Tag Archive | 1st grade

A month with the number 3

Circle We’ve started a new method of math. It’s a progressive way to teach each number.

One number at a time you will start with stories and counting/skip counting. From there you will work on adding and subtracting. Lastly you will work on multiplication and division with that number.

Each number will be your sole focus for 4 weeks. Through complete submersion your child will learn how to work with this number inside and out.

This will be the base of all future math for your student.

  Week 1: Skip Counting and Story Telling

3s chart

3s chart

Song – Skip count, skip count, skip count by 3 Skip count, skip count, skip count with me. Listen now as we count to 30 3,6,9,12,15,18,21 24 and 27, isnt counting fun? 3,6,9,12,15,18,21 24 and 27, 30 and we’re done!

To get to know the number three this week, we drew out a few big circles with different numbers around them. Then she drew lines connecting the numbers skipping 3s. It was fun to see the different shapes that came from different amounts of numbers on the circle.

To get to know the number three this week, we drew out a few big circles with different numbers around them. Then she drew lines connecting the numbers skipping 3s. It was fun to see the different shapes that came from different amounts of numbers on the circle.

Week 2: Adding and Subtracting

Instead of just writing it out on paper, like this, take some chalk and hit the sidewalk for extra fun. Let the kids jump forward or backward 3 jumps from any number.

Instead of just writing it out on paper, like this, take some chalk and hit the sidewalk for extra fun. Let the kids jump forward or backward 3 jumps from any number.

Story – “The Snow Many Friends” After one winter storm a young boy and girl went out to build a snowman. He was a beautiful snow man. That night they looked out their window marveling at their snowman. The boy and girl made up stories about this snowman, but then they realized he needed some friends. So first thing the next morning they set out to build him 3 more friends. They had to get 3 snow balls for each one. 3 +3+3 is 9 snow balls. Then they needed 2 stones for eyes for each one. 2+2+2 is 6 stones for eyes. Keep going with hats, mouths, arms, legs, scarves, etc.


To flow from addition to multiplication we drew out this grid to play games with. In this picture she’s jumping 18: 3+3+3+3+3+3. She used this at the end of week 2 and beginning of week 3


Week 3: Multiplication

Using the clovers from our story and form drawing to write in multiplication facts

Using the clovers from our story and form drawing to write in multiplication facts

Story – “The Three Leaf Clover” I picked a three leaf clover on my way home from school. My brother saw it and was quick to say, “Three leaf clovers just arnt cool” The best clovers have 4, because they bring you luck. Find a clover with 4 leaves and you’ll be a lucky duck! Then it occurred to me, I could put two together! 6 is 2 times 3. If four is lucky then 6 is better! But why, I thought, should I stop there? 9 is 3 times 3. If a six leaf clover is lucky then nine is fine by me! But why be stingy I thought 15 is 5 times 3. If I had the luck of a fifteen-leaf I’d really be happy. And imagine the luck of 6 clovers! Luck you just couldn’t ignore. For 18 is 6 times 3 leaves. And that’s much better that four! Perhaps I could add just one more clover to my bunch. For 21 is 7 times 3 And then just on a hunch… Perhaps I’ll end with picking eight for 24 is 8 times 3. 24… If I had that much good luck how could I want for more? But then, again, more is better for 27 is 9 times 3. And if I had so much good luck That would be just fine! But right before I go inside I’ll pick just one last clover for 30 is 10 times 3. Now clover picking’s over

Multipilication Flower

To practice the 3s times tables I drew this big flower and wrote the 3 in the middle. Then I added the second factors. In the outer petals she wrote the answers.

Week 4: Division

Clovers 3

To flow from multiplication into division we used clovers. Put the whole part in one leaf and the factors in the others, then add the x and / symbols.

Story- “The three Fairies” Three fairies were meeting in the forrest one day; Crystal, Jezzabelle, and Leona. They wanted to have a picnic. Crystal brought 30 jelly beans. How many would she need to give each fairy? Jezzabelle brought 15 tuna sandwhiches. How many would she need to give each fairy? Leona brought 6 apples. How many would she need to give each fairy? Continue going through each fairy over and over coming up with different things they bring to the picnic and allow your child to divide by 3s

Getting familiar with both looks of division

Getting familiar with both looks of division


Our only “test”

Draw out many clovers and fill in 2 sides of it. Then allow the student to go back and fill in the remaining part. This was a fun test for her

Draw out many clovers and fill in 2 sides of it. Then allow the student to go back and fill in the remaining part. This was a fun test for her


Love & Logic for Being On Time

Last week my oldest daughter woke up and was running super slow all morning. At 8:38 I was on the phone and noticed she was still sitting on the couch. I asked her if she was watching the clock and she said she was. I reminded her that she needs to leave between 8:35-40 and she might want to get her shoes, coat, and bag on if she was going to make it to school on time. She told me she didnt want to go. I told her I was busy that day and if she wanted to stay home she would need to pay a baby sitter to watch her and she would have to stay in her room all day. She agreed and ran down stairs to find her money she earned from the previous week.

She came up bummed, “Mom I dont have enough” (she spent it already)

Me, “Oh thats a bummer honey dont worry there will be more on Friday. In the mean time would you like to wear your boots or shoes to school?”

B, “I dont want to go”

Me, “I understand honey. Would you rather wear boots or shoes to school?”

B, “Neither”

At this time I realized I needed to focus my sole attention on her and this situation in order to not get mad or frustrated, in order to stay calm, so I told the person I was chatting with I needed to go but would call them back in a bit.

Me, “Bailie honey your late for school now so may want to go quickly so you don’t get in trouble. Would you like to wear boots or shoes to school?”

B, “Neither”

Me, “I understand honey would you rather wear boots or shoes to school?”

B, “Neither”

Me, “I understand honey would you rather wear boots or shoes to school?”

B, “Ugggg you choose!”

Me, “I am wearing shoes today. Would you rather wear boots or shoes to school?”

B, “I want YOU to choose!”

Me, “I cant choose your shoes for you. Would you rather wear boots or shoes to school?”

B, “uuuug fine shoes”

At this point its 8:52 and school has started 2 minutes prior. As she walks out the door I say, “Bye honey I love you and I hope you have a great day” and she replies, “You too mom” in a not so cheerful voice.

So immediately I call the school. I ask the lady on the phone what happens when kids are late for school. She says, “well they get a tardy slip… so nothing really” I asked if there was any other repercussions for the children. Shes said, “Well after so many the parents get a letter home …” then after a moment of pause I could hear the realization in her voice as she says, “Its more like the parents get in trouble than the kids” with a faint giggle following. So I tell her thats ok I can understand that but that Bailie was on her way to school now and she left late on purpose and I want her to understand the importance of being on time. That it is HER responsibility to get out the door on time and to get to school on time because when she is older it will be her responsibility to get places on time, that she wont always have a parent to shuffle her out the door. I want her to understand now rather than later, that there are consequences to being late.

The lady at the school then said, “Well we did have a girl a while back who was late a lot so she stayed in the principles office during recess each time” I said that would be perfect! (Can I just say how happy I am that they were willing to work with me on this one! Its far better she learns by loosing recess now than her job later on it life).

So the next day she was out the door right on time! I was please but it wasn’t until today that I realized the lesson was learned. That the consequences taught her far better than my nagging could have! She was upset with me for not allowing her to use the stairwell because she left the gate open at the top (that’s a whole other story and Ill spare you there for now) so I let her know that she would need to go around the house if she wanted to get her things for school. Now we went through this gate scenario a couple weeks ago and it took her an hour and a half before she would walk around the house to get upstairs. I was fully prepared for that again, but this time with in 2 minutes she was going out the back door and coming around to the front. She very nicely grabbed her things and hugged her sister and said good bye for the day. I started to ask her something and she says, “Mom I have to go quickly its 8:40! I cant be late I don’t want to go to the office like yesterday” I said, “What do you mean you left early yesterday why did you have to go to the office?” For which she confessed, “Ya but I was being a slow poke. I was late and had to miss my recesses so today I am going to run!”

I didn’t have to beg and plea for her to get out the door and to school on time. I didnt have to yell and fuss to teach her the importance of not being tardy. The school stuck to the repercussions they agreed to give her when she’s late and the consequences taught the lesson for me!

Homemade Silly Putty

This morning I saw a really neat slime idea that used borax but I didnt have any so I went a Goggling for other gooy-slimy concoctions and found one that said laundry soap. This I had! So here we go!


Laundry Soap, Glue, and some Glitter for fun.


Pour glue into bowl.


Add laundry soap. I added too much and had to add more glue.


Add glitter and begin mixing.


When it reaches this wet sticky consistency let it sit for 10-15 minutes and begin to work it with your hands.




Peel from bowl and give to a kid!

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When you’re done, store it in a jar for later!

Consequences Vs Punishment


I have been off Facebook this week and that has lead to two things. One I feel cut off from the world through 75% of my day. With my husband gone and having just had a new baby to balance with a toddler and older child I sometimes only leave the house twice a week; for Girl Scouts and Moms Group Tuesday evenings and to go to church on Sat or Sun. So online right now is my main connection to the world. Two I find I have more time, in my spare time, to do something I love; read! When the week is over and I go back to Facebook, I will have to make more time in my spare time to read and still virtually interact with people.

So what have I been reading this week? A book on having Large Families. Many large families have children close in age so I am learning a lot of great tips and tricks to make my day go so much smoother. The other thing Im reading, I posted about last week too, Parenting with Love and Logic. This book is literally changing our worlds! This chapter I am in right now has opened my eyes to so much. Its about the difference between punishments and consequences and how to handle them with empathy.

The author is talking about bed time. How he tried for years to teach his children about how important sleep was and that he would yell and shout to get them to go to bed and when they wouldn’t he would punish them with a spanking or taking away tv privileges or out of their sport events, etc. Then he said someone shared with him something so important. “You cant make a child go to sleep” He said he went upstairs and told his children he was sorry for meddling in their lives and that he was going to give them two rules for bedtime and leave it at that. 1. He and his wife did not want to see or hear from them after 8pm. They were more than welcome to be awake and in their rooms but they could not bother their parents. 2. Everyone in the house got up at 6.  (I already use this with Bailie because this was how my dad used to do it with me. After a certain age he stopped forcing bedtime but would make me get up no later than 7 on any given day. I was not allowed to sleep in or take naps. I learned the importance of sleep.) So he goes on to say that night his kids stayed up with their light on literally all night. When he got them up the next day they were tired and wanted to go back to bed and skip school, even claimed they were sick. He lovingly and empathetically said, “Well sure kids, that’s what happens to me too when I stay up too late. I bet it’s going to be a long day at school. Well, try to have as good of a day as you possibly can, under the circumstances. We’ll see you when you get home. Have a nice day.” and sent them on their way. When they got home they were dead tired and hardly made it through dinner when one of his children declared, “I think I’ll go to bed early” It took his child ONE NIGHT to learn a lesson he had been trying to teach them all for YEARS! 

Now like I said I already do this with bed time, but not because I was all insightful, but simply because thats how it was done with me. So I am pondering where else in her life I do this? Where do I possibly take away her chance to learn from the consequences (like being exhausted all day) by implementing punishments (like spanking or taking away a privilege)? Afterall, as an adult, noone takes away my computer or tv when I make mistakes or wont go to bed.  (More to come later after I ponder this further)


Feel free to check out my first post Who Owns THIS Problem

20 Science Experiments with Baby Food Jars

When your homeschooling you do all you can to come up with ways to reuse and recycle in order to teach your children. So after someone gave me a bunch of baby food (for the baby lol) I didn’t want to waste the jars. My husband suggested I use the jars for the rest of the baby food that I make to store, but usually I just freeze them so instead I went on the hunt for other uses. In posts to come you will find “Entertaining your children with baby food jars” and “Organizing and Crafting with baby food jars” but first I bring you “20 Science Experiments with Baby Food Jars”!

  1. Seed Starter – Fill your jar half full with dirt then drop in a seed and top with some more dirt. Water them and put them in a sunny place. Have your child document daily what they see.
  2. Bug House – Pop some holes in the top of a lid so your kids critters have some air and then send them on the hunt for their favorite bugs. They can spend the day documenting how the bug acts, what they like to eat best, etc. At the end of the day just open the top and release the bug. Tomorrow use a different bug.
  3. Ant Farm – Fill your jar 3/4 full with dirt and add the ants. Your child can watch how the ants tunnel around.
  4. Found on a Walk – Take a couple jars and go on a walk with your kids and they can fill the jars with any neat things they find along the way.
  5. Terrariums – Add a layer of dirt, then moss, and a couple sticks and you have the perfect terrarium! Use this opportunity to talk with your kids about what critters this may be the perfect habitat for on a larger scale.
  6. Universe in a Jar – Fill your jar with water and add food coloring to make it black. Drop in some bits of tin foil. Shake it up and you have a night sky.
  7. Hot and Cold Water Trick – This was a really neat project that shows children how hot and cold water interact with each other.
  8. Food coloring and Oil – Add half water and drop some food coloring in, then add oil and allow your kids to shake, then explain why they wont mix.
  9. Smelling Jars – Poke holes in the lids of different baby food jars and put something different in each jar. (roses, cinnamon, basil, banana, chocolate, etc)
  10. Barometer – This looks like a super fun experiment for kids of all ages!
  11. Raising Raisins – “Pour clear carbonated soda water into a clear glass. Drop four or five raisins into the glass. Show children how the carbon dioxide bubbles make the raisins rise and fall. “
  12. Run Away Pepper– “Sprinkle pepper over the top of a cup of water. Put a dab of soap on your finger and touch the center of the pepper. Show children that the soap breaks the surface tension of the water and the tension on the rest of the water pulls the floating pepper away from the soap. “
  13. Pop Corn Dance  – “Fill small a glass jar 3/4 full of water. Mix in 2 tablespoons of baking soda and mix well. Add a drop or two of food coloring and 10 to 15 popcorn kernels. Then add a few drops of vinegar. The kernels will start to move in one or two minutes.”
  14. Ice Magic – “Fill a glass with water and add one ice cube. Let a child lay a piece of string across the ice and try to pick up the ice with the string. Sprinkle a little salt over the ice cube, count to 10 and have child try again. Show child how the salt melted the ice just enough to bond around the string. ”
  15. Volcano – “Place an empty baby food jar on a tray. Surround the jar with play dough. Form the dough to look like a mountain. Put a drop of red food coloring and a tablespoon of baking soda in the jar. Then add some vinegar to it to make it erupt. “
  16. Movement of Magma
  17. Bubble Life and Temperatures – “You are going to pour the same amount of bubble solution into jars, expose the jars to different temperatures, shake the jars to create bubbles, and see if there is any difference in how long the bubbles last. “
  18. Lotion Moisture Test – Fill a few jars with water and then dip coffee filters in different brands and types of lotion. Rubber band the filter on top of the jars and see which jars water evaporates the fastest and the slowest to see which brands hold the moisture in your skin the longest.
  19. Insulation Tester – Fill a few jars with the same temperature hot water and wrap different materials around them to see which materials are the best insulators.
  20. Learning about primary and secondary colors – Using 6 baby food jars add water to three. In one add yellow food coloring, in another add blue food coloring, and in the last add red food coloring. Allow your children to pour some into different empty jars to make all the secondary colors. Use extra jars to see how to make brown and black.

Note: These experiments were a collective gathering from myself, friends, public and homeschool teachers, as well as other website. You can click the links to see the original sources of the websites some of the experiments came from.

Please comment below if you know of any other fun experiments you can do with baby food jars!