Skip Counting Revisited

Some time ago I posted about Skeeterbug’s skip counting memorisation.   We’ve been using these free skip counting drill sheets from Lilliput Station available on Currclick.  While we were progressing nicely it was just taking too long.  So I decided to bribe Skeeterbug into memorising these a little faster.  I told him that as soon as he could recite all of them I would buy him a big chocolate bar.  He replied that he didn’t want a chocolate bar.  What did he want?  A $2 bag of lollies from the milk bar at the end of the street.  (That will send my SIL into convulsive memories!)  We’ve visited the milk bar (they’re like small family-run convenience stores) a few times but the kids usually are only allowed the smaller 50c bags of lollies.  That $2 bag was like gold to him.

Many months ago I printed out these skip counting charts from Homeschool Creations.  I printed them four to a page and bound them into a little book.  I sent him off with the little book and he had it done within an hour.  An hour!  I think he surprised himself.  Off to the milk bar we went, and I had a very happy seven-year-old.

Of course retention was going to be an issue.  I told him we were going to practice our skip counting everyday.  “I know.”  And that he wouldn’t get a bag of lollies everyday!  “I know!” he said, with a smile.  I could tell he was proud of himself.  The next day I had him fill out this drill sheet.  After he finished we looked at the various patterns to see what we could find. 

Skip Counting Drill Sheets

Every day since then we have practiced these.  He doesn’t have them down perfectly and there are a few he struggles with.  But it is so much better to now be reviewing them all daily instead of practicing one until we both want to pull our hair out!  Once he’s got these down a little better we will start on multiplication tables.  He won’t have to recite his tables in front of a classroom (apparently that’s like a rite of passage in this country!), but I am planning to have a “Look what I memorised!” party where he will recite some things for family.  (Shhh!  I haven’t told him yet!)

Back to School Printables

It’s Back to School time in some parts of the world.  How I miss the seasonal section at Target in America.  Right now it is full of aisle after aisle of beautiful, cheap school supplies.  I’ve always loved school supplies.  Office supply stores are my favourite, I can spend an hour or more just browsing around Officeworks.  I am positive that is part of the reason I was an accountant in my previous life (before kids), just for the sheer yumminess of the office supplies that went along with it. 

Ahem.

Because it is Back to School time I thought I’d share the links to my Calendar Notebook and First Day of School Booklet again.  The calendar notebook has been by far my most popular post (thanks to Pinterest- look at all those calendar notebook pins!).  (ETA: When I wrote this post, that Pinterest link showed at least a hundred calendar notebook pins, but it doesn’t seem to show that many now.  Not sure why.)

Calendar Notebook

This daily math practice page has proved very popular.  There are more pages, click here to see the original blog post.  At the bottom of the that post you’ll see a link to pages I created with an American format.

Calendar Notebook- Daily Math Practice Page

Ironically after I originally posted about the calendar notebook, Skeeterbug started hating it.  It was so hard to get him to do it that I put it aside for awhile.  After about a month I pulled it out again and…drumroll…no problems whatsoever, he was happy to start it up again.   We made one change - we’ve started using random numbers for the daily math practice page.  (Previously we were using the same number as the number of days in school.)  He’s quite happy to do random numbers like 333, 402, or 1000.  Which means I need to add a Thousands column to the place value portion. :)

Here’s another Back to School printable, a First Day of School booklet.

First Day of School Booklet

This has room to record some vital stats and favourites.  The original blog post has more details on the different pages included.

First Day of School Booklet

Download links:

Calendar Notebook – Blog Post / Download (download link includes all calendar printables)

First Day of School Booklet – Blog Post / Download

Scented Markers

The problem with scented markers is that you have to learn how to smell them without drawing all over your face.  A skill that Jitterbug has yet to master.

Scented Markers

In this picture he is showing me his letter J stamps.  J was our letter of the day that day, his favourite letter of course.  We’ve started doing hand stamps for each day just to add something special.  Jitterbug and Ladybug love their stamps.  Got the idea here.

RightStart Level B- Finished!

RightStart Math

This took a bit longer than planned to finish, we had our planned week off school which turned into illness after illness and more time off school.  We had less than ten lessons left going into our break…a month later (it seems like, anyway!) Skeeterbug has finished Level B!  We’ve already started Level C, Skeeterbug has been so thrilled to receive the new level that we did five lessons the first day!

We start with ABC and we go all the way to Z!

An ABC song that will drive you insane, but your kids will love…

And they have songs for each letter, these will make you even more crazy!

Just wanted to share the ABC love.  My little Ladybug can’t. sit. still. during these videos.  It’s adorable.  Have Fun Teaching!  ;)

James & the Giant Peach

Not long ago we saw James & the Giant Peach in the theatre.

James & the Giant Peach

This is a story we didn’t know and didn’t have time to read before we went.  Sometimes it’s better that way so that you aren’t constantly comparing the book to the show as you watch.  Not sure how I got through childhood without reading this one.

James & the Giant Peach

My only complaint is that it was hard to follow the growth of the peach.  The giant peach was already on stage when we arrived.  It was turned so that the back faced the audience so we saw the platform and ladders that were “inside” the peach.

James & the Giant Peach

Before the show started they turned the peach around as in the picture below.  See that tree off to the left side?  That’s the peach tree where the peach grew in the form of a large orange balloon.  It got bigger and bigger until it couldn’t stay on the tree any longer.  The lights dimmed and the orange balloon disappeared, leaving the giant peach.  Only because we’d already seen the giant peach it was a little hard to follow.

James & the Giant Peach

See that giant book off to the other side of the stage?  During the show they opened the book and inside was a TV screen.   They brought out a camera aimed at the audience which displayed on the screen.  Great fun.

James & the Giant Peach

After the performance the actors came out on stage and took questions from the audience.  It was really sweet to hear the questions that the kids in the audience asked.  They were quite concerned that there were no cloud-men in the show.  The actors explained that they couldn’t put everything in the show or it would have been too long.  Since we didn’t know the story we didn’t know who the cloud-men were.  We soon found out since we started the book as a read-aloud a few days later.

James and the Giant Peach

Quite enjoyed at our house.  We’ll have to find the movie sometime.

James & the Giant PeachJames & the Giant Peach

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