### Math With Emperor

Poor Emperor. He's doing very poorly in his mathematics when he tries to do things Mom's way. I've been trying and trying and TRYING to teach him to line his numbers up neatly. What happens is that his handwriting is so sloppy that he adds everything all wrong and gets millions when thousands will do. I've just had it. We've tried lined paper. Graph paper. AAAA! So frustrated I've lost my temper and so has he. But now he has found the solution. Now he will stare at the paper for a minute, and write the answer. I thought that certainly he must have cheated to do this. Did he look at the answer book? So I got a random problem out along with my calculator. Yes, he can really do this in his head and it's actually easier for him than writing all the steps out. He can do the math part, but the lining up numbers part is IMPOSSIBLE. What will we do when we get to larger numbers he can't do in his head? Wondering aloud here.

1. Mental math is certainly viable. They don't tell you that in school (even homeschool sometimes [laughing]), but you can become famous for your magical math skills.

~Luke

2. WOW!! I saw the first part of this video, and he does seem like a magician :]. Have to save it and watch with children later. I'll tell Emperor maybe he won't need the paper later on, either LOL!

I can't seem to keep it all straight in my head, though. I'm lucky if I get the right answer after several minutes.

3. Ditz is the same; can't line anything up straight, millions when hundreds would do, but hey, she would just write down the correct answer too ~ & got accussed of cheating several times because of it [not by me because I have never been able to do her math & guard the answer book with my life so *I* knew she wasn't cheating.] Sadly this ability seems to be departing with adolescence & she looks like ending up with mummy's math brain. This is not good news for either of us.

4. He's 7 years old right? Seriously, the fact that he is even doing that kind of math is AMAZING! My seven year old is NOT there yet AT ALL! So, if I were you I wouldn't worry about it!!! He's already ahead of the game, so maybe he just needs some time off?

Seriously, your children are brilliant, don't worry, Mama!

5. Thanks Daja! Yep, he would have been in first grade if he were in public school. He definitely has some sort of talent there that I wish *I* had.

Ganeida, maybe this ability is just taking a "vacation." Poor thing has been under a lot of stress as late. :]

6. Oh, to be a math whiz. I'm afraid my math gene is missing, and my poor kids aren't much better.

FYI, Daja's four year old is heading towards math genius.

7. And I have no idea what I'm going to do with my four year old when he surpasses my math skillz. (which may be fairly soon!) Maybe I'll send him to Mrs. C's Emperor for tutoring!!!!

### Reading Curriculum: ABeka Book and BJU Press

Did you know that in the state of Missouri, homeschoolers must teach reading as a separate subject?  I don't know how anyone could homeschool well without teaching their child to read... but OK.

I got many of my ABeka books used and collected them over time.  I'm glad I came across these readers early in my homeschooling years.  It teaches children to read step-by-step.  I don't think I've seen a more effective reading program for the elementary years.  The children love the stories, and what I appreciate about them is that there is a rich and varied language even in simple-to-read books in this series.

My set is pretty old, and some are even from the 1960's and no longer listed in the reading series.  I think if I had to do things over again somehow, I think I'd just spend on a curriculum set and be done with it.  That's the thing, though, with homeschooling.  By the time you figure out what the perfect curriculum is for you, your children have graduate…

### Homeschooling is NOT So Hard.

I wish I'd have known this starting out. I wish I'd have known that it's actually LESS work to just homeschool your child, than to be an "involved parent" at school.

We've enjoyed elementary school with our older boys. *Most* of the teachers were actually pretty competent and caring (the others, I save for another blog post, another day...). We had the children involved in extra activities like the Spanish Club or Service Club, or choir, and they got a fair bit out of the experience.

But it's a LOT of work.

You get about a ton of worksheets that must be done by a certain time. Usually on a day when you're sick or have no time. You get the phone calls about this or that, and about a zillion sheets per day that sometimes contain important news, so you MUST go through them daily. The schools also *love* to throw in half days, teacher in-service days and early dismissals. Not so bad, unless you have children at more than one school and the schedu…

### Holiday Gifts for the Homeschool Teacher!

Merrymaking hint:  leave this post up on your phone/ computer for your family to "accidentally" find!  Let the magic begin!

All teachers love a little appreciation every now and then, including homeschoolers.   I don't know about you, though, but I don't want any apple crap.  So first rule:  no apple crap!

Otherwise I'm pretty open.  I love getting gifts, even if it's just something small or simple.  One thing I love is when my children want to help out and make lunch or clean up or put their laundry away.  Or just behave themselves and get their math done.  This is a really big thing when you think about it.

And from the adults in my life, the gift of coffee always shows love - or rather, someone not wanting an "I need coffee" emergency in the middle of winter after a big snowstorm.  Somehow, I always have a lot of coffee in my pantry during the winter months.  (Guess why.) Thanks, D!

My gallery of homeschool appreciation pics: