Monday, March 31, 2014

Raisin Math

My first child is a pretty traditional learner. She does her texts well and with lots of encouragement and bolstering, masters them easily. Ever since phonics 'clicked' for her, she has loved to read. She will miss meals just spending hours engrossed in a book, not realizing the rest of us have eaten and moved on from the table. It thrills me that she has such a love for literacy, and warms my mama heart to exploding when she snuggles her nearly-toddler baby brother into her arms and reads him books- and brings tears to my eyes that he loves her so much that he stays nestled in with her.
   My second child, on the other hand, is very non-traditional. Kinesthetic to his core combined with his intense sensory processing challenges leaves me constantly researching and pinning to find new ways to teach him the exact same information. One thing that I have found successful: food. Food totally motivates him. I was researching tactile manipulatives and other strategies on Pinterest and utilizing other tools made by shops like Bright Life Toys and loved all the options, but sometimes my sensory guy is just not firing the same way he was the day before. But he is always hungry. So I tried using raisins for math one day. We made more progress in math that day than any other day yet. The next day as we cleaned up from breakfast he asked if we could do "Raisin Math" again. WINNER-WINNER!
Pardon the coffee rings on the table.
Some mornings require more caffeine. 
He's made such a hullabaloo about loving Raisin Math days that now my  3.5-year-old asks to do it. Thankfully raisins work for all sorts of things, so for her we work on one-to-one correlation, basic counting, and work in proper pronunciation to help her with her speech delays. Who knew raisins were good for fiber, math on multiple levels, fine motor skills, AND speech therapy?! And not to be left out, my second-grader always enjoys Raisin Math days because she gets a snack while working through multiplication, Roman Numerals, fractions, and word problems just because. ;-)

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