Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: Multiply It!

Fuss watering our roses.

FUSS

Letters? Boom! Sight words? Boom! Colors? Boom! Potty trained? A very long ago boom! Not shoving random children at parks and Pottery Barn Kids? Yeah … not so much. Fuss is all of two. Not just the cute, puppy-eyed, soft-skinned, lingering traces of baby smell two. She’s tantruming two, and screaming two, and ranting about how it’s “Mine. Mine! Mine!” two. January and February were rough. I often wished I was on “Who Wants to Be a Mommy,” so I could use a lifeline and ‘phone a friend’ to have them come rescue me until she’s eighteen.

I can’t complain, though. She’s gotten a lot better. She’s more compassionate. She listens (as long as she’s well-fed, well-rested, the sun is in a specific position and the stars align correctly), and she uses her words often. When she’s frustrated, however, her attempts to get her point across can be likened to that of a customer cheated out of their money during a Macy’s transaction. We’re working on it.

Her new sleep schedule is based on a forty-eight hour slot instead of a twenty-four hour day. Don’t Google it. I made it up. I studied her behavior in conjunction with her ability to fall asleep easily at night and realized that a nap every single day was too much for her. What I do is have her nap every other day, with the daytime sleep being from 12-2pm. On days when she naps, her bedtime is 7:30pm. When she doesn’t nap, her bedtime is 6:45pm. Don’t ask me why this works. It just does. She puts herself to sleep at naptime and bedtime with ease by singing or chatting quietly with her doll.

To learn more about the homeschooling that I do with Fuss, please visit Teaching Fuss.

MOOCH

My eldest is reading Hugo Cabret. Actually, by the time you finish reading this blog, she will have finished all 532 pages of it. This morning she was on page five hundred. I never read books that size at her age. Even in college, I stuck to excerpts. Her patience with stories amazes me. She loves stories so much, that I found a story method to teach her the multiplication tables. I’m so excited about it, that I have to share it with you. I found it on Amazon after researching different ways to help children retain the times tables. I knew this way would work for Mooch.

Mooch learning her times tables

The book assigns a word for each number. For example, three is represented by “tree” and four is represented by “door.” Stories are then told on the left page with a corresponding picture (for memory) on the right page. The “tree” and “door” story talks about a tree with a little door in it. Inside the door lives an “elf.” At the bottom of the page, it reads, “Tree x Door = Elf,” which translates, of course, to “3×4=12.” She learned her threes through nines in one day! This book is amazing. We’re working on twelves this weekend. She already knew 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, and 11s, because those have easy tricks. After this week, it’ll just be drilling from here on out to get them into her long-term memory. What fun!

Here is a link to the book: Multiplication in a Flash

Mooch cheesing at homeschool

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Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: Random Thoughts

This is super random, but it’s exactly what’s going on in my head right now.

1. I have to make a multiplication rap song and record it tonight, because Mooch’s school uses a math program that is insufficient. She says all of her rich friends have tutors and that’s where they actually learn, while their parents pay for the crunchy granola education they want them to receive during the daytime. *blank stare* If it weren’t for their writing program, she’d be home-schooled next year.

2. Fuss still whines at an Olympic rate, so I need to revisit techniques for getting rid of that. She’s really thriving academically, but if she could cry less, I’d have fewer gray hairs.

3. Fuss needs new pants, again. Why is she so tall?

4. I need to figure out a new hairstyle for Fuss, so she doesn’t lose her edges.

5. I have to help Mooch with piano today, but I never really learned to play piano with both hands. Uh … bass clef, anyone?

6. I’m tired of driving.

7. I think everyone in the house is ill right now except for me.

8. Mooch is excelling in her extra-curricular activities and it’s making her self-esteem rise. I can see it.

9. Good boys do fine always.

10. I need a nap.

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