Thursday, February 23, 2017

Triominos for Family Fun

The kids love playing Triominos.

This game is a spin on the traditional game of dominoes which involves math and strategy. Players try to be the first to play all of their tiles by matching two or three numbers on the tile to existing numbers on the board. Each time a tile is played the player receives points equal to the numbers on the tile. Bonus points are awarded for a few special circumstances such as when all three numbers are matched to place a tile. Play continues in this fashion until 400 points are scored and a winner is determined.

After completing several games, players begin to develop strategy and notice that the numbers always increase in a clockwise fashion. With this knowledge, players understand which plays can allow or prevent players the ability to complete a hexagon. The more the game is played, the more strategy becomes understood. 




We enjoy this game as its fun and builds thinking skills.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Story of Electronic Speed!

My husband is the brains behind the electronic version of Speed! He is a computer programmer and really likes to write code.

Speed! is a skip-counting card game that helps kids learn multiplication.

Physical Cards
iPad app Lite version - free, Two Speed only
iPad app Full version 
iPhone app.

When the physical version of Speed! went up for sale at Amazon.com in September 2011, he began working on an electronic version. Although he is a computer engineer, he wasn't familiar with X-Code. So he not only needed to create the program, but also needed to understand and learn X-Code, which is the language Apple Apps are written in.

Pretty much all of his weekends and free time between September 2011 and January 2013 were spent on this project. He was on track to have it in the iStore at the end of the summer, before Jemma was diagnosed with Leukemia. After the diagnosis instead of working on Speed! he spent much more time cleaning, caring for our kids and handling all of the insurance paperwork.

In between his new added responsibilities he still found some time to play with the kids and finish the code for Speed! I think he did an awesome job! I knew he could do it, but had no idea it would look so good and play so smooth.

Here is a picture of him the day Speed! was available in the iStore for the first time...... You are Smrt dear! I love you!

 To find Speed! in the App Store switch the category to education and then search on

  • Speed, math
  • Speed, highhill
  • Speed, multiplication
or click the links below.

Physical version
Lite version - free,Two Speed only 
Full version 
iPhone app

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Knitting - Interested Based Education


We constantly shift our daily routines between various degrees of interest based education and loosely structured basic requirements. During our last adventure moving toward interest based education I constantly worked to ensure my children were growing in their knowledge of their areas of interest.

A few years ago my youngest learned to knit around the age of five years old with a peg loom. She went on to both crochet and knit herself hats. After she made a second knit hat identical to her first I was hoping she would be interested in another knitting project which was slightly more difficult.

I was in luck. All I had to do was suggest she search the internet for fancy hats. She giggled as she looked, but then chose a very appropriate hat to increase her knowledge and continue her knitting.


After finding the hat she wanted to make she chose her yarn.

While she was selecting yarn, I worked to write down a pattern for her to follow. We talked about the Fibonacci numbers as they are useful in designing stripes. In addition, we counted the number of rows in her hat and how many rows of each color were to be knitted, which involved lots of addition and subtraction.

This project was perfect because she worked on it several days in a row while sick with a fever, was able to read the directions on her own, and able to see how math is involved in pattern creation. It is always interesting to see where kids go when they are given the freedom to explore.

For more great educational activities check out these blog hops.
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