Funschooling News #7

Hi! Welcome to Funschooling News!

Are you looking for some great family-friendly activities that will make your week a little more interesting? Then you’ve come to the right place!

 Be sure to scroll all the way down to the Special Days section where you’ll find a fun activity to do or an interesting topic to learn about each day of the week. 

Card Flipping Challenge

There are probability a million games that can be played with a deck of cards! 
Turn a simple deck into a fun educational experience by doing my Card Flipping Challenge. I remember playing card flipping games when I was a kid, and my kids have a good time playing with me now. 
I hope your family enjoys playing as well.

For this activity, you will need: A Deck of Cards Optional: Score keeping materials

I hope something in this post makes you smile!

Homeschool Humor

Still Learning Something New: 
Homeschool Humor – Not Back To School Edition
Here’s a peek at what you’ll find…


Funschooling Press: On Sale This Week

Words Within Words is on sale for 25% off this week!

Get your copy today!

Funschooling Videos

A simple deck of cards can offer hours of engineering fun! The first two videos will offer some tips that’ll help you get started and two videos will introduce you to a Guinness World Record holder who builds amazing structures out of ordinary playing cards. 
The last video will show you how to draw a cool illusion.

Card Stacking

Card Games : How to Build a House of Cards

Make A Card Castle

Largest Card Stacking Structure – Record Holder Profile – 
Bryan Berg – Guinness World Records Pt 1

Largest Card Stacking Structure – Record Holder Profile – 
Bryan Berg Pt.2 – Guinness World Records

How to Draw a 3-D Ladder – Trick Art For Kids

Special Days & Holidays Aug 12-18

Betty Jo, of Still Learning Something New, has posted the newest version of her August 2018 Special Days Calendar. It has a long list of famous birthdays, historical events, interesting days, monthly event and food themes, and more. 
Betty Jo and I have created a Special Days Companion filled with 100 activities you can do as a family during the month of August. To find out more about this wonderful product, click here.

Here are a few of the things on her list and some helpful activities and links:

August is National Park month. Visit a national park close by or plan a family weekend getaway to one further away.

🐘August 12World Elephant Day – Links to information about African and Asian elephants, myths and folklore, jokes and more! Watch the documentary: Elephants On The Run [Wildlife Documentary] | Wild Things.

August 13Annie Oakley born 1860 – 
Learn about the life and accomplishments of Annie Oakley. Links and videos are available in this post.
Still Learning Something New: Annie Oakley – Links to biographical information, quotes, videos and more.

🦎August 14World Lizard Day –  I hope the information in this post inspires you to start a one of a kind lizard study!

August 15: Chocolate Chip Day – Learn about chocolate chips by scrolling down to the bottom of the link provided, then make a batch of chocolate chip cookies!

August 16Tell a Joke Day – Choose some jokes to tell and make up some of your own.

August 17Black Cat Appreciation Day – Learn about black cats and do some fun cat-like balancing acts.

August 18World Honey Bee Day – Learn about honey bees! 
Watch: Amazing Time-Lapse: Bees Hatch Before Your Eyes | National Geographic
Make A: Bee Hummer (craft/science project)

Thank you for stopping by, please feel free to share this post with others!
Have a wonderful week!

Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!


The Benefits of Using Recreational Mathematics

NY Times: The Importance of Recreational Math – This is an opinion piece about the benefits of using Recreational Math in the classroom.

Journal of Humanistic Mathematics: Recreational Mathematics – Only For Fun? –  A paper written about the benefits of Recreational Math in the classroom. It talks about how other countries approach math as well. This is a 20 page PDF.

Benefits of Games

Teach Thought: 6 Basic Benefits Of Game-Based Learning – This article offers positive reasons for online gaming.
eLearning Industry: 5 Advantages Of Using Games For Learning – Article includes reasons why games help people learn better.

OpenEducationEuropa: The Benefits of Game-Gased Learning – Offers information about the potential of games for learning.

Classroom: What Are the Benefits of Games in Education & Learning Activities? – Talks about how games engage students, promotes teamwork, and build good sportmanship skills.

Logic Roots: 8 Surprising Health Benefits Of Board Games – This article addresses some of  the serious health benefits of playing board games such as lowering stress, building cognitive skills and mental functions, and lowering blood pressure.

NCTM: Why Play Math Games? – Talks about the benefits of playing math games. 

Stem Learning: Using Games To Teach Mathematics –  A short article that talks about the benefits of using games to teach math.

Scholastic: The Benefits of Board Games – Benefits of parents playing games with kids.

Benefits of Puzzles

USA Today: The Surprising Benefits of Puzzle Solving for Adults – Article about the benefits for adults.

Dumb Little Man – The 5 Benefits of Puzzles Solving for Adult – Article talks a little about the history of puzzles and the benefits of using them as adults.

Exodus: The Benefits of Puzzles in Early Childhood Development – Article talks about the skills that are build via puzzle during early childhood.

Memory Jogging Puzzles: Why Jigsaw Puzzles are Good for Your Brain – Social psychiatry article.

Learning4Kids: Why Puzzles are so Important for Kids Learning? –  Benefits of using puzzles.

Clue Detective Puzzle Agency: Discover the Benefits of Solving Puzzles – 10 Ways puzzles help to improve our lives.

Think Fun!: Get Jiggy with Jigsaw Puzzles: The Benefits of Being a Puzzler – This brief article talks about the history of Jigsaw puzzles and their benefits.

Benefits of Riddles

The Organic Mind: Brain Teasers & RiddlesTalks a little about the brain science behind using riddles and brain teasers and the benefits.
ESD: Why Riddles Are Important for All Ages – Explains what a riddle is and the types, cultural riddles, and their benefits for all ages.
Grin: Six Benefits of Riddles for Children – How riddles benefit and word the brain. 

Thoughts From The Boys: The Benefits of Riddles: Benefits of riddles and offers a few difficult one to solve.

YouTube: Recreational Mathematics Playlist – A collection of videos about recreational mathematics: Documentaries and benefits.
Here’s one of the videos from the list:

Thank you for stopping by!

Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Recreational Math Activities

Math World: Recreational Mathematics – Offers a list of activities available on the site. Some of the selections include: Cryptograms, dissection, folding, games, illusions and there’s MUCH more! Recreational – Puzzles, fractals, Spirograph, Roman Numeral calculator, and other topics.

The Math Factor: A Quick Puzzle From OSCON – Check out the archives of this site located on the right side panel for great information.

Yummy – Site provides students and teachers with engaging real-world math activities. 
Example page: Big Air Snowboarding

KhanAcademy: Math for fun and glory  – Offers users the opportunity to explore doodling in math and puzzles.

Math Lair Recreational Mathematics – Offers a selection of activities related to recreational mathematics.

Math Overflow: Recreational Mathematics Where To Search Where to find recreational math activities.

Age of Puzzles: According to the site, it offers ‘a colorful journey through endless patterns of quick wits’.

Math Site is Organized By Grade and offers lots of games and puzzles.

Scientific American: Blog: A Month of Magic & Mystery – Article offers some fun ways to get into a math mood.

Briddles: Maths Riddles – A daily treat for your mind.

David Eppstein’s Recreational Mathematics Page – Math Fun offer links to other great math activities.

Earth Native American Geometry DESIGNS – From the site: ‘The Design Section is a playground that exercises visual/mental creativity and behavioral precision.’

The Art of Mathematics – Offers a collection of downloadable books for educators to use.

Funschooling & Recreational Learning: Informal Math Activities  – I offer a variety of fun and informal math activities such as: Roman Numerals, geometric art, spirals, strategy games, challenges, and quite a few other things to enjoy.

Wikipedia offers the following topics: 

List of Recreational Number Theory Topics

Journal of Recreational Mathematics

Verbal Arithmetic

Book: Recreational Mathematics

For the rest of this series please visit my Recreational Mathematics post.

Thank you for stopping by!
Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Recreational Mathematicians

Martin – Martin Gardener is no longer with us, but his incredible work lives on with this site. You can get to know him via the information on this site.

NPR: Martian Gardener A Genius Of Recreational Mathematics – Read or listen to the interview about Martian Gardener. You can listen to the short interview if you click on the arrow in the upper left hand corner of the page.

Age of Puzzles: Boris Kordemsky – Read the biography of a master puzzle maker who specialized in creating nonword puzzle books.

University of Calgary: Charles Trigg – A bit of information about a man who is considered one of the foremost recreational mathematicians of the twentieth century. Charles Trigg – Hexagon-Circle-Hexagon – Solve one of the  puzzles he created.

Scott –  Modern day puzzle creator, computer game designer, and author. Read or follow the blog of Scott Kim.

Peter Winkler: Games People Don’t Play – Article PDF Offers a compilation of thinking games.

Wikipedia: Recreational mathematicians and puzzle creators:

Paul Erdős         Ian Stewart           Scott Kim               Ernö Rubik

Sam Loyd          Henry Dudeney      Will Shortz            Lloyd King

For the rest of this series please visit my Recreational Mathematics post.

Video: Puzzlemaster Spotlight: Scott Kim

Thank you for stopping by!
Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!
Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Funschooling With Hearts!

When my kids were little I would offer them quick and easy craft projects to do and we’d do them as a family. Over the years, we expanded this tradition by challenging ourselves to be more creative with the activities we did. The more we challenged ourselves, the more we learned. Turning simple items into something more became an amazing learning experience. I thought of it as recreational learning, my kids called it Funschooling.

With all the benefits we have gained from our experiences, there is no doubt that these activities allowed us to be more creative, forward thinking, better problem solvers, open to exploring new ideas, and make lots of lemonade when things went sour.

Since we thought the activities were so much fun, I used them to develop very successful craft programs for my local library, 4-H groups/programs, and homeschooling programs. 

Now, I’d like to share them with other families so they can enjoy open-ended creative learning activities too.

IntroducingFunschooling With Hearts

You can find it in my Etsy Store: Funschooling Press

There are two parts to this publication:

Part 1 is a printable PDF booklet that offers

  • A brief word about Funschooling with Hearts.
  • Tips for making great patterns.
  • 40 craft/project ideas that promote creative learning fun for all ages.
  • General information about where to fit the activities into a curriculum.
Once you print out the booklet, it can be folded in half.

Part 2 has 7 pages of printable templates that can easily be made into patterns that will be good for many uses. Instructions are included in the booklet section. 

Templates include:

 – X Lg. heart (1 per page) 
 – Lg Hearts (2 per page) 
 – Medium Hearts (3 per page)
 – Small Hearts (6 per page)
 – X-Small Hearts (12 per page)
 – Mixed Sizes ranging from large to x-small (9 per page)

 – Crazy Hearts Page with 6 interesting shaped hearts

These ideas are great for families, homeschoolers, classrooms, groups, camps, libraries, crafters, babysitters, grandparents, and anyone who runs craft-related or learning programs for children, families, or adults.

This digital download is sold as a PDF on Etsy.

I hope you’ll take the time to check out the first publication in my math series and be on the look out for more!

The regular price for this publication is $9.00.

Connect with Funschooling and Recreational Learning!

Tangle & Zentangle Art

Art and meditation can take on many forms and Zentangle patterns combine both of these awesome things in a creative way. 

If this idea has piqued your interest, there are a few rules you’ll need to know before you begin drawing with dots, lines, curves, S-curves, and orbs, and the sites offered below will help you gain an understanding of how to use them to create Zentangle art. 

You’ll find some videos at the bottom of this post that offer instructions on how to make these designs as well.

Note: Please feel free to play with the concept of only using dots, lines, curves, S-curves and orbs to make art as well. Consider it a challenge to only use those things in a drawing!

To start creating, you will need: Paper, a pencil, a fine-tipped pen, and an ultra fine-tipped pen

You will also need: A ruler and scissors to cut paper into 3.5″ squares or tiles.

Sites to learn from…

Zentangle – Learn how to get started with this meditative art from the people who designed it.

IAMBORED: 30+ Easy Zentangle Patterns to Give You Great Ideas For Your Own Zentangle Art – Answers the question: What is Zentangle? and offers some interesting pattern ideas.

Craft Whack: Inspired by Zentangle Patterns and Starter Pages – Offers printable patterns and ideas for making the designs created a little more interesting.

wikiHow to Make a ZentangleExplains what a Zentangle is and the difference between a Zentangle and a doodle.

Renee Tougas: A Beginners Guide To Beginning Zentangle  – The author of this site shares her experience with Zentangle, as a beginner.

TanglePatterns: From the site: An index and graphic guide to the best Zentangle® patterns on the web and how to draw them. Also, What is a Zentangle? and why a pattern is not always a tangle.

Art For Kids & Robots: Totally Easy Zentangle – This site offers a couple of kid-friendly Zentangle activities.

Tim’s Printables: Circle Templates, Pentagon Template 3″, Triangle Template 3″, Kite Template 3″, Square Template 3″ Use the templates to design creative drawings within or on the outside of the template.

YouTube: Tangle & Zentangle Art Playlist – Includes videos for beginners and advanced designers and pattern ideas.

Here’s one of the videos in the list…

Connect with Funschooling & Recreational Learning!

Note: If this, or any other post on Fran’s World of Discovery, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Where’s The Math? Making Real World Math Connections

When it comes to formal maths, how many of you have asked the questions, “Why do we need to know this stuff and when are we ever going to use it?”

Personally I learned more about math when I left school than I did while I was there!

This week’s post is dedicated to Making Real-World Math Connections. I have found sites that will show you where the math is in the real world and how useful it is in our lives. Math truly is all around us, and it doesn’t always have to come wrapped in a textbook, or on a worksheet, or in a workbook to be learned.

We use math in many ways everyday and sometimes it’s so subtle, we don’t even realize we are doing it! 

I bet you use it much more often than you realize! 😏

Math in Stories!

You will find a long list of stories, books, plays, and films that have math as part of the story line here:

According to the site: The Mathematical Fiction Homepage is my attempt to collect information about all significant references to mathematics in fiction.
To get right to the list, click here.

Wikipedia: Mathematical Fiction – A genre of creative fiction where mathematics and mathematicians play an important role.

Math in Music!

Math really does have a rhythm….

AMS: Mathematics & Music – Explore the connections between mathematics and music in the videospodcasts, and articles offered.

“There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.” — Pythagoras

Wikipedia: Music & Mathematics – History, time, rhythm and meter, musical form, tuning systems, and connections to mathematics.

Scientific America: Article: Is There a Link between Music and Math? – Read the article to find out!

Thirteen: Get The Math: Math In Music – Offers a musical challenge that relates to algebra. Check out the rest of  the Get The Math site for more real-world math activities.

Math in the Real World!

How do we use math everyday?

Education World: Math Article  – This article, “Get Real: Math in Everyday Life” has lots of ways math is used in real life and will link you up to may other great learning sites. 

Think Through Learning: 6 Everyday Examples of Math in the Real World – Math in everyday things.

Mashup Math: 10 Examples of Real World Connections in Mathematics – Article offers some ways math applies to the real-world.

TedED: Math in Real Life – Quite a few videos are offered about the real-life math connections.

Math in Nature!

Have some fun with Fibonacci!

The following sites will have you finding patterns in nature!

Fibonacci in Nature – Fibonacci in plant and animal life.

Math is Fun: Fibonacci Sequence: Site offers an explanation of Fibonacci and the Golden Rule.

Wolfram: Math World: Fibonacci Number – Offers some technical info about Fibonacci.

WikipediaFibonacci Number – Information about Fibonacci Numbers and Fibonacci himself.

Funschooling & Recreational Learning:

Spirals – Links to information about spirals.

Geometric Designs – Design your own coloring book from geometric designs.

Fractals – Learn about naturally occurring fractals.

Informal Math Activities – You will find lots of informal and fun, real-world math activities on this page!

I hope these sites make math more fun and interesting for you and your family.

Connect with Funschooling & Recreational Learning!
Note: Has this or another activity inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!