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5.26.2016

Math for Creative Kids--Rose Academy

Ahhhhhh....summer break...I love summer break. So do my kids. BUT I don't like it when they forget what they learned during the school year, especially in math. We like to keep our school work light, simple, and short in the summer time. We participate in the local library reading programs, and we do math maybe 3 times per week. Mostly I like to allow them plenty of free time to play, explore, create, bake, and just have fun. I think this summer we will just work in these math books for 15-20 minutes a few times per week. (This post contains affiliate links. When you use my affiliate links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting my site!)
Are You a Math Genius? The Inventor's Book of Calculation Games is filled with brain teasers and logic puzzles that require using multiple math skills ranging from basic math to algebra. This book has 8 chapters for the students to work through. Chapter 1 is a test of basic skills. Once the student passes this chapter, they may advance onto the other chapters. I will not require my kids to work through these chapters in order after they complete chapter one. Subsequent chapters have students solving problems, writing descriptions, completing drawings, and accepting challenges. This book looks deceivingly simple, but don't be fooled by that fact. The kids are practicing math skills in a real life setting. They are solving word problems and using higher level thinking skills.
So what if a problem comes up that they haven't learned in their math book yet? That's really not a problem. You can teach the concept right there on the spot or have the child find a video tutorial online. You might actually be surprised that learning math in this way will have a much bigger impact on your child's learning. They need to know how to solve the problem so they will naturally figure it out.
Comic Book Math draws the child into the math by the use of cute (and well-known) character drawings--minecraft, LEGO, and many others make their appearance in this fun-schooling math journal. Along the way the child will review their addition and subtraction facts and participate in some creative writing activities. Again don't be fooled by the simplicity of this journal, there is some serious math and thinking going on. Along with reviewing the basic addition and subtraction facts, the students will engage in the creative side of learning math and that appeals to many, many creative kids. The fact that your child will be having FUN while practicing math is worth it. Several blank charts allow the child to make up their own math games and puzzles.
Multiplication Games uses logic and creativity to give a thorough review (along with plenty of practice) of the multiplication facts and skip counting. The students use logic to intuitively solve many of the puzzles and games in the book. Throughout the book the students also complete the multiplication table several times, which provides a good understanding of how the skip counting patterns and multiplication works. This would be a good book to complete in place of many of the speed drill worksheets that are so popular. 180 pages means the student could complete one per day of the school year and have a solid understanding of multiplication by the end of the year. I for sure would prefer to have fun with math rather than drill and kill those facts into their heads! This book is very similar to the math book from Dyslexia Games series C. The main difference is that this book includes extra multiplication charts for extra practice.
Which math book should you choose?

That really depends on what your children need at the moment. The Math Genius book is recommended for ages 13 and up, but I am working through it with my 11 year old. It is a challenge for him, but he is insistent on working through it. Younger students may enjoy the fun and simplicity of the review of addition and subtraction in Comic Book Math. For very young students, The Littlest Math Book may be the best place to start. It includes many similar activities from Comic Book Math, but is in a pocket size format. 
The ages are very flexible for each book and were created with a wide age range in mind. I personally would suggest that you choose a book that would appeal to your child. I would prefer that the book be too easy for my child rather than too hard. Use this graphic to help you decide which book is best for your child. 
What do your creative kids do in the summer for math review?
Read my other posts about the Thinking Tree books. I hope your family will enjoy these books just as much as we do!

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5.25.2016

Sunya Publishing--A Rose Academy Review

Every year during the month of May, Rose Academy starts to wrap up the school year and transition to summer learning. We reduce the amount of math that we do and keep the studies in the other subjects light and mostly student lead with just a bit of review thrown in. This month we have reviewed this game from Sunya Publishing--Sunya -  The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing, ages 9+. Well that's a mouthful! This is what we received in our Sunya package: number cards, a number line chart, the Sunya intruction manual, and the math and science facts and riddles. The number cards also include a multiplication, division, and equal sign. These are used to build the multiplication and division number sentences.

5.24.2016

Summer of Sewing--Star Wars


This is my second year to participate in Crafting Con. Last year I participated in the Once Upon A Time theme and that was so much fun that I decided to participate again. This year the theme is Star Wars and well, that was a no-brainer since I have a guy in my house who is really into all things Star Wars.

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When I mentioned making him this reversible hoodie, he jumped right on board telling me what it should look like and what details he wanted. For the base of the hoodie I used the Henday Hoodie pattern from Gracious Threads. This is a slim fitting hoodie with excellent drafting. I love when I discover a designer that the drafting of their patterns fits my kids perfectly. And I know that no matter what pattern I use from that designer, the fit will always be the same. So far Gracious Threads is the second pattern design company that I have stumbled on whose drafting is spot on. Keep it up please!
Since this hoodie is a slim fit AND since I was making it reversible, I sized up. For my son that meant making the hoodie in a size 12. Sadly this is the largest size that this pattern goes up to. Luckily he will fit in this size for a little while longer.

One side of the hoodie is Han Solo and the other side is Chewbacca. Here are some photos of the jacket and you can hop on over to read the main post over on the Crafting Con blog, where i share lots of other spectacular details. So far he loves this sweatshirt. What other characters can I recreate for him? He is certainly into super heroes right now so I'm thinking the next one needs to be super hero related!





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5.23.2016

Science Shepherd--A Rose Academy Review

My son loves science. Me...not so much. Science is almost always the first subject he wants to do, and it's always the last one I want to tackle. Science Shepherd Introductory Science has definitely changed my attitude towards teaching science. 
Part of the curriculum is the online videos--one per day. Even the experiments and activities have video demonstrations. The videos are what makes teaching science possible for me. They are engaging and short. And I can simply watch along.

5.16.2016

Summer of Sewing--Domi Sweatpants

 Eeeeek! These shorts turned super adorable! From all the little details of the pockets to the size, these turned out absolutely cute as a wearable muslin. The fabric that I used is left over from another top-secret project, but it was the perfect weight for these shorts. JoAnn fabrics carries this slate gray ponte knit and it is a dream work with. With a coupon (or on sale) it is very reasonably priced too! Good quality knits are hard to find, but as the demand grows they are becoming more popular and easy to find.
(This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase through my affiliate links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!)
I was actually looking for a pattern to sew for my son when I found this pattern on UpCraft Club (affiliate link). The Domi Sweatpants pattern by Sofilantjes is a unisex pattern suitable for knit fabric. Three lengths are included: full length, mid calf length, and shorts. The full length and calf length also include leg cuffs, which was what I was originally going to make and then decided on making shorts instead. The waistband (and optional leg cuffs) can be made from ribbing if desired. A faux drawstring may also be added. Two pocket styles are included--a round shallow pocket or a square deeper pocket. With so many options and sizes available, it is possible to use this one pattern year round for several years. The pattern includes size 12 month thru 14.
Let's talk about  my version. I sewed these shorts in size 12 months. According to her measurements she fits exactly into a 12 month. These are a close fitting short so knit fabric is definitely needed. I chose to make the cute little round pockets. This was the first time that I made pockets like these and I really like how they look. I think I may try this technique on a sweatshirt sometime.
I didn't have a dark colored ribbing and since I was going for a solid color, I made the waistband out of the same fabric as the shorts. Since my fabric does not have a large stretch or any Lycra, I added one inch elastic into the waistband to help hold them up.
I really love the length of these shorts. When I was making them I was afraid they would be super short, but they hit just above her knees. Perfect!

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Linguistic Development--A Rose Academy Review

I recently was able to review the newly updated, second edition Linguistic Development Through Poetry Memorization by Institute for Excellence in Writing. IEW was so very generous to also include a printed version of the student book. When you order this product you receive a PDF download of the student book, and there is an option to purchase a printed student book if you would prefer that.