Tag Archives: math

Homeschool Glimpse: January 2013

This is a little glimpse into the “Main Lesson” content of our homeschool.  The Main Lesson is the subject which occupies the bulk of time each day for a few weeks, usually two to six.


Ah, January, the long month of cold weather; every year in my planning I strive to make January as uncomplicated as possible.  I try to be home, settling back into our daily and weekly rhythms.  I try to stay away from main lessons that require a lot of prep work because I’m usually quite worn out after the holidays.

Toddler Circle Time

  • Our Time Hello (from Kindermusik Our Time)
  • Snowballs (from Kindermusik Imagine That)

Scoop up a mound of ice cold snow

And mold it into a ball, just so.

Now pull your arm back, nice and slow

And throw that snow….look at it go!

  • The Jolly Snowman (from Kindermusik Imagine That)

I’m a jolly snowman, oh so fat.

Here are my buttons, here is my hat.

I’m a jolly snowman, oh so fat.

Watch me dance, just like that

(circling right)

Come along and dance with me. Tra la la. Tra la la.

Come along and dance with me. Tra la la la la.

With your toes you tap, tap, tap.

With your hands you clap, clap, clap.

Tap, tap, tap. Clap, clap, clap.

Turn around so merrily. (repeat from circle)

I’m a jolly snowman, oh so fat.

Sunbeams shine down on me.

Now I’m melting just like that.

  • Once There Was a Snowman (from the Children’s Songbook)

Once there was a snowman, snowman, snowman.

Once there was a snowman, tall, tall, tall. (stretching up high)

In the sun he melted, melted, melted.

In the sun he melted, small, small, small. (melt to the ground)

Grade 2

The King of Ireland’s Son – Language Arts


  • The King of Ireland’s Son by Padraic Colum

Our King of Ireland’s Son block consisted mostly of reading the book!  It is quite a long book to read out loud, and our days seemed to hinge around reading as much as possible before the toddler got fed up and started interrupting.  The following day my second grader would draw a picture from the previous day’s reading and write a little summary and then we’d read as much a possible again.  Truth be told, when we started reading the King of Ireland’s Son I didn’t enjoy the stories very much.  I know it is a very popular book in Waldorf Schools and I wondered what all the hype was about.  Thankfully, the stories got better and better, and by the end of the book, I had gotten a little teary over the plot and my second grader and I were enjoying real conversations about the characters and the way the book was written.





  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Grade 5



  • Key to Decimals

My fifth grader is using the Key to… math workbooks this year.  I do like them.  They introduce material clearly and in a systematic manner.  In addition to the workbooks, she keeps a math notebook in which she records concepts we review from the previous day’s lesson.  Sometimes I worry that we aren’t making as much headway as we need to in the books, but as homeschoolers I suppose I would prefer that she moves a little more slowly but really gets the concepts down.  (But is she moving slowly?! Or normally?! Or quickly?! I don’t know! There’s no one to compare her to. LOL) Next year, I will probably continue to use these books (especially ones that we haven’t finished!), but I’d also like to get the Making Math Meaningful books by Jamie York.  Have you used them for grades 6 and up?





  • The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Thank you for visiting!

Mrs. Mallard

Shared as a part of Waldorf Wednesday

Math in Our Waldorf Homeschool: Place Value and Regrouping

Linking to Waldorf Wednesday!

When my son was in first grade last year, we worked on place value and regrouping (carrying and borrowing) during two of our math blocks.  I was really pleased with how the lessons turned out, so I wanted to share the resources I used for our block.

Having used the stories of the math gnomes from Marsha Johnson to introduce the four processes addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, I decided to carry the gnome stories into our lessons on place value and regrouping.  I ad-libbed a story about the gnomes finding a large cash of jewels and how they needed to figure out a way to organize and keep track of all of the jewels they found.  The gnomes decided that each time they collected 10 jewels, they would put them in a small bag.  When they had 10 small bags, they would collect them into a larger sack.  When they had 10 large sacks, they would put them into a basket and load them on a cart to carry out of the mine.  


I then gave my son “jewels,” small bags, and large sacks to practice keeping track of the jewels the way the gnomes did.  (He caught on quickly and I didn’t feel the need to make him bag 1000 jewels so we stopped at 500.)  Next, I showed him how we could write our numbers using the same process: a place for the single jewels “the ones,” a  place for the small bags of ten jewels “the tens,” a place for the large sacks of one hundred jewels “the hundreds,” and a place for the baskets, “the thousands.”  We talked about how you could go on collecting things into larger and larger groups of 10, then we practiced reading and writing place value to the millions for a couple of days.



In our next math block, we talked about adding two large amounts of jewels together.  All the while we used our jewel manipulatives to show how we must collect the 10 loose jewels into a small bag, the smaller bags into a large sack, and so on.   We then practiced writing this process on paper – “carrying” our bags and sacks into their new place.  Subtracting and borrowing was done in the same way.  I would give him certain number of jewels and ask him to take away a specified amount.  He would have to open the sacks  and bags and regroup the jewels to achieve the answer.  We then practiced how this works on paper.



I bought the “jewels” at Walmart.  The small bags and large sacks were from Oriental Trading Company. 

Please link up with your favorite activities to teach math of any kind.

Thanks for visiting!

Mrs. Mallard