Building, Tools, and Math

Updated: Aug 12

School has officially begun for most people, and that includes us this year! Although we've never done any formal curriculum in the past, this year, I will be incorporating some phonics/reading and math worksheets for my oldest two (6 and 4), and we are going to begin working our way through a unit study. The one I'm using is Konos, which I did as a kid and loved.

The idea is that each unit has an overarching character trait, like "patience", "obedience", or "courage", and then many topics are covered in that unit. For instance, the "patience" unit has you learning about plants and how they grow, and human and animal development and birth...instances in which we have to use patience to see the final outcome!

This unit study relies heavily on self-led research and lots of hands on activities. Since many of the projects we do and books we read could be applied to lots of different learning methods or styles, I thought that each week I could (*try*) to post some our favorites!


Unit- Orderliness

Topics- building, tools, construction, numbers, sequencing, math

Memory verse- 1 Corinthians 14:40- "But all things should be done decently and in order."

Favorite Activities-

We made a placemat! We watched a Youtube video on table manners, and being orderly at mealtimes. Then, using shapes I had cut out the night before, the kids decorated and glued their "utensils" onto a blank piece of construction paper, following a proper place-setting guide.

I lost my contact paper (see what happens when you aren't orderly?? *sigh*) but I ordered more and I will cover their new placemats once it arrives. Then it will be meal-proof! This will help them be able to set their places appropriately and give us a way to practice our table manners!

We also did sorting with some fun, colorful buttons I bought on Amazon. We discussed how organization and sorting can make a lot of tasks easier, like cooking, painting, or even playing with Legos! We sorted the buttons by size and color (you could also do style, like four vs two holes). I'm excited to have these on hand for other craft projects, or even just to play with!

Favorite Books-

"Math for All Seasons" is a super fun book featuring short poems that pose simple math questions while encouraging methods like grouping, addition, and subtraction.

"Math Fables", by the same author, are short rhyming stories that demonstrate how different groupings of numbers can be added to find the same sum (like 7+3=10, and 4+6=10).

"Teddy Bear Addition" teaches math concepts like addition, place value, and carrying, using counting bears (easy to purchase on Amazon!). You could also sub in buttons or a snack, like cereal or raisins, if you don't have the bears.

"Someone Builds the Dream" is a book that shows how much work...and cooperation...go into projects from building bridges, to houses, to writing a book.

"Sky Boys" was one I was SO excited to find. It was a historical fiction account of the building of the Empire State Building, with fun technical details, and real pictures from construction in the front and back. It was just a really interesting book. My kids were so impressed with the fact that men walked on and built beams, so high above the ground, with very little safety equipment. It makes me feel queasy to think about, to be honest.

And that's a wrap on our first week of school! It was a lot of fun, and the kids were really eager to dive in each day and talk about our lessons and read our books. I'm excited to keep going and have a bit more structure to our days!

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