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NOTICE ON PICS - All pics on this blog (unless otherwise stated) are my personal work. DO NOT take pics from this blog without seeking my permission first! Bless you.

Welcome to my blog. It is updated weekly with pictures and projects from our homeschool - maybe you can find something to inspire you :) I have a (no longer updated) materials page elsewhere on my website and will, occasionally, post my homemade materials in this blog.

I'm married to Tim (delivery driver and gorgeous musician), have 2 daughters, live on the south coast of the UK and have 1 aging cat (Hemmingway or Hemmy for short). I love reading, yoga, crafts, baking, daft old comedies, music and teaching.

On this page you can find my homeschool blog, if you want to read my general, day-to-day blog, click the link below :)

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NOTE ON PICTURES: This shouldn't be necessary but I have, sadly, noticed growing cases. Please DO NOT link directly to pictures on this website - it steals my bandwidth and is BAD! I CAN trace you if you do and I will take action.

Category : Maths


Saturday, October 30, 2010

A few pictures

... from the last week - not many, but the camera ran out of batteries! These are all April's but I'm going to try and get some pictures of Rosie's work soon as there is a vast difference between the work of a 5 year old and a 13 year old (obviously!) Difficult with Rosie though because she moans every time I point a camera in her direction *laughs*

Anyway, here goes:

America, puzzle map, online


Geometry work - yes, I wrote the word "equilateral triangle" and yes, she did insist on putting the names of the shapes in speech bubbles!



Food pyramid work - we used a food pyramid and sorting cards from Montessori for Everyone and then a worksheet where April had to draw foods in a blank pyramid




Posted by Sarah at 8:19 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Cultural, Maths


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quick catch up!

Next Montessori post coming soon, in the mean time here's a quick round up of what we did over the last week.

Firstly, a good science link since we couldn't use Sid the Science Kid anymore! I found a series of videos on Teachers TV called The Blue Dragon - aimed at 5-7 year olds. Here is a link to the videos and here are the programme notes from Channel 4. April REALLY loves this and said she wanted to make a lapbook - such a good idea! Actually, given the number of programmes, I think we're going to have to make several! Anyway, so far, we've covered a bit about food and done some life cycle and animal sorting activities.




In maths (we're still happily using Aha! Math from along with hands on work), she has been practicing addition/subtraction facts and working on geometry.

A Little Dicey!


Shapes that become other shapes


Shapes all around us - we dug out the Montessori shapes for this


April's also been doing the writing exercises from Ladybird keywords 1c:


Rosie's been doing well with her more independent work schedule - she's keeping up with it (although the last few days she's been ill with a cold) and is actually doing MORE work than when I had her on a stricter timetable!

Here's just one thing she's been working on - renewable/non-renewable/flow energy sources. After completing the relevant learning activity on Aha! Science, she used the sorting cards from Montessori Print shop and then created a page in her project book.

Here, she's working in her bedroom! :)



Posted by Sarah at 8:37 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Cultural, Language Arts, Maths


Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Just can't blog properly at the moment - suffering from a bit of blog-writers-block. I have plenty to say but can't seem to put it into words! Ah well, until I get my groove back, here are some pics.









Posted by Sarah at 8:31 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Crafts, Cultural, Language Arts, Maths


Thursday, September 02, 2010

First day back!

What a lovely, gentle start to the new school year we had :)

April first - she did her MEP maths and then we moved onto a lesson that I got from PBS about herbivores. She watched a short video about comparing dinosaur herbivores with modern day herbivores (she liked that very much!) and then she had to think about her favourite plants that she likes to eat. Then we made a poster showing the 3 categories - dinos, modern animals and plants she likes. She sorted the pictures I'd got from Word and glued them on her poster.


After that, we moved onto language arts - she's doing a study of Madeline and we're making a lapbook. She started today by first decorating the cover (a colouring page that she collaged with tissue paper) and then we looked up France on a map and she coloured it in on an outline map.




Now Rosie :) Again, she did her MEP maths (logic puzzles) and then a simple physics experiment to make an indoor rainbow (which I totally failed to get any pictures of!). Then she started on her lapbook - she's doing Operation English Grammar which we got from Hands of a Child. First she made the cover and did it to look like a sort of spy-gadget briefcase - very clever!


Then she did the first "mission" which was to find different types of nouns in a paragraph of one of her favourite books (she, naturally, chose a Harry Potter one!) She then filled in a chart which we put in the lapbook.



That was about it for this first day - the kids went off and did their own thing while I finished up making some crabapple and cinnamon jelly!

Posted by Sarah at 5:46 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Cultural, Language Arts, Maths


Friday, June 25, 2010

Work pics and a download!

I'm a bad homeschool blogger to be sure!

Anyway, here are a few pics from today:

April built words with some phonogram cards I got from a Yahoo group I'm on. She then wrote them in her book and drew a little picture to go with them. She was sat on the floor in a very strange yoga-y type position here!



She also did some addition using dice to get the numbers and dried beans to help her

She also made a little book with some drawings she did

Rosie did loads of stuff but the only thing I got a photo of was when we played a fractions game. We had to throw 3 fractions dice and then take the right "pie" pieces and add them together. The first person to build a "whole" was the winner. We're going to do this in reverse tomorrow and start with wholes and subtract fractions.

Now for my download! Some while ago I made a set of types of sentence cards (which are going to be offered as a freebie on my shop ONCE it gets finished .....). Well, I'm going to put them here again because I've now made a set of mini books to go with them. I'm intending to make a few more grammar related mini books and, hopefully, there will be enough in the end that you could put them together in a lapbook.

Anyway, here are the sentence type sorting cards.

.... and here are the mini books. Once made, you can write examples of the different types of sentences inside (perhaps some of the ones from the exercise above).

When making the cards, you need to glue the coloured dots (at the end) on to the backs of the sentence strips. The dots match the dots on the heading cards and can be used for self checking when all the strips have been sorted. For the mini books, simply cut out and fold in half - the coloured cover obviously goes on the front and you should be able to see where to fold - here's a piccie of the completed books anyway.....

Posted by Sarah at 4:46 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Language Arts, Maths


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Work update!

Very quick tonight because I'm off to watch Springwatch very soon! Here, I'm finally posting the pics from Rosie's number patterns work plus some of April's ladybird maths and also something April did today with the continents pictures :)

Number patterns first:

Using a 100 board to work out number sequences


I made some cardboard number tiles to build Pascal's Triangle






We cut out some graph paper and wrote the numbers on the squares to create a stick-in-book version of the triangle we'd made




Next, April's ladybird maths :) She did odd and even using a maths mat (from Math Wire I believe) and some black counters, then recorded her results for her book


She also did some adding up




Finally, today, April got out the continents map and pictures and sorted the pictures out under the correct puzzle piece


Then, she chose Europe to draw a couple of the animals and trace the puzzle piece in her book (she made me right Wild European Rabbit because "it's tooooo long!" *laughs*

Finally, she put some of the cards onto our big world map

Next, we're going to have a bit of a frog theme going on :) .... and that, as they say, is that! Sorry it's very short on words - off to watch telly now!

Posted by Sarah at 7:47 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Cultural, Maths


Friday, May 14, 2010

Finding the time ...

.... to blog is becoming increasingly difficult lately! We are still here, still working hard and getting lots done - I just don't seem to have the time to get it all written up!

I'm still working on the shop website and really hope to get that done soon so that I can start transferring all my materials from Lulu to the new site. It's just a case of Tim being off work and NOT doing anything else so that he can help me with it.

We've also been doing plenty of lovely outdoor things, in particular tending our little vegetable plot - we're in the process of thinning out the carrots at the moment because they're growing like wildfire!

Rosie and I have also been having a rethink about her "out of homeschool" activities - she's very, very keen to work in wildlife/conservation when she's older so she's decided she wants to star doing things to work towards that. Consequently we've put her name down for the Young Rangers at Moors Valley - they take them from 13 years so she'll start in September. It'll be a wonderful step in the right direction for her :)

There has been plenty of "academic" work going on too (so much that I haven't taken photos of yet!) - here are just a couple of things they did this morning.

April working with a homemade lacing card - I just drew simple shapes onto card, cut them out and punched holes round them. She's using a piece of string sellotaped to a cocktail stick to thread through the holes. Excellent for hand/eye coordination.


Rosie (or Rosie's hand!) doing a coordinates activity


That's all for now - I will (honestly!) get round to photographing a load of their recent work soon and putting it up here!

Posted by Sarah at 1:01 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Crafts, Maths


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Number patterns day 1!

We are a bit late getting started on this - had it planned for days but for some reason or another just didn't get round to it!

Anyway, today, we got going. I just have to say before I start, that I gather my ideas for maths lessons from various resources but we do (mostly!) follow the Year 7 curriculum and I have a Letts textbook which I use to see what we should be covering (like the number patterns!) We also, as you know, use the Conquer Maths for some online practice also.

Today, we started with the idea of a restaurant and tables - one table seats 4 customers so how many customers could you sit at 2 tables or 3 or 4 and so on......

Rosie used paper squares as a manipulative (we get through soooo much paper in this house!) and then created a table in a little match-book to hold her results. Eventually, all the little booklets she makes on this topic will be stuck together into 1 big book.

Tomorrow, we're going to expand this concept and look at what happens if the restaurant pushes tables together :)





Posted by Sarah at 5:02 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Maths


Saturday, May 01, 2010

More maths!

I seem to post aabout maths a lot at the moment! :)

April did this activity yesterday - I had some blank Unifix cube printouts so I glued them onto some paper then she drew random amounts of cubes and made addition sums with them.


Rosie, who finished her work on angles by drawing and measuring triangles, decided she wanted to make a game she'd seen in a Murderous Maths book. It's for adding/subtracting positive/negative numbers and you use playing cards - the black numbers being positive and the red ones being negative. The object of the game is to start at the boat and then add and subtract up and down the number line but avoid being frazzled by the sun or eaten by the shark :)

I think she drew it really well .....



The next stop on Rosie's maths "tour" is number patterns .... watch this space :)

Posted by Sarah at 5:49 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Maths


Monday, April 26, 2010

Angles and Addition

Had a fun, hands-on maths day today :)

April was working with a 5-frame I made her (going to do her a 10-frame soon) - first we played a game whereby I gave her a number and she "made" that number on the frame. The we looked at different ways of making numbers up to 5 - say, 4. She found she could have, for example, 3 red counters and 1 blue (3+1), all red counters (4+0), 2 red and 2 blue (2+2) and so on. Then I let her make her own combinations up and write them out on some special 5-frame addition paper I made her. If you want to do some activities like this, here are the papers I made (you will also need counters in 2 different colours).

First is the printout for the 5-frame (the 10-frame is on there also) - just print and laminate:


Next the addition worksheet - you could leave this whole or cut them apart for individual cards:

5-frame addition sheet

Here is an example of April's addition this morning - you can see she made 3 by having 3 blue counters and 0 red and 5 by having 3 blue and 2 red:

With Rosie I was doing angles - starting off with some basic review. I had her draw out circles of various sizes using a compass and then, when we'd cut them out, she cut random angles out of them. Then she measured them all and wrote the measurements on rough paper and then added them up - of course, discovering that a circle (whatever it's size) has 360° :)

Here she is measuring (excuse the hair! She'd just had a shower and not brushed yet - the scruffy so-and-so!):

Here is her finished notebook page:

I got the idea for this brilliant lesson from here (altogether a wonderful place for "living" maths ideas).

She's going to do some interactive angle stuff tomorrow and, while I was looking for some games for her, I came across this:


It's a really fun co-ordinates game - ok, nothing to do with angles but definately worth having a play with anyway! Bit like battleships - anyway, here's the link.

Posted by Sarah at 1:37 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Maths


Friday, April 23, 2010

Things we've done ... and a file :)

Just a quick blog today as I'm not feeling too good - got a nasty sore throat that may or may not turn into something more horrible :(

Anyway, here's some stuff we've been doing:

April has been practicing her reading by matching phrases - got this set from Montessori for Everyone - she's been having great fun making silly sentences :)


We've played with the Cuisenaire Rods and made cubed numbers


and April has been doing some money activities. Here is a really basic one working with pennies up to 10p. She reads the amount, counts out the right numbers of pennies and turns the card over to check. There's a little booklet to go with these that she hasn't done yet and ..oh... she's not actually DOING the activity in this picture. Ahem. Just playing with the money!


I've been tidying shelves (they were hideously messy!) and cleared up a bit of space on our geography shelf for .... something .. not decided yet! We're lacking in space here - have to cram a lot of materials into a very small area!


I also put out a couple of spring science activities for the kids - on the left April's basket for put a white flower into food colouring to change it's colour (no flower there yet!) and Rosie's - she's going to test various flowers and leaves from the garden using universal indicator paper. The spring nature table looks cute too :)

Oh, and the file? It's the money counting cards in the above picture :) There are 2 ways you can make these - as per the picture OR (as detailed in the file) by making them separate cards and matching them. If you do our method then you'll need to supply a whole bunch of pennies and if you do the other way you'll have to put coloured dots on the backs of the cards for checking afterwards. Obviously UK money so probably not much use to anyone anywhere else - sorry!

Here's the file:

Counting Pennies to 10p

Posted by Sarah at 3:43 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Language Arts, Maths


Monday, April 19, 2010

Still working!

Website still under construction - really hoping to get it unveiled soon!

In the meantime, we've been carrying on with the homeschooling - done lots of nature study (collecting feathers, sprouting seeds, pressing flowers and so on) and April has been working her way through the Starfall readers and workbooks.

April has also got on to using the addition and subtraction strip boards - she was very excited about these new materials! :)

Here she is doing addition (oh, and I know that sometimes our pics show the materials maybe not being used in EXACTLY the way they "should" but that's ok isn't it? :) ) This board is one of my own pdf files (which will be available in the shop ONCE it's done!)



And here is the subtraction strip board (we made a version of the Teaching Montessori in the Home ones) I will be doing a pdf of this but this one is made from cardboard with hadwritten numbers. Look at that concentration! :)

Now Rosie - working on grammar - we're currently reviewing adverbs and prepositions. The grammar Montessori materials are some of my favourites - I just love how those symbols help you remember the different parts of speech! Again, I do sell the printables for the grammar (they're still currently in the Lulu store - see link at top of page - until I get them in the new shop). At home we use the printables AND these craft foam ones.

Apart from this sort of work we've been outside lots enjoying the absolutely gorgeous weather we've been having - can't be indoors too much when there's blue sky and sunshine outside! :)

Posted by Sarah at 2:42 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Language Arts, Maths


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Note regarding Conquer Maths

I have (rather embarrassingly!) had to remove the links to Conquer Maths (at least for the time being) as they seem to be having some major issues with their website. We cannot currently access any of Rosie's lessons at all and are having problems even contacting them to find out what the issue is.

They seem to have given their website a facelift recently which may be what's caused all this. Still, for the time being I cannot be recommending them! Will let you know when (if!) they start working properly again.

Posted by Sarah at 8:09 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Maths


Thursday, April 08, 2010

Brilliant offer!

Just popping in quickly to make you aware of a great offer :) Many of you know that we are using Conquer Maths with Rosie and I just cannot sing their praises enough (in fact, I think I did in another post!). Her maths has come on in leaps and bounds while using it and she really enjoys the lessons hugely.

It's essentially for key stages 3 and 4 (although they have started to add lessons for years 5 and 6 also) and you have the option of paying for a whole year or monthly, whichever suits you best.

The best bit is, that until 30th September this year, they are doing a 20% discount (see picture link in sidebar) on new subscriptions! Honestly, I'd strongly recommend it to anyone, it's brilliant!

Back soon lovely people :)

Posted by Sarah at 4:37 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Maths


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A post of few words

.... and quite a few pictures! Just some things we (April mostly) have been doing - collage giraffe, addition tables with gnomes (no, we don't do Waldorf but she loves the gnomes so I sort of adapted it for Montessori), picture card writing, map work .... and so on!

April chose a picture card from the basket, dictated a sentence to me which described it, I wrote it on the story paper and then she copied it and drew a picture.



Rosie - working with my common/proper/abstract/collective noun cards


These are Alphablocks - April adores the Alphablocks which are on the Cbeebies website so I printed off the colouring pages they have REALLY small and she coloured them in. Then I laminated and cut them out to use as a kind of moveable alphabet. I think I printed 2 sets.


Always save your sweetie wrappers - come in very handy for collage! We've got HUNDREDS from Christmas!



I made these happy chappies - cute no? :) I put them in a basket with a bag of "jewels" (beads!) to work out sums with




Put the beads to the left and right of the addition gnome (in this case 1 + 5) and then collect them up and move them to the other side of the equals king to get the answer.



Posted by Sarah at 7:52 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Crafts, Cultural, Language Arts, Maths


Friday, February 05, 2010

Boastful mummy moment!

Woohoo! Rosie did her first end of topic test on Conquer maths and passed with 100%!!!

Since the 19th January she's been studying: expanded notation using 10,100 etc, expanded notation using Powers, expanded notation as a numeral, order of operations (levels 1 and 2) and number of properties. Some of these topics we've only very briefly scraped the surface of in the past so for her to pass with 100% is just AMAZING! I'm so proud of her!

Not all that long ago, Rosie was struggling with even the basic concept of carrying/borrowing and place value to the 100's - now she's tackling sums like these with NO problem whatsoever:



I'm fairly convinced that the reason she got over her "problems" with maths and retained more was because we gave up on the workbooks and did everything "hands on" - a combination of Montessori and more regular maths stuff like Unifix cubes, Cuisenaire rods, fractions circles etc. I really believe now that kids need a concrete way of learning maths before going on to more abstract work.

The Conquer Maths she's doing now works in a similar way - albeit on the computer! The lessons use lots of pictures, diagrams, charts and step by step instructions and examples before moving on to any sums.

By the way, I'm not getting paid to say nice things about this company - I just think it's terrific and want to pass that on to people!

Posted by Sarah at 8:08 AM [ permalink ]
Categories: Maths


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Valetine's activities

Here are 2 activities especially for Valentine's Day :)

The first is a patterning activity - just laminate and cut the strips apart and the pieces to finish the patterns. Click under the pictures to download:



The second activity is a set of cards and counters:


Cards and counters

Posted by Sarah at 9:02 PM [ permalink ]
Categories: Maths


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