An Artsy, Mathematical Day

This morning I decided we would stay home (second time this week) so I could try to catch up on more housework, specifically laundry, for a fresh start to the weekend. Well, I didn’t get much laundry done! It’s tough maintaining a home/kids balance; I am really loving homeschooling, but it feels a little chaotic to me, as I am never doing enough on the house and never doing enough with the kids. Though I suppose that is just motherhood in general!

I mentioned yesterday that M made some paper dolls in speech class. The girls were playing with them all day yesterday, and M did a really great job sharing them with her younger sister. C had asked me to print out some dolls for her, and this morning I finally had time to do that. I ended up finding the same template that the speech teacher had used. Of course, M suddenly needed a few more accessories/dolls, so M ended up with 5 dolls and C with 2 (luckily C didn’t mind in the least). I loathe cutting out paper dolls; it is just so tedious, and the toddler is always hard to distract during that length of time. But as I was cutting this morning, I kept thinking about how in a few years, M won’t want or need me to do this, or a lot of things, anymore. I really tried to soak in this moment of being so involved, needed, and wanted with the girls’ activities.

Since the girls had been making beds for the dolls in their bedroom, and running out of space, I thought they would love making shoebox dollhouses for them. So that’s what we did next! I installed the beds and they decorated the houses with stickers/artwork and picked out fabric for blankets. They were happy playing with these dolls all day again. (By the way, they have a very nice wooden dollhouse that does not get nearly enough play. Maybe I need to paint it pink.)

This week M has been asking me to do finger knitting again (we did it last spring, and I thought I blogged about it, but apparently not). I’ve actually packed my yarn already (don’t ask me why, it appears we are never near to moving, and we get packers anyway), and I remembered that she needed a lot of my assistance for finger knitting, so I kept putting her off for a weekend project (when Dada can distract the toddler for me). But this morning I remembered that I had purchased a peg loom, and that it would be a perfect, almost-self-reliant project for her. She was over the moon! She decided that she will be making a purse – a rainbow purse – and that she won’t watch any TV in the morning until she is finished. I’m actually not thrilled about that idea, unless she waits to work on it after the toddler and I are awake, as she still needs a little help from me after each row. I plan on making a cardboard loom for C to play with, but didn’t have time to do that yet.

M is doing really well in her speech class this semester. Today she announced that she wants to invite friends over for a playdate so they can see how well she is talking now. It’s great to see how much she has improved and how proud of herself she is!

We also played some math games today. My sister-in-law passed on a blog with some great ideas. I was planning on doing the apple tree math activity, because it has been awhile since M worked on equations and because I knew M would enjoy it. I was going to make my own tree and use red pom-poms for the apples. I decided that I also wanted a blank worksheet for addition equations so M could write them out, so I went on a google hunt and found another awesome website, with great teaching resources, though you do need to register (free) to access the free resources. They had an apple subtraction activity, and since I wanted to concentrate on subtraction this time around, and it had the equation worksheets I was looking for, I went with this version. M loved it, and I was impressed that she could do it all by herself, even the harder (10+) numbers.

I also printed out the Halloween Cookie Addition download, but I thought that matching the spider equations to the the ghosts numbers just didn’t make any sense. So I saved the ghosts for another day, and made spider webs for each numeral 1-12. I taped the webs to the wall, and M had to pick a spider, solve the equation, and tape the spider to the correct spiderweb. She loved this so much, that she jumped for joy every time she solved an equation! It was difficult for her; she is not quite there yet to do these simple equations in her head (she still mixes up sixes and nines, for example), but I brought out the apples again for a visual reference. She used the apples once, and then started using her fingers. And then she figured out to use the spiderwebs, since they were in numerical order, to count out the answer. (For example, for 7 + 4, she would start at the #7 spiderweb, count 4 more, to solve the answer of 11.) By this point, C really wanted to do a math activity too, so I helped her with the easier equations. I would hold out my fingers (for example, for 4 + 2, I would hold out 4 fingers on one hand and 2 fingers on the other) and she would count them to get the answer. She was so proud of herself too! When they had finished all of the spiders (and there were a lot), I asked M if she wanted to write out the equations on paper I had printed out. She didn’t want to, so I left the worksheets out for her to do whenever. We’re leaving the spiderwebs on the hallway wall for a Halloween decoration, and maybe we’ll play the game again too.

By this point, the toddler was getting pretty annoyed. I get to play with her so much each day, but it’s still hard on a toddler when she can’t fully participate in what her big sisters are doing. Anyway, I was glad when Dada came home, with dinner. Hello, Weekend!

Leave a comment


  1. Mommy Bridget

     /  October 5, 2012

    Once again, I love your teaching ideas! Love the shot of M by the spiders and am in happy tears for her happines about speaking progress. Tell her please we are incredibly proud of her:-)

  2. Thanks for the mention!! Nice to have found your blog.


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