# Beautiful Math: Visualizing Music

If we want to teach our children to think mathematically, we need to model and encourage asking questions. For instance:

• What is the difference between the rectangular sounds and the round ones?
• At 5:20, the orange notes (violin) change to a different shape. Why? What change in the sound does this represent?

What questions does the video inspire for you? I’d love to hear your comments!

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# Good News for a Change

As I was checking through archive posts and clearing out the dead links, I found a couple of links that I thought would be dead but which are still good. So I am re-posting them here, for your browsing pleasure:

## Free Shakespeare for Fun and Copywork

CurrClick (which carries the Math Mammoth workbook series) is offering Quotations from Shakespeare’s Plays as a free download. This ebook includes copywork tips from Charlotte Mason and about 30 pages of passages from Macbeth, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, etc.

[And if you are planning a study of the Bard, you won’t want to miss the many other Internet resources in my original post.]

## Great Leaders in a Crisis: Lincoln, Churchill

What does it take to lead your nation through a crisis? Character, determination, wisdom, the courage of your convictions. What can we learn about leadership from those who have been there, done that?

Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill are two of these great leaders — men whose courage and conviction took their nations through challenging moments and forever altered the course of Western civilization…

The Teaching Company (one of my favorite resources for homeschooling high school) is offering two free lectures for the downloading: Great Leaders: Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill.

[More details in my original post.]

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I admit, it doesn’t really have anything to do with math, but it looks like a fun way to spend a snowy afternoon:

According to the authors:

Jet black ink should be used, and a good quality of unglazed paper. The ink should not be too thin. The table should be protected from accident with several thicknesses of newspaper. . .

For a specially invited Gobolink party the company may dress in any grotesque fashion, remembering only that both sides of their costume shall be the same, this being a feature peculiar to Gobolink attire.

# Free Books? What’s the Catch?

[Photo by Jayel Aheram.]

When I first read about Swagbucks, I figured there had to be a catch. How could they give away \$5 Amazon.com gift certificates just for using their search engine? But over the past 12 months, I’ve collected \$45 worth of free books, just for doing searches I would have done anyway. I bought a couple of Christmas gifts and an Ed Zaccaro book to supplement Kitten’s schoolwork.

If you’d like to try it out for yourself:

# Homeschool Kids Write

No, it’s not math, but it looks like a great way to kick-start Princess Kitten’s long-neglected blog. She sat down at the computer and browsed the links to other kids’ posts for over an hour last night, occasionally laughing out loud. Then she opened her Dashboard and started to type a response to the green assignment.

I’ll have to let her know there’s a new post up today. Check it out:

• Homeschool Kids Write

Maybe I can even get her to send something in to the next Homeschool Kids Blog Carnival. It’s worth a try…

## Update

Unfortunately, Homeschool Kids Write has disappeared from the web. The Wayback Machine link gives a taste of what the site was like, but It’s just not the same without the Mr. Linky connections to all the children’s writings.

Kitten did three of the writing assignments. And not only did she enter the Homeschool Kids Blog Carnival, she even hosted one edition!

My baby is growing up…

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# Great Leaders in a Crisis: Lincoln, Churchill

[Photo by Sid Webb.]

What does it take to lead your nation through a crisis? Character, determination, wisdom, the courage of your convictions — as we in America prepare to cast our votes for a new president, perhaps we should look backward as well as forward. Not only backward in our candidates lives, at the circumstances and experiences that have shaped their character, but farther back into history. What can we learn about leadership from those who have been there, done that?

Once again, The Teaching Company (one of my favorite resources for homeschooling high school) is offering two free lectures for the downloading:

Great Leaders: Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill

# Dinosaurs and the Global Economy

[Photo by Mykl Roventine.]

One of my favorite resources for homeschooling high school is The Teaching Company. TTC often lets out free sample lectures, and right now they are offering two that you may download and enjoy at your convenience:

The Search for What Killed the Dinosaurs

Will China and India Dominate the 21st-Century Global Economy?

But these offers expire soon, so act quickly! [Still good in 2011. Woohoo!]

# Free Learning Tools, Games, and More

[Photo by ♥Sage (resting… finally!).]

Browsing the Internet, I came across a slideshow called 101 Free Learning Tools, which explores “the idea that there is at least one excellent free learning tool (or site) for every learning problem, need or issue.”

Of course, many of these sites I already knew, at least by reputation. But there are plenty of interesting places that were new to me.

# Free Shakespeare for Fun and Copywork

Photo by Arbron.

This week only, [When I checked the link in April 2011, this was still free!] CurrClick (which carries the Math Mammoth workbook series) is offering Quotations from Shakespeare’s Plays as a free download. This ebook offers copywork tips from Charlotte Mason and about 30 pages of passages from Macbeth, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, etc.

And if you are planning a study of the Bard, you won’t want to miss the following always-free Internet resources.

# Christmas Carol Puzzler

Click over to Teen Literacy Tips for this fun vocabulary puzzle:

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# I Couldn’t Resist…

And since this is supposedly a teaching blog, here are some “educational” links:

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# Cat Quotations

I found this worksheet on the KISS Grammar website, and I loved the quotations so much I just had to share them:

In a cat’s eye, all things belong to cats.

— English proverb

One cat just leads to another.

— Ernest Hemingway

# Free American Classics Study Guide

[Update: Homeschool eStore changed their name to CurrClick. Still plenty of good deals and weekly freebies — check them out!]

If you have an older homeschool student, be sure to check out Homeschool eStore’s freebie for this week: the American Classics Study Guide.

This collection of references and assignments looks at To Kill a Mockingbird, Death of Salesman, The Crucible, The Glass Menagerie, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and the poetry of Robert Frost. Students learn the essential themes, issues, characterization and writing style of the texts. There are activities and assignments to choose from, including essay questions, creative responses and projects to complete.

Homeschool eStore offers a free educational ebook each week, and many items are on sale for the month of September. And since this is a math blog, let me point out that Homeschool eStore sells Maria Miller‘s excellent Math Mammoth workbooks (also available as individual titles — in Spanish, too).

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# Thou Surly Bat-Fowling Hugger-Mugger!

Here is another highlight from my “To blog about it someday” folder: the Shakespearean Insulter. What fun!

There’s no room for faith, truth, nor honesty in this bosom of thine.
It is all filled up with guts and midriff.

Taken from: Henry IV, part I

And if you are interested in actually studying the bard, here are some links you may enjoy:

Shakespeare. Yes, again. And again.
Advice on teaching Shakespeare to children.

Bardolatry

Folger Shakespeare Library

Shakespeare for Kids

There is no reason to put off Shakespeare until your student reaches high school. My then-kindergardener enjoyed the Trevor Nunn version of Twelfth Night so much that she wanted to get her hair cut, “So I can pretend to be a boy.” This is homeschooling at its best: each of us learning at our own level — and loving it.

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# The “Are You a Homeschooler?” Quiz

It is spring cleaning week at our house, and I thought I’d do some virtual cleaning, too. So from a folder where I stuff the “To blog about sometime” websites comes this quiz. It claims to determine whether you deserved your high school diploma — Ha! There is no way I could remember anything from that long ago.

So tell me, what did the quiz really measure?

# In Honor of the Standardized Testing Season…

[Feature photo above by Alberto G. (CC-BY-SA-2.0) via flickr.]

The school experience makes a tremendous difference in a child’s learning. Which of the following students would you rather be?

I continued to do arithmetic with my father, passing proudly through fractions to decimals. I eventually arrived at the point where so many cows ate so much grass, and tanks filled with water in so many hours. I found it quite enthralling.

— Agatha Christie
An Autobiography

…or…

“Can you do Addition?” the White Queen asked. “What’s one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one?”

“I don’t know,” said Alice. “I lost count.”

“She can’t do Addition,” the Red Queen interrupted. “Can you do Subtraction? Take nine from eight.”

“Nine from eight I can’t, you know,” Alice replied very readily: “but—“

“She can’t do Subtraction,” said the White Queen. “Can you do Division? Divide a loaf by a knife — what’s the answer to that?”

“I suppose—” Alice was beginning, but the Red Queen answered for her. “Bread-and-butter, of course.”

“She can’t do sums a bit!” the Queens said together, with great emphasis.

— Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass

…in other words…

If you could lead through testing, the U.S. would lead the world in all education categories. When are people going to understand you don’t fatten your lambs by weighing them?

Jonathan Kozol
at Westfield State College’s 157th Commencement

# Project Follow Through Story Looks Interesting

Project Follow Through was an almost-30-year study that compared the effect of different teaching methods on over 20,000 students nationwide. I have started reading The Outrage of Project Follow Through: 5 Million Failed Kids Later [site no longer exists, but try this book: Project Follow Through: A Case Study of Contingencies Influencing Instructional Practices of the Educational Establishment], which explains the research and its results in layman’s terms. So far, I have enjoyed the book, which is being released chapter-by-chapter every Monday. The introductory chapter will be available only for the remainder of this week, however, so if you are curious, you had better act now. I recommend downloading the pdf file to read at leisure: Right-click on the link for each chapter, then choose the “Save” option.

[Hat tip: D-Ed Reckoning, who is running a series of articles (part 1 here) highlighting his favorite parts of the book.]

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# Free Lecture on M. L. King, Jr.

One of our favorite homeschooling resources is The Teaching Company, with its wide variety of quality lecture series. The company is now offering a free sample lecture: Stride of Freedom to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr., Day on January 15 and Black History Month in February.

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