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Mad Minutes

As usual, I have been a little lax about my homeschooling schedule and routine. We are only in Kindergarten here and living is definitely more important than hitting the books. Character issues need to be dealt with long before the issues surrounding the Civil War. All that being said, my inattentive ways were getting on my mother’s nerves and she decided to do something about it!

She taught special education students for several years and while doing so, she developed this “program” which is essentially an elaborate system of Excel spreadsheets that create customized “Mad Minute” sheets for the child. (Send me an email or comment if you are interested or know people who would be, we are considering offering it up for a downloadable sale, but would give some free samples to the first five who are interested!) Right now, Jordyn is working on counting and adding. Her counting skills are between 1 and 10 and her addition is any combination with a sum of 3 or less.

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We started out using counting bears from our Saxon program, and my mom printed up a “math template” with two boxes on top of the other so Jordyn could put in the correct number of bears into each box and then count the total. My mom did this when I started complaining that, developmentally, Jordyn wasn’t quite ready for as much abstract thinking as math worksheets required.

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Of course, after a day of using the cute, colorful teddy bears, Jordyn insisted today that, “I don’t need those things.” My mom timed her, and Jordyn did her first line in 37 seconds. She finished the entire sheet in under 3 minutes. Now, I’ve got to tell you, I haven’t done any number-penmanship practice with her. We are up to the U in her Handwriting Without Tears Kindergarten program, so her handwriting is holding her back, she has to concentrate to write every number. But the smile on her face when she’s through just makes me happy.

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Yeah, that’s why I homeschool.

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