We have been having way too much fun with math around here. That’s a good sign, because math is supposed to be the most boring subject of all. My kids have had so much fun learning math without a textbook. I wish I would have done this sooner.
Let me tell you why I didn’t. I was afraid. Even though I’ve had plenty of exposure to homeschooling in my life–my husband was homeschooled, I have siblings that were homeschooled–still doing it on my own was scarier than I thought. So if you’re thinking that your too scared to try this approach to math, I don’t blame you, but keep it in the back of your mind if you have a child that hates math.
Every day I like Math on the Level more and more. The whole idea of not having a textbook for the kids is actually liberating. I have come to realize that Math on the Level will always require lots of parent time, but it’s fun time. I enjoy putting together the lesson plans and playing math with my kids. Best of all my kids are loving math, the same two kids who last year would whine and whine when I told them to get their math done. And my three-year-old loves it when the older two are doing things for math, because he can get his hands in on the action often too.
Okay, now to the lapbook since that’s my heading! Lapbooks are not part of the Math on the Level program, but as you might already know, they’ve become a fun part of our homeschooling experience and since Math on the Level is about teaching concepts, not about doing pages of math, I am free to teach the concepts multiple ways. So this week, I had my son review several of the things he had covered last year by making a lapbook. This lapbook evolved a little bit, because my original idea was to make what some call a mini-office so we started out making a few of the mini books on the computer. Then I thought better of the situation. I thought, "What is the sense of my making this lapbook for him to look at? This should be his project and then making it will be reinforcing it in his mind." So a few of the components were from the original concept and then the rest are his creation. (Some with my assistance.)
Here are the pictures.
The lapbook opened up.
Left panel is a slider to practice counting backwards from twenty. The top middle is his handwritten hundreds chart. The bottom is a seven-inch ruler. The hands on the clock rotate and so he (or I) can set the time on the clock and then read it. I uploaded the template for the clock and you can download for free at hslaunch by clicking here. I’ve also uploaded the template for the Counting Backwards slider.
Here are close-ups of the other two mini-books in the above picture.
A close-up of the inside of the Place Value Layered Book.
The lapbook opened up further.
The top flap.
The hands are quite obviously about learning left and right. Yes, they were traced from his hands. The "Numbers about Me" are interesting numbers that he had to figure out such as weight, height, clothing size, birthday, his age, etc. Inside the house is his address and phone number. I’m not going to show the insides of these two for what I think is an obvious reason.
The inside of the inside of the lapbook. Close-ups following.
Learning to spell the number names.
Inside of the Coins tabbed book. (I got the artwork for the coins from the US Mint. It’s really nice artwork. Some of the coins on the front were stickers though.)
Some 2-D shapes.
You can probably tell which mini books he made and which ones I made. I just happen to think that his are way neater than mine. (You’re on your own now for making your own lapbooks, my boy!)