic?
Math . . . fractions. Faithfully, following the textbook, you talk about them. You read about them.
Ho Hum. In one ear--or eye--and out the other.
But today, your children are going to get the surprise of their life, something they are going to really enjoy. (Enjoyment, though not a strictly mathematical term, also increases learning!)
"Ok, kids, listen up. You know how we've been working on fractions?"
Groans . . .
"Well, today, we're going to EAT fractions. What's that you say, 'Oooo, ick!!!'?"
"Before you gross out, let me tell you what we're going to taste. I've decided to make my world-famous cherry pie, and we're going to cut it in half, then in fourths, then in eighths. Then we will take my equally famous pumpkin pie and cut it in half, then thirds, then sixths . . . so, now, who wants to be part of math today?"
Did you just catch a glimpse of the nearly endless possibilities inherent in using the kitchen as your secret weapon? Beyond this most obvious application, some other easy ones come to mind: the kitchen pantry is full of math manipulatives (like counting canned goods, practicing grouping); older kids can work with ratios and proportions by doubling or halving recipes; pour water into the pitcher as you study volume; put toothpicks in groups of five or ten to practice multiplication. . .
Food makes everything--including academics--taste better!
Remember, stay relational.
P.S. If you enjoyed my blog posts, I'd love to have you subscribe to them, either via email or RSS here.
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Check out The Schoolhouse® Directories. Whether you're looking for freebies, deals, travel, online-learning, educational apps, back-to-school ideas, homeschool businesses, special-needs support, or more, you'll find just what you need. View The Schoolhouse® Directories in the new TOS 2013 Print Annual Book.
Raising Real Men
Hal & Melanie Young
Melanie here. Some of my happiest memories are of standing on a stool in the kitchen cooking with my mother or grandmother. I think that's what gave me my love of cooking. I feel happy and creative in the kitchen.
I don't know quite why it makes me so frantic some days to have my "littles" in the kitchen with me. I think perhaps I'm in just too big a hurry. I think if they'll just let me get on with it, I can do it quickly and move on to the next task.
When I start to say, "Not just now, not this time," though, and see their sad eyes, those happy memories come floating back up and I always relent. I'm always glad, too, in the end. Even if it takes longer and makes more mess, their joyful eyes make it more than worth it. We're building those happy memories together.
I can't remember the last time we made a "one-batch" of anything around here. One of the advantages of having a large family is that we multiply fractions and mixed numbers every time we use a recipe.
"Mama, is this recipe a double-batch, triple-batch or quadruple-batch one?" the cook will shout into the next room at me.
It makes it a lot less tedious if you know your volumes. If a batch of biscuits calls for 2 teaspoons of baking powder and you triple it, you can either add 6 teaspoonfuls one at a time or just add two tablespoonfuls. When you show that to your children, they begin to understand why they're memorizing all these conversions. It works the same way with multiplying fractions, adding mixed numbers, and more.
Some of you may be asking, "Should my son cook?" We think he ought to! I've been thankful many times that Hal's father loved to bake and that Hal learned it was fine for a man to cook--I've had to bed rest for some time when we were expecting each of our eight children! Besides, one of those boys out there might be the next famous chef.
We'd like to share with you a wonderful recipe Hal's father developed that is just right to cheer you up and make some memories on these cold winter days. Oh yes, you can practice some math, too--it's good enough to make a double batch. You can always take some to a neighbor if you don't have enough family members at home to eat them all up. Click here to go to it!
By His grace,
Melanie & Hal
See us free Friday and Saturday at the Exploring Homeschooling Conference in Anaheim--it's not just for beginners! Click here!
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Living and Learning Together
on God's Path of Life
with Clay and Sally Clarkson
Clay Clarkson is the Director of Whole Heart Ministries, a non-profit family ministry he founded with Sally in 1994 to encourage and equip Christian parents. He is the author of numerous Christian home and parenting books and resources, including Educating the WholeHearted Child, Our 24 Family Ways, and Heartfelt Discipline. He writes online at WholeHeart.org, Disciplinology.com, PiecesofClay.com, and for others.
Sally Clarkson is the mother of four wholehearted children, a conference speaker, and author of numerous books, including The Mission of Motherhood, The Ministry of Motherhood, Seasons of a Mother's Heart, and The Mom Walk. Clay and Sally live in Monument, Colorado and have homeschooled their four children from the beginning.
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"One of the leading arguments used by abortionists is that a baby is not human until it has been born." Read more in the article Unborn Babies Learning in the Womb
Need some fun math ideas?
Read this article
in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.
For the month of January, 2013
The Crossmaker DVD
This DVD features a grandfather telling his grandchildren stories about Jesus. The backdrop for the stories is a marvelous artist doing chalk drawings of Jesus and scenes from the stories. There are two stories: The Crossmaker and Jesus Loves the Children. The Crossmaker is about a little boy whose family makes crosses. He delivers the one to be used for Jesus and witnesses the crucifixion. He is crushed by guilt for his part but he meets the resurrected Jesus on the road and finds forgiveness and love. Jesus Loves the Children is the familiar Bible story about the disciples telling the children to leave Jesus alone, but Jesus tells them to let the children come to Him.
The background music is wonderful, and the chalk illustrations are spectacular. But there is much more on this DVD! There are more chalk drawing demonstrations and even a teaching session showing children step-by-step how to make their own chalk drawings.
Read the rest of this review here.
Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with "Crossmaker" as the subject line for a chance to win* the DVD for your homeschool!