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September 18th, 2011

TOS Crew Review: Getting into Geometry from Aims Educational Foundation

Getting Into Geometry is a teacher’s manual designed to help teachers introduce K-1 students to geometry in fun, hands-on, age-appropriate ways.  It includes 48 activities that progress from simple introductory two-dimensional explorations with shapes (circles, squares, triangles etc.) through to three-dimensional shapes (cones, cubes, spheres etc.) and its 264 pages includes all of the reproducibles you need for the activities.  There are some additional items needed for the book, but most were common household items, and a few we already had on hand – pattern blocks and attribute blocks for instance.  There were some that called for a pocket chart – but I heavily modified some of the activities for our use (read more below).

I used Getting Into Geometry with my entire brood of children, NONE of them wanted to be left out, so we tested the activities with children who were 8, 5, and 3 – and they all had a blast.  We cut out shapes, drew shapes on our porch with chalk, walked shapes on the ground, cut up straws and fastened them together with modeling clay to make shapes, colored shapes, cut shapes, described shapes, talked about shapes, and more.  I loved the pdf file that I received (it is also available in a printed form with a CD – both formats cost $24.95) because it included all of the pages I needed to print, so I just opened the file, found the activity I wanted to do, and printed the associated pages (if any) that I needed – they were always right after the activity they were needed for, minimizing prep time – very handy.

None of the activities took a long time to get ready for, or a long time to do, and they were such a fun way to get hands-in instruction time into our homeschooling day.  I’m a BAD homeschooling mom when it comes to hands-on, I’m happier to just read to them, but it was so fun to watch them BLOSSOM with these shape-related activities.

Getting Into Geometry does require some modification and flexibility on the part of a homeschooling mother with a small group of children – perhaps several children of various ages as I have.  Written for educators in a modern classroom (many students all of the same age) there is some mental translation and finessing that needs to take place to translate the instructions for teachers so that they’ll work for a homeschooling mom.

Sometimes this is pretty easy to do, other times activities need to be completely overhauled and restructured, or even skipped in some cases.  Some activities call for a lot of splitting into groups, group sharing, etc.  I was glad that I was able to pull off many of them with my three children, but they might be tough to do with a single child.  Some activities may also require additional research if you aren’t familiar with the terminology that teachers of early level math and science apparently are.  (I wasn’t sure what a concrete graph was for instance.

If you aren’t that great at thinking up fun, hands-on activities for your early elementary learners and you’d like to cover early geometry concepts in your homeschool, you’ll find Getting Into Geometry to have a wealth of activities to do with your children.  We haven’t used all 48 of them, and I don’t think we’ll need to in order to give my children a good conceptual understanding and familiarity with 2 and 3 dimensional shapes, there are quite a few to choose from – all of them surprisingly fun and developmentally appropriate for young children.  You can find a free online preview of Getting Into Geometry here that will show you the contents of the book and some of the activities as well!

Don’t forget that you can find more reviews of various titles from Aims Educational Foundation from other homeschooling moms at the TOS Crew blog here! 

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of Getting into Geometry for the purposes of this review.  All opinions are genuine and my own.

Welcome!

Jennifer. Follower of Yeshua. Wife of one man. Homeschooling mother of 5.