Hedgie, the hedgehog, picked 13 mushrooms in two baskets. After he took an equal number of mushrooms from each basket, the first basket had 3 mushrooms left in it and the second one 4 mushrooms. How many mushrooms did Hedgie have in each basket in the beginning?
A farmer had 10 black and white sheep together. After he sold 4 white sheep and 2 black sheep, he was left with an equal number of black and white sheep. How many black sheep and how many white sheep did the farmer have in the beginning?
Hedgie, the hedgehog, picked 13 mushrooms in two baskets. After he took an equal number of mushrooms from each basket, the first basket had 3 mushrooms left in it and the second one 4 mushrooms. How many mushrooms did Hedgie have in each basket in the beginning?
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We have a hedgehog named Hedgie. Hedgie happened to have his own methods for solving math problems, the fast and lazy way he calls it. Hedgie is not always right but we listen to him anyway. This morning Hedgie tried to add consecutive numbers from 0 to 15. The easiest way to do it is to pair numbers in such a way that they all add up to the same number and then use multiplication. Hedgie does not know his multiplication facts and he is quite sloppy. Ghost themes are always welcome in our house. Here is a math story on ghosts. A very prolific ghost catcher catches 9 ghosts in 3 days. How many ghosts will he catch in 5 days? (Every day he catches an equal number of ghosts). This is a short video on how we work every day. I did not capture the whole process from the beginning and I had to finish it abruptly, because my little monkey hurt his teeth. :( To read the English language well, to write with dispatch a neat, legible hand, and to be master of the first rules of arithmetic, so as to dispose of, at once, with accuracy, every question of figures which comes up in practice, I call this a good education. And if you add the ability to write pure grammatical English, I regard it as an excellent education. These are the tools. You can do much with them, but you are helpless without them. They are the foundation; and unless you begin with these, all your flashy attainments are ostentatious rubbish.Edward Everett.
Several years ago, when I had to choose a textbook for Latin, I came across Prima Latina on other home schoolers' blogs. I was new to homeschooling and I bought the book right away and started to use it.
From the very beginning I noticed that the vocabulary lists were completely unrelated to their memory pieces. Also the authors would make you memorize Present Indicative endings and First Declension endings without actually making you understand what those things were in the first place. To me it seemed like putting a carriage in front of a horse. There was, however, some grammar explained in a very simple way and that was quite good for a child of 34 years old. But my biggest problem with the textbook was that it felt as if random pieces of information were put together: Christian memory pieces with absolutely unrelated vocabulary. Years later when I became a big fan of archive.org and I looked through many Latin textbooks from the late 19th and early 20th century, written by true Latin scholars, I found out where exactly the "unrelated" vocabulary lists came from :). Nowadays new textbooks and software programs on Latin (and Christian Latin in particular) are appearing like mushrooms after rain but many of them are just good old textbooks "dumbed down". My new favorite textbook on Latin is "Latin lessons" by M.L. Smith. It has shorter lessons than "Essentials of Latin" by Pearson (a great book indeed! but I had to split lessons a lot for my 6 year old). Grammar is presented well and the pace is right. There are exercises on translation, declension and conjugation, and derivatives. Each lesson has a famous Latin expression, which one can copy or memorize or both. There are short historical notes about Roman life. If anyone finds a better Latin textbook for young kids, let me know, because M.L. Smith did a brilliant job as a teacher and as a textbook writer. Recently we have been exploring quite an unusual village in Fairyland.
All sorts of creatures live there and all sorts of things happen. For instance, there is a very curious elf, named Elvis. Elvis has his small shop, where he makes the most beautiful objects out of gold, silver, copper and other metals. (Of course, we had to draw Elvis's portraits and some silver cups, which he makes.) The whole village orders services from Elvis because he is truly the best at what he does. So, you can imagine, that Elvis is extremely busy. Last week only he had 3 big orders to complete! The first order was from his beloved cousin, who brought him a piece of silver weighing 2 lbs and a piece of copper, which was 3 times heavier than the piece of silver. Out of the copper piece the elf was asked to make 3 teapots of the same weight. I wonder how many pounds did each teapot come to be? The second order came from his neighbor a gnome, who brought two pieces of silver: one was 8 lbs and the other was 4 times lighter than the first one. Out of all this silver the gnome wanted to have 5 finest silver cups made. How many pounds was each cup? The third order came from a fairy, and it was really special for she wanted for her fairy party to have a golden tray, a tea pot and a big bowl made. For the tray she had 5 lbs of gold, for the bowl she had 3 lbs less than for the tray, and the tea pot required 2 times more gold than the tray. How many pounds is the tea pot heavier than the bowl? How many times is it heavier than the bowl? As one can see the life and work of Elvis requires some calculation but, unfortunately, Elvis is quite lazy when it comes to it but, fortunately, he is quite tricky when it comes to it. Next time I will show you the trick, that he came up with when multiplying by 9. I must say that I really love having our math circle. The reason is that my biggest high from teaching comes when I get unexpected answers from kids. Kids are natural geniuses.
I remember several years ago, when we just started and the kids were 34 years old, there was a trivial '1+1=?' question in one of the discussions and this is the conversation, that developed naturally between two of the kids: A: 1 plus 1 is 11. B: No! It is 2. A: Why? Can't you see it is just 1 and 1 and it is obviously 11. B: Wait a minute. Ok. I see. And 1 plus 2 is 12...? A: EXACTLY! Or here is another one, when kids were about 5 years old. One day we were discussing "missing information" in math stories. This was the story, that I gave to them, "A boy went to the shore and bought there a bear for $4, three cars for $2 each, a train set for $10, an umbrella with a frog on it for $4 and a green crocodile toy. How much in total did he pay for his purchase?" Here the kids were "trained" to recognize that there was some information missing in the story and that we had to supply it first before we could answer the question. And they just answered in chorus as they were trained to do: Kids (in chorus): We have some crucial information missing before we can answer the question. I: Great! And what kind of crucial information is missing? One of the kids (with a sad look on his face): Are there any toys left in the store for other kids? I encourage wrong answers in math. Wrong answers show that a kid is thinking. And thinking is all, that is needed :) The rest will come. In geometry we covered volumes of cubes, rectangular and triangular prisms in addition to areas of triangles, squares, and rectangles. We prefer to make all the models by ourselves and then we try to figure out what the volume will be. We use regular air dry modeling clay, which we get from an art store across the street. It is messy but it is so worth it. Every kid, who has been to our house, absolutely loved working with clay!
But I must tell you, when we had to fill a box with cubic centimeters made of clay, I thought I would go insane. When we had to cut a cube into cubic centimeters, it was already bearable :) 
Welcome!
Hello! My name is Ilona Yershov. I live with my husband and my son Eleazar in NYC. I homeschool my son in a Classical Christian style. Thank you for stepping by!
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