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If there is one thing that seems to be a constant struggle during our school day, it's the math portion. First, I will wholeheartedly tell you that I am not a big fan of math. Oh, I don't mind some fractions due to my quilting, or figuring out percentages when there is a great sale at Target or JCP, but one you start getting into Calculus or Trig (or worse, Algebra), forget it. Well, my son seems to have picked up on my distaste for the subject because, he too, puts up a fight when it's time to break out the math workbooks. Big UGH! Granted, we aren't anywhere near Algebra (we're still working on subtraction with borrowing), but he really likes to fuss and put up a fight. At least he did. I'm glad to say that it seems that I've been able to finally create for him a helpful math mat that he can use while working through his figures. I pulled a bunch of resources that we had been using in our instruction and put them in a laminated cover with a hole in the middle that he can lay over the ONE problem that he is working on (apparently, he was getting overwhelmed by seeing all the problems on the page and it would freak him out). The hole allows him to look at one problem at a time. The sheet also contains some poems that we've been using when remembering what to do, a number line, some counting fingers, and a hundreds chart. I'm really proud of it actually and it seems to really be helping The Monk work through his math at a much easier rate. There aren't nearly as much whining as there used to be since he started using it!
I'm honestly not sure if I will every find a planner for school that I absolutely love. I have tried, oh, how I have tried (if you read some of my previous posts, you'll see how I have often lamented not finding the right planner). However, one day I was just trying to sketch up an outline for how I wanted to make it through Greek Mythology when I just drew up a grid and started plotting everything out. And that is how it began. I started thinking about how I wanted to plan and pace our Fairy Tale unit and then I noticed something. I was using that grid to plot out all of our lessons. Not only our reading unit, but math, spelling, grammar...everything. Which I loved because then I could move things if I needed too and when things got really messy, I could just rewrite everything so that it looked nice again. It took me some time, but I was also able to find all these wonderful little clip art components from Melonheadz Illustrating online (for free! Oh how I love copy and paste.) and add them to my grids to just give them a bit of whimsy. I don't have a color printer right now (have you seen the prices of color ink cartridges?!), so I found some black and white ones that I color in (I love colorful planner, they make me happy). Again, to be completely honest, I'm not sure that this is something that I will stick to, but, for now, it's working quite well, thank you very much. Don't get me wrong. I am still yearning for something that is wire-bound and has wonderfully color-printed pages on it with glossy tabs for all the different subjects. And perhaps, I'll get FedEx Office to work for me and get everything printed the way that I want. But, my little clipboard and hand made tabs and marker colored clip art pages are doing their job of helping me stay organized, so I think I'll just let things ride...for now.
If you'd like to use my pages, let me know and I'll post them up! Cheers!