homeschooling three children – and another math activity

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coloredpapertrianglesHomeschooling multiple ages of children at the same time poses certain challenges. Do you get curriculums so each child is working through at a different level appropriate to his or her age but independent of his or her siblings? Do you create your own curriculum to teach all three children at the same time? Do you hold the oldest back slightly or push the younger ones forward slightly to get them all working together? Or do you, like I do, use some curriculum seperately for some subjects, and then other resources to teach subjects together?

Today I found an activity to work with all three. My inspiration was the Right Start Mathematics B program which I am doing with my five year old middle child. We had to cut out triangles, gluing them together in groups of ten on a bigger triangle, and then glue those larger triangles into a group of ten. My three year old helped with the cutting and gluing. Can you identify her triangle?
My eight year old wanted to help too. So he did and suddenly I realized how many other math questions I could direct at him. If each of the small white triangles have one inch sides, what is the area of the largest triangle? What is the area of all the colored triangles (including those covered by small white triangles)? How many small triangles would be needed if the whole space was to be filled with small triangles?
My eight year old quickly noticed multiples of 16. Each colored triangle could hold 16 triangles, if you count both the white ones and the missing ones between them. The larger triangle could hold 16 rather than 10, if the empty spaces are filled in. So, my minecraft obsessed son asked, if triangles were stored in groups of 64 like minecraft blocks, then how many would this fill?


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