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Oct 31, 2012

Homeschool Math Blog Link!

A free math course for talented middle school students

The Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (IMACS) is offering a a series of online math courses for gifted/talented students titled Elements of Mathematics: Foundations.

The first of these, Operational Systems, will be FREE if you enroll before January 1, 2013!

What is it about?

Operational Systems course covers modular arithmetic using secret codes and online games. Learn about operational systems and their properties (commutativity, associativity, neutral elements, invertibility) by building interactive machines and evaluating non-numeric operations. Get a solid introduction to the concepts of least common multiple and greatest common divisor, as well as to the geometric notions of midpoint and reflection. 
It is a self-study online course, where suitably talented students are able to work independently and at their own pace while still developing a deep understanding of the material.

Elements of Mathematics: Foundations (EMF) is a series of courses designed for gifted, mathy middle school students, and it enables them to cover all of middle and high school math except calculus and much, much more by the time they finish middle school.

Here's some more information from the provider of these courses, The Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (IMACS):

  • The EMF curriculum was designed from scratch specifically for talented children to leverage their advanced capacity for learning and to engage their unique ways of thinking.
  • EMF provides a deep, intuitive, and lasting understanding of mathematics as a cohesive body of knowledge that opens the door to scientific discovery and technological advancement.
  • EMF focuses on the powerful and elegant ideas of mathematics, the kind that talented children find deeply satisfying and inspiring.
  • Motivated students can learn all of middle and high school math except calculus and much, much more by the time they finish middle school.
  • EMF courses are modestly priced, and the first one is free for a limited time. 
And here is their flyer. Please read more about all this at

Even though my kids are much too young for this, its still something to think about and put on the back-burner, but if you're the parent of a middle school aged homeschooler then check this out!

Also check this blog! Homeschool Math Blog I really enjoy her posts and she does es a great job of making math fun and not so intimidating.



Fire Unit Day 3: Fireman Hats

Every so often I get really courageous and try to come up with my own craft-sometimes it works out other times, um not so much. This one worked, well sorta. Maybe if my kids had tiny heads, haha.

  • cardboard (we used a diaper box)
  • Tacky glue
  • Red tissue paper
  • Recycled Cool Whip container or any kind of bowl
  • Red, Yellow and Black construction paper
  • Scissors
  • black marker
  • Pentagon shape from a puzzle or just draw one
  • Imagination!
Start by cutting out one side of your cardboard box then use the outside edge of your Cool Whip container to draw rounded edges on all four sides of the cardboard. Cut the rounded corners.

Use the top of the container to trace a large circle in the center. Then cut out the circle.

After cutting the edges and center circle this is what you should end up with.
Use the piece of cardboard as a stencil and trace the design on the red and black construction paper. Then cut out the design on the paper and glue to the top and bottom of the cardboard stencil.

Place on top of black paper then trace. Repeat with red paper. Then have student cut out the tracings.

Glue the red to the top and black to the bottom.
Use the bottom of cool whip container to trace a circle on another piece of cardboard then cut out the circle. Set the circle aside for later.

Take the red tissue paper and set the cool whip container on top. Glue around inner base and fold in the tissue paper around the container. Add more glue on the overlapping tissue paper.
Hint: I doubled up the tissue paper to make it darker.
Take the small circular piece of cardboard add glue and press down inside the cool whip container to hold down the tissue paper.

Use a pentagon shape from a puzzle to trace out the badge, cut it out then write a FD (fire department) in bold black letters. Glue to the front of the tissue covered cool whip container or top of the hat.

Push the cool whip top of the hat through the hole of the brim. Then try it on!
As stated before, should've used a larger rimmed bowl. Next time, live and learn.
The Little Engineer got a kick out of his fireman hat.
Then we read the story~
Stay tuned for a post on Fire Unit day 4 Lab!
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