Nice quote

"The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can." Neil Gaimon


Math audio by Pam Sorooshian on this page of free presentations: 

Here's an interesting math article from Psychology Today: 

Article about learning algebra easily by playing Dragon Box:

Real life situations have a huge impact and so much understanding can come from them!  Some of the ways that kids learn math skills more naturally than "sit down at the table" type of schoolwork is by:
  • having an allowance
  • saving money
  • Play "Penny Dime Dollar" - (scroll halfway down the page for how to play)
  • earning money
  • figuring out how much they need to get what they want to purchase and maybe when it goes on sale
  • selling things whether on ebay or from a lemonade stand or garage sale
  • looking up prices for things they are interested in on different websites, stores and noticing price trends
  • Building things!  Check out some of the ideas in David Stiles books - here are some of them - his other books on treehouses (not the one listed below...different ones) are so interesting to look at!  Perhaps inspiring....

  1. Forts for Kids
  2. Fun Projects for you and the Kids
  3. How to Build Treehouses, Huts and Forts

  • cooking and baking, grocery shopping
  • Counting whatever it is they need or want to count and dividing (calories, grams, marbles, give the same number of cookies to everyone in the group, etc) 
    • Here's a real life example of a younger child learning something new:  Yesterday we went out for pizza.  The pizza pie was cut into 8 slices.  My daughter Makana wanted to count how many slices we each ate.  There were three of us.  She knew she had three and I had two, so had to figure out how many Kanoa had eaten.  A learning experience that was meaningful.  And she said she already knew 4 + 4 was 8, but now knows something additional.  
  •  Eventually balancing a checkbook or helping and having a greater understanding of the bills and their costs within the household (if they are willing and interested)
  • Creating spreadsheets and performing calculations within the spreadsheet
  • Using calculators or online calculators
  • Building and doing crafts that require straight lines, measurements, angles, etc.
  • Traveling and figuring out the distance and how long it would take to get somewhere.  Possibly figuring out how much gas would cost or how many meals would have to be bought while being away and then how many should be made.  You can compare what you calculate for fuel costs to what GasBuddy calculates for fuel costs.:  Creating a food or spending budget while home or away.
  • using calendars - hang them and use them yourself.  Help kids calculate when birthdays or other special events are that they want to know about.  Show them.  Listen to them when they want to show you or ask you about dates or how long it will be until a special day or event.
  • using analog and digital clocks and watches, timers and stopwatches
    • Put an analog and/or digital clock up on the wall. 
    • estimate and calculate time until some specific hour and/or event or seeing you do this
    • Give your child tools to measure time with such as an analog and/or digital watch, timer, or stopwatch.  
      • My brother and I LOVED our stopwatches when we were kids and often timed how long it took to run various distances or do a homemade obstacle course.  
      • Not only might they like having a watch of their own, but it would give another opportunity to increase their awareness of time and offer a chance to estimate and calculate, plus and most importantly, it is useful!
    • Even some cell phones have stopwatch/timer features and a clock.
    • Look up stopwatch, the time, or a calculator on the computer.  
    • When you figure things out, sometimes do so aloud so they can see how the process works.  They will learn a bit more each time from hearing what you say and how you figure things out.
  • using or seeing you use a sky dial (see below)
Have you seen the Sky Dial by John Silverio?  It is a beautiful paper sky dial clearly showing the amount of daylight and darkness for the year and the length of day in hours.  You can also tell the approximate time of sunrise and setset for any week of the year.  This is determined by setting arrows at the appropriate month of the year and adjusting for daylight savings time if necessary.  

It not only gives information about daylight/darkness, sunrise/sunset times, but is beautiful as well..a paper piece of art.  John writes on the back of the skydial that "You will see how night and day expand and contract almost like breathing.  Also, those special times of the year, Winter and Summer Solstices and Spring and Fall Equinoxes will take on even greater meaning through the Sky Dial."

Though the skydial is calibrated for Boston, MA, it may be adjusted by for other locations.  

To purchase a skydial: 
John Silverio, 105 Proctor Road, Lincolnville, ME 04849
Phone number:  207-763-3885.
Skydial Image

Here is a site to check out: and they give good, detailed reviews of the Murderous Math books (For history related things, check out the "Horrible History" books!)
More Math related: 
Here are some math links if you want to take a look: 

Online card game book that has various games in it: 
Here is a link to great math books where concepts are discussed in the plot and the stories are interesting!  You could request them from the library - we especially love the Sir Cumference books - they are so fun to read! 
2015 note: The Charlesbridge site has still has some math stories, but I couldn't find many and I could only find one of the Sir Cumference books. To find them, google the author Cindy Neuschwander and Sir Cumference. You may also find them at your library or on Amazon. 

Here is a link to books to do with multiplication -

If you want to find a list similar to this, but on another math related area, google "fiction division books" or "fiction (whatever you want to find out about) books" and follow some of the links.

This is now the link I favor over Charlesbridge (it is listed above, but not with as much now...more fanfare...bells...whistles...check it out...esp if your child would enjoy these kind of stories):

Mindware - Check out the Math Perplexors - there are other kind of perplexors as well!  Really fun!

"The Math Dude" was listed on a clickschooling email and it looks like he has some interesting videos!

"The Adventures of Penrose the mathematical cat" - by Theoni Pappas (Theoni Pappas has some other interesting math related books as well.) 

"Family Math" - by Jean Kerr Stenmark, Virginia Thompson, and Ruth Cossey

"Family Math for young children" - by Grace Davila Coates

Family Math II Achieving Success In Mathematics by Grace Davila Coates and Virginia Thompson (maine library didn't have this particular one, but amazon had it)

Life of Fred -

Living Math Forum yahoo group (all kinds of educational philosophies share information and ideas):

Doodling and Origami: 
These Vi Hart videos are very interesting:

Npr article on Vi Hart:

For those who love to doodle and draw.  

Origami  Documentary "Between the Folds" - 

Origami (looks like a new site will be can check back to this site later or sign up for early access to the new site)

Origami Fun gives free written instructions as well as videos on how to make various origami.  Here is an example of how to make a dragon head.

Maine Libraries have lots of books and even free workshops on origami from time to time.  If you would like to see how to make origami from a live person, talk to your librarian about getting an origami enthusiast to come in and show people how to do it.  Or perhaps she might know of a child or adult in your area who would show you or your family how to make some simple origami creations.

My kids and I have one book that we think is clear and simple.  We've made foxes, polar bears, crayfish, and more.   It is called, "Beginner's Origami by Steve and Megumi Biddle. It is available through the Maine Library Lending System:

Interesting youtube video about circles:
and site that explains about folding circles

Video about slicing the Menger Sponge via the Simons Foundation

Online game that truly does help science:

This is interesting...the Batman Curve:

Addition practice with Batman (online game):

Pam Sorooshian's blog: 

Sandra's site:

Joyce's site:

Two links to old blogs that have lots of math game ideas (off the wayback machine)  One is Pam Sorooshian's and the other is Danielle Conger's.: 

(click on joyful math for more posts)

Ko's Journey is an interactive math game (sometimes on sale through Homeschool Buyers Club - Though the Coop offers lots of curriculum type things which I'm not interested in, this looked kind of cool and I thought might be fun.)  

All kinds of learning can happen from games.  Here's a link to one of Sandra Dodd's pages on games:

Shut the Box - This box game is so fun!  Even my youngest (age 5) is playing it!  We've eyed this game since we went to a lighthouse museum in NY in 2013 and saw that it was played by lighthouse keepers.  Finally, this year (2014), we purchased it.  Here's a link that explains more about the game:

Fun computer games:

Zoombinis (various logic/math games) - Kanoa likes this one!

Cluefinders (they have some math games)

Math Blasters - My older daughter liked playing “Mission 2: Race for the Omega Trophy” (this one we have on cd), but so far the other kids like playing different games like Minecraft, Roblox, and other online games.      

More free math-related games online: (this one I really like, especially the "Crossing the River game) has some puzzles and games (some of the other clickable sections are schooly, but might be interesting to some).  Thank you Teresa Robbins for sharing this link!

Johnnie's Math Page has various math games.  Kanoa (5 1/2) is into adding up numbers and might have fun playing with some of the simple games.  (Found the link through a Clickschooling email on 8/25/14):

Minecraft - 
About $26 dollars, but well worth it - my three younger kids LOVE this game (ages 12, 8, and 4 1/2)!  They’ve made so many connections from playing - drawing maps, thinking logically of how to do things and writing it all out with sketches, writing and talking to other players via skype while playing or typing words on signs within the game, finding out how to make various objects or how to make specific things happen (redstone circuitry), which may include watching tutorials and following instructions or learning how to do technical things like downloading mods to the computer or uploading new skins. 

A way to try the game out for 100 minutes or to play an old (build only) version for free:

There have been several blog posts by people who wrote how much learning happened by playing this game.
Blogposts about minecraft and learning:

Was reading the July 25, 2013 issue of the Free Press and saw a column that spoke about the shape of the doughnut -the torus (or if a solid doughnut shape, toriod).  Interesting!  Especially if you like to have them with a cup of coffee!:  

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