How I Use Abeka’s Arithmetic Curriculum to Fit into Charlotte Mason’s Math Teaching Style

There is great comfort in having a curriculum. It tells you exactly what you need to teach, how to teach it, it gives you a thorough scope and sequence; it basically helps you stay on track. How very much needed is to have that peace of mind that we are teaching exactly what needs to be covered for their grade level! 

Part of what I love about homeschooling is the flexibility to draw on different curricula and teaching methodologies. Back in college, I learned that to teach Math, especially the younger years, students should engage in using manipulatives (very much like Ms. Mason said). Also, I learned that it is best to help students make connections between what their learning in their books and apply it to real life. Moreover, they need to see how simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division help them solve everyday problems. 

I believe that you can really use any curriculum to fit the methodology you are looking for. The curriculum is to be your guide, your compass…it’s what keeps you on track that you are teaching exactly what children should be learning at that level. 

Once you come to terms with that, you can use the curriculum in any way you wish. I choose to use our Abeka curriculum to fit into what is my preferred method of teaching.

Best Features about Abeka’s Arithmetic Curriculum:

  1. Colorful, simple-straightforward lessons.
  2. Lessons are short (just like Mason said they should be) – 3 to 5 min. Some things might take just a bit more, depends on the child. 
  3. Seatwork is only one page, or 2 pages from 2nd grade and up. 
  4. It uses a Spiral Curriculum – “A spiral curriculum can be defined as a course of study in which students will see the same topics throughout their school career, with each encounter increasing in complexity and reinforcing previous learning.” (Google)
  5. There are story problems that need to be done orally (just like Charlotte Mason said there should be)
  6. Learning facts (there is drill, but it is so quick! and fun! builds confidency)
  7. Very easy to follow.

For example: How many chairs do we need to sit everyone? How many people will want to each cake? How many slices of pizza will everyone need to eat?

The past three years I have only used Abeka’s Arithmetic curriculum to teach Math grades: Kindergarten, First, and Second. As we are approaching Third, I have already ordered Abeka. We are sticking to it.

When you give it a quick glance or when you ask around, it may seem like it is far from being Charlotte Mason-friendly. Yes, it does use worksheets. Yes, it has speed drills. Yes, it has tests.

Yet, it is so much more than that.

Why use Math Manipulatives with ANY Math curriculum: 

 

From a young age, children need to visualize the concepts they are learning. It helps make the connection to learn to think abstractically. They need to see it first for it to make sense.  We all have to start somewhere.

Manipulatives help you present the material (concepts) in a concrete manner. 

Recommended Math Manipulatives to use with ANY Math curriculum: 

 

As you prepare to teach a Math lesson (regardless of the curriculum), I encourage you to keep a box with manipulatives. These are my preferred ones:

    1. Popular Playthings Playstix (150 pieces)
    2. Mathlink Cubes – Set of 100 Cubes
    3. Fraction Tower Activity Set
    4. Base Ten Blocks Set
    5. Gear Clock
    6. Teacher Created Resources Foam Fraction Circles (20611)
    7. Manipulative Kit (Saxon Math – very complete)

Additionally, you can use items available at home such as buttons (I get some at Joann’s and Dollar Tree), counters, rulers, beans, etc. Anything you can get your hands on and use for counting. 

What about Living Books?

 

Let children enjoy math outside of math. How about reading picture books that teach math indirectly? There are MANY picture books that are fun and help expand the understanding of these new concepts. Take advantage of them. Set them in a basket or leave them on the table and your little ones will come to them. Let the books help you teach. 🙂 

We have read through many living books to learn math. It has been fascinating. A living book is NOT a textbook. A living book is one that makes the story or concept come to life. It is engaging and it works! 

This post has the names of some of the math living books we have read the past few years. I do need to update it, though. Hope you find it helpful. 

Another series of books recommended in many homeschooling groups is Life of Fred. It is Math told in a story format. There are sales for it all the time in sites like Educents,

Another series of books recommended in many homeschooling groups is Life of FredIt is a stand-alone curriculum for math, but I want to give it 

 

So you see, Math should be expected to go beyond what is presented in a book. This is why I believe that you could make any Math curriculum fit into the approach you desire. In my case, we align our Abeka Math to Charlotte Mason’s approach as closely as possible. 

What Math curriculum do you use? How do you expand your Math curriculum?

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How to Organize ABeka Assignments for the Year

How to Organize Abeka assignments for the Year and other Tips

A new year has come and I am once again planning for our upcoming school year!

This is going to be my fourth year homeschooling. Where has the time gone?! A lot of learning in the process for the kids and myself. We love homeschooling even more than the very first year and we are eager to continue!

The new books were ordered in May from
Homeschool
ChristianBook.com. It was a fantastic experience shopping there! My good friend who has been homeschooling for 8+ years had told me to shop there from the beginning and I finally did it. I should have listened to her from day 1! lol. Live and learn, right?

As we are continue using Abeka for our primary subjects, Math (Arithmetic), Reading, and Writing, now with 3 children, you can imagine the amount of papers all around! We need to be more organized and everyone needs to know exactly where our papers go.

In order to make my life easier, I am going to be pulling out ALL the sheets from all the books and keep them together by lesson number. This way, on Sunday I can just go ahead and pull out all the sheets for the lesson numbers we are going to need and set them up in their daily folders.

AmazonBasics Hanging File Folders - Letter Size (25 Pack) - GreenAmazonBasics Hanging File Folders – Letter Size (25 Pack) – Green

These hanging file folders have been the best way I have found to organize homework, worksheets, and seatwork by lesson number. 

The empty books are stored away in a tub where I have kept other books from past years. Depending on the state you live, you will need to keep books and other records for the time stated by the regulations of your state. 

Storing the lessons in file hanging folders has been so convenient and so EASY for me!!! It saves me time having to pull out all the books and find matching lessons from different places. It also helps me to look ahead and see what kind of themes are used in different units which help me plan ahead for those days. 

For example, our Math book (2nd grade) had a unit in geography. Because I had looked ahead, I planned videos and picture books that we requested from the library ahead of time. So we learned Geography along with our math and expanded our theme to include Living Books, videos, songs, etc. We basically travelled all around the world thanks to the geography theme tied into our Math book. Thanks, Abeka! 

I talked more about how to adapt ANY Math curriculum into a living Math course – per Charlotte Mason.  See this post. 

Pendaflex File Folders, Letter Size, 1/3 Cut, Manila, 100 per Box (752 1/3)Pendaflex File Folders, Letter Size, 1/3 Cut, Manila, 100 per Box (752 1/3)

  • We use file folders to store the lessons, to do lists, and anything else that needs to be completed on that day. Each day of the week has a different folder.
  •  I only need for the week, per child.
  • The extra file folders are saved for completing lap books throughout the year.

The kids have access to their weekly folders that contain all the work they need to complete that week. I found this File Folder Storage Pocket Chart really handy and sturdy! It has room to store five folders, one for each day of the week.  It is available in lime, teal, and purple.

Here is a picture to show you how we use this storage system for our weekly work.

19748428_809884898200_3890839010225831794_n.jpg

I simply used washi tape and a label to write the day of the week. I actually have two pocket charts so my other children’s folders will also have washi tape in their favorite colors. 🙂

File Folder Storage: Teal Pocket ChartFile Folder Storage: Teal Pocket Chart

This is the pocket chart that we use to store the file folders that contain the papers and everything that needs to be completed for the day and week.

It’s available in these colors:

One of my children thanked me for pulling out all the sheets because it made it so much easier to write on all the sheets. I was so glad it helped!!!! 

Once the lessons for the week are completed, checked, and discussed, we put them back in the file folder where they correspond. This way, everything gets stored and stays together. No more papers all over the place!!!!!! YAY!!!! So much easier also for being able to plan ahead or pick up after a long weekend or Christmas break. 

Chime in: 

How do you organize your homeschool curriculum? Let me know in the comments! 

Fabi

Leave a comment

Filed under Charlotte Mason, homeschool, Uncategorized

10 Sweet Bilingual Board Books for Raising a Bilingual Child in the Early Years

10 sweet bilingualbooks.jpg

As we raise our bilingual children, I have started to make note of the books we read and the things we have done along the way to help teach them Spanish as naturally as possible. One of these has been reading to them from a very young age, the womb. We read books in Spanish, bilingual books, or books in Spanish. The following books are all very special with the goal of sharing sweet little stories to create a connection with the Spanish language. I hope you enjoy this list just as much as we have. As the kids grow, these will become little treasures that will remind you of those times when your kids were so very little and were just beginning to learn the language.

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support for Bilingual Mami, the Bilingual Homeschooler. 

  1. You are my I Love You – Tú eres mi yo te quiero Easily readable English and Spanish side-by-side text.
  2. Besos for Baby – A Little Book of Kisses: Uses simple Spanish words to teach the Spanish language through love. 
  3. La noche en que tu naciste – On The Night You Were Born: An account of the very special night the baby was born…
  4. I like it When…-Me gusta cuando: Great for teaching how to say I like this, I like that and using examples to explain why. 
  5. This Little Piggy – Este Cochinito: This is a classic nursery rhyme in both English and Spanish. 
  6. Pio – Peep!: A collection of traditional nursery rhymes. *Must* have, start reading nursery rhymes in Spanish from an early age to build literacy skills in Spanish. 
  7. Siempre te querré: An absolute favorite in Spanish. We LOVE this book, my children prefer it in Spanish. 
  8. I Love You Through and Through – Te quiero, yo te quiero
  9. Te amo, te abrazo, leo contigo – I Love You, Hug You, Read to You: The three things the reader promises to do. 
  10. Huggy, Kissy – Abrazos y besitos:  So cute!!! Your child will love this one! 

What books do you like to read in Spanish with your younger ones?

Cuéntame, tell me in the comments below!

Fabi

 

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under bilingual living, spanish, Spanish Books, Spanish for Kids, Uncategorized

Spanish Poetry Tea Time – Eclectic Charlotte Mason Homeschool

 

This post contains affiliate links. 

The month of May has been mainly dedicated to analyzing what 2016-2017 was like for our schooling. What I am wishing to keep the same as well as the areas I am wishing to further work on.

Since the very beginning of our homeschool, way before we officially started, we have done narrating, read alouds, and nature walks. We enjoy reading bilingual books and having a snack to go with it like we did when we did when we read a book about a monkey looking for bananas (see more How to have Bilingual Story Time at Home). Based on that, we are going to take the plunge and read poetry in Spanish. 

Many Charlotte Mason homeschoolers share their experience of  reading poetry while gathering together at the table during tea time. I have observed this activity throughout many blogs, Pinterest, and Instagram and although I have wanted to do it, I just haven’t gotten to it consistently. We have read poetry and we have had tea time as two separate activities. I think it is time we combine them, enjoy a cup of tea and listen to poems in Spanish.  

Poetry uses such beautiful, rich language to communicate ideas. I may be biased, but I find poetry so rich in Spanish, after all Spanish is one of the romance languages. The metaphors can be so simple, yet they can depict a whole complex idea in just a few words. Perhaps it is the reason I am so drawn to reading it in Spanish. I would strongly recommend reading Alberto Plaza’s lyrics to songs like “Que cante la vida.” One of the lines says “que cante la vida, por todo rincon // que se abran caminos y se encienda el sol”

Poesia Alada: Poesia y arte para volar (Spanish Edition)Poesia Alada: Poesia y arte para volar (Spanish Edition)

So my plan for the upcoming year is to have Poetry Tea Time on Tuesday afternoons with my children. We plan on reading poetry in Spanish to further learn the language, grow in appreciation of rhymes, and gain fluency in Spanish. There is a really good review on Amazon so I think this book will go really well.

According to the description, it says the poems use simple language, perfect to for us to take off with poetry in Spanish!

Per Amazon: “La poesía de Mariana Llanos nos contagia las ganas de seguir siendo niños. Con un lenguage sencillo, tierno e intenso a la vez, Poesía Alada nos brinda más de 25 poemas llenos de aventura, asombro y admiración por las cosas más simples de la vida.”

This is the plan for the Fall semester. I will update you on how it goes. What do you read for poetry time? Do you read it in English or Spanish or both? Let me know in the comments!

Oh before I go, which set do you think we should get? What do you use for tea time? 

Happy Tea Time! Hasta la próxima! 

Fabi

Porcelain Tea Cup and Saucer Coffee Cup Set with Saucer and Spoon 20 pc, Set of 6 SI-BFLY-WPorcelain Tea Cup and Saucer Coffee Cup Set with Saucer and Spoon 20 pc, Set of 6 SI-BFLY-W

So far we have been using our regular mugs for tea which has worked fine, although these tea sets do look pretty amazing. These would make a nice addition for our poetry time and make tea time so much more special.

This one Gracie China by Coastline Imports Vintage Blue Rose Porcelain 11-Piece Tea Set, BlueGracie China by Coastline Imports Vintage Blue Rose Porcelain 11-Piece Tea Set, Blue

S

Leave a comment

Filed under Charlotte Mason, homeschool, spanish, Uncategorized

Las Manitos – Spanish Nursery Rhyme

Las Manitos is a very short nursery rhyme or canción de cuna that is learned quickly. It has very short sentences and the motions that go along make it really fun to sing along to.

Children from age 12 months or even younger may be able to do the motions along the song.

Letra Las Manitos Canción de Cuna – Nursery Rhyme Lyrics:

Las manitos, las manitos,

Dónde están?

Aquí están.

Ellas están aquí,

Ellas están aquí,

Y se van.

Y se van.

This is a favorite nursery rhyme!

Arroz con leche: canciones y ritmos populares de América Latina Popular Songs and Rhymes From Latin America (English and Spanish Edition)Arroz con leche: canciones y ritmos populares de América Latina Popular Songs and Rhymes From Latin America (English and Spanish Edition)Muu, Moo!: Rimas de animales/Animal Nursery Rhymes (Spanish Edition)Muu, Moo!: Rimas de animales/Animal Nursery Rhymes (Spanish Edition)Diez Deditos and Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America (Spanish Edition)Diez Deditos and Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America (Spanish Edition)This Little Piggy/Este Cochinito (Dual Language Baby Board Books- English/Spanish) (Spanish Edition)This Little Piggy/Este Cochinito (Dual Language Baby Board Books- English/Spanish) (Spanish Edition)

Leave a comment

Filed under spanish, Spanish for Kids, Uncategorized

How to Make Spanish Pancakes with Dulce de Leche

Silver Cross Brushes Wedding Blog Graphic.png

How to Make Spanish Style Pancake Crepe

Whenever you are in Chile or somewhere else in Latin America and your friend invites you over for pancakes…be prepared to be served rolled up pancakes made as crepes filled with dulce de leche or manjar – a caramel sauce over it and possibly confectioners sugar over it. 

Our bilingual / bicultural family loves having a Panqueques Chilenos night every once in a while with a special request: Abuelita – Grandma has to make them. Thanks to my Mamá for sharing her recipe and the steps she takes in making them. It sure is a favorite! 

The original name for this crepes pancakes is frisuelos which comes from Asturia, Spain. This are now widely made all throughout Latin America and served as pancakes. 

In Chile, these crepes are known as pancakes when served using sweet fillings (see our favorite below). On the other hand, these are called crepes when served using savory fillings

How to Make Perfect Easy to Flip Spanish Crepe Pancake


The Spanish Crepe Pancake is made with a VERY thin mixture prepared in a blender just like the Dutch Pancake, although cooked and served differently.  

We used to use regular teflon for making pancakes until we noticed the teflon started to wear off and we just weren’t getting the same results. Pancakes would cook unevenly and stick. 

GreenLife Soft Grip Ceramic Non-Stick 7GreenLife Soft Grip Ceramic Non-Stick 7

This is what we use to make the pancakes:

 

Recently we made the switch from using a teflon pan to using this ceramic frying pan and I just can’t believe how much easier it is to make pancakes with it! Nothing sticks and it is just SO easy to wash!

You can easily flip pancakes as the smooth bottom of the pan, allows for easy turning of foods. I strongly recommend it to make Spanish Crepe Pancakes.

 

 

La Lechera Dulce De Leche, 13.4 Ounce ContainerLa Lechera Dulce De Leche, 13.4 Ounce Container

Spread this delicious, creamy, caramel spread known as  manjar – dulce de leche – cajeta over your pancakes. Or eat it on french bread or even by the spoon! I won’t tell.   This is the kind we keep at home that goes so well with our Spanish Crepe Pancakes.

The KEY ingredient to fill sweet pancakes is using Dulce de Leche. You can find it at most grocery stores as well as Amazon Pantry.

Spanish Crepe Pancake Recipe

Spanish Crepe Pancake Ingredients:

  • 3/4  cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup  all-purpose flour

Spanish Crepe Pancake Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend all ingredients for a few seconds using this powerful blender until everything is mixed.  
  2. Refrigerate mixture for at least 1 hour before cooking. Transfer it to a bowl and cover it if needed. 
  3. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and whisk it again by hand once. The idea is to have a mixture with no bubbles. 
  4. Heat your non-stick frying pan, cover it with butter, and cook each pancake. I like to do them the size of the pan. So they can be large enough to fill them up and roll. 
  5. I use a ladle to pour mixture on the pan, about 1/4 of a cup. Then turn your pan so the mixture spreads and cover the whole surface of the pan. 
  6.  Cook for 45 to 60 seconds until the edges begin to brown and can be slightly lifted with a spatula to turn the pancake. Or flip them in the air if you are skilled. I haven’t gotten there yet. Soon, hopefully. 
  7. Cook the other side for 45-60 seconds as well. 
  8. Like my Grandma used to say, the first one was a test pancake. So go ahead and eat that one and prepare another one.  🙂 It’s all fun in the kitchen! 
  9. Stack them on a plate and serve warm at the table.
  10. Spread manjar or dulce de leche. Roll them up and top it with confectioners sugar if desired.  

 

Hope you enjoy this recipe and the dulce de leche will sweeten up your day! 

Cuéntame – Tell me in the comments:

How do you like to eat your pancakes? 

 

Fabi

Leave a comment

Filed under food, Uncategorized

Easy Spanish Black Bean Soup Recipe Made with Dry Beans

Whenever you are in Florida, you are sure to find Black Bean Soup or Frijoles at just about every restaurant as a side dish. In our bicultural family, we like to make this soup using dry beans to make it extra hearty. It is just so easy to make and it sparks conversations about Central America’s geography, play Spanish music in the background, and learn to say frijoles-porotos-beans so that we adequately know what they are called depending on where we are.

In Chile, black beans are known as porotos negros. In Central America – Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, they are known as frijoles. In English, they are called Black Beans.

 

This post may contain affiliate posts to help you find the best products. 

 

Make Quick Dry Beans Using a Instant Pot- Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot IP-LUX60 V3 Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker, 6Qt, 1000W (updated model)Instant Pot IP-LUX60 V3 Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker, 6Qt, 1000W (updated model)

If you want to make quick dry beans without needing to spend extra time soaking them, I recommend using a pressure cooker. That is what we have used my entire life. In fact, a pressure cooker is a staple of every Spanish kitchen. Everyone has one! 

The Instant Pot has come and made it way easier than it used to be. 

Just dump the ingredients, push button, cook, and serve. 

 

As an alternative to using the Instant Pot, you can use Black & Decker’s pressure cooker. It’s available on Amazon and has excellent reviews! Get it here.

Spanish Black Bean Soup Recipe 

Silver Cross Brushes Wedding Blog Graphic (1)

Spanish Black Bean Soup Ingredients

  • 1 lb of dry black beans – this is the brand I prefer
  • 1 medium onion – finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper – finely chopped
  • Oil to sauteée the onion and red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced (or more if you’d like!)
  • 2 quarts Chicken stock 
  • Additional spices: Paprika and cumin
  • Salt to taste

To garnish Black Bean Soup:

What you have in stock, our preferences are avocado, fresh tomato, cilantro. 

For extra creamy soup, add sour cream when serving warm soup. 

How to Make 2 Meals using Black Beans Soup 

Badia Sazon Tropical With Coriander And Annato, 6.75 ozBadia Sazon Tropical With Coriander And Annato, 6.75 oz

What I love about making Black Bean Soup is that I am able to get two different dishes from one. We eat Black Bean Soup the first day, then Black Beans and Rice on the second day using the leftover soup.  

I simply make yellow rice using this key spice to make Latin Rice for our Black Beans!

Black Beans Soup Directions:

  1. Sautée the onions, red bell pepper, and garlic using oil. Add paprika and cumin to it. 
  2. Add dry black beans and chicken stock. Select Pressure Cooker. Cook for 45 min. to an hour. Or until beans are soft and tender. Make sure to cook them with plenty of liquid!!! 
  3. Serve and use toppings for more flavors! 
  4. Enjoy!

 

Cuéntame – Tell me:

What is your favorite dish to make in the Instant Pot? 

If you liked this recipe, please share with your friends! 

Fabi

Leave a comment

Filed under food, Uncategorized