The Secret of the Pharaoh’s Treasure, Part 3

[In the last episode, Alexandria Jones discovered a mysterious treasure: three wooden sticks, like tent pegs, and a long loop of rope with 12 evenly spaced knots. Her father explained that it was an ancient Egyptian surveyor’s tool, used to mark right angles.]

Back at the camp, Fibonacci Jones stacked multi-layer sandwiches while Alexandria poured milk and set the table for supper.

“Geometry,” Fibonacci said.

“What?”

Geo means earth, and metry means to measure. So geometry means to measure the earth. That is what the Egyptian rope stretches did.”

Alex thought for a moment. “So in the beginning, math was just surveying?”

“And taxes…”

Continue reading The Secret of the Pharaoh’s Treasure, Part 3

Quotations IX: A Good Student Is…

Aaaargh! My Internet service is on the brink again. But since I had to run into my husband’s office to check email, I’ll take a few minutes to post a quick note. Here are a couple of quotes especially for teachers:

The only teaching that a professor can give, in my opinion, is that of thinking in front of his students.

Henri Léon Lebesgue

A good student is one who will teach you something.

Irving Kaplansky


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.

How To Harness Metacognitive Decision-Making

To organize a homeschool co-op requires an awesome team of innovative planners. The e-mails keep flying as we attempt to generate dynamic problem-solving strategies. Our goal for the fall semester is to orchestrate learning intensive experiences that will encourage real-world critical thinking in our upper-level students, while at the same time maximizing developmentally- appropriate enrichment for our preschool and elementary communities.

Now you, too, can talk just like a school system bureaucrat with this handy-dandy Educational Jargon Generator. Have fun!

[Hat tip: Matthew Tabor.]


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.

Spring, the Season for Planning…

Oops! No Alexandria Jones post this week. My writing time has been overtaken by the monster school supply catalog (“Mom, haven’t you ordered my books yet?!“) and by yesterday’s co-op planning meeting and today’s 13 (so far!) follow up emails.

Planning a homeschool co-op is a little bit like juggling kittens. No matter how careful you are, something is going to get scratched. Several of the classes I was hoping for did not draw enough interest in the public polling, but of those that remain, I would like my students to study:

dd#1 — drama, photography, sewing, Spanish, writing, guitar, and biology lab
ds — drama, photography, writing, Spanish, guitar, PE/health, and maybe biology
dd#2 — art, sewing, cooking, music, science, and maybe PE/health
[Wouldn’t you know it, not a single one of my kids wants to take any of their mom’s math classes. 🙂 ]

Problem:
We only offer three class periods. And dd#1 plans to teach karate during one of those time slots.

Well, whatever else works or doesn’t work out, I sure hope we can get the lady who took these pictures to teach that photography class.


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.

Geometry: Can You Find the Center of a Circle?

Is it possible that AB is a chord but NOT a diameter? That is, could circle ABC have a center that is NOT point O?

For the last couple of days, I have been playing around with this geometry puzzle. If you have a student in geometry or higher math, I recommend you print out the original post (but not the comments — it’s no fun when someone gives you the answer!) and see what he or she can do with it.

[MathNotations offers many other puzzles for 7-12th grade math students. While you are at his blog, take some time to browse past articles.]


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.

Homeschool Burnout? 10 Tips for Coping

[Rescued from my old blog.]

Spring cleaning has made my desk look worse than before. Nobody feels like studying. The kids would rather be outside, and their mom would rather take a nap. Sound familiar? It is our annual attack of homeschool burnout.

If you, too, are suffering from lethargy and can’t face another day of school work, here are some ideas that have helped me:

(1) Re-read the homeschooling books on your shelves, or get some new ones from the library. Try to read about one a month, if you can, to help get your enthusiasm back. And then read at least one new homeschooling book per year to help you stay inspired.

(2) Connect with other homeschoolers. Meet with friends for tea, or have a Mom’s Night Out while Dad babysits.

(3) Attend support group meetings. I find that after so many years, I let the meetings slide. I think, I already know everything they are going to say. But being with other homeschoolers is encouraging, and if you find out that you can help a new homeschooler with advice, that gives you a boost, too.

Continue reading Homeschool Burnout? 10 Tips for Coping

The Secret of the Pharaoh’s Treasure, Part 2

[In the last episode, Alexandria Jones, daughter of the world-famous archaeologist, caught her father’s arch-enemy trying to uncover the Pharaoh’s Treasure.]

…”I can’t believe it!” Simon Skulk threw down the last stone in disgust and walked away. At the mouth of the cave, he turned back and shook his fist. “You haven’t seen the last of me, Alexandria Jones.”

Her muscles aching, Alex sank to the ground and hugged her dog. The she gave him a little push toward the front of the cave. “Rammy, go get Dad.”

Ramus barked once and took off running.

Alex turned back to look at the Pharaoh’s Treasure. Where the last stone had stood was a hole. In the hole lay three wooden sticks, like tent pegs, and a long loop of rope with 12 evenly-spaced knots.

What could it be?

Continue reading The Secret of the Pharaoh’s Treasure, Part 2

Carnival Time Again

The Carnival of Homeschooling at Dewey’s Treehouse offers several math-related posts this week (along with plenty of other articles to browse):

Teaching Your Homeshooler New Math
One mother’s strategy for dealing with constructivist math textbooks.

Counting Back Change
Hmm…I’m not sure my kids know how to do this. Looks like we have a project for this week.

Of plastic counting bears and cubes
Are math manipulatives useful tools or time-wasting toys? A response to this post.

Multiplication – Sunshine style
And a real treat: bossy 4-year-old tries to stump Mom.


howtosolveproblemsWant to help your kids learn math? Claim your free 24-page problem-solving booklet, and sign up to hear about new books, revisions, and sales or other promotions.