Shoe Box Math

In Ethiopia, going to school is a great privilege, one that many people do not get. Consequently, when Ethiopian kids come home and discover that they have come into a homeschooling family, I’ve heard that some have been a mite disappointed and have to be won over to homeschooling.

Hopefully our new girls will adjust easily to the idea of homeschooling, but I’ve been doing some thinking about making homeschool interesting and appealing to start with. I’ve been planning ahead, so I can hit this fall with a little organization. I’m a little freaked out over the idea of having FIVE elementary students at once–a kindergartener, THREE 9 year olds and an 11 year old, two of which are learning English. Then of course there’s also a high school senior, a sophomore, and an 8th grader. Should make for a VERY busy year of homeschooling.

While scoping out ideas for math, I came across this book of Shoe Box Math Learning Centers. I thought the ideas would give the kids some independent things to do for times when I am helping other kids. Today I put together 6 ‘centers’. I need to buy a few odds and ends to complete a couple of the centers, but I’m pleased to have gotten that many shoe boxes mostly pulled together.

I’ve already decided to just bite the bullet and buy handwriting books this year for the elementary kids. Usually I just pick a Bible verse each day, copy it in cursive, and have each child write the verse a few times, looking at my example as a guide. But I think with this many kids who are going to need help all at once, I’d better have a few subjects that require nothing from me. it’ll be interesting to see how fast the new girls learn English. I think we won’t try to cover tons at first, but I do want them to feel like they are getting SOME school, so they won’t worry they’re missing out somehow….

Should be interesting!

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  1. Sounds like a great idea, I’ll have to store that one in my memory!

  2. What a great idea!

  3. I am planning on using “A reason for Handwrititng”

    It’s scripture based and they have a pretty practice paper that they can finish thier week of practice with at the back. The kids can color and either hang the practice page or give it to someone they love to share the Word.

    It’s very cool.

  4. Sounds like you will have a busy, but fun year!

    I love the “centers”. I should do that this summer while we are in the trailer at the beach.

    Today we did a shark dissection! The little ones wandered off after they saw that the stomach was empty and did not contain anything interesting. Cory ended up doing it all himself. Her really enjoyed it, and was facinated with it all.

  5. I’m not worthy ……

    I’m not worthy …….

    Suddenly, an advanced 8th grade and 9th grade doesn’t seem so very daunting to me……

  6. Wow! You are amazing. Great idea for the math.

  7. We are starting in with homeschooling next year with four out of our six. Would you mind sharing any curriculums you have enjoyed for the 5 to 11 age range?

  8. Here is a website that offers CD’s with “school” font that you can purchase ( I think they are $20-$30ish). This way you can type your handwriting practice sheet, save them to your computer and re-print as necessary! AND you get to choose what you want your kiddos to practice writing!! PLUS I am pretty sure that the CD’s have printing and cursive.

    When I taught 1st grade I typed sooo many worksheets with these fonts…very handy! Hope this helps!!

  9. Kristen says:

    This is a very Montessori idea: to have materials that are ready to use on a shelf for students. As a teacher, I present the lessons to the students, and then the “job” goes on the appropriate shelf–math jobs on the math shelf, etc. These shoe boxes look like they’ll work great!

  10. wow…i’m in awe. (as always.)

  11. Love the math boxes! I may have to copy that idea!

  12. Umm Skandar says:

    If you have a child who struggles with handwriting — and here is a question for you, what kind of script is Amharic written in? Latin? Like English, Spanish, etc. or a Semetic script like Arabic or Hebrew since it is a Semetic language — anyway, for struggling writers, I can’t recommend Handwriting Without Tears curriculumn highly enough!

  13. Hey girl! I just posted a question about this on my blog! Great ideas! I’m stumped when it comes to math!
    I’d love for you to take a peek at my latest questions re school and the summer! Would love your thoughts!


  14. I feel very whiney compared.
    This year we’ve had a toddler and a baby – along with two elementary age kids. I think I need to come to your house and have you teach ME.

    I hope they are too excited to be surrounded by LOVE that they forget all about “GOING” to school.

    Bleach Free Blessings!

  15. Goodness, girl!! Look how organized you are! I’m so impressed. [:-)

    You’ll do great.