Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Multiplication...whatever works.

I don't know 'bout you, but I find that teaching my boys the multiplication facts is one of the most difficult and challenging things that I need to do in homeschooling. Ya can't just infuse the facts. Osmosis would be nice but it seems like it's just one of those things that requires some rote memorization skills and a bit o' ingenuity.

Last year I made Logan (9) write and write and write them in a notebook.  He didn't mind writing so much.

But then there's Lucas who. hates. to. write.  He's 8.5.  He was ahead  in Math until we had to make a HUGE brake with multiplication facts.  He gets all the other new concepts of fractions, time, temperature....but those durn multiplication facts...they just ain't stickin'.

And then I was enlightened, as if a choir of angels were singing in my ear yesterday morning.  I was cutting up Lukie's morning fruit, specifically his apple, like he likes it, in his neurotic thirds. Each quarter has to be cut into thirds.  It was my "ahah" moment. I get those once in a really big long while.  Why not teach him the multiplication facts with fruit?

I was on it.  I enlisted Lance, my computer designer guru (also known as my 11 y/o), to come up with apple segments that I could print onto some red card stock.  We decided to go ahead and do bananas and orange segments too.

I cut up 36 apple segments this morning. I felt like I was making paper applesauce.  I just can't get away from food somehow.  We arranged six segments per apple.  It was so simple. It worked!  2 apples = 12,
3 = 18, etc...

I was finally speaking his language.  The kid decided he wants to be a chef this morning.

A boy after mine own heart.
The Lunch Lady

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