Lunch box fun

I love to put little jokes in the kids’ lunch boxes.  Unfortunately, my 5th grader is starting to think he’s too old for that.  Today I stumbled across some Halloween Trivia at Mother Huddle that is printable and ready to just be cut up and put into lunch boxes!  Perfect for my now 11 year old Cosmo Boy.  I thought some others might enjoy them too.

http://www.themotherhuddle.com/free-printable-halloween-trivia/

And for Curious Girl and any of you who still like to send jokes, she has Halloween jokes as well:

http://www.themotherhuddle.com/free-printable-halloween-jokes/

I’m off to get the kids to school, so I don’t have any time, but I hope to wander around her blog later today.  Anyone who shares their tools to make our lives a little easier – for free – is great in my book.  Let me know what you think!

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Kindred spirits

At soccer practice today I found two kindred spirits. Well, not like soul mates, more like two other Moms who share a frustration and worry about their Math strong sons and the lack of engagement for them in the school. The two Moms I met had 2nd grade sons – younger than my 5th grader for sure, but already they were feeling it. One was supplementing with Saxon Math at home, and one had decided to try home school this year.

doing the math for the floor plan

While it is nice to share frustrations and vent a little, I’m not one to keep complaining (unless I think it will change something). I kept wondering what could be done. There must be other Moms out there who have Math smart kids. How do you keep them challenged when the school work is just too easy (and boring)?

I have considered online lessons. My sister-in-law loved this one: http://epgy.stanford.edu/ but it is so expensive for just one class. We tried supplementing with Singapore math, but he wants time for unstructured play (and has soccer and scouts too). There are math games online, and we love Cyberchase: http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/ but he has mastered all of those.

What do others do?

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Summer travels in your home state.

We did a little travel this summer but did not leave the beautiful state of New Mexico. Having moved here a year and a half ago, we have not been to the many gorgeous areas of the state, but I hope to change that. I just ordered the travel guide for New Mexico and got Texas too while I’m at it. I’d love to go to some smaller festivals. We have made the UFO festival a tradition and love that one, but I remember when we lived in the middle of Texas – there were so many festivals and cultural activities with new foods, dancing, and music from all over the world all within driving distance. What are your favorite local festivals?

Get travel guides for all 50 states here:
http://benandme.com/2014/08/homeschooling-free-u-s-geography-state-maps-travel-guides.html

This summer we experienced living history at Las Colondrinas in Santa Fe, NM: http://www.golondrinas.org/

Las Colondrinas Santa Fe, NM2

Las Colondrinas Santa Fe, NM4

Las Colondrinas Santa Fe, NM7

This was on our way home from a week at Philmont PTC: http://www.philmontscoutranch.org/ptc.aspx
where I got some training while the kids had summer camp with hiking, ponies, and rain/lightening every night. It was SO fun!

Where did you travel this summer?

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Just teasing here…

Summer has been full. Full of camps, full of projects, full of world cup games, and full of classes for me. I can’t wait to tell you all about it soon. But for now, I’ll just show you a little about what Cosmo Boy did for his Science fair project…

His hypothesis was that playing math games improves your scores on math tests.

He had friends and Curious Girl do a pre and post test, with playing a math video game several times in between.

Math test for science fair project

He did it all himself from the idea to the board. I was proud of him!

Andres' science fair entry

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School’s Out!

The last few months have been busy…

. Girl Scout awards…
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Cub Scout awards…
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Science Fair Projects…
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“Small World” event with the gifted class…
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Field Trips…
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But now school is out and it’s time for Summer!!

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Where did March go?

It has been such a busy month! We kept busy with soccer. Mon & Wed practice for Cosmo Boy, Tues & Thurs for Curious Girl, and games on Saturdays. Add that to weekly science club, chess club, Girl Scouts, and Cub scouts and you will see why I have not been blogging (oh, and did I mention I’ve gone back to school).

But it has been a beautiful month with memories made on St Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day messSt Patrick's Day

And many beautiful days playing and practicing soccer

Rubye soccer kick

We are headed out camping this weekend with the Girl Scouts. I’m thinking of April Fools fun. Spring Break is the 7th. And then it’s time to get to planning summer activities!

Enjoy the last days of March!

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Mixing in Math

I am a Math geek at heart. I do science with kids and enjoy every minute of it, but deep down in my heart I yearn for more math. Hands-on math activities for groups are more of a challenge to find than science, partly because the level of math you understand makes a significant difference. Open ended science activities allow kids of all ages to jump in where they are at, but often math is not as forgiving at the elementary levels.

That is why I LOVE this book (also available en Espanol):

http://www.amazon.com/Fights-Puzzles-Hideouts-Marlene-Kliman/dp/0985000864

Marlene and her colleagues have gathered fun math activities all into one book for us! Included are quiet and loud games for preschoolers to children at the end of elementary. Building, dice rolling, and even activities you can eat are all inside. They have games to play while waiting in line, and activities for different holidays throughout the year. Games can be played with a winner or so that everybody wins. Each activity offers a harder version of the same activity so that once the original is mastered, the child can move up to more complicated math (or to use with older siblings). Family Math nights, classroom math fun, adding some math into your daily life, and library activity centers will never be the same. I have had the book for a couple of months and am already using it and making plans to use it more!

Gifts: Teachers, parents, and after school clubs! I plan to buy this book for each of my kids’ teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week (and one for the library), but I don’t know if I can wait that long. Oh, I HAVE to get one for the Gifted and Talented teacher too! I wonder if they have a bulk discount 😉

Cub Scouts: I have used several of these activities both as gathering activities, and for the Math belt loops and pin. I did a STEM NOVA summer camp and used some of these for the 1-2-3 Go NOVA award. If you would like more details on how we did the summer camp, let me know.

Family Math night: Food Fights, Puzzles, and Hideouts makes a family math night easy. Although I have not done one yet, it is on my list of things I can’t wait to do! Our school is doing a math-a-thon, and I will copy some of the activities in case the teachers are looking for innovative ideas.

http://tumblehomelearning.com/product/food-fights-puzzles-hideouts-mixing-in-math-book-from-thl-terc/

As you can see my excitement for the activities in this book is bubbling over. For those of you who are math geeks, or who want your kids to see how fun math can be – this is the book! Hands-on learning , in my opinion, is the best way to learn. Food Fights, Puzzles, and Hideouts offers hands on math
fun for kids.

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