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Create your own math playground

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Create your own math playground
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

Since late-February I’ve been writing a series about math in our homeschools–trying to investigate this subject from a different angle. (Get it, angle?!! Math humor, gotta love it.)

Up until now we’ve talked about looking at math differently, what that practically looks like for other families, children, and experts, and how to use books to increase our young children’s love of and exposure to math.

A different way to look at math

Much of the research we’ve peeked at suggests waiting until around age 10, give or take, to introduce formal math. (I’m not saying this is the only way to approach it, by the way! It’s one of many intentional possibilities.)

If you decide to follow this advice, however, what should you do up until that age? Well, why not create your own math playground?
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10 new “must-read” nonfiction picture books

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10 new must-read nonfiction picture books ~ SimpleHomeschool.net
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

The love of good books flows steadily through my bloodstream–always has. I have to admit, though, that I tend to stick to the tried-and-true classics, titles that have staying power and have inspired readers for generations.

But I also love stumbling across a new-to-me book on a library’s shelf and flipping through to discover that it has the makings of a classic after all–it inspires, it teaches, it tells a deeper story. And in the past year there have been many such books released.

Here are ten nonfiction titles, along with excerpts from the reviews they’ve been given, that you and yours might enjoy checking out:
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Out of the box math inspiration

Out of the box math inspiration
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

Two weeks ago I began a short series on math by explaining how our family decided to approach this subject in a non-traditional way.

If you missed that post, I’d recommend reading it first before continuing this one.

A different way to look at math

Today I want to continue by serving up more math inspiration. Several “out of the box” math links follow, which I hope will help you come to your own unique conclusion on this topic.

Many of these fueled our personal decision on when and how to teach math.

You can read the entire post I reference by clicking on the title link. I’ve also written a short overview as well as included excerpts. Enjoy!
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Kissing the frog: Our Latin curriculum hunt and what I learned

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Written by Lora Lynn Fanning of VitaFamiliae.

Professor Gerberding stalked into my Latin 101 class in college and slammed a brand new copy of Wheelock’s Latin onto my desk.

“Welcome to Latin! Learn it before you die!”

And I did.

Later, when I had kids, I wanted them to study Latin – and sooner than their poor Mama began to learn it.

The problem is, you can’t just throw a copy of Wheelock’s onto a 9-year-old’s desk and insist that they keep up.

I had no idea how to go about teaching Latin to younger kids. Hence, we kissed A LOT of frogs to find our Latin curriculum prince.

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5 tips for reading middle grade novels with your kids

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Written by contributor Sarah Mackenzie of Amongst Lovely Things

When my oldest children were small, I couldn’t wait until we could read middle grade novels together. I enjoyed reading picture books with them, of course, but it had been Beverly Cleary and Roald Dahl who had sparked my own childhood imagination and turned me into a lifelong reader.

I couldn’t wait to introduce favorite books and characters to my kids.

The first novel I tried to read to my kids was Little House in the Big Woods. It was wildly unsuccessful.

I hadn’t yet developed my own read-aloud skills enough to deliver the long descriptive passages in an interesting way, and my girls hadn’t had enough practice painting pictures in their heads and following along with longer narrative to keep up with what was going on. It was such a disappointment.

Now, I maintain that Laura Ingalls Wilder has written some of the best books ever written (and we have gone on to read her entire series three times as a family), but I don’t usually recommend that parents just starting to read novels with their kids start there.

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