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                                         The Homeschool Minute         
                                 What is the best way to teach math?
September 4, 2013
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Gena Suarez

Hey Mama,


I'm probably going to sound like a broken record, but the best way to teach math is to find the best curriculum or method for your kid. And the frustrating thing can be that what works for one of your kids, may not work for the others. There are a lot of good choices out there for curriculum, get together with your hubby and see what will fit your kids' learning styles (and your budget). Ask friends from your homeschool group, too, about curricula they've used, and what they did or did not like. Then prayerfully let the Lord lead you to the math resources that will promote learning--even if it needs to be something different for each one of your kids.


Now here's a reminder for you . . .


Just stopping in to remind you of how special you are to the Lord. You know how you love your kids? That bond is so great, nothing could ever break it, right? You would die for them. You would lay your life down to save theirs. I know you would. You're just that kind of Mama.


Your great God and Savior died for you, too. He laid his life down for you. He is just that kind of God.


You are loved. You are cherished, Mama, by your Father in Heaven. He will never leave or forsake you any more than you would forsake your own dear children. Did you know he loves you FAR more than you could ever love your own? Did you know His love for you is something you can't even yet comprehend? It's so much more real than this very life we live. It's so much higher than we are.


His love is deeper. His love is wider. His patience is enormous. His mercy never ceases. His hand is on your head.


His smile is broader. His arms are stronger. His care is a never-ending gift, and it's for YOU, Mama. His hand is resting gently on your head, and you will not waver. You are His.  


Your children, also--let them know too of His great love for them. Your family glorifies Christ, and He will be with you always. Rest, Mama. Rest in His smile. May His love, protection and provision be on you forever.


~ gena


U Can Do Math facts are fun and easy to memorize with the Can Do Kids! Our DVD helps your children learn their basic math facts by combining two subjects: the basic math facts and physical education. Designed for pre-school through 6th grade. We make learning fun and easy!

Visit us today www.CanDoKids.com

The Familyman 

Once upon a time, I was at a homeschool convention, walking the aisles just to stretch my legs. Since I go to at least a dozen conventions per year, I try to be polite and smile at the vendors since I've seen and done it all. Well, on this particular day, I eyed some free candy and was about to swoop in when I was accosted by the lady in charge.


"I saw your candy," I quickly said. "Would it be alright if I had a piece?"


She wasn't about to miss an opportunity to sell her produce . . . a math product. "Sure you can, but you have to let me demonstrate a simple concept."


I wasn't about to say, "No thanks," so I said, "Sure," instead.


She shared her simple math concept and proceeded to make me feel like the math-moron that I am. I couldn't learn her simple process . . . but I got my candy.


That's the thing with math; we each learn it differently. Some can memorize formulas, others understand the concepts, some thrive in the abstract, and some, like my son, Abe, learned with an abacus.


Yeah, you heard me right. My son who is a very concrete, sequential kind of learner was struggling with math on paper when my brilliant wife had the brilliant idea to try the old, dusty abacus. She spent a few minutes reading how to use it and WOW it all clicked for him. He could answer any quadruple digit math problem with borrowing or carrying almost instantly with the abacus.


My mom-friend, that's the beauty of homeschooling. It's not a one size-fits-all program. Find what works for your child and go with it. AND if you have a math-moron kid, like me . . . don't be too hard on him.


Be real,



P.S. My math-loving wife wanted me to plug the Teaching Textbooks math curriculum as well. With many kids to teach and after trying almost every program on the market during our last 14 years of homeschooling, she has landed on TT. It's a great program, all of our kids have liked it, it frees up mom, & the people behind it are wonderful! 



Navarre Beach Sand Sculpting Festival

Marine science meets art education--on the white sands of Navarre Beach. Book your vacation now to see top sculptors from across the country compete.



Make Math Fun! Get away from workbooks and learn! Reinforce the order of operations. Play any card game. This specialized deck uses music symbols like math variables. No musical knowledge needed (Key Included). Solve the expressions--get the card number. Increase/decrease difficulty by the card games you play. Ages 8-18.
Relational Homeschooling    
Diana Waring

Dear Friends,


Happy new school year! I know some of you started in August, but for those who have been eking out the last bit of summer, welcome to the start of a whole new year of learning!!


And, to get us started out right, we tackle a topic that can sink our boat before we get out of the harbor. Math is, for many of us, the subject most dreadful. It causes tears, fears, and weary hours at the table. Some make deals: "Do math, get meals." Others just cringe and hope it goes away. Though some kids are incredibly gifted in this one-of-eight intelligences (math/logical), many are not.


So . . . what is the best way to teach the stinker (referring, of course, to the subject, NOT the student!)?


It turns out that the best way to teach math is the same as the best way to teach every other subject! Build a bridge between it and your student.


You may be asking yourself, "How on earth do I build a bridge?"


Great question! Though the answer depends on discovering the uniqueness of your child, here are a few time-tested tips to get you started on finding the best bridge-builder for YOUR student.


Touch it.


2+2=4 is abstract.


Counting Mommy's two feet plus your two feet equals four feet!! (Toes and fingers can add up in a hurry, so this is not just for 4 year olds!)


Play it.


8+7=15 can be boring.


Playing a math-based card game is fun. (15-2, 15-4, that's all, there ain't no more . . .)


Sing it.


4x4=16 can be mindless.


Singing Skip Count Kids multiplication songs is memorable. (If you don't mind corny.)


Eat it.


1/4 + 1/2 = 3/4 can be confusing.


Cutting a lemon meringue pie into two halves, and then dividing one half equally again, will allow students to not only recognize that 2/4 = 1/2, but they can EAT their fraction. (You may want to practice 1/8 + 1/16 = 3/16!)


Color it.


25% of the area of a rectangle can be intimidating.


Coloring that same area is creative . . . (And enlightening!)


Teach it.


Long division can be challenging.


Teaching your friend, your sibling, your mother how do it can be thrilling. (Be sure your child adequately understands the concept before showing someone else.)


All of these are bridges. They span the space between the subject and the student, and they use the student's interest to anchor it in place.


It not only works, it adds lots of laughter and fun to your days!


Remember, stay relational.





Noetic Learning Math Contest
Want to challenge the math skills of your students? Host the Noetic Learning Math Contest! The NLMC is a national problem-solving contest for elementary students. The contest will challenge your students and  inspire them to excel in math. Give your students an opportunity to shine! Click here for the details.  

A division of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine 

Shapes Unless your child dreams of equations in his sleep, you know the challenge of making math fun and relevant. SchoolhouseTeachers.com has tools to help you do just that.


Dr. Peter Price with Elementary Math, Charlene Johnson with Pre-Algebra, Martha Candler with Trigonometry, and Teresa Evans with colorful Everyday Games all strive to make math enjoyable and encourage real-life understanding and application.


For the times you need printable practice sheets and drills, Daily Math provides more than 250 worksheets organized by skill and ready to print.


Join today: your first month is just $3. After that, $12.95 a month serves your entire family. Or save 10% by purchasing a yearly membership: just $139.    


Need some advice and ideas on how to teach your struggling reader?
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Last call:


Want homeschoolers to test health  

and nutrition curriculum.


We need volunteers to help evaluate The WAY curriculum being adapted for homeschoolers.


Designed for students in grades PK-5th, the program combines nutrition education and physical activity to motivate and assist students in maintaining and improving their health, preventing disease, and reducing risky health-related behaviors. The WAY Program has been lauded by Yale University, the American Heart Association and profiled on Good Morning America.


If you are interested in being a part of this focus group, please email Liz at  lkoon@thehomeschoolmagazine.com TODAY for more information. 


Creation Revolution 
"The concept of primitive hunter-gatherers using spices in their cooking challenges the evolutionary concept of ancient hunter-gatherers as being primitive humans."


Schoolhouse Library Are you a new homeschooler and aren't sure how to begin or a long-time homeschool parent looking for new, fun resources? For only $25, gain access to a library of over 175 E-Books or audio books for homeschool support and encouragement from popular  homeschool publishers and TOS.

Contest Corner 

For the month of September, 2013  


Chess is Child's Play


Chess is Child's Play, is a 26 chapter, 302 page book written by Laura Sherman and Bill Kirkpatrick. It helps you to teach your children chess by breaking it down into small and simple steps. It can be used to teach children beginning at age 2 all the way up. It even taught me how to play chess. Each lesson has a mini game to go along with it to help cement in the learning of the game, which also makes learning chess fun!


The preface is full of the many benefits of playing chess. They range from sportsmanship to problem solving, self-confidence, greater patience and focus and so much more. The lessons are a chapter, a few pages long, that you the parent read and then teach your child through games how to play chess. The games start off very simple to help you learn each piece's name and how they can move. Chess manners are discussed as well. As you work your way further through the book the lessons build on each other and get more complex. Before you realize it, you know how to play chess, as does your child. You both will have a great time along the way as well.


While we do own a few chess boards our family had no prior chess experience. This book has made teaching chess easy. We were able to work on it 3 nights a week learning chess. Each lesson and game took about 15 minutes to master. I like that I am able to teach them together and then they can play the simple games together until the next lesson. We are all learning together, even me. My 3 children who range in ages 7-13 have all been able to learn together. (. . .)


(To read the rest of the review, click HERE.)


TO ENTER: Email Heather with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, "Chess Book" for a chance to win* the book for your homeschool!


In this week's issue:

Take a look at what's new for Fall 2013 at SchoolhouseTeachers.com



Top Ten Tips
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