Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Math: No Workbooks Week

Math ... the bane of this home-educator's existence as so often the best way to teach the facts and the concepts is workbooks. I'm not COMPLETELY against workbooks ... and neither are my kids ... but no matter how fancy, cutsie or clever, they are still, well, workbooks.

This year we're using the Miquon books . I assign four or so pages per week for each child in his/her own book and they are able to work independently or get help as needed. They can set their own pace and schedule their own time -- as long as the work is done correctly by the end of the week. We supplement with games, math fact practice, etc.

But, occasionally, we just need a break. This week is our "no workbooks week" for math.

Instead, we have embarked on a group project. String Bean, aka "Kit Kittredge", REALLY likes the treehouse in the latest American Girl catalog.

But with a price tag of $250 ... WOW!

So this is our project for the week: scale draw a similar club house for String Bean's 18" dolls, cost out the materials, and present Dad (at the end of the week) with what we need, what we want to build and soliciting his assistance in the building. LegoManiac has offered to carve some items for inside and Kotch and I and String Bean will decorate (painting the inside and outside, creating furnishing, etc).

Here is yesterday's work -- a scale drawing of the club house:
The drawing is scaled to 1" = 1 ft (or each square = 3").

The final clubhouse will work out to a footprint of 3-ft x 2-ft x 2-1/2 ft high -- a perfect fit for String Bean's three 18" dolls. The lowest drawing shows the front (with a 6" deep "porch") and the back (with a large, barn-door to make it easy to put-in/take-out the dolls and furnishings. The side walls have six-inch square windows with "window boxes" on each. The two roof pieces will either be painted to look like shingles or we'll get a sheet of lino/tile that looks like shingles.

We'll cost it out today, using Lowe's and Home Depot's websites for materials' costs -- and finish up tomorrow with packaging the whole project for Dad's perusal on Friday.

String Bean will pay for the materials -- but we've offered our design and construction services free!

This project is so fun for the four of us .... LegoManiac, String Bean, Bam-bam and I ... that I think we'll try and come up with one about once a month to stretch our math skills and prove that "yes, you will use this in real life"!


Alice Gunther said...

I can't wait to see the finished clubhouse!

MaryM said...

Craftgirl is drooling here.