I was going to blog about the new Playful Math Education Carnival, but I ran out of time. Tomorrow, then.

Meanwhile, here’s a Christmas cat picture.

Best wishes for a merry season!

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My family

## Where Did the Day Go?

## Hello, Food TV

## The Best Place for a Nap

## Day of Rest

## Bookshelf Cat

## Keeping Busy

## New Family Member: Mariah

## The Final Books from a Homeschooled Teen Author

## Even a Math Workbook Can Be a Game

### Homeschooling Memories…

### Mom Always Talks Too Much

### Mom Learns a Lesson

## Rabbit Trails and Fibonacci Poetry

### Homeschooling Memories…

### The Kids Join the Fun

I was going to blog about the new Playful Math Education Carnival, but I ran out of time. Tomorrow, then.

Meanwhile, here’s a Christmas cat picture.

Best wishes for a merry season!

I didn’t get anything written to share today, so here’s a cat picture instead. My favorite shot from Puck’s babyhood.

He’s grown about two years’ worth since then.

Still full of puckishness, though. He had a time of it today, “helping” me put up the Christmas tree.

All the activity of packing and shipping books to fulfill Kickstarter orders was too much for Cimorene.

But now that the leftover boxes are empty (except for some nicely crumpled packing paper), she fully approves.

And she posed so nicely, I think this is the sharpest cat photo I’ve ever gotten. Good girl!

Clearly, I won’t need my desk chair today…

Only a writer who loves wordplay (my daughter) would name her cat Hypocorism. Hypocorism’s hypocorism is “Puck,” which well suits the little trouble-maker. He loves to climb up to the top of the bookshelf by the window, where we hung a couple of toys for him.

When he was little, he used to climb across the curtain rod to the opposite set of shelves. He still tries it from time to time, though the rod bends under his adult weight. And at least once he took a fall and had to grab for the curtain on his way down. We didn’t see it, but that’s the only explanation we could think of for the huge rip we found later.

One other disadvantage to growing up: The places he loves to sleep have somehow shrunk. After playing for a bit, he stretches out for a nap — and his back hangs dangerously over the edge.

Since I started a blog streak in early August, I thought I’d see how long I can keep it going.

So this is what’s called in the industry a “placeholder” post. It keeps the blog streak live, even though I really don’t have anything to say.

In addition to working on my *Prealgebra & Geometry Games* index and finishing up the math activity booklets, I’ve been getting to know Mariah — taking long walks, and just plain having doggy fun.

Friday night, we discovered that she loves to fetch tennis balls — although she’s not so keen on the idea of giving them back so we can throw them again.

Oh, and she can catch a treat in the air. Smart dog!

It’s been a busy day, though I haven’t gotten much work done on my book. We welcomed a new member to our family: Mariah.

Isn’t she beautiful?

And she’s just a sweet as she looks!

Do you enjoy binge reading tales of epic fantasy?
### The Riddled Stone: Omnibus Edition, Four Books in One

### Revealed: The Riddled Stone, Book Four

### Praise for The Riddled Stone

Love exploring magical worlds wracked by the struggle of good against evil?

Then don’t miss Teresa Gaskins’s four-book serial adventure, *The Riddled Stone*.

Those of us who read her earlier books have waited eagerly to hear how the story ends. Two years longer than we hoped, since she had to squeeze in her writing between calculus exams and college essays.

But finally, it’s done!

Now a homeschool graduate, she wrote the last few scenes right at the tail end of her nineteenth year — which means these will be Teresa’s final books as a teen author.

Check them out…

Christopher Fredrico loved the quiet life of a scholar-in-training. Plenty of spare time to spend with his friends. But the night Crown Prince Tyler came to dinner, everything changed.

Falsely accused of stealing a magical artifact and banished under threat of death, Chris leaves the only home he knows.

But as he and his three friends travel towards the coast, they find a riddle that may save a kingdom — or cost them their lives.

Discover the full story of *The Riddled Stone*, complete in one volume.

**Buy now at:**

**… and other online retailers, or by special request at your favorite local bookshop.**

**Or for those who already read the earlier books…**

A gift she never wanted. A curse she can’t escape.

Alone in the dark, Nora of Yorc feels the dungeon walls pressing in. Even worse, the duke’s sorcery weaves itself around her, unseen and deadly. But as the spell tightens, shy, fragile Nora breaks — and something new takes her place.

Or something old beyond memory.

Nora joined this quest to help her friends. But can she stop herself before the wildness within destroys them all?

Find out in *Revealed*, the exciting conclusion of Teresa Gaskins’s four-book serial fantasy adventure, *The Riddled Stone.*

**Buy now at:**

**… and other online retailers, or by special request at your favorite local bookshop.**

“A captivating fantasy story with a well-thought-out plot…”

— Wayne S. Walker,

Home School Book Review

“There are some obvious protagonists and some obvious villains, but Gaskins creates a nice ambiguity around several of the key characters. The plot itself is interesting and engaging with multiple levels of motivation that drive it along.”

— Phanwadee,

online reader review

“I enjoyed the book and I am absolutely amazed at how such a young author can write so well. I definitely see her going far in her writing career, and I can’t wait to see what stories she publishes next.”

— Tia,

Homeschool Literature.com

CREDITS: Feature image of Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany, (top) by William West via Unsplash. Author photo by Christina Vernon, MelliRu.com.

My youngest daughter wanted to do Singapore math. *Miquon Red* was her main math text at the time, but we added a bit of *Singapore Primary Math 1B* whenever she was in the mood.

We turned to the lesson on subtracting with numbers in the 30-somethings.

The first problem was pretty easy for her:

30 − 7 = _____

I reminded her that she already knew 10 − 7.

She agreed, “Ten take away seven is three.”

Then her eyes lit up. “So it’s 23! Because there are two tens left.”

*Wow,* I thought. *She’s catching on quickly.*

We went to the next problem:

34 − 8 = _____

“Now, this one is harder,” I said. “But you know what ten minus eight is, right? So we could take one of these tens and—”

She waved at me to be quiet.

I was just getting started on my standard speech about how to turn a tough subtraction like 34 − 8 into the easy addition of “2 + 4 + two tens left.” But her mind was still on the last problem, specifically on the two tens and the seven.

“If you have 27,” she said, “and you add three more, you get 30. And four more is 34.”

“Um, yes, but…” I interrupted.

She shushed me again.

“And then you can take away the four. And then you can take away the three. And then you can take away one more…It’s 26!”

She continued through the next page that way. For every problem, she started with whatever number struck her fancy, usually containing at least one digit from the problem before. She added enough to get up to the 30-something number in the book.

Only then would she deign to subtract the number in question.

I don’t think she ever saw the point of the mental math technique the book and I were trying to teach, but she did have a lot of fun playing around with the numbers.

In the long run, that’s much more important.

Feature photo: “Laughing Girl” by ND Strupler via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Well, I hadn’t planned on spending my day that way. But one of the great things about homeschooling is the freedom to follow rabbit trails.

While browsing the Carnival of Homeschooling, I found a link to Farm School blog’s article Fib Foolery, which sent me to Gotta Book for his articles The Fib and More Fibbery (read the comments on both threads, but be warned that some are crude) and several other posts, all of which set me off on a morning of poetic fun.

A “Fib” is a Fibonacci poem. It’s based on syllable count, like a haiku, but the lines follow the Fibonacci counting series: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8… Each number is the sum of the previous two numbers.

I knew what I was going to share at our Tuesday Teatime and Poetry Reading that afternoon.

Here’s the best one I’ve come up with so far:

Math:

Word

Problem,

Mental play.

Archimedes shouts,

“Eureka! I figured it out.”

While we always enjoyed our tea and poetry times, that day was the only one that inspired the kids to actually *write* poetry themselves.

My 7yo dd was so proud to be able to count syllables and write:

Cat.

Soft.

Pretty,

But sleeping.

While my 12yo ds really took off, creating more than a dozen Fibs. His first two are still his favorites:

Ducks

Have

No luck,

But they do

Have many feathers.

Hunters like to shoot ducks a lot.

and

Paul

Is

Revered

A lot by

Paul Revere’s Fan Club.

What is Paul’s last name, anyway?

Wouldn’t you like to try it, too? Please share your Fib in the comments below!

Feature photo: “Rabbit” by Save the Bay via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).