Math Analogies

We all remember analogies from the SAT tests we took back in high school.  But did you know that mathematical reasoning can be trained with math analogies? This is a pretty fun way to work with your child on short math problems.

Check out these sample math analogy problems:

Find the analogy:

2 hours : 120 :: 3 hours : ?

123 : 12 tens :: 567 : ?

Pentagon : 5 :: Octagon : ?

45 : 55 :: 65 : ?

10, 20 : 30 :: 40, 50 : ?

Math Analogy
Math Analogy

For more sample problems check out the Math Analogy Workbook, now on sale on Amazon:

How to get ready for the Geography Bee

Geography Bee

The official National Geographic Bee started in 1989, a time when the world was changing rapidly. Today, over ten thousand schools—12% of the nation’s total—and approximately four million students participate.[1] With such stiff competition, the eventual winner will have to be prepared!

Gather your materials. You will need a world map, an atlas, a geography textbook, and blank map outlines to practice labeling. There are also books dedicated to succeeding in the bee itself. Make sure that all of your materials are up to date.

  • Since many people no longer rely on maps to get where they need to go, reading and understanding one may not come naturally to you. Make sure you know what you are looking at, how different features are represented, and what the map can tell you.
Understand that geography is a broad field and that you will need to know about much more than the Earth’s physical features. At its core, it is about people, the places they live, and how these people and places affect each other. To succeed in the bee, you need to learn as much as possible about how culture, society, and politics have evolved across the globe. Geographers have developed different categories for doing this.[2]
  • Physical geography describes the Earth’s physical landscape, including its seasons, climate, soil, water, and land. It also takes into account how human have changed these systems. Climatology, for instance, is a part of physical geography that looks at both the natural world and human behavior.
  • Human geography is even more interested in humans both affect and are affected by location. It explores where people live and why, as well as how people’s behavior affects those living both around them and across the globe. It also focuses on how beliefs and behaviors travel from one area to another.
  • Geographic techniques involve different ways of describing and representing the Earth’s landscape and processes. Cartography (map making) has long been an important geographic technique, but today the field also involves data culled from satellites and analyzed by sophisticated computer programs.
  • Regional geography involves characteristics of the other categories, but its practitioners focus their attention on a specific region. A regional geographer will use different geographic techniques to study the landscapes and people of their chosen region, be it a continent or a city.


Pay attention to the news. Although the earth’s features usually change slowly, national borders, international relations, and scientific knowledge can change very rapidly—sometimes overnight. Know that any of these developments are fair game in the bee.

  • Newspapers, radio, television, and the Internet are all good sources for news, but make sure your sources are reliable. Consume a wide variety of sources to make sure you are getting the most comprehensive picture possible.

Learn from previous years’ competitions. This will help you learn the kinds of questions to expect and where to focus your studying.

  • Talk to older students who participated in the bee. What was their most effective study habit? What do they wish they had done differently? Take their advice into consideration when planning your own preparation.
  • However, don’t think that you can just focus on the same subject areas as other people. Talking to them can give you a sense of the level of detail exam runners will be looking for, but not the content. You’re on your own for that!
  • Emulate previous years’ winners. 2015 winner Karan Menon has said that he studied for at least one or two hours per day. He also stressed the importance of using different kinds of sources and studying all aspects of geography, including current events.[3]
Involve friends and family. It will be up to you on test day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get help along the way.
  • Recruit a parent or other adult to quiz you on bee questions. They will probably be learning something, too.
  • If you are studying with a group of friends, stage mock bees. Try to mimic the conditions of the bee as closely as possible. The friendly competition will give you practice answering questions under pressure.

Q & A: What kind of questions will the judges be asking me?

The questions change every year. Remember your capitals, bodies of water, mountain ranges, and mountains, as well as currencies and demographics.

What should I study for the geography bee?

Know the locations and facts about countries, cities, capital cities, continents and major bodies of water.

What if you study a lot, and lose the school bee?

That’s okay. A lot of people are going to study a lot, but only one person can win. Just do your best and accept it if you don’t win.

Where is the national geography bee located?

Washington DC, at the National Geographic headquarters.

*Source: Wikihow, 2019

Road Trip with Kids: Visiting Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park

Nothing says “summer in the USA” more than a road trip. So on our recent Smarty Buddy app and book promotion tour in Southern California we took a detour to the Sequoia National Park.

We took a four and a half hour drive from Davis, CA along a scenic road – with mesmerizing vineyards.  Actually the drive was like driving through the Napa Valley – seeing all the vineyard fields , orange tree groves, and nut trees was a great distraction for the passengers…  not so much for the driver, of course.

Sequoia National Park has caves, waterfalls, forests and lakes, and is home to bears, mountain lions, rattlesnakes and deer. It is easy to see why it attracts over a million visitors each year.

After passing through the main entrance, we zig-zagged our way along the winding mountain roads of the park.  Every corner brought a new sight, and it felt like we stopped every mile to get out, take a look and get some photos. There are a number of specific attractions within the park, however much of its magic comes from just being out in this region’s immense natural beauty. There was wildlife, views and groves of enormous sequoia trees all competing for our attention and forcing us to pull over regularly.

Smarty Buddy Multiplication App
Smarty Buddy Multiplication App

Watch out for construction traffic delays.  Factor in the fact that the drive from the southern entrance of the park to the northern entrance is about 2 hours.  We certainly forgot about this math, and actually spent 11 hours driving that day (to, from, and passing the park).

Due to the limited time in the park, we decided to check out the main attraction.  The giant sequoia grove.  The hike to the largest tree in the world (by volume) was an easy loop.  The short hike up to the General Sherman – a huge sequoia tree located in the Giant Forest of the national park.   Even in a place full of enormous trees, this one stood out and towered over everything else.

We noticed one thing, that as you spend time hiking along the sequoia trail, you get used the the sheer size of the trees, and start feeling that they are not that tall at all.  But once you take a picture, and see yourself compared to the towering sequoias, you realize how little you are.

St Patrick’s Day Free Worksheets and Printables

St Patrick's Day Wordsearch
St Patrick’s Day Wordsearch

St Patrick’s Day Activities for Classroom use and home fun! Feel free to print, share, and have lots of fun solving these riddles and jokes on St Patrick’s Day!

Are your kids getting excited for St Patrick’s Day? Are you looking for some fun St Patrick’s Day activities for them? Then check out the free St Patrick’s Day worksheets and puzzles below. They make a really fun and easy way for your kids to celebrate the holiday!

While you are here, check out our blog and  start practicing logic reasoning skills with kids before the school administered IQ tests!

St Patrick's Day Worksheet
St Patrick’s Day Worksheet
St Patrick Day Coloring Page
St Patrick Day Coloring Page

(If you enjoyed this post, as if we just had a nice chat over a cup of coffee, please consider donating via PayPal for a cup of coffee for my next blog post.  Otherwise, do something nice today to pass on the good vibes! )

CoGAT Test Prep or Practice with Smarty Buddy

All children are gifted and talented.   Not all kids fit into the standards that school systems and educational institutions deem as the cutoff for gifted and talented designation. Every child deserves to be offered the most challenging material in school to progress in his or her understanding of the world.

After going through different learning programs and test preparation books, we decided to assemble the materials that helped our own kids succeed.   We hope that our apps and test preparation books help every child feel confident on test day and every parent feel content that they offered the best learning resources to their kid(s).

Smarty Buddy App
Smarty Buddy App

The Smarty Buddy App was designed based on the types of questions a child might encounter on the CogAT®, InView™, SCAT®,  and similar gifted placement tests.

Smarty Buddy App features 3 grade difficulty levels:

  • pre-K-K
  • 1-2 grade
  • 3-5 grade

 Smarty Buddy App features 5 types of test topics similar in format to the questions asked on the leading gifted and talented placement tests:

  • Number Sequences
  • Picture Sequences
  • Picture Analogies
  • Quantitative
  • Number Puzzles

Within each topic Smarty Buddy App features 3 levels of difficulty.

Smarty Buddy App Topics
Smarty Buddy App Topics

With over 670 questions to play, this fun game can complement or replace any worksheet test preparation.  Grab the game to squeeze in test practice on the road or on the plane.  

Check out our App Demo for some of the questions in the Sequences Test:

Get your child ready for CoGAT!!!

Smarty Buddy on Apple Itunes

Smarty Buddy on Google Play

Smarty Buddy on Kindle Devices

We love visual puzzles!

Can you count the squares in this puzzle?

This type of puzzle will appear in your child’s  standardized tests and geometry tests down the road!   So why not train the brain now, and learn the trick behind this type of puzzle early on?

Try to do the puzzle and then peek at the technique to answer it…

If your mind has turned to mush already, we can help you out. The trick is to find multiple smaller squares in order to make larger ones. Just remember this fundamental rule: All squares have four equal sides.

Keeping that in mind, start by counting the smallest squares in the center and all four corners, since those are the easiest to spot. Then, work your way out to the medium-sized squares that start on each corner, as well as the center one. And don’t forget the biggest square that surrounds them all!

You should count 22  squares by the time you finish!


We love LEGO!

Did you know that building blocks are essential for cognitive development?Any kind of activity that includes fine-motor skills sends millions of impulses into the brain – building new synapses – thus expanding cognitive horizons of your little one ( this actually applies to humans of all ages!)

LEGOs are a must have educational toy for kids.  Boys and girls will love making these LEGO hearts!


So let your kids build – and rest assured that their brains are only getting smarter!