Friday, March 25, 2011

Large numbers and ancestors

Friday at last.  A day of swimming lessons and a lighter day of schoolwork.  We try really hard to get the majority of our work done on Monday through Thursday so that Friday can be a more relaxed day.

So today, the boys only had a few review pages in their Math workbook.  We're using Singapore Math for that curriculum, and so far I'm really happy with it.  It teaches you a different way to think about numbers - less memorization, and more striving to truly understand.  The boys are currently learning fast mental calculation tricks.  Math was never my strong suit, but I always liked the basics.  I'm learning right along with them with these fun calculation tricks.  For instance, 349 - 98, you isolate 349, pull out 100 and 249, subtract 98 from the 100 you pulled out, getting 2.  Add 2 to 249 for an answer of 251.  Place values, which I remember as being very abstract to me when I was learning about them in third or fourth grade are concrete to them.  Maybe they take after their father.

Next week, we're doing something a bit different than our regular routine.  We're having whole days devoted to one subject.  Monday is Math day, so they will spend the day doing their Math workbook, completing an entire week.  Tuesday will be Writing/English day, Wednesday is History, and Thursday is geography.  They're looking forward to a change of pace.  Our spring break isn't until the following week - then we get 2 weeks off! - so this is a nice change of pace for our final week before that.

Sam and Caleb, their Math completed for the day, are busy designing a 30-story hotel that the "whole family!" can live in someday, "including all the ancestors!", according to Caleb.  Does he mean relatives?  Anyway, all of us, all the grandparents, and all the friends they could think of that could collaborate with them on inventing things, live in this place together and we don't even have to leave the building to see fireworks, because the twins, who will live in the spire at the top with their families, are in charge of shooting them off out the windows.

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