### Emperor Teaches Math

Here's a bag of coins, some plastic animals and a dry erase board.  Go do some fun stuff for "homeschool" today with the little people and I'll pay you a dollar.  Keep the math simple, though!  They are only just learning to add simple numbers.

Emperor begins to explain to the children that presently, each plastic pig is three cents, but due to inflation and gas price increases, they will be five cents each next year.  He's not going to get into why, but prices go up.  So how many pigs do you want to buy?  Ten?

Great.  Now all your pigs are dead because you forgot to buy food and fence them in.  Want to start again?  OK.  Yes, maybe seven pigs is a better idea.

Yes, I'll pretend you can buy food and a fence with the rest of the money.  Now the price has gone up and you can make a profit!  Want to sell your pigs at the local bacon stand?

Great.  But then you have to pay your farmhand.  And sales tax.  And now the income tax man has come around.  You just lost a lot of money.

Rose suggests they sell the plastic bears at this point.  Now Emperor gets into the various differences in price, feeding pigs vs. bears, resale value, and who are you going to hire to take care of your bears?  Plastic bunnies now enter the picture.  Easter drives the cost of the plastic bunnies up.  Is it still a good idea to buy a bunny?

The plastic horses are now unbagged and they are discussing how much a pony ride would cost.  Woodjie has all the plastic animals fighting with Ka-Pow sounds, but Rose is determined that there IS a way to make money in this game.  She will find a way.

Next time I will hand the kid a textbook.

1. That's a pretty good way to teach them.
Years ago my history teacher would draw a big clock on the board and we pretended it was a time machine, she would tell us about that time in history and her lesson was just before lunch so we were to spend our lunch in that time it was very interesting and make history come alive.
Textbooks are just not written with kids in mind.
Merle...............

1. Awww... thanks, Merle! What an interesting way to eat lunch. I mean, unless you have to live during a "famine" at lunchtime. :)

2. Most interesting math lesson I've ever heard!
So much better than 'if a train leaves the station heading east at 35mph and another leaves the other station heading west at 45mph, where will they meet?' I always hated those and once told a teacher I didn't care where they met.

1. Not to mention, no train keeps a consistent speed up and down hills. I see they want an approximate time/place if they need to schedule trains where there is only one rail, though... but still... fifth graders are not train conductors! Yet. :)

3. You can take the boy out of homeschool, but you can't take homeschool out of the boy! :D

1. I know, right? :)

### 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: