Homeschool Math Brain food . . . Boundless!

The Brain
by Emily Dickinson

The Brain – is wider than the Sky –
For – put them side by side –
The one the other will contain
With ease – and You – beside –

The Brain is deeper than the Sea –
For – hold them – Blue to Blue –
The one the other will absorb –
As sponges – buckets – do –

The Brain is just the weight of God –
For – Heft them – Pound for Pound –
And they will differ – if they do-
As Syllable from Sound –


The brain is boundless indeed.  And many diverse things and ways help it to thrive and grow. Homeschoolers know this, perhaps better than those writing curriculum and class schedules for the mainstream school system.  As school budgets are being cut and downsized, it’s clearer than ever that a well-rounded education must be pursued independently from the traditional school setting.

In light of the fact that children’s brains need room to breathe and grow, it would be helpful to recognize that any one of the subjects you teach should not stand alone.  This is especially true of math, since it is so often viewed as a stand-alone, with straightforward and linear teaching methods.  It’s just this view that perpetuates the myth that math is dull, boring, and a chore to teach and learn.

Not so if your homeschool math horizons are broadened to include recitation, singing, rhythmic movement, and creative, colorful drawings of all of these activities!  It’s been shown that recitation and memorization have a direct effect on neural growth and development.  And the social benefits are great as well.  What could be more lovely to see and hear than children singing or reciting classic verses and songs by heart?  There’s a boundless joy there that we seem to have left behind in our modern day to day lives.

So, have fun with tongue twisters, limericks, riddles, and classic or clapping verses that can be directly applied to your homeschool math curriculum or are just plain joyful.  Here are a few samples to get you started, find more online or at your library:

Six thick thistle sticks, six thick thistles stick.  /  Is this your sister’s sixth zither, sir?  / Tim, the thin twin tinsmith.  /  Lovely lemon liniment.  /  Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches?  /  Any noise annoys an oyster, but a noisy noise annoys an oyster most.

There was an old man with a beard,
Who said , “It is just as I feared!
Two owls and a hen,
Four larks and a wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!”

A mouse in her room woke Miss Dowd
She was frightened, it must be allowed,
Soon a happy thought hit her
To scare off the critter
She sat up in bed and meowed.

I am the beginning of the end, and the end of time and space.  I am essential to creation, and I surround every place.  What am I?  ANSWER: The letter “e”

What has a head, a tail, is brown and has no legs?  ANSWER: A penny

You threw away the outside and cooked the inside.  Then you ate the outside and threw away the inside.  What did you eat?  ANSWER: An ear of corn

Three sailors went to sea sea sea
To see what they could see see see
And all that they could see see see
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea

Five plump peas in a pea pod pressed
One grew, two grew, so did all the rest
And they grew and they grew and they never stopped
They grew so big that the pea pod popped!

The clapping verses can be directly applied to your homeschool math lessons!  Use them as a lead in to rhythmic counting or skip counting, or in combination with hand-clapping patterns as a lead in to higher times tables practice.

Open your homeschool math door, broaden its horizon, and ALWAYS have fun with math!



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