Saturday, May 30, 2015

Guest Post: 4 Math Activities for the Pool by Patricia Sarmiento

This guest post is by Patricia Sarmiento.  You know how I love math and I am tickled to incorporate math into my summer pool times

4 Math Activities for the Pool

            Don’t get me wrong, summertime should definitely be action-packed and fun for the kids. But I’ve never been one to pass up a great learning opportunity, and time at the pool provides many. First, it’s a great time to teach your kids about water safety as they strengthen their swim skills. If you’re looking for information on pool safety, this all-in-one guide on recreational swimming safety is a great place to start.

            Then, there are also the many learning-based pool games. What’s great is that many of them are so much fun that the kids don’t even realize they’re playing an educational game. Here are a few math-based games that I played with my kids last summer, and that I’ll definitely be trying out again this year:

Swimming Pool Math Toss. From, this is a great game to play with elementary school-age children. Buy a few plastic Frisbees and sponges. Write numbers on the backs of the Frisbees and corresponding equations on sponges. Then, put the Frisbees in the pool and have the kids toss the sponges at the correct Frisbees. If the kids are older, you can use more challenging equations or larger numbers.

Fishing Fun! This is a fantastic multi-subject lesson. It prompts you to take the kids pretend fishing at the pool. Make your own fishing poles using string, sticks, and paper clips and have the kids go fishing. Use the worksheet provided by to help the kids imagine what kind of fish they might catch. When they do catch something, have them “measure” what they’ve caught by using the fish on the worksheet.

In addition to being a creative thinking and math lesson, it is a great opportunity to teach your kids about how to be safe around ponds, lakes, streams, and other natural bodies of water. 

Math-driven Swim Lesson. Academy Swim Club offers several ways to turn your kids’ swim lessons into math lessons. For example, you might ask them to swim a path in a certain shape or ask them to swim x + y number of laps. Connecting their swim lessons to math concepts is a great way to challenge their minds as they become stronger swimmers.

Swimming Pool. From the University of Cambridge, you can either use the provided diagram to use this lesson on a rainy day or use the actual steps of a pool. It comes with several questions for you to ask your “students” to help you guide them through the lesson. The activity offers a fun way to help younger kids work on counting and to introduce them to negative numbers. It also offers a nice opportunity to discuss with young children the safest ways to enter the pool.

I want my kids to experience learning during the summer, but because swimming is such a valuable skill, I also want them to spend as much time as possible becoming stronger swimmers. With these activities, they can do both.

Patricia Sarmiento is a health and fitness blogger. A former high school and college athlete, she loves writing about health, wellness, fitness, and other health-related topics. She and her family make living an active lifestyle a constant goal. They live in Maryland.

Photo credit: Via Flickr – by flattop341

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!  Some of you know that I became a mother on Mother's day.  So Mother's Day has a special place in my heart.

As a homeschool mom we all wear many hats.  Here's to you on Mother's day.  May it be a day filled with happy moments. As home education moms we really are Everything Moms. Here is a poem that celebrates you! 

Everything Mom

How did you find the energy, Mom
To do all the things you did,
To be teacher, nurse and counselor
To me, when I was a kid.

How did you do it all, Mom,
Be a chauffeur, cook and friend,
Yet find time to be a playmate,
I just can’t comprehend.

I see now it was love, Mom
That made you come whenever I'd call,
Your inexhaustible love, Mom
And I thank you for it all.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Go Figure! math website

  I was thrilled to learn about a wonderful new math web site by Kimberly, a homeschool student.  Go Figure is a project she has been working on. It is an wonderful site filled with the "elegant side" of mathematics.   Read below to learn more!  I love seeing what our fellow homeschoolers are doing. 


First Stop

Welcome to Go Figure! This is a website dedicated to showing the elegant side of math, the kind that gets less attention than it deserves. Math is not just about rote calculations: it’s about analytical thinking and creative problem-solving, and that’s what makes it so fun! This website is still growing, so there’s more to come. To subscribe to our email list and hear when new content is posted, click here.

More Information:  

Go Figure is a project designed to boost mathematical interest in middle school and junior high school students. Not only is math becoming increasingly important in an ever more technological world, but it also has a playful and elegant side that is too often overlooked. A lot of students see math as dull and difficult, and this mindset can artificially sway students who are on the fence about math. My goal is to promote an alternative approach: one that celebrates the beautiful side of mathematics and provides a path to learning the invaluable lessons – such as analytical thinking and creative problem solving – that it teaches.

I really only started seeing the beautiful side of math in middle school, when I started participating in math competitions. In my contest preparation, I ran into elegant math concepts I hadn’t encountered before, and I really enjoyed exploring them. Around the same time, I saw my friends starting to like math less and less, and I thought it was sad that they were turning away from it just as things were getting interesting. Over time I read more about the non-math culture in the United States and the way most students see math, and I wanted to do something to change this mindset. When I attended a Julia Robinson Math Festival in my area and saw volunteers helping students explore beautiful math problems, the atmosphere galvanized me to get involved in showing students that there’s a lot to like about math.
Quoted From The Davidson Website.