How I Teach Upside Down Children Science


My children are naturally little scientist.  When they were little they wanted to study cause and effect.  If I threw this on the floor my mommy will pick it up.  And they would test that theory over and over again.  They continue to learn, test, and see what will happen if they do this or that.

They enjoy being outdoors and discovery new things every day.  Living in Huntsville AL, we are blessed with the Space and Rocket Center along with an awesome hands on science museum call SciQuest.

In fact my kids have been taking science classes at SciQuest this year.  They love it!  Science for my kids is very much hands on-using all senses.  I encourage my kids to see something and learn from it.  If they want to know about something we look  it up learn from it.  I remember a few years ago we had a blizzard (OK we are in Alabama-it closed us down for a week-it was a blizzard!)  Robby saw salt and asked about it while we where out as the snow started to fall.  He came home and did and experiment-to see which ice cube would melt first.

And yes, I have had some weird things growing.  Oh wait those may have been left overs in the back of the fridge!  Or maybe not!  LOL  We have grown plants from seeds.  And bottles of weird stuff to shake.  My kids need their hands dirty and each year they find ways to do that.

Now what do I teach!  Well after starting out with two different curriculums for them-after a month I learned that Apologia had an elementary K-6 subject on Chemistry and Physic.  We have done most of the other ones and I was going to start again with space.  And Robby in the Middle school Science.  But Robby rebelled against the large text-book, and the little kids wanted to be with Robby.  So to make all happy and my job easier-I ordered this.

My kids were so excited when this came!  Isaiah’s first comment was when can we blow something up.  I was a little more concerned at this point that excited.  But he was remembering us blowing up coke bottles!

We started this curriculum in mid October.   I also got the journal for each one-the junior one for the two younger ones, regular one for Robby.  We read, learn, note take, draw, watch videos, do experiments, and have fun!

Now-it is not all fun. The thing about learning about  kids who have some sort of sensory disorder is learning what sets them off and what calms them. When it comes to learning what works best for them.  Since we are learning how I teach my kids science-this is a good time to just talk briefly about sensory processing disorder.  This YouTube video has been the best description I have found.

This video is a great video from the point of view of a child!


Each of my kids are different.  My two little kids you see more sensory needs and they are different needs.  And on my part it is learning and understand the sensory needs and how to help them, so we all don’t get frustrated!

When I was waiting for our new curriculum to come I bought the Bill Nye Science Guy  Science Guy Shows and my kids would watch those.  They also like to watch How things are Made and other shows we found on TV.  They love Animal Planet.

I also have found some fun apps that they kids love.  Bill Nye has one. Since we are learning about Chemistry and Physic I purchased The Elements in Action.  Isaiah was fascinated by this app!

We have in-house a microscope, stethoscope, a box of chemicals well hidden and my other science experiment items.  There is plenty of hands on for them to learn outside and it.  And this momma prefers dirt to be out side.

Keeping them moving and exploring is the key.

Ps-Does Star Trek, Star Wars, and Dr. Who count as Science too?  LOL

I am in day 3 of a 5 day series. Day 1 I  blogged about how I homeschool my upside down kids Language Arts. Day 2 was about Math.

Check out these other homeschooling families and how they teach Language Arts.

Hopscotch with us January 13-17 as we share a round of posts detailing how exactly we teach within our specific niches.

Day 1: how I teach language arts
Day 2: how I teach math
Day 3: how I teach science
Day 4: how I teach history
Day 5: how I teach fine arts



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How I Teach Upside Down Children Math


Oh the screaming!  I am sure if you were on the other side of our door on any given morning there would be some sort of screaming going on in my house.  And while I am working hard to curb my end of the screaming-most of it comes from my children.  For many reasons. (Remember I said my house is never quiet-one of the many reasons) But a lot has to do with not wanting to do math lately.  Expect AnnieQ.  Last year she was the one screaming and the boys were all good.

Last year I started math with AnnieQ and made it through 12 weeks of horrible screaming.  I requested help.  I got suggestions from other Math U See mom’s.  Finally at my wit’s end I put the book away and let her “unschool” herself in math the rest of the year.  I never mentioned a math lesson with her at all.  More for my sanity.

Any guess what?  We started the whole book again this year and she is flying through it with little screaming.  Only on math drills on the computer- when I add new numbers does she have issues.  It was worth stopping.



So how do I do math?  I don’t Steve does!  That’s really what I tell people!  See we use Math U See.  I love it. My kids mostly love it.  Here is how a week looks like for us.  Normally.

Monday:  We watch the lesson on the DVD-two or three times.  And do one work sheet to make sure we understand the lesson.

Tuesday-Friday: kids do the 1-3 worksheets a day.  Isaiah only barely gets through 1 a day.  AnnieQ can fly through 2-3 now that she understands it!  Robby various.  Plus they do math drills on the computer or iPad.  Isaiah does 50 a day and the two older ones do a 100.  We use Math Boards.  LOVE that program!

I don’t do test.  I know I should BUT the test are the same at the worksheets, and by Friday I know if they know it or not.  Plus I do use the “test” as a worksheet.  The math drills are helping them learn how to do math problems for any standardize test for the future.

Now these are not the only things-I also do these things.

  • Isaiah has a hard time looking at the math problems from horizontal to vertical.  So I am have to teach him to read and say  each problem to show him it is the same.  Isaiah does not do well with transition and quick change.  I guess the change in the problems throws him.
  • If the problem says 4+5-Isaiah doesn’t get it.  If I say you have 4 dollars and I gave you 5 how much do you have. He says 9 right a way!  I don’t get this, and have to figure out how to merge this thinking to the blocks and number with him.
  • I would stop with Isaiah-like AnnieQ-but he wants to do as AnnieQ.  So that is why we only do one sheet-and next year may be repeating again.  I don’t know.
  • Counting-my kids count everything.  We encourage counting things.  Like how many cars are there.  How many books on the selves.  How many eggs are left.  They  are always counting.
  • AnnieQ writes her numbers backwards.  I correct her as fast as I can.  Signs of Dyslexia.  Isaiah just doesn’t want to write them unless perfect, and he can’t do perfect yet.  So I try to get them to write numbers when ever I can.  Isaiah I find sheets that have traceable number, which also I encourage AnnieQ to use.  But she things that too baby for her.
  • We do use some flash card- not many
  • There are some great Math Apps for our iPads. From younger to older ones.  One of Isaiah’s favorite from the last two years was Monkey Math.  Math Blaster HyperBlast is fun to play
  • We estimate how we spend when we goto the store.  It is a great way for them to know how much groceries cost plus other items.
  • We give them some money to spend.  And budget money with them.  I don’t do allowances.  It is too hard.  But they earn money different ways plus they get money as gifts.  At Christmas this year I gave them budgets for each one.  So when I took out Isaiah he had a $5 per person.  I did not include tax for him cause that was too much.  The item had to be under $5.  That was a challenge as he has an expensive taste and will need a well paying job in the future.
  • Tell time.  Ok I never taught my children how to tell time.  They taught them selves.  Our biggest problem is our clock is a roman numeral clock-so I have just bought a number clock too.  But they understand the concept.  All by them selves.  But Steve will teach them too!
  • Showing your work.  In upper math showing your work becomes important.  I have a child who loves mental math.  But my husband says he needs to show his work- it does make it easier for us to know where he went wrong.  So that has been a big change this year.
  • No counting on fingers.  I know-but I am trying to teach them to use the Math U See blocks and not count on their fingers.  I have noticed that my public school foster kids count of their fingers on the time.  I tell them good-what happens at 21?
  • Skip Counting.  I even encouraged my high schooler last year to learn skip counting.  He missed the first 6 years of math-so he missed many building blocks.  Learning skip counting helped.
  • LOVE Legos.
  • Beginning to love Mind Craft
  • Check out my Pinterest board on Homeshcooling for Math ideas and the iHomeschool Networks for some great ideas!

If you are new to my blog, three of my four are adopted.  I will not tell you who:) But I have learned that my kids in some areas are not at their right age levels among other things.  This showed up in math.  Holding AnnieQ back has helped in many ways, and like a preemie, my hope is she will catch up when she is ready.

I am starting to read a book call the “Whole Brain Child” recommended from a conference I went to this last summer.  It is on my list of books I am reading.  12 steps to nurture the brain.  I am looking forward to learning about step 7 remember to remember.  My kids-especially AnnieQ has a hard time remember things she has learned.


I am in day 2 of a 5 day series. Yesterday I blogged about how I homeschool my upside down kids Language Arts.

Check out these other homeschooling families and how they teach Language Arts.

Hopscotch with us January 13-17 as we share a round of posts detailing how exactly we teach within our specific niches.

Day 1: how I teach language arts
Day 2: how I teach math
Day 3: how I teach science
Day 4: how I teach history
Day 5: how I teach fine arts


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How I Teach Upside Down Children Language Arts


I walked into the vets office the other week to pickup our cat and dog after a week in Hilton Head at the Disney Resort.  The young girl at the desk said “oh you are here to pick up the wild children.”  I was like “What?”  The dog yes, but my sweet cat?  She laughed and said your sweet cat tried to attack ever dog that walked by.  We laughed.  I said “God has not given me any easy children or animals.”

Our kids are not easy.   They are not quiet.  They don’t sit still.  Things come out of their mouths that I am just in awe of where on earth this stuff comes from.  Isaiah was talking at 2, compete sentences.  Where Robby, my 12-year-old, was struggling at 4.  AnnieQ can carry on a compete conversation like an adult, but with in 5 minutes talk like a 2-year-old.

When it comes to writing it is a totally different world. There is a huge struggle we are facing. Robby is finally enjoying writing, but only on his terms.  AnnieQ is a worksheet child.  Isaiah is not.

And something else about our house (besides the two babies) it is never quiet.  I think I mentioned that.  My kids are up and down.  I can keep them focused for a while and then off they go.  It is a struggle some days to get school work down.

So with that said I have learned more about my children and more about sensory processing disorder.  I am no way an expert, heck I am still trying to understand this myself.  But I have changed our learning ways to adapt to this.  And here some things we have done.


  • He needs to be on the go, so his lessons are about 10-15 minutes long at the most.
  • He still will trace his letters, it works better for him.
  • We use a salt box with letters.
  • We draw with chalk out side on the drive way for words.
  • He has started drawing boxes around his letters in his spelling words.  I guess that helps him.
  • We use RazKids to help with reading
  • We also use iBook and Kindles to help with reading.  I like iBooks because it will read to him and the words highlight like in RazKids.
  • I have made sensory boxes for him to use.  Having him get his hands strong is good for writing.  Check out my Sensory play board on Pinterest.
  • We use play dough to make letters.
  • We use various apps to work on sounds of letters.


  • We use some of the above ideas with her.
  • BUT she is a worksheet girl.  So on top of her other two books we were using from  Queen Homeschool Supplies, I added in the LifePac’s for 2nd grade Language Art’s from Alpha Omega.    We just started last week, and so far it is working.
  • The one thing about AnnieQ is that she hates to hear any noise when working. Did I mention our house is always noisy!  So I am thinking about trying to have her listen to music while working, Classical music.  Because if it had words she would be singing.
  • Also, AnnieQ needs things to occupy her mouth.  Normally her fingers are in it.  So finding something for her to chew on while doing school work is important.


  • Is also using the Language Arts from Queen Homeschool.
  • He is also using Jump In from Apologia.  It is a writing curriculum.  He hates to write unless it is his idea.
  • BUT I let him write as much as he wants.  I read it and will leave sticky notes with corrections on it.
  • OR if it is on social media I inbox him with the correction.
  • Robby didn’t read till 3rd grade.  Didn’t really want to write till 4th grade.  But is going full speed ahead and I have no worries about him
  • We did many of the things we are doing with the younger kids now.
  • Robby use to read to me all the time upside down on the couch.  Really-I figured if it worked, it works.

I am still learning how to best teach my two younger children.  They have challenged me in their behavior, and learning styles.  Robby was hard, but a fairly calm child.  The key with homeschool is you can adapt as needed and change as your child is changing.

My ideas for the future I would like to try:

  • learning more about using technology to help them, in a healthy dose.
  • get them jumping.  I would love a trampoline in our back yard.  But my husband is leery of them .  There are a few safer ones out there-but they are expensive.
  • balancing act.  I would like to create a balance beam for them to walk on.  As they work on balancing they can recite poems or songs.  AnnieQ does this standing on one foot-don’t ask me, it works.
  • eliminating things.  I feel they need a blank slate to learn-which means that all that stuff I think they need for “school” they don’t.  So I need to get rid of some stuff.
  • create a reading corner with a heavy blanket.  All three of my kids love to be covered up.  I don’t understand it-but they do.


Check out these other homeschooling families and how they teach Language Arts.

Hopscotch with us January 13-17 as we share a round of posts detailing how exactly we teach within our specific niches.

Day 1: how I teach language arts
Day 2: how I teach math
Day 3: how I teach science
Day 4: how I teach history
Day 5: how I teach fine arts


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