I always love to hear what other families are into. So I thought you might be interested in what the Schuesslers are loving these days.
Annedroids is an original Amazon live-action show for kids . It’s free for Amazon Prime members and there are 2 seasons so far. I watched 3 episodes with my boys ages 4, 8 and 11 and they loved it! It’s basically a kid’s dream come true. Inventions. Robots. Full access to a junkyard. And I love it because they sneak in tons of science facts, plus it’s super clean.
We stink at learning our math facts. Sure, we can recite the entire timeline of the world, but 7 x 9? Ummmmm…. So, I’m on a mission to fix that. I’m a big believer in traditional math, which means using flash cards and drills. But I knew I needed more than that to keep my kids attention. So here’s what I did:
- I read a few articles about teaching math facts like this one and the comments on this one.
- I printed out the instructions for various card games like Subtraction War, Race to 27 and Flip 3, Pyramid, plus a few more that you can find on my Math Pinterest board.
- I printed out some dice games like Gain & Loss
- I put these inside page protectors in a binder
- I grabbed a small plastic bin at Target and filled it with all my supplies: dice, playing cards, dry erase markers and baby wipes (for cleaning off the page protectors.) I keep this with my binder. I find that having everything in one place is SO helpful for me.
- I made flashcards for my kids according to what they are working on. I put these in index card boxes that I found at Walmart.
So each day I gather my 6, 8 and 11 year old and we do a mix of games and flashcards. We’ve done this for a week now (in place of our usual math curriculum) and I’m already seeing great results!
Classic Starts Series
When I was only homeschooling one or two kids, I was able to read them the classics, start to finish, and we loved it. But now that I have 6 kids, including a nursing baby, it just isn’t the season to read a 300-page book. In fact, we started both Anne of Green Gables and Little Women last year, only to give up on them. This is where the Classic Starts series comes in. They’ve taken books like The Swiss Family Robinson and abridged them for a 3rd-5th grade reading level. Please and thank you. Now we can finish a good book in a decent amount of time and feel a sense of accomplishment. And it’s easy enough to read that you can pass of the book to one of your kids to read while you change the baby, corral the toddler or fetch the preschooler out of a tree (true story.)
Apparently we are late to the game when it comes to Catan, but we have discovered it and we love it! This was a gift to my husband for Christmas and he and the kids (ages 8-13) have played it at least 10 times since. I won’t even try to explain how the game works, but it’s full of strategy and math, which should make any mom happy. And we love things that we can do as a family with multiple ages. Beware, this game is a little pricey, but I tracked it with my favorite Amazon-tracking site camelcamelcamel and waited until the price dropped. It’s been worth every penny!
I’m sure you’ve seen these at the store and thought “Sweet heaven I could feed my family for a week for the price of those dumb magnets!” But stop. You need these Magna-Tiles. It would be worth eating ramen noodles all week if it meant having these glorious beauties in your home. I’ve never had a toy that ALL my kids love to play with and that keeps their attention for so long. Plus, major bonus points for not having tiny pieces (I’m looking at you Legos.) And it has that open-ended, creative play that keeps kids coming back. Put this on your kids birthday or Christmas list for Grandma. If it’s all they get, I promise that no one will regret it. (And thank you to our Grammi for buying ours!)
I don’t know about you, but I have been burned too many times by movies/TV that I thought was safe for me or my kids and wasn’t. So I love pluggedin.com, a division of Focus on the Family. I use it to look up pretty much everything that we watch and it has saved us more than once from renting or something that we’d inevitably have to turn off.
So those are a few things we’re into these days. What about you? Any great products, sites or shows that you’re loving? Share it in the comments!