Addition & Subtraction BINGO

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My six-year-old felt left out because she couldn’t play BINGO with the boys, so I got an Addition & Subtraction BINGO for her.  We played it for the first time today and she won both times!  She really needs to work on memorizing her addition and subtraction facts, and this is the perfect fun way to get her to do it.  She actually did better than I thought she would for her first time playing it.

This version is exactly the same as the multiplication & division set, except the problems are different (obviously).  It has the same markers, same style of cards and boards.  It also comes with a nice, big poster of all the addition and subtraction facts.  There are 36 playing cards, too!

Check it out if you want an easy way to get your kids to memorize their addition and subtraction facts!

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Presto Change-O Game

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I recently purchased Presto Change-O so that my kids could play an educational game that would teach them about money.  In it players take turns moving around the board and either paying money (for things like going to the movies), or earning money (for things like washing the dishes).  There is also a spot where you can deposit a dollar and collect interest each time you pass it.  Another space is a business investment where you buy the space and collect money each time another player lands on it.

The game comes with fake money, though it resembles real U.S. coinage and bills.  The nice thing about this game is that if you lose a coin, it’s easy to just substitute a real one in its place.

It’s quite simple to play and my kids enjoy it.  They are becoming experts now at figuring out money matters for themselves.  Yay!

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Multiplication & Division BINGO

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I love to find alternate ways for my kids to work on math.  If it’s fun, so much the better!  The boys and I frequently play Multiplication & Division BINGO to help them memorize and review their math facts.

We don’t play for prizes, but you could if you wanted to.  It’s such a simple, yet fun way to provide review for your kids.  It also doesn’t require you to come up with some super-fancy idea–that’s what I like!

The cards are double-sided, one being multiplication, the other division.  The fact cards are also double-sided.  It has more than enough little red markers, and also includes a large poster with all of the math facts.  Bonus–the set comes with enough playing cards for an entire class!

Do you use any resources like this in your kids’ schooling?  How does it work for you?

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VCR Dissection

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Our poor old VCR quit working.  Really the silly thing wasn’t that old–only a few years.  I guess they don’t make machines like they used to.  Back when we bought it to replace our old one, I remember being shocked at the price.  $60 for a new VCR, when we were being told that they would soon be obsolete?  Huh?  Who had the bright idea to gouge people’s pocketbooks like that?

Well, as you can see, our $60 plastic box didn’t last.  Before letting it leave the house, Daddy pried it open with the boys and let them examine its innards.  He also deigned to plug it in sans protective plastic cover, much to my chagrin.  Hello–electrocution?!  As I stood watch like a hawk to make sure no fingers or metal objects wandered into the dangerous box, Daddy showed the boys how the video was opened and the tape fed through to be read.  It was interesting; I had no idea how it really worked inside.

Son 1 removed a few pieces of the VCR once it was unplugged.  That’s all we did with it, though.  Come to think of it, where did it end up?  Probably in a box in the basement.  A year from now I’ll open an unlabeled, lonely diaper box sitting forlornly on a shelf and there will be our old friend, Mr. VCR.

The Usborne Book of Peoples of the World

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For a long time, Social Studies was a subject that mystified me in our homeschooling journey.  How was I supposed to teach it?  What exactly should I teach?  What order?  How could I make it interesting?  During my own schooling years, I thought Social Studies was a boring class.  Leave it to the public school system to suck all the life out of a subject!  It wasn’t until my adult years that I learned how truly interesting history, the world, and different people groups really are.  Given the right method for relaying the information, Social Studies can be fascinating!

That is what I’d like to impart to my kids.  I want them to look at the world and people around them with curiosity and wonder.  I want history to be a living story for them.  To that end, I’m sticking with what has worked for me.  Textbooks are definitely out!  I enjoy historical novels, documentary-style videos, and kids’ books that are loaded with colorful, interesting pictures and informative text.  Another way that’s fun to explore different cultures is through their food.  It doesn’t get much more basic than that.

Peoples of the World is a book that we chose to sort of start us off on this Social Studies journey.  It gives a broad overview of the concept of people groups and culture.  It then goes on to each land area of the world, highlighting some general information about it.  The pictures are great and really enhance the learning.  There is also a nice map at the beginning of the book.

Stamp Collecting

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Pictured is the lot of approximately 1,000 stamps my son and I bid on and won, courtesy of eBay.  I recently handed over my stamp collection to my son.  He had been asking for some time to start collecting something.  I didn’t have any great ideas at the time, so he took it upon himself to start collecting caps off of any and all food containers.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him that those items are not typical collectibles and not worth anything.  He’s young, he’ll learn it sooner or later.

Fast-forward a couple of months, and I stumbled on a scrapbook album that I had started mounting stamps in.  My mother-in-law had given me an envelope full of interesting foreign stamps: different African countries, Bahrain, England, etc.  I mounted most of them at least a couple of years ago, then stuck the album on a shelf and left it sitting.  When I stumbled on the book again, I knew it would be the perfect thing for my son.  A collection that already had a head-start, was small and contained, not too expensive to start collecting, and actually interesting to look at.  He was excited to get my old album, and the next day we started checking out online auctions.  We bid on an eBay auction for 1,000 stamps and won it!  Hey–we were excited; not much happens at our house.

The entire lot fit in a thick business-size envelope.  I really was expecting something larger, but I counted the stamps, and we received the correct amount.  I decided to store them in my cupcake transporter-box-thing, which has a lid.  The container should protect the stamps from food, beverages and little fingers until they can be sorted and mounted.  We did get a fair number of repeats, so we’ll probably just pass those on…

Life of Fred: Apples

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As part of our math curriculum, we use Life of Fred books.  A homeschool friend clued us in to them, and the boys have really enjoyed it so far.  Fred, the main character, is a 5-year-old teacher at KITTENS University.  The book is broken up into chapters which follow Fred through his interesting days.  He does a lot of silly stuff, with math concepts sprinkled throughout and repeated often.  At the end of each chapter there are questions to answer.  The narrative is very tongue-in-cheek and full of comical drawings.

You can order the books in sets, either the entire 10-book elementary set, or in three separate sets.  This link takes you to the page with the different ordering options.  Each book ends up costing about $16.

We’re on to the next book in the series…Butterflies