Posted by Becky on March 13, 2013
So, I am trying really hard to work past my own math phobias and let my kids explore math in new ways. We have mostly stuck with curricula when it comes to math in our homeschooling efforts. I have picked up a few living books about math, but I haven’t been awesome about really using them. Which is pretty ridiculous when you think about it. I am all about learning from real life and good books in every other area, but I have serious hang-ups with math. Probably the fact that I always struggled with it, was told it was “not my subject,” and had to take Algebra 1 THREE times. I took that class and geometry, found out that two credits were all I needed to graduate, and so that was it for me. As an adult, I find math a lot more interesting and even beautiful, but I still have reservations.
One of my kids really struggles with math as well. Actually, only basic arithmetic and memorization. Higher math concepts and formulas are something he has no real problem with. So in an effort to help him reach his goals in a more meaningful & purposeful way, I am exploring algebra even though he hasn’t mastered memorizing basic facts. I mean he does long division, but with a chart because he is just stuck on memorizing those stupid facts. We are not going to stop working on that aspect, but he is capable of doing more, so onward we march.
Last week I downloaded the app DragonBox at the recommendation of my friend, Melissa. This app is AWESOME! It teaches basic algebra concepts (mostly equation balancing) in a few hours. In fact, I beat the game and so did all of my kids in no time at all…even my 8 year old. Cole (13) also beat the bonus levels, and the girls are working on them now. It was expensive as far as apps go, but I can say with no reservation that it was worth every penny!!
In addition, I have been letting him explore concepts he is interested in on Khan academy. He can watch videos and practice whatever he wants on there. He is enjoying looking through all the different kinds of math and (I hope) opening his mind to the possibilities.
I also picked up some math books at the library. Some are math stories with concepts to practice, and some are basics of algebra. We have been working through this for the past few days I hope to use them as a springboard to future topics.
I know we can find ways to learn math that are fun, interesting, and relevant to real life. I am thankful for friends who are good at this, and a local tutor who I hear is fabulous should I need to eventually hire him for help. My community rocks!
Posted by Becky on March 12, 2013
I had a pretty amazing day today. I am utterly exhausted, but I was so productive that I feel like one bad mamma jamma.
I managed to get some yoga time in before breakfast, do school with my kids, vacuum the downstairs (including the window sills), make two loaves of bread, scrub my kitchen down, wash and fold several loads of laundry, iron all of my skirts that are ready for a spring outing, and make dinner.
Why was this day different than any other? What’s the big secret, you might ask?
I stayed off the damn interwebs, that’s what. I checked in briefly as I ate my breakfast and had some coffee, and then I left it alone while making my morning productive. I checked it again while I ate my lunch, and then I was off again. I listened to music to help keep me motivated and I kept asking myself what else needed to be done and just DID IT.
Now, I am sure my mother (and certainly my grandmother) would have had an even more productive day because they are both always up at the crack of dawn and not addicted to the computer, but I am sooooo not a morning person and I love my online interactions, so some concessions have to be made. I also realize it’s no secret that Facebook will suck your life away, but sometimes I forget. I have to literally take a break and remember that life happens away from my laptop. Some days I am so busy and on-the-go that I can’t be on Facebook much, and sometimes I am on for (what feels like) an entire day.
Stepping away to gain perspective is a beautiful thing.
I am going to try and keep this ball rolling because there are a bunch of things I want to get done this week, including getting back on track with our schedule. It feels good! So while I will be blogging more (I hope), I also want to stop wasting time online. *ahem* Pinterest & Facebook, I am looking at you. Or not. Because duh, you waste too much of my time.
Posted by Becky on March 11, 2013
Posted by Becky on February 20, 2013
If you are on a low carb diet, it can be challenging to find things to eat for breakfast. Before I decided to change my eating habits, I was pretty much a “coffee only” kind of girl when it came to breakfast. I don’t particularly love breakfast foods, and I was usually not hungry at breakfast time. Once I started low carb, I got sick of eggs *really* fast. Of course, I can also eat leftovers, but I would rather save those for lunch when I am more pressed for time, than for breakfast when I can make something else easily enough. Conundrum!
I began making eggs in a variety of ways, which helps, and then I stumbled upon the flax “muffin-in-a-minute.” This is a quick and easy breakfast muffin that low carbers can feel good about. Still, it was a little blah. FINALLY, I found a pumpkin/flax muffin-in-a-minute and it has become my favorite easy breakfast. I am sure I don’t have to tell you about the great health benefits of flax, but if you don’t know, educate yourself!
On to the recipe!
- 1/4 cup ground flax meal
- 1 tbsp Splenda granulated sweetener (or sweetener of your choice)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Dash of nutmeg and cloves
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 2.5 tbsp pumpkin puree
Combine and mix all ingredients in a large coffee mug. Microwave for 1:40. I slice in half and top with softened cream cheese. This is a “fork” muffin for me. I can pick it up and eat it, but it’s really moist, so I prefer to eat it with a fork. SO YUM!
Posted by Becky on February 18, 2013