Category Archives: teachable moments

Operation Christmas Child


National collection week for Operation Christmas Child is next week, November 16–23. Visit the Samaritan’s Purse web site to learn more about Operation Christmas Child, find out how to pack a shoe box, and locate your nearest local collection site. If you make your donation online instead of enclosing a check in your shoe box, you can track your shoe box to its destination country!

In the video below, Mummy Deals shares 10 tips for packing a shoebox frugally for Operation Christmas Child. By shopping for items throughout the year and taking advantage of sales, freebies, and rebates, she was able to pack 45 shoe boxes for $45 this year! You won’t be able to take advantage of some of the tips if you’re still packing this year’s box, but she gives some great ideas for making your dollar stretch further, allowing you to pack boxes for more children.

Karen at 33 for a Moment also offers helpful tips in her post Operation Christmas Child: Shoe Boxes on a Shoestring.

Boxes for Katje is a lovely children’s book that would be great to read and talk about with your kids while you’re working on a shoe box. I shared other ideas for teaching children about poverty and compassion in my post Teaching Kids About Poverty.


I decided to make a meme about learning and educational resources. If you’re reading it, consider yourself tagged. If you decide to answer the questions on your blog, please post a link in the comments. 1. Name one thing you … Continue reading

candy math

If you have leftover Halloween (or Easter or Christmas) candy, use it for some fun math practice! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Sort the candy by type, color, or other categories
  • Make a graph
  • Group the candy into sets and practice counting by 1s, 2s, 3s, 5s, or 10s
  • Do greater-than and less-than comparisons
  • Find sums of two different types of candy and the difference between one type of candy and another
  • For older students, find the mean, median, and mode
  • Find the percentage of each type or color of the whole candy stash

We dumped out all of our candy and decided to sort it into the following categories:


-chocolate bites/rolls/drops

-candy bars


-chewy candy (not chocolate)

-hard candy


We then sorted and counted each piece of candy and made tally marks for each category. I modified this worksheet to match our categories, and we filled it out together. We then sorted all the candy into piles of five, and my daughter counted by fives to find the total number. I modified this graphing worksheet to match our category designations. We unwrapped all the Smarties candies and sorted them by color, arranging them into a graph (albeit not a straight, precise one). Finally, because we had several packages of Smarties Money (larger Smarties with different dollar and cent amounts stamped on top), we added up the total amount of Smarties Money in our pile ($71.86!).
Quote of the Morning: “All this candy sorting is making me hungry!”

You could also do this activity while making gingerbread houses or at any other time of year. What other math activities have you done using candy?

Other Resources:

Candy Corn Math

Candy Coated Classroom Activities

M&Ms Math

We also really liked Loreen Leedy’s fun children’s book, The Great Graph Contest, which shows different types of graphs and how they’re used.

weekend links

Here are a few links I found helpful this week and wanted to share.

Homeschooling in the Kitchen (Eclectic Homeschool Online, which is an excellent source for practical teaching ideas)

Carnival of Homeschooling (Why Homeschool is the host of this week’s soccer-themed carnival)

How Kids Think (this new blog is a research project intended to explore “what it means to teach children from a biblical worldview in a postmodern world”)

Number rainbows to learn subtraction facts (a fun idea for teaching subtraction facts from Homeschool Math Blog)

Jane Lambert and Amanda Bennett (Support Group Leaders’ Lounge lists all the details about the upcoming talk in Littleton)

a special bag for a special someone (me and my girl has a great idea for making a kid-illustrated canvas bag and is a new blog featuring kids’ crafts)


Tiany at Less of Me~More of Him is hosting a Homeschool Open House, so I’m taking the opportunity to welcome others to take a peek at our learning adventure. “Zuzu” turned 6 this summer, and her little sister “Yaya” just … Continue reading


If I had only known… What have you learned on your homeschooling journey? What would you/did you change? This is an opportunity to encourage others who are just starting out or who are struggling with issues that seem unsolvable. It … Continue reading