Friday, September 4, 2009

Homeschooling: Days 14-18 ($$$$)

For the "technical stuff":


This week I decided to back up more in handwriting. The book we were using gave practice for an individual letter on 2 lines and then 3 lines of different words and a sentence. Although he would make the individual letter correctly, he didn't know how to make all the letters correctly so for the sentences and words, he was forming the letters incorrectly (ie. "i's and l's" were started at the bottom instead of the top, "b's and d's" were not made in a fluid motion, but rather as circles and sticks). He really has a desire to learn cursive (I'm actually going to teach him cursive italics), so it is important that he is learning to form the letters properly.

So, with all that said, we backed up to the beginning level of italics. Each sheet only has a single letter on it and only two lines of work instead of five. He will do two pages of these in a day sometimes without complaint. Instead of starting at the beginning of the alphabet, it teaches based on similar strokes (i's and l's, v's and w's, etc). He's doing much better at this pace and there is a lot less tension during writing time.

I also give him "creative license" to use whatever writing instrument he wants. Some days it is a marker, other days a colored pencil. This seems to help, too, because it gives him some control over what he is doing.

For the fun part of the week: MATH!

Yes, math! It was a great week for math because we incorporated money! $$$$!

We went through all of the coins up to the quarter and the bills up to $20. I asked how many ways he could make $0.10, $0.25, etc. and how many ways to make $5, $10, $20 with the different bills. I had purchased a set of play money from Target for $1 and it was so helpful!! I don't know about you, but I don't have lots of cash laying around to demonstrate with! LOL!

We talked about spending, saving, and giving our money. We talked about needs and wants. I set up a little "store" with price tags on different items. First it was just some of his toys. He got to pick out what he wanted to buy with his money and we made change. He enjoyed this very much, so we did it several times.

Then, I set up a different store of clothes, toys, toiletries, and food. I told him he was going on vacation and had $20 to spend on what he would take with him. He made good choices that gave him something to eat, wear, clean with, and play with. A little bit of everything. I was very pleased! We changed the prices around and did it again.

His 7th birthday is right around the corner, and we've decided it is time for an allowance. We'll expect him to spend, save, and give. After this week, I'm certain he is ready for an allowance and will do well with it. I'm just not sure on the amount yet. I'd like it to be a number that makes for easy splitting into spend/save/give categories and an amount that allows him to see his savings accumulate fast enough... but not too fast! :)

More fun...

This week we spent a whole day of school on our Unplugged Project: Ocean! Reading, discussing, writing, drawing, coloring, sewing, pasting... that was a full, fun day!

Do you give your kids an allowance? How much? At what age did you start? I'd LOVE to know!

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1 comment:

Sonja said...

Hi Becky,
Started reading here because 2 of my 3 kids have reactions to dairy (not life-threatening, but bad enough that we no longer eat dairy in our house).

Anyway...we started giving allowance to our kids at age 5 (they are 7, 5 and 3). We give one dollar for their age ($7 for the 7 year old). They have 3 piggy banks, one for saving, one for spending one for charity. They must put half of their allowance into their savings each week and 50cents in charity each week.

Don't worry if $7 seems difficult to divide--he'll catch on REALLY quickly. Just make sure you give him some bills, some quarters, etc...each week. Great learning tool!

We take the kids to the bank about 5-6 times each year and they put their savings into their "college funds". Once my daughter had about $30 in her charity box she decided to donate it to a local playground that was being rebuilt and asking for funds. She felt GREAT about that!

We've found that giving $7 to our 7year old is just the right amount. After charity and college, she ends up with $3 for spending money each week (and she's got $3 more in her college fund--like forced savings for us!). Enough for a candy bar, or if she saves, she has enough to buy a toy or DVD at the end of the month.

We really wanted to teach our kids money skills so we don't attach the allowance to chores. The allowance is a way to teach them the life skill of money management.

Sorry if this is long, but this really works for us! Good luck.