3 going on 8.

Dear Son #1,  

Last Friday, as you might remember, we all went to Niagara Falls for the day. I’m going to stop there as there could be a book about the adventures that happened but we’re just focusing on one thing today and that is your math skills.  

As you know Mommy and Pop went on the big zipline down the gorge and it looked pretty cool when we got there. So cool, in fact, that you wanted to try it too. So we asked the girl at the counter how big you had to be.  

“Seven years old.” she replied.  

“I’m eight.” you said.  

Nice try, have fun watching us.  

For months now you have been able to count to 20 which I’ve always thought was pretty cool but I’m starting to wonder if maybe you need some assistance applying it to real life. Pretty soon you’ll be going to school and I can’t have you being put in the grade 2 class because you lied about your age.  

So, you are almost three and you need to add five more years until you are eight, which you then add eight more years until you can drive (Daddy’s truck), then three more years until you can legally drink my wine, then add another 24 years and you can get a girlfriend.  

Maybe we better do something a little simpler, thanks to the folks at education.com, they’ve got us covered! 

Love Mommy,  



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Subtracting with The Solar System


Kids are always intrigued by the solar system because it is full of stars, planets, and more.

In this activity kids will learn about the solar system as they use three-dimensional planets to practice basic subtraction.

For more fun and engaging math activities, go to Education.com!

What You Need:

  • Planets models: Earth, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Mars, Uranus. The planets can be store-bought plastic planets, or you can make the planets yourself with Play-Doh. (Don’t forget Pluto is a dwarf planet; it no longer goes with the rest of the planets.)

  • Small paper or index cards

  • Marker

What You Do:

  1. If you decide to make planets yourself, first start off by making the planets.  Make several of each planet. For example, make five models of Saturn, three models of Jupiter, etc.

  2. Write the names of the planets on the paper or cards. The cards will help the student learn the names of the planets.

  3. When you have the planets ready, set them up on a table in vertical rows with their name cards in front of them.

  4. Go over the names of each planet.

  5. Now you can begin the subtraction portion of the activity.  Have the student go through each planet and count how many there are.

  6. After the student counts how many of each planet there are, you can start removing planets to do the subtraction. For example, if you have 10 Saturns and take three away, how many are left?

  7. You can go through each planet at a time doing the subtractions. Or you can combine all the planets together.  In which case the student would count the total amount of all the planets, and then do the subtraction. For example, you could say, “If you have a total of 20 planets, and remove five, how many planets are left?”

  8. If you want to add to this activity, you can have the student write down the equations every time you remove planet. Writing the equations will serve as a numeric visual.


Note: You and your child can have fun making the planets together by rolling the Play-Doh into balls, and researching the relative size and color of each of the planets.


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