News and Notes

Patches and Peas, by Briana Elizabeth

Another Christmas has come and gone, and a new year has started. Some years we’ve easily picked back up with schooling, and other years it’s been terribly hard, almost to the point of feeling like we were brand new homeschoolers, and not veterans. It’s a comforting thing to get back to routine, as much as it is to celebrate.

What really helps me with changes like that (which I forgot this year) is music. It’s so simple, but music as a transitional tool is amazingly effective. I’m a person that normally has music playing quietly in the background all the time, but this year, once the Christmas CDs and records were tucked away to wait another year, I forgot to go back to the school music standards that we always listen to. Just like when I put my apron on to start my work day (do you use an apron? You should! Voila, it’s time for business. If you’re lucky, like me, you have your Nana’s aprons.) I also put music on in the school room. Nothing modern, nothing obtrusive, but just a quiet, beautiful melody in the background that is familiar, and says, “Now is the time to work.” For us, it’s Treasures of English Church Music. If I remember correctly, I purchased it because Memoria Press recommended it for learning Latin (do you have their Lingua Angelica? It’s wonderful, truly) , and it was just so beautiful, it became a constant in our lives. Bach is another one of my favorites. Another mentioned to me is from the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles titled Angels and Saints. If you can get to a library sale, they normally have classical CDs for pennies. Grab some. Go through them, find your favorites, or last but not least, find the classical station on the radio. They might complain at first, but I promise they will grow to love it. And they will learn to love beautiful music, too.

A lot has been going on in the Sandbox. We’ve added some new authors, and we took this month to republish some oldies but goodies. Vera’s The Baby is the Lesson  is always a great reminder that homeschooling isn’t just about school, it’s about life. If you have been wanting to start a foreign language, or just need some encouragement, Lynne’s Foreign Language at Our House is a must!

Also, not that you need reminding, but if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s almost February. Which means that there could be a February Slump. The good thing is that it’s not just you, it happens to a lot of us, and forewarned is forearmed. Prepare! Rely on some Hygge, and plan on packing it all up for the day and sleigh riding, ice skating, or museum visiting. Force some cherry branches, or forsythia. Do a Winter Pond Study. Spring will come. And don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook, or sign up for automatic e-mail updates so you don’t miss a post!


Briana Elizabeth has been at this homeschool gig since her 23 year old son was in 7th grade, and his psychiatrist told her that he had to be homeschooled. Her son never went back to public school that year, and the following year, she pulled her 4th grade daughter out of public school. Her five other children have all been homeschooled entirely. It was baptism by fire, but she wouldn’t trade it for the world. Through the years, she has in the end, not only educated her children, but herself, and homeschooling has brought about a whole paradigm change of living for her family. The education that had seemed only possible for the elite was possible through classically homeschooling.

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Education is a Life

The Baby is the Lesson, by Vera

Then it happened…. I discovered one morning in June that we were, in fact, not done having kids. A new little blessing was on her way. I felt a mixture of terror and excitement, as well as a lot of queasiness.

First trimester… As we started school, I was queasy, exhausted, and generally unmotivated. Some days we did school, and some days were filled with P.E. – outside. Second trimester… I developed hypertension. This meant adding OB visits to my midwife visits, plus I had to have these visits more often as we worked out medication. Each visit took away a day of school. Third trimester… Blood pressure continued to rise, and I ended up on bedrest. School happened roughly three days per week.

So how did we manage? Well, the first thing we did was to stick to the basics. Math, reading, and writing needed to keep going. We used curricula that had a little more independent work. Oldest used Art of Problem Solving Prealgebra, which is written directly to the student. The younger two used CLE Math, also written to the student. My 5th grader and kindergartner were reading well, so I just had them get plenty of library books. My 2nd grader struggled a bit with reading, so he did Rod & Staff Phonics and Reading. It’s mom-intensive but straightforward. These included plenty of writing for him. For history, we went with Mystery of History Ancients, though we only made it about nine weeks in. I didn’t do formal science. Again, library books are great.

In addition to the school side of things, we still had a household to run. These people expect to eat daily and have clean clothes! In this area, the boys really stepped up. They learned to do more for themselves: cook, clean, do laundry, and feed the animals. My husband did some cooking and also decluttered the house to make it easier for the boys to maintain. Our church family brought meals the last month and for about six weeks after the birth.

The results of this highly interrupted school year were: 1) a beautiful and healthy baby girl, 2) math, reading, and writing all progressed very well, and 3) the kids learned important life skills. They love their baby sister and are daily learning what goes into caring for a baby.

Over eight months later, we are well into our new school year. We have added grammar, spelling, and such back in and are consistently doing history and science. We don’t have a read aloud going yet, but it will be back eventually. I have kept CLE Math and started everyone on CLE Language Arts. Science for the now-6th grader is a textbook – Apologia General Science. The younger two are using Creek Edge Press Life Science task cards. We’ve been working quickly through our history book and should finish Ancients next week. Then we head on to the Middle Ages!

While we had what seemed like a slacker year, it turned out fine, and the kids learned more than I ever could have thought possible. I now understand the saying from homeschooling forums: The baby is the lesson. And what a cute little lesson she is!

Vera is a Christian homeschooling mom to 3 boys and a baby girl, and her past life included a degree in Electrical Engineering and a job as a software developer prior to having kids. She started homeschooling January 2010, halfway through her oldest son’s first grade year. She lives in Alabama and has a small farm of horses and goats, aka nature’s lawnmowers. Her days involve wrangling boys, vacuuming German Shepherd hair, sewing, knitting, and computer programming.

Author Pages, Uncategorized

Author Page- Georgiana

Georgiana resides in the beautiful mountains of Arizona with her super-generous husband, and three talented daughters. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, and now has the privilege of homeschooling by day and wrestling with the keyboard by night. She’s the author of Table for One and A Daughter’s Redemption, and is exceedingly thankful for her own happily ever after. You can find her blogging regularly at http://www.georgianadaniels.com .

Articles written by Georgiana:

Homeschooling Through the Hard Times

Overcome the Slump

How We Make it Work

A Week in the Life, by Jen N.

I always like to put my own spin on things so I’m changing this to A Week in the Life. The problem is that I could do a day in the life with my at-home days or a day in the life on my work days. If you only see one of these days it isn’t going to make much sense. I’m hoping that this helps someone who, for whatever reason, isn’t an at-home-all-day homeschooler to see that your kids can still thrive without a traditional schedule.

You may be wondering: Why do I have this strange schedule?

jen2

Long story short: My father-in-law has dementia and needs full-time care. He needs to live with us and the only way that we can afford to make this happen is to remodel a home that we used to rent out so that we can all live there together. We are doing all of the work ourselves. Right now the upstairs is done and one of our older sons is staying there with my father-in-law. They have a makeshift kitchen and one full bathroom. I have two days a week that I don’t go there, and my son has two nights where we bring my father-in-law home with us so that he gets a break. Once we finish and move, I’ll be tweaking the whole thing again. It’s always something, right?

 jen3

Monday– This is my Saturday. We spend it catching up on cleaning, shopping, haircuts, all of that fun stuff. I admit to spending every Monday morning watching Downton Abbey and pursuing other selfish “me time” activities.  At noon, I walk over and meet my husband for lunch at his office. We used to do that more often, so now Monday is non-negotiable as we hold onto our old habits desperately. Caring for elderly family members is hard on the entire family. Give yourself some grace. No school today.

 jen4

Tuesday– I’m up at 5:00 am.

This is our heaviest school day. I won’t be home all day again until next Monday. I find that every Tuesday I wake with a sense of urgency and purpose. It’s truly now or never. Whatever we don’t get done today may actually get pushed into next week depending on how the rest of this week plays out. Tuesdays are days where I try to introduce new skills or anything that may result in frustration in either student or teacher.

Lesson planning comes first. I always plan on getting that done over the weekend but never do. My planning consists of dividing the subjects by day and by criteria like:

Q: Do I want to carry The Golden Children’s Bible in my backpack all day?

A: It’s really heavy. No, I do not. (BTW: How do school kids do that? Textbooks are really heavy. I can see why the trend to iPad school is so strong.)

Q: Do I want to introduce long multiplication at the Barnes and Noble Cafe?

A: That might not be a bad idea. Knowing that we have people listening in will keep both of us calm. Plus they have brownies available right there.

To any of you Type A box-checking people: you need to look away now. This is going to get ugly.

For my grade schooler, I elected to use mostly Memoria Press curriculum this year, mostly because they provide a daily schedule that I just need to tweak and not invent. Their schedule, and my old schedule for that matter, contain afternoon classes that are scheduled once a week on a block-type schedule. That doesn’t work for us too well right now. And so I tweak. I often write it out as scheduled and then, looking at the whole thing, start adding arrows to different days.

I make us all a good at-home breakfast and the kids come tumbling out by 8:00 am.

 jen5

Then we work all day. The only other thing I will do on Tuesday is laundry. It fits in perfectly with our complete stay-at-home day. I work the schedule so that I introduce new lessons and concepts on Tuesdays.

 

jen6

Wednesday

I’m home until noon.  We spend the morning doing math, grammar, Latin, and literature. The kids stay home and my older daughter teaches her younger brother art and goes over all his memory work with him. I usually schedule any Netflix movies for that afternoon also. They play board games and make dinner together. I won’t be home until 10:00 pm. I’ll spend the day redirecting and driving to the home improvement store. My husband takes the train up at 5:00 pm and we work until 9:00 pm. The drive home is about 45 minutes. We get home and after scavenging leftovers, we go to bed.

 jen7

Thursday

Teen girl has a weekly Homeschool Media Club date at our library. She meets up withfriends there and makes a day of it. My ten-year-old son and I head out early for a full day at the remodeling house. We bring our books with us. We sneak off from 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm and make the rounds of our school-away-from places. Our preferred location is Barnes and Noble. Sometimes it is too loud there. We check Starbucks and McDonald’s in turn. If all else fails, we will work in the car. Usually, my husband is on the early train so we get a lot more done. We work on the house from 3:45 pm until 9:00 pm again and head home.

 jen8

Friday

Teen girl and I spend the morning checking her work from the week. We email and message back and forth on days I’m not home.This would not have worked with her older brothers. She is pretty diligent about getting her assignments done. We all go up to the remodeling house around noon. I’ll leave with my grade schooler, and we’ll use our remote classroom. Again we work until 9pm. We bring my father-in-law back with us, so adult son has his weekend night to himself. Over the weekend he does things like building his own TV antenna and placing it on the roof. Once you start creating, it’s hard to stop.

This isn’t even the current model. Now we get 62 channels with the newest model on the roofline.

 jen9

 

Saturday

According to the lesson plans, this is our Day Five and it is mostly quiz/test review day. We get all that done in the morning at home. The kids bring whatever books they are reading and their Kindle for games in the car. We head up to the house by noon and work again until 9pm. Again we bring my father-in-law home to the condo. It’s a bit like Ground Hog Day as each week he says the same things in the elevator.

 jen10

Sunday

We do memory/recitation work and anything else that we didn’t get done during the week. It’s our Friday so we are usually in good spirits heading up to the house. The traffic on the weekends is much worse so it takes about 90 minutes to get to the suburbs. I spend the time in the car torturing the kids with old music. We call it School of Rock. We try to leave a bit earlier that night and rent a movie when we get home. After driving so much all week I have no desire to go anywhere.

 jen11

And so it goes. This is our fifteenth year homeschooling, and I can honestly say every year has been different. The keys are flexibility, patience, and just plain giving yourself permission to leap even further outside the box to do whatever you need to do for your family.

jenniferN

 

 

 

 

Jen N. Jen has spent her time homeschooling her five children since 2001. She has read over 5,000 books aloud. A fan of all things geeky, she calls her children her horcruxes — each one has a talent for something she might have pursued herself. Jen and her husband have created a family of quirky, creative people that they are thrilled to launch out into the world. With the three oldest graduated, Jen now has time on her hands and has started a blog: www.recreationalscholar.wordpress.com

Latin

Foreign Language at Our House, by Lynne

“Why don’t you speak French with your kids?”

Because I’m fluent in French, have lived in France, and have a Master’s Degree in French Literature, I’ve been asked this question many times. My answer is always the same- “It’s not my native language. It seems unnatural to not speak in my native language to my own children.”

Don’t get me wrong. I do speak French at my children from time to time. They absolutely hate when I do that, but they’ve learned several words, such as:

Arrête! (Stop!)
Pousse-toi (Get out of the way)
Du calme! (Calm down!)
Qu’est-ce que tu fais, là? (What are you up to?)
Oh, la vache! (OMG!),
and my favorite bedtime command,
Allez, monte! (Go on, get upstairs!)

I don’t know why my parental exasperation comes out in French. Perhaps it’s because the words just sound better in my ears- less like I’m yelling, and more like I’m teaching.

I believe that learning a foreign language can open up whole new worlds for students. I certainly learned a great deal and had many unexpected and life enriching experiences in my study of languages.

We’ve been informally studying Latin and French in our homeschool, mainly because I’m already familiar with these languages. (I decided against tonal languages when my high school BFF’s family tried to teach me Cantonese, and got a huge kick out of my failure to reproduce the sounds.) We’ve also been studying sign language, and my kids go to Hebrew school at our synagogue. Even though it seems like a lot, we’ve been doing these things slowly and casually, so as not to become overwhelmed.

People often ask me which French curriculum I recommend, and I reply that I haven’t written it, yet. I really haven’t found what I consider to be a perfect French curriculum for homeschoolers, but I do like Classical Academic Press’s new French for Children. Memoria Press’s First Start French is a decent beginning program, and I’d recommend getting the teacher’s guide and pronunciation CD. Breaking the Barrier is another good program. I have the iBook version, and the format is understandable and easy to use and also has audio, which is helpful. My advice is to see if you can look at a program in person, or really look at the sample pages on websites to see if you think that program would be a good fit for your child. Here’s a tip- don’t bother with Muzzy. It’s awful. I’ve had lots of people ask me about the Duolingo app, and I think it’s a great tool to help you learn some vocabulary, but I don’t think you’re going to get a comprehensive understanding of a language’s grammar with Duolingo. If you’re looking to learn French, but not necessarily looking for a full blown homeschool curriculum, here are a few good resources:

Easy French, Step by Step

Living Language French

French Vocabulary Study Cards

My sixth grader has been really into Greek Mythology and Greek heroes lately, so I have him doing the Greek Alphabet Code Cracker from Classical Academic Press. It’s a little below his ability level, but it’s a cute introduction to the Greek Alphabet. If he wants to continue, I’ll find another resource for him. My seventh grader is working on some more French. And I’ll probably sign him up for Latin through the Lukeion Project next year. I think he will do well with an online course. I’ve seen the Lukeion presentation at a homeschool conference and was very impressed. If my younger one wants to continue with Greek, I’ll sign him up for online classes with them, too. I told my boys that I’d like them to do one classical language and one modern language in high school, so we’ll see what happens in a couple of years.

Another thing we do, in addition to studying Latin itself, is to study Latin and Greek roots in English words. We use Michael Clay Thompson’s vocabulary program to great effect. I can’t tell you how many times my kids have encountered a new word while reading and can figure out the root meaning of it because they are familiar with the components of the word. For example, the word “circumscribe” might be unfamiliar, but they know that circa means around and scribe has to do with writing, so they know that the word literally means to draw around. When they learn that the definition is to restrict or limit something, the light bulb goes on. “OH! A boundary has been drawn around it!” I am of the opinion that if you don’t want to do foreign language study, you should at least do Latin and Greek roots, because they are very, very useful in vocabulary building. People frequently remark on my kids’ unusually mature vocabularies.

So, that’s how we do foreign language at our house. I’d love for you to join in a discussion about foreign language at your house in our Facebook group.


Lynne–Lynne has enjoyed homeschooling her two sons for the past 4.5 years, after their brief stint in the local public school.  Her older son is a humorous fellow with high functioning autism who thrives in a home education environment.  Her younger son is a sensitive soul with a great deal of patience. The boys, Mom, and Dad, along with the two guinea pigs, live in Northeast Ohio.  Lynne holds a Master’s Degree in French Language and Literature.  She is also a Harry Potter fanatic, enjoys line dancing and Zumba, spends hours scrapbooking, and loves organic vegetables.  You can visit her soon-to-be revitalized blog at www.daysofwonderhomeschool.blogspot.com.

Religion

Quran Stories for Little Hearts, by Rose Marie

Once a month we have a Throwback Thursday.  This piece originally ran on November 30, 2013.  We hope you enjoy it.

This series was compiled by Saniyasnain Khan and is available from Good Word Books, Amazon, and all the usual places one may buy books. If you are Australian and particularly from Melbourne, I recommend purchasing at IBC http://ibcshopping.com.au because they are a friendly bunch. The proprietor helped me sort through what I needed on and off until an hour after closing time, when he surely had better things to do! That kind of customer service deserves to attract business.

Unfortunately, this series is not sold in order. I thought this was very silly, but was comforted when the chap in the book shop said the Sura (chapter) and Ayat (verse) numbers were included in the footnotes so it wouldn’t be a huge job to sort them out. Murphy’s Law of Homeschooling struck when I got home and found that less than half of the books are drawn from one chapter only, so putting them in order was going to require significant collaboration between my non-Muslim self, Wikipedia, http://quran.com and a few others. Plus, the Quran makes no attempt towards chronological order. Who knew? (Apart from the billion or two Muslims out there!)

So, here is the series put into Quranic order to the best of my ability, just in case someone else ever needs it:

The Morals of Believers

Life Begins

Allah Made Them All

The First Man

The Builder of the Kabah

Uzayr’s Donkey

Ramadan and the Quran

How to Pray Salat

The People of the Book

The Two Brothers

A Unique Miracle

How Ibrahim Came to Know Allah?

Allah’s Best Friend

The Ark of Nuh

The Prophet Hud and the Storm

The Prophet Shuayb and the Earthquake

The King’s Magicians

The Pious Man and His Sons

The Prophet Yusuf and the King’s Dream

The Travels of the Prophet Ibrahim

The Sleepers in the Cave

The Story of Two Gardens

The Wise Man and the Prophet Musa

The Iron Wall

The Old Man’s Prayer

The Miraculous Baby

Allah Speaks to the Prophet Musa

The Prophet King

The Most Patient Man

The Light of Allah

The Ant’s Panic

The Queen and the Bird

The Treasure House

Luqman’s Advice to His Sons

Love Your Parents

The Gardens of Saba

The Angel’s Prayer

The Brave Boy

Tale of a Fish

The Travellers Prayer

The Rivers of Milk and Honey

The Honoured Guests

The Prophet and the Blind Man

You might ask why a Pagan would spend so much money on a series of Quran stories, particularly when she has most of them at home in a book called ‘Bible Stories for Children,’ retained from her upbringing. The chap in the Muslim shop did! As I explained to him, all these stories are important for cultural literacy, and it is my hope that my kids will read the Jewish, Christian and Muslim versions and *notice* they are all the same stories. That might not sound like an in-depth analytical exercise, but I only have very small children at present! What I didn’t tell him, because he didn’t require the long version of my education philosophy (especially an hour after the shop had closed), is that I think an education is supposed to teach us about people and their motivations. After all, we spend our whole lives with and/or avoiding people! Religion is one of the largest forces that shapes the way people view and interact with the world and its other inhabitants, so a lot of my time and “pocket money” will be devoted to the subject.

 

Rose-Marie was one of those enthusiastic planners who began researching when she was pregnant with her first. She wanted to homeschool because it sounded like an affordable adventure, then she met her kids personally…They live on a hill in rural southern Australia without enough solar panels and like it there.

Homeschool Wisdom

Do I Have To? No, But You Get To. by Briana Elizabeth

It started with my kids having an obligation that they didn’t want to fulfill. Like most obligations, it wasn’t anything they could back out of; it was something they had to endure and hopefully grow through. As a parent, I knew that it was what was best for them, and I also saw the fruit it would later bear. My children weren’t all-together opposed, but there was complaining which disappointed me, so as I shared our troubles with another homeschooling mom, she rephrased that command from “You have to” to “You get to.”

It turned their dispositions around.

It helped them realize that that obligation was an opportunity to do something which  became a privilege to do, which shone the sun on so many other things.

Do you have to help your sister? No, you get to.

Do I have to do math? No, you get to.

Do I have to go walk Mrs. Smith’s dogs–it’s so hot. No, dearest, you get to.

Do I have to deal with Smarty Pants at co-op? No, you get to.

Don’t think for a moment that it only changed the children’s lives. Not at all; it helped me too.

Do I have to teach them the subject they hate? No, I get to.

Do I have to finish school and then make dinner? No, I get to.

Do I have to read to them even when they’re nothing but antsy-pants? No, I get to.

Do I have to go do all of that laundry after a full day of school? No, dearest, you get to. And teach them to do laundry also. They’ll be gone soon enough. The days are long, but the years are short.

This is no small task, this rewording of my default response. It’s taken me over a year to make it into a habit–my new default.

But retraining your brain to think of obligations as opportunities and privileges makes it so much easier to dwell in a place of gratitude for those obligations and to see such privilege bestowed upon us as truly a blessing.

Little did that other mom know what that small rephrasing would open up for us, turning that small fruit I had initially expected into a lifetime of harvest.


Briana Elizabeth has been at this homeschool gig since her 23 year old son was in 7th grade, and his psychiatrist told her that he had to be homeschooled. Her son never went back to public school that year, and the following year, she pulled her 4th grade daughter out of public school. Her five other children have all been homeschooled entirely. It was baptism by fire, but she wouldn’t trade it for the world. Through the years, she has in the end, not only educated her children, but herself, and homeschooling has brought about a whole paradigm change of living for her family. The education that had seemed only possible for the elite was possible through classically homeschooling.

Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight: Louisa, by Genevieve

 

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Louisa is an eight-year old who loves chickens, sisters, and art of all flavors.

 

 

Genevieveis a former public and private school teacher who has five children and has been homeschooling for the past thirteen years. In her free time she provides slave labor to Dancing Dog Dairy, making goat milk soap and handspun yarn, which can be seen on Our Facebook Page and at Dancing Dog Dairy .

Math

Fractions 101: How to Think About Fractions, by Angela Berkeley

So you’re approaching that time when your children will start to learn about fractions in their curricula?  You know that this is important foundational material.  You know this information will be used for all future math and science classes, for statistics classes, and throughout your children’s lives.  You have already started to give your children a concrete introduction to fractions, and now it is time to start teaching them the more abstract and complicated aspects of this subject.  How will you frame this for them?

This question can be made more challenging by the approach your math curriculum takes.  It is fairly common for math curricula to teach fractions by teaching lists of rules. Of course, knowing such rules is helpful and necessary, but memorizing them without really understanding why they work the way they do makes it difficult to detect computation or calculation errors and double check one’s work. It can also be difficult to recall those rules perfectly in order to apply them to complicated math problems.

In general,  there are ways to think about fractions that are extremely helpful in remembering how to work with them; helpful both for teaching them and for using them.  You can teach your children this whether your curriculum does so or not, and it will help them to truly understand what they are doing when they work with fractions. You can use these to brush up on fractions on your own or to have some useful concepts to teach your children.

Here is the first, most foundational thing to keep in mind:  A fraction is fundamentally a division problem.  (Note:  It is not a division EQUATION.  Rather, it is a division PROBLEM, because there is no equal sign in a fraction.  It is a division problem.)

The top part of the fraction is divided by the bottom part of the fraction.

So when  you see 1/2, it is the same as seeing 1 divided by two.

2/3 is the same as 2 divided by 3.

(1702)(3B)/4+C is the same as (1702)x(3B) divided by (4+C).

Again, the top part is always divided by the bottom part.

How is this helpful?  For one thing, if you ever need to convert a numerical fraction into a decimal, you simply work the division problem, and voila, you will have a decimal.

For another thing, it emphasizes a powerful message that the top and bottom parts of a fraction cannot ever be reversed.  In the same way that 100 divided by 10 is completely different from 10 divided by 100, 100/10 and 10/100 are completely different from each other.

Remembering that a fraction is fundamentally a division problem reminds us of that over and over.

So what are the two parts of the division problem?

By the way, these are the other foundational things to keep in mind:

The bottom number (denominator) tells us how many equal parts one whole thing is divided into.  

The top number (numerator) tells us how many *of those parts* we have.

 

OK, read that again, slowly, and think about it.

Now for some examples:

3/4 means that 1 whole thing is divided into 4 equally sized parts (because the denominator is 4), and we have 3 of those parts (because the numerator is 3.)

17/20 means that 1 whole thing is divided into 20 parts, and we have 17 of them.

298/1200 means that 1 whole thing is divided into 1200 parts, and we have 298 of them.

This always works.  It is ALWAYS true, no matter how complicated-looking the numerator or denominator is.

Whenever you see a fraction, say to yourself, “This is a division problem.  The bottom number tells me how many parts one whole thing is divided into.  The top number tells me how many of those parts I have.”

Stay tuned. We will move on to implications for four function arithmetic of fractions in the next article.

Angela Berkeley–Although Angela Berkeley wanted to homeschool her daughter, she was unable to find others to partner with in this endeavor and felt that it was unfair to homeschool an only child; so she enrolled her in kindergarten. However, because the family was facing a mid-semester cross-country move during their daughter’s first grade year, she pulled her out to homeschool until they settled into their new home. This went so well, and her daughter liked it so much, that they ended up homeschooling through 8th grade.  Using an eclectic classical style, this was an extremely successful process, producing a confident, personable, and academically well-prepared entrant into a local high school.