Homeschooling has been a great experience this past year and I love finding new books, resources and products. However, if you’re like me, storage can start becoming a bit of an issue. There are just so many great games, books and materials…and I want to buy them all! One item we purchased as part of our curriculum last year was Math U See, which also comes with a great sturdy set of manipulative blocks to help your child solve their math problems.
Math U See is seriously AMAZING. Math has always been a strength of mine, but before I began homeschooling I was concerned about whether or not I would be able to teach the subject successfully. The program made it so easy for me and tons of fun for my son and my fears quickly faded away. Although I love the program and plan to use it for years to come, the blocks can sometimes be hard to store.
The integer blocks came in a really nice box, but unfortunately it was too big to keep in our curriculum bins, in my desk and even too big to fit in my filing cabinet! At first, we decided to place them in a large tackle box. It worked okay for a while, but if we didn’t place the blocks in precisely, then not all of them would fit. And let’s be real here, when you have three kids under six not everyone has the patience to put things away properly 100% of the time (myself included).
Not only are the blocks hard to store, but when we decide to take our schooling on the road, it can be cumbersome to find space for them. They are also really expensive. At about $80 for just the blocks alone, it can be hard for some families to afford the program, which is a shame because it works so well. I know that for us, the price was a bit of a shock (how much can paper and plastic really be?), but I made sure to pinch our pennies in order purchase the program.
Thankfully, I have come up with a pretty awesome solution which could solve both financial and storage concerns. I created my own 2D manipulatives that can be printed out and stored saving about 75% MORE space than our “space saving” tackle box! So, if you are interested in my handy dandy math blocks, here is what you need to do:
1.) Print out as many blocks as you need. I recommend printing out 5 copies so that you have 10 of each block. You can find the link here under the “math” section.
2.) Once printed, use a laminator like this one, to make sure the blocks are nice and sturdy and will last for years to come.
3.) Cut out all of your laminated blocks.
4.) Store your new blocks in a large envelope or use a hole punch to create a place to connect them using a ring clip (see picture above).
And that’s it! Now you have an affordable, space saving set of math manipulatives that you can use anywhere!
So what do you think of my new printables? Will it help you save some space? Where do you store your large homeschooling materials? Let me know in the comments section 🙂
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful night.