Fun Way to Practice Multiplication Facts from 1-9

By on Jan 5, 2016 in Math | 0 comments

A few months ago I stumbled across this small, wooden multiplication table on Amazon. My kiddo on the autism spectrum really despises doing math worksheets. Despite his love and obsession with routine, he also despises doing the same math facts over and over again. I saw this and immediately heard Gru in my head.

Given to us as a gift by a family member; purchased at Amazon.

Given to us as a gift by a family member; purchased at Amazon.

We were lucky enough to end up getting this as a present from one of our family members (who saw it on my homeschooling wish list). Originally, the kids weren’t too interested. But then, I turned it into a game.

Small Multiplication Table

When you do this, try to actually get the blocks IN the bowl.


Every morning, I dump the small wooden blocks into a bowl. Or a cup. Or whatever surface is handy. Then I jumble them all up. Or the kids jumble them all up. Or my one year old jumbles it all up and then pops one into my hand and one into his mouth. Whoops.

However it happens, what matters is that after the facts get jumbled up, they get unjumbled one by one. Read out loud the fact. Have the kids shout out the answer. Toss the block to the one who got it right. They put it back in the times table where it belongs. When they’re all back nestled into their homes, the game is over.

At least until tomorrow.

What would you do with a times table like this?

Sum Rummy

By on Oct 3, 2015 in Math | 0 comments

I’m so thrilled with our purchase of the RightStart Mathematics curriculum. It has drill sheets, sure, but it also encourages a deeper understanding of math through more longer thought-provoking problems as well as fun activities and math games. Yes. Games.

I love it.

Right now, though, he isn’t loving it. Of course, I am winning. That may be why.

Free Current Events Worksheet for Star Tribune on September 20, 2015

By on Sep 21, 2015 in Current Events | 0 comments

Do you teach children and do you get the Star Tribune‘s Sunday paper? Here’s a free current events worksheet with simple questions about content found in the September 20, 2015 paper. Educators might enjoy printing off these five pages (one for each day). Three of the five pages discuss a single article found in separate sections of the paper, one page has questions over multiple articles in one section of the paper, and the fifth page allows the student to find any article they are interested in and write on it. This was made for my fourth and fifth grader.

Let me know if you have any questions or corrections. :)

When was that Eiffel Tower built again?

By on Sep 8, 2015 in Herd Around The Home, Medieval World | 0 comments

We were doing homeschool lite during the summer (heretofore dubbed “Science Summer”), so I decided to do a quick review of what we’d learned so far about the medieval time period in history.

I ask, “Why did Clovis select Paris for his capital?”

Sammi, thoughtfully, “Uuuuummmmmmm…. Because of the Eiffel Tower?”

Cue hilarity.

The Mine

By on May 26, 2015 in Writing | 0 comments

I had to crack up when I read my son’s homework assignment. He is obsessed with turning over all our belongings to find the “Made in” stamp. He spends a lot of time groaning, “Not China again!”

The assignment: Write a five (or more) sentence story or poem using at least six stem words from Michael Clay Thompson’s Building Language p. 84-85. The following is a first draft written by an (almost) eleven year old.

From August 21, 2013: our trip to the Soudan State Park Underground Mine in Soudan, Minnesota.

From August 21, 2013: our trip to the Soudan State Park Underground Mine in Soudan, Minnesota.


The Mine

by Nate R.

Descend into the mine where you will mine in subterranean tunnels. Then you export it to other countries for buildings and toys. Respect the Chinese, they make most of it. Inspect the iron, make sure it is pure. Then the turquoise with its aquamarine blue: make sure it is right and true!

The Marauding Dragon: A Story by Sammi

By on Jan 16, 2015 in Writing | 0 comments

Sammi came up with their story from her memories of the tale of Bellerophon, Pegasus, and the Chimera.

Once there was a civilized village which was unexpectedly attacked by an angry dragon because it was hungry. All the villagers fled except for an unknown woman named Selena Robinson, who surprisingly stayed behind. She ran into the woods around the village to think it over. “If only I had…” Selena murmured, then fell into a deep slumber under a weeping willow.

When Selena woke from her slumber, she had a fantastic idea, which made her whoop because she was excited. The idea was to, wait for it, catch Pegasus, the flying horse! “Then I’ll drop a piece of lead down the dragon’s throat,” Selena quietly whispered to herself. She crawled home as to not be seen by the fierce dragon. When she was there, she gathered all the stuff she’d need. Then, Selena crept back into the woods to find Pegasus. When it was dark as a black sheep’s wool, Selena searched and searched and searched. She finally found Pegasus! Selena roped the air-born horse, her hand flailing until it sank into the depths of Pegasus’s mane. Selena swung herself on Pegasus’s white back. His ears flattened and then he reared!!

“AAAAAAAAAAHhhhhhh!” Selena screamed. The sound of her scream reflected and reeled back to her ears. It chilled her to her bones. Pegasus quieted. As for sweaty Selena, she swung herself off Pegasus’s smoothish back and went off in search for a piece of lead. When she found a piece, she thrust it on a spear.

At the next sighting of the blood-thirsty dragon, who was very ravenous, Selena leaped on Pegasus’s gleaming back and soared up to let the piece of lead descend toward the dragon’s throat. Then, Selena quickly flew away as to not be seared to death.

“Too much for you?!?” Selena yelled. “Haaa!”

As the dragon writhed in excruciating pain, it plummeted toward the mountainside they were near. As the filthy dragon hit the mountainside, its head hit a ragged sided rock, which cracked its skull open, killing the dragon! The villagers reconstructed their village, thanked Selena with gratitude in their voices, and lived happily ever after, all because of her (Selena).

Don’t attack others or you will be attacked.

The End.


The Marauding Dragon