How to Learn Photography On a Budget

When our daughter wanted to learn photography, I was excited to see how far technology has come since the early days of my own desire to learn. I never will forget the rolls of film being developed and finding so many blurry photos that I thought were going to be amazing. The amount of money that we would go through just to get my ‘trial and error' photos developed is more than I care to admit. In fact, I still have about 30 rolls of film that I have used, but haven't developed. When that day comes, I know I will have all kinds of emotions with the photos of my children in their early years. Even if the photos turn out blurry!

How to Learn Photography on a Budget - Learning an art doesn't have to cost a lot of money. | www.joyinthehome.com

How to Learn Photography on a Budget

When digital photography became a possibility to anyone, I remember looking at my husband who had already blessed me with an amazing DSLR and asking him how long before I could get a digital DSLR.

When we looked at the cost of one, compared to the cost of buying and developing film at the rate I was currently going through it, we realized that it was the smartest thing to do for our budget.

1) Digital Photography Is Already a Budget Saver

At this day and age, digital photography is what every things about when they are thinking about learning photography. So, it really is a no brainer for most people. However, there are some die-hard photographer lovers who just haven't moved on yet.

Digital cameras deliver amazing photography, so if you are still in the era of film, consider moving on.

All of our children have loved to learn photography, even our youngest, who started at just two years old.

Here are some of the recommendations for kids that you may be worried about their responsibility level, but want to encourage creativity with photography:


Here are some recommendations for beginners, who want to learn photography but not ready for a DSLR:


Here are some recommendations for those more serious about photography, and ready to take that jump into an investment with a DSLR (I'm personally a Nikon fan, and so is my daughter, who is a better photographer than I am, by far.):


2) Be Willing to Purchase a Used Camera

If your budget is still too tight to really purchase new, and take advantage of the warranties that come with a new purchase, I would highly recommend looking into purchasing a used camera.

We have found great digital cameras at yard sales, and through Craigslist and eBay. The trick to getting a good deal is to do your homework first on what you are really wanting to get, what functions are important to you and what types of lenses (assuming you are going with a DSLR) would be important to get started.

Window shopping is a great way to do your homework!

Go to a camera shop, and just play with display cameras. When you find what camera is sticking out to you, make note of the brand AND the model. Is it a Nikon or Canon? I'm currently using a Nikon D40, which is about 7 years old or more. My daughter has a Nikon D3000.

We both would LOVE to upgrade our cameras to a newer Nikon camera, like a D5200 or a D7100, but the budget just isn't there for these yet. However, when we are ready to buy our next cameras, our current ones that work great will be sold through these options.

Those looking for a great DSLR starter camera will be really able to fit it into a tight budget.

The key to buying used cameras is knowing what the older models are and what the original price was, and when the model came out.  You may want to keep a notebook for references.

Once you have a camera, you will want to learn how to use the camera. To do this on a budget, you will want to invest in a few things to help you learn.

3) Invest In Reusable Resources for Learning

My daughter, older son and I took camera lessons at a near by location. The class was full of other people of all ages, trying to learn how to use their DSLR camera to the fullest. We found that although we did learn some things in the 6 week course, we didn't walk away with enough to say it was worth the time, and money.

Investing in DVDs that we could watch again and again, with as many people in our family that desired to learn was the right thing for our budget. Here are some of our favorite ones to get started:

 


If you have a serious photographer in your home, and want to also give your child a credit for photography, take a look at these online courses, where you have lifetime access to with just one payment – I highly recommend these courses from Craftsy:

You may want your homeschool child to learn one of these courses each term, and then fill it with lots of practice of what is being learned, and turn their photography into a keepsake.


Take a look at Shotbox for anyone learning to be a photographer, as it provides great lighting for AMAZING photos!

SHOTBOX_w_SideShot_02_Unlit_65905.1441083006.1280.1280__97435.1442947665.500.659

 

Would you like to eliminate the challenge of homeschool curriculum choices while finding confidence that you are buying the right curriculum for your family? If so, you can download my free guide that includes secrets to evaluating curriculum that is a perfect fit for your unique family. Just click here to get Curriculum Evaluations The Why, What, & When to Making Curriculum Choices for FREE in your inbox.

CURRICULUM EVALUATIONS

Evaluating Reading Comprehension

Evaluating reading comprehension is a very important aspect of a child's education, and one thing that Charlotte Mason recommends. However, only doing it once a year, at the end of the year can allow for gaps to be happening without your knowledge. Doing regular evaluations, as soon as your child can read well, will help you understand exactly where your child's comprehension is throughout the entire year, allowing you to navigate the year for their benefits based on their weaknesses.

Evaluating Reading Comprehension - Evaluating more than once a year is really important for a child's progress. | www.joyinthehome.com

Evaluating Reading Comprehension

When my oldest children were in early elementary, I would regularly evaluate their reading comprehension. At first, we would do a 3 minutes test consisting of 10 questions with a ‘yes' or ‘no' answer, every Friday. I found that this helped them to understand that we read to retain information, and not just read.

They would read the story and attempt to answer as many of the 10 questions as they could correctly within the 3 minutes allowed. At first, this was very difficult for them, however with practice they improved greatly.

As they drastically improved on these weekly test, with consistent 100% grades, I would move them to the next level of test. Still 3 minutes, but the stories grew in difficulty due to the size in text and vocabulary.

I liked that I could test all of my children in the same 3 minutes, but on different test for their own levels of reading comprehension.

Each test for the Books A – E have a wide range of grade comprehension based on the number of correct answers the child gave. The scores have the grade first, followed by the number of month for each grade. So a score of 4.6 would mean the child comprehension level was a fourth grade, six month.  A score of 10.3 would mean tenth grade, third month.

The first test results for the year would determine where I would place the next several test. If my child scored a 4.6 on their first test of the year, I would give the following test where that would be the middle target for 1/2 of the questions being correct. When the child started to improve on their test, I would increase the grade target by a few months at a time.

After I had them take 10 test, I would take an average of all their scores and that was their reading comprehension score for that part of the year.

This method has worked amazing for all of my kids thus far, and will be what I do for my last child, as well.

These are the books that I have used, and highly recommend to be used in homeschool or at home, for any child.


 

 

Teach Reading To Your Child

Teach reading to your child. All homeschooling parents can get stuck on this most important aspect of teaching their children. Teaching reading can be overwhelming, and daunting when you haven't done it before or not sure where to start.

Teach Reading to Your Child - Not sure what to use or how to implement supplements, this will help! | www.joyinthehome.com

Teach Reading to Your Child

If you are in a place where you need to teach reading but are not sure where to begin, I would like to share some great resources with you to help you find the right fit for your own children. Before doing that I would like to share a few tips that I have found to make it so much easier to teach readers when these are in place.

Start Early With Letter Fun

Getting your child use to seeing letters, possibly even learning their names in play will make them friends to them. I love to do hands-on activities with my children, and my youngest has proven to be the best learner for reading in our family because of the kinds of letter fun he has done since he was two.

Here are the learning boxes I have done with him to learn letters:

How to Teach the Alphabet with Legos | www.joyinthehome.com

How to Teach the Alphabet with Legos
Alphabet Tile Learning Box
Alphabet Clothes Pins Learning Box
Alphabet Beads Learning Box

Learn Phonics Without the Use of Books

The more a child learns phonics the easier reading is going to be for them. I have a few of my favorite things to teaching phonics with hands-on play that doesn't include books, and makes it easier to teach reading to your child.


In addition to these types of hands-on learning, you can also add phonic apps to your child's learning time before books with these:


Choose a Curriculum and Stay With It

Because I taught kindergarten for a year, and taught four of our children to read, I'm able to say with certainty that it takes time to teach reading to a child. What I have experienced with a struggling reader, and see it happening all the time is that we often forget that there is a process that goes into learning to read. If we don't lay the ground with the early steps of learning sounds before introducing books, the journey can take longer.

On the average it takes several months of consistent lessons to teach reading to a child. Within the homeschool community, if our child isn't reading by mid-school year, we are ready to give up on the curriculum we choose and find a new one.

Each of these changes can literally set back a child's learning for months, because they loose their confidence and begin to think the problem is them. Finding the right curriculum and sticking with it is really important to success of your child.

I can stand behind these two curriculums for reading:


You may also like 7 Ways All About Reading Will Teach Your Child to Read

7 Ways All About Reading Will Teach Your Child to Read www.joyinthehome.com

 

 

Creation Audios and Videos for All Ages

Creation audios and videos have been great ways for our family to really learn all we can while seeming effortless. We have always made these part of our homeschooling curriculum, but implement many of them at relaxed times, like traveling or sick days, to learn what we can. I call them interactive living books, because I know that Charlotte Mason would love this list, too!

Creation Audios and Videos for all ages - Help your children understand things about Creation in a way that makes learning seem effortless. | www.thejoyinthehome.com

Creation Audios and Videos For All Ages

We have our favorite resources for creation audios and videos, and use them again and again. Non-consumable resources like audios and videos have been so worth the investment for our family because these build our library for all ages to enjoy and learn about the Creator, and how to defend their faith, even against evolution statements.

Here are the resources that our family loves and want to share with you for your own family.

Jonathan Park has been one of the best resources that we have ever invested in. EVER.

When our older children listened to these during their 30 minutes of audios before bed, I didn't realize the treasure of what I found. It didn't take me long to see just how much they learned through these dramatization that twist faith, creation science vs evolution. They were learning far more than I have in just a short time and it stuck with them.

When we visited a natural history museum just one year after purchasing our first two sets, I was shocked at how they were teaching me why the evolution statements were wrong based on what they learned in this series.

This same experience happened when visiting caves in Pennsylvania with their aunt.

The real joy comes when my children stand up for their faith and share their creation knowledge with others who don't know. They share it in a way that is natural and not condemning, as it is demonstrated on these CDs.

What I love is that even my husband and I, along with my adult children can't wait for the next set to be produced, so we can continue the journey with Jonathan Park.


Just like filling our children's homeschool curriculum with Creation books, we love to also add DVDs to their curriculum. These are some of our favorites that we have used over the year, again and again.


Being able to identify evolutionary ideas is not enough for children today. They need to understand this theory and to be able to give an answer to why the ideas are not proven by science, but instead science confirms the Bible accounts. To do that, you really need to help your children and yourself learn the differences and the right responses to evolutionary comments.


 

 

Creation Book List for All Ages

A Creation book list was something that I would have loved to have all those years ago, when my oldest son first started being interested in dinosaurs. Although I attended a Christian school, I never learned about dinosaurs in my science class. In fact, the only animal we learned about during the section about ‘extinct animals' was the Dodo bird. Thankfully, the Charlotte Mason way encouraged me to continue my own learning, too.

Creation Book List for All Ages - Want your children to learn all they can about creation but don't know where to start. This list will help! | www.joyinthehome.com

Creation Book List For All Ages

I remember clearly how concerned I felt when my son was so attracted to dinosaurs, because the only ones I heard speaking about them were those within the secular school systems, which taught about evolution. My logic then was that this must have meant that dinosaurs were only ‘real‘ for evolutionist.

Thankfully, my curiosity and concern lead me to some amazing resources that assured me that dinosaurs were not only real creatures but also great proof for creation. However, my search wasn't easy because I couldn't find a creation book list that helped me find resources that taught science based on evidence that confirmed the Bible.

I hope you find this resource as helpful as I desire it to be for those searching today.

Knowing how much dinosaurs are used to build belief in evolution, I really wanted my kids to learn all they could about dinosaurs from a Biblical perspective. These are the books that I have used and highly recommend:


Building on this, it is important that children understand the Biblical account of the creation week. To do that, I used these books to help them understand. Doing this with illustrations are one of the best ways to help younger children thoroughly understand the power of God, and how the creation week started it all.


Understanding the fall of man, and the world wide flood is imperative to a child's faith in creation. Like all of the steps of learning about creation, I love these books best to teaching child (and ourselves) about Noah, and the flood.


Learning about the flood, and the way the world looked after the flood is where science can get really interesting. Here are my favorite resources to do that.


Along with the flood changing the geographic and climate of the earth, the earth became the burying place of the God's creation. Fossils are always a hard thing for me to look at because it is a strong reminder of the condition of man's heart that caused the flood to destroy the world.

Learning about fossils can help bring this all together in a Biblical way that children can see Genesis 1-11 all played out in this creation book list.


 

 

How to Teach the Constitution

The Constitution is something that all United States citizens should know and understand. Without the knowledge of the Constitution, you are giving up rights without even being aware of them, and in today's culture, it is very important. Regardless if you we in an election year or not, citizens need to be aware of what the Constitution says about every aspect of their life. Why not add teach the Constitution in your homeschool, and be sure that you are all learning it together. That is how we do it in our home!

How to Teach the Constitution - There is no better time in history to add a study of the constitution to your homeschool | www.joyinthehome.com

How to Teach the Constitution

If you love American History like our family, you love to learn everything you can about the Constitution and what the founding fathers intended our country to look like from the first few years as a new nation.

In our home, we take one-full year in high school to focus entirely on learning about Constitutional history, while also introducing our younger children to as much as they can retain. To us, it is very important to have our children grow as political as they can be, based on the rights that the Constitution affords to every citizen and base their views from that and what they have learned in their Christian faith.


This year our high school curriculum will consist of these resources.


 

Constitutional Literacy Workbook and the 25-Part DVD Series – The history you never knew. The training you need to reclaim liberty.

This will be the skeleton of our curriculum because I haven't seen anything so thoroughly covering the history of the constitution, the branches of government, their responsibilities and duties, with the parts of the Constitution being broken down to explain what they mean in layman terms.

Each episode of the DVD series has six parts to dissect:

  1. Purpose: This section provides an overview of what will be covered in each episode and lessons
  2. Parlance: (meaning language) This section will have key vocabulary of legal terminology used in this lesson for a better understanding of what is being covered
  3. Preamble: This sections provides an introduction of what will be covered, allowing for historical background or framing the context into everyday life
  4. Ponder: This sections is where you dig deeper. Literally providing the opportunity for great discussions or essays for assignments to evaluate the comprehension of what was covered
  5. Payoff: This sections summaries the issues and arguments of the topics that were covered (perfect for teaching a solid debate for standing up for your beliefs on a topic)
  6. Probe: This section will provide more assignments for high school students to dig deeper in the people, cases or topics mentioned, providing them with investing in their own education on the Constitution

American Heritage Series and the Building on the American Heritage Series by David Barton

These DVDs are amazing, and ones that we used with our older children to teach the Constitution. We will use these as enhancements to the above curriculum to ensure that our children understand the value and importance of interrupting history through original document and individual writings of the Founding Fathers.


There would be key people that I would want my children to learn about when learning about the Constitution. I prefer to use smaller biographies for all my children to grasp the important details of the people, verses using a textbook for this part of their education.

These would be the resources that I would use:


 

 

The Ultimate List of American History Learning Resources

Do you desire to teach your children through living books, especially if you are using the Charlotte Mason way to educate your family? If so, you may not know where to look or what options are available for you, so I decided to create a list of American history learning resources for families with all ages.

The Ultimate List of American History Learning Resources - Teach your children about American History through resources they will love! | www.joyinthehome.com

The Ultimate List of American History Learning Resources

We started our homeschool journey in 1999, and in all of those years, we have used either living books or resources that have the living book feel. Our children have all grown loving history and learning about people and events in different eras in our American history and world history.

As with any of my book list, age and grade levels should be determined by each family. 

Here are DVD resources for the founding of American history:


Please note that ALL of these resources are available for FREE streaming with a Prime Membership. Not a Prime Member, try this 30 day free trial now!

Road to Independence
American Heritage Series
Building On the American Heritage Series
The American Heritage Collection
Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White
America's Godly Heritage
Foundations of Freeman
Constitution Alive! A Citizen's Guide to the Constitution


DVDs for the whole family…


The Liberty Kids DVD series (first introduction to American history in our home)
Johnny Tremain
Daniel Boone: The Complete Series
Davy Crockett
American History of the Wild West
George Washington
Benjamin Franklin
Abraham Lincoln
Thomas Edison
Alexander Graham Bell
Pocahontas
Harriet Tubman
Helen Keller
William Bradford
The Wright Brothers

 


Timelines for the whole family…


The New Big Book of American Presidents
The Timechart History of America
American History in 50 Events
An Illustrated History of U.S. Presidents
An Illustrated Timeline of U.S. States
A Timeline History of the Thirteen Colonies
Timeline of the American Revolution
The Civil War Timeline
World War I Timeline
World War II Timeline
Vietnam Timeline
The Wall Chart of History (world history)


Books for all ages…


For You They Signed
For You They Signed – Character Studies
Lives of the Signers of The Declaration of Independence
If You Lived in Colonial Times
If You Sailed on the Mayflower
If You Lived at the Times of the American Revolution
If You Lived When There Was Slavery In America
If You Traveled on the Underground Railroad
If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War
If You Traveled West on a Covered Wagon
If You Lived At the Time of Martin Luther King
George Vs. George: The American Revolution As Seen From Both Sides
The American Revolution for Kids
The New Americans: Colonial Times
A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution
Lewis and Clark for Kids
Native American History for Kids
The Underground Railroad for Kids
The Civil War for Kids
The Industrial Revolution for Kids
The Great Depression for Kids
World War I for Kids
World War II for Kids

 

 

A Book List for Christian Boys

Good wholesome book lists for Christian boys are hard to find. My daughter's love of books, and my determination to give them quality over quantity has also helped in finding the books that fill their mind while shaping their character. This list gives me the peace of mind that I’m proving quality books that compliments our Charlotte Mason way of educating.

A Book List for Christian Boys - Wholesome books that teach character through good books. | www.joyinthehome.com
A Book List for Christian Boys

Our boys have never been labeled as ‘book worms' or ‘avid readers', so I wanted to be sure that what I provided for them in the way of books were carefully selected for them, and not just thoughtless thrown in from of them. I wanted every book to matter to them.

This book list for Christian boys are ones that I will ensure that all of my boys will read at one point in their homeschool journey.

Created for Work: Practical Insights for Young Men
Boyhood and Beyond
Practical Happiness: A Young Man's Guide to a Contented Life
Everyday Battles: Knowing God Through Our Daily Conflict
How to Be a Man: Useful Hints for Boys on the Formation of Character
Thoughts for Young Man
Kingdom's Dawn
Kingdom's Hope
Kingdom's Edge
Kingdom's Call
Kingdom's Quest
Kingdom's Reign
Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione
Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart
Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest
Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor
Sir Bentley and Holbrook Court
Amy and Her Brothers
Basil: Or Honesty and Industry
The Boy Who Never Lost a Chance
Boys of Grit That Changed the World
Boys of Grit That Never Gave Up
Buried in the Snow
Caleb in the Country
The Captain's Sword
Charlie's Choice
Clean Your Boots, Sir?
Cobwebs and Cables
Frozen Fire
Hebrew Heroes
The Hedge of Thorns
Pride and His Prisoners
A Puzzling Pair
The Robber's Cave
Ship Wrecked But Not Lost
Sir Knight and the Splendid Way
Sir Malcolm and the Missing Prince
Teddy's Button
Tom Gillies

If you liked this post, you may also like A Book List for Christian Girls.

 

 

A Book List for Christian Girls

If you are anything like me, you are always looking for good books for your children. My daughter was our avid reader from an early age, and I could hardly keep up with reviewing books for her to read on her own. This book list for Christian girls should help you in your own journey. I love that this list is full of quality books, and void of twaddle to reflect our Charlotte Mason education. 

A Book List for Christian Girls - Are you looking for some wholesome books that will encourage your daughter in her own faith, while providing good books to read? This list is just what you are looking for! | www.joyinthehome.com

A Book List for Christian Girls

As our daughter was approaching her teen years, we desired to fill her reading with inspirational books that would grow her faith, while giving her the joy of reading, both in homeschooling and in her free reading.

This book list for Christian girls is very much a list that has been formed from our experience, and maybe few other nuggets thrown in that were are finding recently that we weren't aware of during her teen years.

Beautiful Girlhood
The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood
Beyond Beautiful Girlhood Plus Companion Guide
Before You Meet Prince Charming: A Guide to Radiant Purity
So Much More
Elsie Dinsmore
Journeys of Faithfulness
Stepping Heavenward
The Basket of Flowers
Amy and Her Brothers
The Children of Cloverly
Comfortable Troubles
Helen's Temper and Its Consequences
The Beggar's Blessing
Jessica's First Prayer
Jill's Red Bag
Lamplighter
A Lost Pearle
Mary Jones and Her Bible
A Peep Behind the Scenes
Rosa of Linden Castle
Trapped Beneath the Surface
The Wide Wide World 
The Wide Wide World II
Zuma and the Secret of Peru
Daughters of Destiny
Mother
Home-Making

 

 

Homeschool Planners for the Whole Family

Do you want to teach independence and accountability to your children, but not sure how to do it? I would like to introduce you to a set of homeschool planners that will help you accomplish that while organizing assignments, schedules and responsibilities for all reading members of your home.

Homeschool Planners For the Whole Family - How to Teach Independence & Accountability | www.joyinthehome.com

Homeschool Planners for the Whole Family: How to Teach Independence and Accountability

The more children a home has the more the desire to help them each learn to be independence, while having a sense of accountability. I have found that with our own home, the sooner I give my children the responsibility for their daily homeschool lessons, the easier it is to see that independence and accountability unfold in their lives.

The difference between independence and accountability is important to understand before implementing a system that includes homeschool planners that children become responsible for on their own.

With independence, this is something that is expected of the child to learn and demonstrate. Without clear understanding, instruction and direction, independence can easily become a handicap for a child, because then they believe they are their own boss. However, with the correct safeguards in place, a child that is trusted with her or his daily assignments will begin to feel a pride of accomplishment in their work and the correct balance of independence that will breed respect of authority, while taking ownership of their work.

With accountability, this is something that the adult is responsible for to ensure that a child is learning proper focus and attention to the details of their assignments. When first starting out with independent work, based off a homeschool planner that belongs to one child, I personal hold the child accountability daily. Bad habits are hard to break when too much goes between accountability checks.

I will then increase the days between accountability checks, as the child has demonstrated proper independence, until I work up to only checking on their assignments at the end of the week.

Let me introduce you to the homeschool planners that the whole family can benefit from, while you focus on teaching independence and accountability in each of your family members.

Learn more about this Ultimate Homeschool Planner

I love how thought out this homeschool planner is, as it focuses on more than just academic needs for your family. With nearly 300 pages, this planner has EVERYTHING.

Here is what is included:

  • Sturdy construction with convenient pockets and coated covers
  • Six years of calendars for long-term planning
  • One-Year Planning Grid for the year ahead
  • Student Goal Setter pages to identify academic and character goals for each child
  • Family Priorities page to help you keep life in perspective
  • Resource List pages to track resources for up to six children
  • Two-page planning grid for each month
  • Special Notes for scheduling exceptions that break your routine
  • Wide margins to record prayers and answers to prayers
  • Scriptures for meditating on God’s faithfulness
  • Exclusive Lord’s Day feature for making God’s Word a central part of your plan
  • Maximum flexibility to organize for up to six children by day or subject
  • Memorable Moments and Evidences of Grace pages for recounting God’s activity in your life and home school
  • Pages to record grades for up to six children and six subjects
  • Reading List pages for up to six children
  • Field Trip and Outside Activities logHigh School Planning Grid with a sample plan
  • Year-End Review pages for reflection and next year’s planning

Learn more about this Ultimate Homeschool Planner

Do you have children in elementary grades that already know how to read, and you desire to begin working on their independence and helping them be accountable for their work? If so, I have a great homeschool planner just for them!

The Ultimate Daily Planner for Students

This student planners is colorful, and includes trivia questions, timeline facts for World and American history, along with plenty of space for daily assignments, with slots for marking when they are completed, and when the work has been approved. The perfect system to implementing the independence and accountability.

You can learn more about this student planner and download a free sample.

Do you have a teen that is going into high school, and you want a system that they can help you better track credit hours?  You will want to check this teen planner out:

Check out more about this planner with the download sample.

This teen planner does that and in a theme look that appeals to teenagers, along with quotes, and verses that appeal to moms. It also includes a lot of reviews for grammar and math that will prove helpful to many teens.

Check out more about this planner with the download sample.

 

 

 

Learning Math Facts Through Music

Music is an amazing tool for creativity, movement and learning. I would love to share some great resources with you of how you can encourage your children to learn math through music.

Learning Math Facts Through Music - Music is an amazing tool, so why not use it for learning? | www.joyinthehome.com

Learning Math Facts Through Music

Child can struggle while learning math facts, but with the help of music memorization can happen quickly, regardless of the age of the child.

Recently, out of the blue, I thought to teach my Kindergarten son how to count by tens with a song that my older children learned from a fun CD, and just like that, he learned to sing it on his own. It was so simple and effective that I began to remember how music can help the brain recall better than memorizing without it. This same CD teaches the days of the week, the months of the year and many other things that children need to learn and do with ease thanks to the music. I loved the phonics portion of this CD with my older ones!

In search for additional ways to teach my son with music, I came across the Musical Math CD series that contains two CDs for just math knowledge put to song.

Musical Math by Heidi Butkus, includes: counting to 100, sorting, patterning, comparing sets (more, less, and equal), skip counting, coin recognition, estimation, addition, and subtraction. The songs are short, fun and catchy.

Musical Math Volume 2, also by Heidi Butkus, continues with the same short, fun songs that kids will be quick to catch on and start singing, which includes: telling time, measuring, putting numbers in order, and three-dimensional shapes. There are some common core songs as well, which you can skip over or use if your child's school requires this type of learning.

You may also enjoy doing a hands-on learning activity to evaluate your child's math facts knowledge that doesn't include workbooks or worksheets. My son LOVES doing this learning box activity to practice his math facts.

Learning Math with Dominos - Kids will love this hands-on way to practice their math facts knowledge without the normal use of workbooks. | www.jointhehome.com

If you like the concept of using music to teach facts, not only for math but other subjects, you may want to look into some of the following resources as well:

Continent and Ocean Songs
State and Capital Songs
History Songs
Grammar Songs

 

Learning Math with Dominos

We don't do math workbooks for the first two years of school, but focus on hands-on activities to teach the math facts for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. My kids have loved this way of play to learn these skills. This learning math with dominos activities is how we are working on both my son's addition and writing his numbers from memory.

Learning Math with Dominos - Kids will love this hands-on way to practice their math facts knowledge without the normal use of workbooks. | www.jointhehome.com

Learning Math with Dominos

When our children are as young as two, we start with hands-on learning activities with learning boxes. One of our learning boxes are Dominos. The best set to get for learning is the 12 Colored Dots Dominos which already comes in their own tin box, so you can work on all the math facts from 0-12 with this activity, as well as practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

My son just turned six, and he can already do most of his addition facts, plus most of the concepts of subtraction.

All you need to do this learning activity for math with dominos:

Learning Math with Dominos - Kids will love this hands-on way to practice their math facts knowledge without the normal use of workbooks. | www.jointhehome.com

Practicing math with dominos is so easy, and your kids will love it!

All I do is pull out as many dominos that can fit on the work surface, providing space for the child to write their answers below each domino. Then I leave the child alone to work the problems, which are usually around 12 or so for our working space.

When he is done, I come back and check his work. If there are any mistakes, I will point to those, and he will correct it by crossing out the old number or erasing it, and writing the correct answer in its place or below the wrong answer.

If we are doing it on paper, we will turn the paper over and do more on the other side.

We add lines under each domino to prepare the child for regular worksheets for math. You can prepare paper ahead of time with the lines, and have the child fill the space with the number of dominos that you assigned during their hands-on learning time. My six year old loves to draw his own lines, though, so I just provide him with the number of dominos to work on during his lessons, which is around 25-30 dominos.

Learning Math with Dominos - Kids will love this hands-on way to practice their math facts knowledge without the normal use of workbooks. | www.jointhehome.com

Another fun way to add more practice with the same answers that the child already provided for that learning session is to take all the dominos off the work space (being careful if you are using chalk or dry erase markers). Next, mix the dominos up and have the child place the dominos on the matching answers.

If there are any mistakes that time, separate them or make a note of the numbers on the dominos and have them practice the ones they got wrong the next day, until they have them completely correct the first time.