# Mini Office recently updated

Most homeschoolers work in everyday places around the home and so do not have posters and reference charts displayed on walls like conventional public school classrooms.  That is where a Mini Office comes in as a very handy tool!

A Mini Office is essentially a reference file or folder with all a child’s personal  important information right at hand.  This could be reference charts, handwriting charts, number lines, multiplication tables, vocabulary lists, handy facts and any other useful information. It is a handy way of encouraging children to work independently and to provide the necessary assistance without having to put up visual displays.

Recently I updated both the Junior and Senior Mini Offices. I refreshed the layouts, added new pages and corrected a tiny typo. You can find all my Mini Office downloads here.

Here’s what you can find in the 17-page Junior Mini Office  download ~

1. Number Line & Number Chart
2. Ordinal numbers & Fractions
3. Tally or scores, finger counting signs, Shapes, Colours, Directions
4. Number words & Roman Clock and Roman numbers
5. Multiplication Tables
6. Seasons & Months & Days of the Week
7. Days of the week & time of the day
8. Address & Where am I?
9. Weather symbols and Rainbow New!
10. Sight Word Walls
11. Phonic Alphabet New!
12. Phonic Blends New!
13. Family Words
14. Print Handwriting Chart
15. Cursive Handwriting Chart

The Senior Mini Office is a 20-page download which covers a lot of Mathematics.  All the pages have been refreshed, updated or new pages created ~

1. Number Chart
2. Number words New!
3. Multiplication Table
4. Keeping score / Tally, Finger counting, Shapes & Colours
5. Maths Symbols & their meanings & Compass
6. Ordinal numbers & Roman Clock & Roman numerals
7. Telling Time , Clock face, Analogue & Digital Clocks New!
8. Angles & Fractions Updated!
9. Different types of fractions & Converting fractions Updated!
10. Converting Units & Number Systems
11. Percentages – Decimals – Fractions
12. Circles – Definition & Formula
13. 2D Shapes – Description Circumference & Area formula
14. 3D Shapes – Description Volume & Outer Area formula
15. Triangles – Definition & Formula
16. Weather symbols & Wind direction & speed symbol & Celsius/Fahrenheit New!
17. Cursive Handwriting Chart New!

# Practical Tip ~ Senior Maths Cheat Sheets

Here’s this week’s practical tip ~

Most highschool Maths students need to have maths formulas, conversion charts, geometry formulas, number systems, order of operations, and other important Maths information at hand.  We called it a mini office, but some think of these pages as “cheat sheets”.

Over the years, instead of making a laminated file folder mini office, I simply place the pages in a page-protector display file.  We keep the file on hand and my high schoolers use it regularly.

# Practical Tip – Mini Office

Here’s a practical tip – Use a Mini Office

What is a mini office?

A mini office is a set of important facts and pictures, reference charts, lists, handy facts and conversion charts pasted and laminated in a file folder for a child’s easy reference.

Why use a mini office?

For homeschoolers, a mini office replaces the conventional school wall charts as well as provide quick references needed for daily work.   Parents should tailor-make their child’s mini office according to their current work requirements.  For example the mini office can include Maths charts, Geography information, handwriting charts, sight vocabulary lists, Social Study facts and charts.

What is in a Maths mini office?

Maths mini offices change to reflect the skills and information for each stage.  A junior mini office may include numbers, number lines,  names of shapes and colors.  Middle schooler maths mini office may include multiplication charts, addition charts, names of geometric shapes, clocks with time conversions, while high schoolers may include maths formulas, order of operations, percentages, fractions and decimal conversion charts, and so on.

Read the following mini office posts ~

Hope this handy, practical tip helps you in your homeschooling.

# Rectangles Rhomboids Parallelograms

My daughter uses her Maths Mini Office regularly for reference while she does her work.  As she learns new Maths themes, I  create new pages for her work.  Her latest geometry studies covers quadrilaterals, rectangles, rhomboids, squares & parallelograms.

A Mini Office is a handy reference – a file folder, laminated for durability , or a simple file with plastic page protectors.  I find that once a student practices enough with a formula or geometric principles, they no longer need the reference page.  It is also an excellent tool for review and revision.  Students who struggle and require remedial work, find reference pages very reassuring.

Have you found ways to help your maths student?  Any topics you wish to see included in a Mini Office reference page?  Please share in the comments below.

Blessings,

# Maths Mini Office New Pages

My youngest daughter’s middle school Maths Mini Office needs an upgrade and so I created some new pages to laminate and use in our Maths Mini Office.  These pages include ~

1. Decimal and number value placement chart.  Handy to calculate multiplying and dividing by 10’s, 100’s or 100’s.
2. Compass with bearings.  Handy for Geography and Geometry.
3. X-Y Axis Grid for drawing graphs
4. Positive & Negative Number Line to teach integers.

Here is the download link to the new Free Pages for your Maths Mini Office ~ Decimal Value Chart Compass XY Axis Pos & Neg Number line

Blessings,

# Maths Mini Office Updated

My kids have all used their mini offices for years,

mostly for maths, and, I am sad to admit, mostly for multiplication tables!

(I wish their mental maths was much better, but we have all been lazy in this area.  Sigh.)

Anyway, a mini office is a very handy reference that one can personalize for each child’s needs and ages and stages.

I have recently updated both my Junior and the Senior Mini Offices.

The Junior Mini Office contains

1. Number Line & Number Chart
2. Ordinal numbers & Fractions
3. Tally or scores, finger counting signs, shapes, directions
4. Number words & Roman numerals with blank clock face
5. Multiplication Tables
6. Seasons & Months
7. Days of the week & time of the day
8. Address & Where am I?
9. Weather
10. Sight Word Walls
11. Family Words
12. Print Handwriting Chart
13. Cursive Handwriting Chart

The Senior Mini Office has only Maths information or cheat sheets ~

1. Multiplication table
2. Number chart
3. Roman Numerals & Angles
4. Circles
5. 2D Shapes with their circumference and area formula
6. 3D Shapes with their circumference and area and volume formula
7. Triangles
8. Maths symbols & Compass directions and bearings
9. Conversions of time, distance, volumes, mass
10. Order of operations
11. Fractions to decimals & percentages, Recurring decimals to fractions
12. Different types of fractions
13. Base numbers squares & cubes
14. Number systems

Pop over to my Mini Office page & check out my super-duper all-on-one-page Calendar for junior primary!

This is a 1 page-does-it-all-in-one chart, which when all assembled with rotating circles and slide bars instead of fiddly flash cards, pictures, Velcro and all those other bits & bobs, the child simply rotates the circles under the windows and slides the viewer to reveal the relevant pictures and information. Easy as pie!

Handy Tips ~

• Print out only the pages your child needs.  (It is in A4 landscape format.  You can try print 2 pages on 1 page to create a smaller A5 version.)
• Paste onto card stock or a file folder or lapbook.
• My senior children used a plastic display file folder.
• LAMINATE!  It will last for years.
• Use whiteboard markers on your laminated surfaces.
• Keep handy in the child’s maths books, notebook or ring binder.

It is really worth laminating this chart when you make it!

We have used our chart for over 7 years and it is still as good as new!

Blessings,

# Maths Mini Office for Middle & Senior Students

A Mini Office is a collection of reference materials your child needs to refer to while they work.

Most mini offices are pasted into the child’s own file folder.

This makes it easy for them to find information or important facts.

Mini Offices replace the wall charts that most classrooms have on display.

My grade 5/6 and grade 9 children refer to math reference pages often.

### I created this Maths Mini Office for them.

#### I have combined current middle school and high school Maths work in this  13 page download ~ Click your download here ~ Mini Office Senior Maths A4

Included in this Maths Mini Office are~

1. Multiplication Chart
2. Shapes and Counting
3. Roman Numerals and Angles
4. 3D Shapes with formulas for area & volume
5. 2D Shapes with formulas for area & circumference
6. Circles with formulas for area &  circumference
7. Triangles with angles, area & Pythagoras Theory
8. Maths Symbols and Compass Points
9. Fractions, Decimals & Converting Fractions

Multiplication Table

Shapes & counting

Roman Numerals & Angles

3D Shapes ~ Pyramid, Sphere & Cones

Blessings,

# Day, Week, Month, Season and Weather Chart with Rotating Circles

### A simple, practical idea for junior primary children ~ A Day, Week, Month, Season and Weather Chart

An A4 all-in-1 chart

Here’s the chart I made with rotating circles instead of the little bits and bobs that one sticks on the chart. We used this when we were travelling a lot and I needed a 1 page-does-it-all-in-one type chart. My child just checks the date and places the little yellow circle over the correct number, moves the circles behind the chart to show the correct day of the week, season, weather and temperature, and slides the bar to show the correct month. This chart maybe placed in your child’s file or added to your junior mini office!

2. Then cut out all the windows on the chart, the season, weather, temperature, days of the week and date circles and the sliding month bar.
3. Laminate the chart and all the circles and sliding month bars.
4. Pierce the holes for the split pins or brads as indicated with black dots.
5. Assemble the circles at the back of the chart as per instructions.  (The month sliding window bar is a little more tricky, but I hope the photos will help.)  Stick the little circle to highlight the date with prestick on the front of the chart.

The chart and circles cut out and laminated

Attach the 2 cardboard strips at the top and bottom of the month column with clear packaging tape. Insert the window bar from the front through the slits and wrap it around the strips and stick ends together at the back.

The back of the chart with all the circles attached

It is really worth laminating this chart when you make it!  We have used our chart for over 3 years and it is still as good as new!

# Making Reading Easier ~ Sight Words

My youngest child found learning to read was such hard work!  Sometimes she needed to sip some water, breath hard, cuddle a soft toy while she battled on … It was not easy learning to read!

Teaching sight words is a very important and helpful tool to make reading easier.

Sight words = often also called high frequency sight words, are commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight, so that they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode. (Definition – Wikipedia)

Sight words often cover almost half the reading material on a page.  By memorizing sight words, a child can recognize and recall these words and do not need to decode or break up and sound out every letter.

With all the smaller, ‘easier’ sight words ‘jumping’ out the page, it leaves the rest of the words on the page to decode which requires much less stress and less effort to read the page.

Pegging sight words on a line – a good fine-motor activity to strengthen finger muscles which helps improve handwriting.

What sight words does my junior child need to know?

I’ve compiled this list using recommended words from Ruth Beechick’s book  A Home Start In Reading (pg.15,16) [I highly recommend her Home Start Series!] and Sonlight reader’s sight words:

 a ago all am an and any are as ask at b be been best black blue brown but by c call can cent come cry d day did do does dog done don’t drink e eat end eight even ever every k keep kid kind knew know l land             little last             long lay               look led               lost left leg lend less let like m man many may me meet men met much must my n need never next nine no not now o of out off over old on one only open or orange our
 p pen pet pick pink play please pull purple put q quick quiet quite r ran read red rest ring run rush s sad               sit said              six same            so sat               some saw              stop say               sun see               she set seven t take there talk they tall this tell three ten too that two the then their them u under until up upon us use w water when we               where weak which week who well whom went why were with wet             write what y yellow yes you yours could should would words that sounds the same to                  its too                it’s two               for there            four their new knew its

### These are sight word games we play:

• snap – match same words (instant recognition)
• winning cards – if she reads them without any help or sounding out – she keeps the card (and gets rich!)
• grabbing hanging words off the line – finding the word I read aloud as quickly as possible
• sight word hop-scotch – jumping on the correct word on the floor
• group same sound/ spelling words
• throwing  bean bags on the word on the floor in front of her as she sounds them out (upper body work out if she is lying over a gym ball and holding herself up on her hands while I hold her legs – as in wheelbarrow stance)
• sight word sit ups – she lies on her back (on the floor or on a gym ball) with the word, rolls up to say it and give it to me (I’m holding her feet)
• sight word direction game – read the word aloud and put it left/right/front/back according to the arrow chart I point to (helps improve spatial awareness  which helps prevent reversals in reading – d/b or t/f)

You’ll notice that I’m sneaky ~ we play physical games to increase muscle tone and upper body strength.  This also improve posture and handwriting skills.  (Ask your local occupational therapist for more ideas if your child needs help in these areas.)

Practice makes good readers – practice these sight word activities daily until mastered!

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# Lapbook -Junior Mini Office

### Mini Offices are an ideal method of keeping all the charts, facts and lists at hand in a lapbook folder.

I have just made a  junior primary mini office (with Afrikaans* for South African students) The mini office is especially handy for homeschool because all those posters and charts that we should hang up for junior students are now in their own hands and they can find the information without looking up at the walls!

For the complete A5 mini office click here ~mini office A5 all

For those who want the mini office in large A4 click here ~mini office A4 junior all

Included in this 8 A4 page ( 2 pages on each A4 page = 16 pages) download are:

1. Number line, number chart 1-120, number & words
2. Order words & fractions
3. numbers on hands, scores and shapes
4. Directions, Numbers 1-20 *, Roman numerals
5. Multiplication table 1-12
6. Seasons*, Months of the year*
7. Days of the week*, Telling time*
8. Where I live
9. Map of South Africa
10. Weather chart*
11. South African Money
12. Sight Word Wall
13. Sight Word Wall
14. Family words*
15. Handwriting Print & Cursive

For just the Math section of this mini office click here ~mini office A5 mathcs

For the South African section only click here ~mini office A5 SA Eng&Afrik

For the Word Wall and Handwriting  section click here ~mini office A5 wordwall-writing-live

You can research more on mini offices at these sites: Mini Office Squidoo

I have made this mini office on a lapbook folder cut in half across the width and it looks like this: