Homeschool Math Newsletter, Vol. 37, February 2010

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In this month's newsletter:

1. Multiply & divide decimals by 10, 100, 1000 (powers of ten)
2. Free math worksheets at
3. Language arts resources
4. Tidbits

1. Multiply & divide decimals by 10, 100, 1000 (powers of ten)

The video below shows, first of all, the common shortcut: you move the decimal point in the decimal number as many steps as there are zeros in the number 10, 100, 1000 etc. Then, I also show where this shortcut originates, using place value charts. In reality, it's not the decimal point moving (it's sort of an illusion), but the digits of the number move within the place value chart. This explanation can really help students to understand the reason behind the "trick" of moving the decimal point.

The online lesson below explains the shortcut in much more detail, plus has examples of different kinds of problems and exercises for students.

Multiply and Divide Decimals by 10, 100, and 1000

2. Free math worksheets at

If you're a new subscriber (or even an older one), you may not have noticed the vast amount of FREE worksheets you can make at Currently, there are long lists of worksheets ready to make for grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, and grade 5. (Grade 6 will be coming soon!)

You can also custom-make worksheets for tons of math topics, such as number charts, all basic operations (including with integers), clock, measuring, fractions, decimals, percent, square roots, and factoring. (Coming soon: exponents!) Please see a full list here.


  • Once you have one worksheet of a particular kind, you can simply REFRESH your browser window to get another of the same kind. This is handy if the numbers it used don't completely please you... just try again.
  • You can save the worksheet for later printing or for copying to another machine from your browser's menu "File -> Save as". If it doesn't have images, it's enough to save it as html only, otherwise save the complete web page.
  • When you use the actual worksheet generators (instead of the grade-level lists of links), you can change the font size and the number of problems on a page. This can be very useful for children with learning disabilities.
  • Since these are randomly generated worksheets, you do need to click through to the answer key immediately after you make the worksheet. If you come back the next day for "worksheet number 7", it won't work. The number is just a running number, counting how many worksheets you have generated that particular day, and your "worksheet number 7" is different from anyone else's "worksheet number 7", and from your "worksheet number 7" on some other day.

And if those worksheets aren't enough, in the bottom of the worksheets page are links to other useful math worksheet sites.

3. Language arts resources

You might wonder what is that kind of title all about? Well, while this is definitely a math newsletter, and I do not claim to be an expert on language arts, I just keep having people ask me about language arts resources, if I have any, or if I can recommend any. So, I want to answer this question here once and for all. Maybe it can at least satisfy some curious minds.

I have been doing an "eclectic" mix of various language arts resources with my kids.

1. Learning to read.

I definitely am an advocate of teaching children to read as early as they are able. This is not so much for the purpose of them being able to do school work, but to increase their "horizons" of everything via books.

Continue reading

4. Tidbits

Till next month,
Maria Miller

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