Monday, December 15, 2014

One Big Pair of Underwear {a living math book review}

Over the last few years as we've learned more about homeschooling and adapted to meet our ever-changing needs, one thing has remained constant.  We're a literature-based homeschool.  I love living books, and I've always been a fan of living math books as well.  A living math book is a book that covers math concepts in an informal and non-threatening way through a story.  It's a fun tool for introducing or reviewing math with children, and one I use often.

One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura Gehl

Recently I was contacted by author Laura Gehl about her new book, One Big Pair of Underwear.  After reading the description I realized the title is a fun way to grab the attention of the target audience of preschool to early elementary children!  Having a K'er and 2nd grader myself, I knew the title alone would intrigue them.  Yes we discuss modesty, but there's just something about underwear!

When I agreed to review the book, I had my 5 year old in mind.  You might remember that he is the comedian of the family, so I figured he would appreciate it, and it is geared specifically for his age range.  Often he just tags along with his big brother, but I like to find things specifically for him too.  When I showed it to him and read the title he giggled and immediately asked me to read it!

One Big Pair of Underwear is a fun rhyming book with tongue twisters and a very whimsical Seuss-type feel to it.  It's surely to catch the attention of younger children as they laugh at the tongue twisters and the silly antics of the yaks without enough snacks or seals without enough wheels!  I had fun reading it, and the boys enjoyed listening to it!

Just reading the book alone, it's a great tool for counting and numbers.  However it also covers inequalities, as there's never quite enough of anything to go around!  This leads into another theme of sharing.  While nobody really wants to share their underwear, the book teaches about sharing and taking turns in a fun and positive way!  There are so many great discussion starters right in the book.

However, there are other ways to enhance the math within the book!  Grab some counting bears (or other small animals) and act out the story.  Do a greater than/less than (< >) chart for each part of the story to work on vocabulary and math symbols.  Or, on Gehl's website you can find free activity booklets to go along with the book, and these are a great tool for one-on-one with the kiddo who enjoys worksheets.  It's easy to turn this book into a fun and natural homeschool "lesson" which makes it a living math book in my opinion.

This book is cute, educational and a fun addition to our bookshelf!  Laura Gehl has several upcoming children's books to be released, and I'm sure we'd be just as delighted to read those as well!

You can find the author of One Big Pair of Underwear on her website or on Facebook!

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