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Children learning and living naturally... at home and in the community.
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Since 1989 Beverley Paine has steadfastly promoted and supported home education as an educational choice for Australia families. Her books and websites aim to demystify education, gently deschooling families so that they may meet their children's individual and unique educational and developmental needs. Her honesty, insights and wealth of experience continues to bring hope, reassurance and confidence to families.

Home education is a legal alternative to school education in Australia. State and Territory governments are responsible for regulating home education and have different requirements, however home educating families are able to develop curriculum and learning programs to suit the individual needs of their children.

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Game Reviews

We love playing games - it's a great way to learn! Have you played a game that you really enjoy? Why not write a review for our Kids Pages! or perhaps you have you created a game that you'd like to share with friends? It can be a computer game, board, card or dice game, or a game you play outside with your friends - chasey, hide'n'seek, ball game, etc. Or perhaps it's a word game? We'd love to hear from you! See the submission guidelines on the Index to find out how to have your games review published in our Kids Pages.

The Gobble Guts Pizza Fraction Game

© Beverley Paine 1997
an excerpt from Learning in the Absence of Education

A couple of years ago I got into the game making frenzy again, and had a brain wave for a great game to consolidate fractions, especially equivalent fractions. I hate teaching maths using text books, as it often confuses more people than it enlightens. Games that reflect real life can be great fun, and very challenging. This one was. Making it was just as challenging, and a real lesson in maths in itself. I'd thought you'd like a copy of the instructions, just for fun.

First of all we made a fractions cake from cardboard. Using a pair of compasses we drew equal size circles on stiff cardboard and cut them out. We then dissected them into all the fractions up to twelfths. This was tricky and took a few hours, with much learning and experimentation. Accuracy is important.

We labeled each fraction of each 'cake'. And then coloured all the pieces - the 'whole' was green, the halves orange, the thirds pink, the quarters blue, etc. I made a holder of cardboard, like a cylinder, with a base, to store all the pieces. We disregarded the sevenths and elevenths for the game, but used them for other fractions activities.

Making the board was easy. I used a piece of card board, the stiffer the better. I then drew twelve circles on it using a small bowl as a template, in a four by three grid. I connected these circles with two way horizontal and vertical arrows indicating that you can move in any direction from each circle. Each circle was labeled as below, and a small circle within illustrated the fraction shown.

  • Make 1/2 Eat 1/8 Make 1/12 Finish
  • Eat 1/4 Make 1/3 Eat 1/6 Eats 1/5
  • Start Make 1/10 Eat 1/3 Make 1/9
  • We made 'men' from beads glued together, but you can use anything.

Everyone begins on 'start' and someone goes first by throwing a die. Each player must move the number shown on the die. If the player lands on 'make 1/3' he or she must take the fraction 1/3 from the pizza 'bank'. The player may then throw a 1 next turn. He can move in any direction, but must be able to do what the circle he lands on says. For example he can 'eat 1/6' by exchanging his third for two sixths and then returning 1/6 to the 'bank'. Or alternatively he can 'eat 1/12' by exchanging his third for 4 twelfths and then returning 1/12 to the 'bank'. Another option would be to 'make 1/10' by collecting a tenth from the bank. Etc. This is where the game can get tricky.

The object is to make a complete, or more than one, complete pizza, and try and land on finish. This is much harder than it first appears and is a lot of fun. Cooperative play is almost essential for someone to win! If you want an easier game leave out fifths and tenths. This can be really tough and frustrating for someone who is too young, so I'd advise playing their character with them and really helping them out, otherwise you may just confuse fractions in their minds. The game really teaches equivalent fractions in a hands on concrete way.

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Welcome to the world of home education - learning without school! We officially began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were each born! I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
Beverley Paine

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