Week 1 - Sliding Back In To Business

We finally started getting back to some school this week. It feels like it has been forever, and the kids were ready.

Monday started out with a review for Miss Priss on subtraction, which we had touched on just a little bit between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  She had been content to keep working with the materials I used for her first presentation of subtraction. I was just beginning to wonder Monday how long she would want to continue, when she asked me for something new. My next step was, in my mind, going to be the subtraction board for just a little while. She wasn't really excited over using the addition board, so I wasn't going to press it much. Which is a good thing, since some of our printable bars for the board were *missing*. Thankfully, we had enough that she got the picture, and like I thought, she was ready to move on to something else in the same day. I saw the lightbulb come on while she worked with the subtraction board with the bars we had, so I wasn't concerned about going too fast.

The next work was the subtraction snake game.

 Armed with my laptop open to InfoMontessori's directions for the first presentation of the subtraction snake game, and our materials, we got started. About half way through, she started to get tired, so I encouraged her to continue until the end. Not only do we not have the ability to leave a work until the next day (which would be ideal, if you can), but I wanted her to see the snake disappear. Although she wasn't as excited about it this time, I think now that she has the ability to start right away with it, she won't be so tired trying to finish it.

We also worked more on learning to recognize and read long vowel words, especially those with that tricky *super silent e*. Often we use these [scrabble] tiles to move letters around and build words.

Bug pulled out our homemade teens board strips for the first time in a long time. It was a good review, and she easily identified all numbers and laid them out correctly. I think it's time to move on to the tens board strips!

Little Mama would do THIS all the time if I let her.

So, I waited until the first time she said "I'm bored" and grabbed the chance to strongly sweetly suggest she sit with me and review some math. I had her work a couple addition and subtraction problems that went in to the millions, abstractly, just to refresh her mind. Then we reviewed all multiplication tables up to 10. I found that she was still having a little difficulty in the 7,8, and 9 tables. Which brought on tears.... and the ever-present "I quit" when it comes to Math that gets difficult for her, or that she thinks will be difficult. This time, however, instead of backing off, I encouraged her to push forward.

As you can see in the picture above, this is the post-crying face. I wish at times like these that I had the short/long bead chains. BUT - I don't. So I made a rough DIY version - with pen and paper.

I just made dots on long pieces of blank, white printer paper. Then she labeled them with a pencil similar to how you would use the bead chain labels. She was able to see the connection there and read the facts out loud to me, as she saw them on the paper 'chain'. 

Then, I got something a little fun out for her. I finally remembered to go back and pick up the paint dabbers - Walmart has some in their craft section for a very reasonable price. We cut up squares of paper, and I wrote a multiplication problem on each one (we only did the table of 7's) and she used the paint dabbers to find the answer. She really enjoyed this, and it lifted her spirits. 

This is the only picture I managed to get of Hoss this week. I caught him in the kitchen, trying to get the battery section open of our globe to see what kind of batteries it needs. They would really love to be able to make use of the electronic part of it, but I honestly dread getting the batteries. I know that eventually, they will run out, and I will have to get more.... I am not a fan of keeping up with electronics that need constant battery replacement! I'm sure I will end up doing just that, however...

I have yet to resume tot school - we didn't make it through the last couple of colors with Buddy Boy, but I hope to do that next week. We are undergoing some (more) changes in the school room, as it is constantly evolving in to what we need for the time being, and I am going to try to keep his things in the school room from now on, where he can get to them whenever he wants, instead of taking them down and putting them back up out of reach. We shall see if that works, anyway. 

I am so glad to be getting back to normal again!


  1. That is exactly how S would have handled that too. And that is exactly how she would have looked post-experience. :) My heart goes out to you both...I know how tough it is to find the right line...when to encourage, when to nudge, and when to back off. I am sure you do too, but I try to encourage S to do her "tough" stuff straight away when she is "fresh." 5PM is NOT a good time to start something new, even it if is something she is proficient in doing.

    I am loving your materials. And I love your supplements too like the scrabble tiles. It would be a great Sunday afternoon family thing to play a scrabble game. Do you have a system you use for filing away "good ideas" you find around the internet, in books, etc. for reference later?

    1. Ahh yes - we are in this together! I used to try to get her to start with Math first thing - because that is the one thing she hates more than all else, and I thought it would be best to get it over with quickly - but then she was so stressed that she was ready to quit first thing in the morning, and didn't want to do anything else, which meant that I was still making her complete the rest of her work for the day. I am trying to find a good balance - maybe let her do something artistic and fun for a little bit, then get her math done, and then let her know she can read after - what do you think? (from another mom's point of view!) I would love to have the actual scrabble game - need to buy it - what a fun way to teach vocabulary and spelling!

      As far as filing away those good ideas - I do like pinterest. If I find something I really don't want to forget, I make sure to pin it - and try my best to not forget what board I pinned it to! :) I should probably make some sort of hard copy of my ideas - a notebook or something, in case I ever need it and don't have access to the computer for whatever reason. And I depend a lot on my memory - although that fails me sometimes, too! Google search is my friend... hahaha. What do you do?

  2. I like how you improvised the bead chain. The paint daubers are a neat idea, too! Good luck getting back into the school routine!

    1. Thank you! I do really hope to get the real chains soon, but it worked for that particular day :) Thanks for stopping by!


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