Keeping math fun is of utmost importance to me as a parent and a homeschool mom. Math is all around us from spiral sea shells, and grocery shopping, to the equations that launch rockets into space. So how can we keep math fun while providing our children with the mathematical education they need?
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How to Keep Math Fun
Our son once said that math was no fun, but in all actuality I don’t believe it. He’s always adding up sums in his head (for fun) and coming up with different ways to get the same math answers (for more fun). I think it was a particular math textbook (yes we tried one of those one time) that he was basing his opinion on, not the beauty of math itself. So I don’t argue with his pronouncements of math indifference. I just offer unique ways to incorporate math into our daily lives. Here are some of the ways I make math fun for our kids. You can also check out my post on our favorite math apps.
Games are the best! Not only are our kids learning critical thinking, problem solving, strategies, patience, and taking turns…they are also learning counting skills, adding, subtracting and even multiplication and division! We have made board games like Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Castle Panic a regular part of our days because we have seen the positive effects they have on our kids. Some of our favorite math board games include…
Math Read Alouds
Our kids adore read alouds! Snuggling on the couch with an intriguing book is one of their favorite activities…mine too! So, it’s not unheard of for us to become completely immersed in a read aloud that is all about math! Have you ever heard of The Number Devil or The Adventures of Penrose the Cat? Need a little more inspiration? Here are a few of our favorite math books…
- The Sir Cumference Series
- Equal Shmequal
- Math is CATegorical series
- Bedtime Math Series
- Math and Magic in Wonderland
- The Man Who Counted: A Collection of Mathematical Adventures
Kids in the Kitchen
Our kids are obsessed with Master Chef and Master Chef Jr. If you’ve never heard of these television shows they are competitive cooking reality shows open to amateur and home chefs. After watching the first episodes our children wanted to get in the kitchen and cook! Yes, our son made the Citrus & Herb Chicken in the photo below and it was AhMazing!
Guess what kids can learn from a simple recipe? Math skills of course! Kids will learn sequencing, counting, fractions, and measuring! Doubling and tripling a recipe is always fun as is the meal planning and shopping for ingredients! Cooking is math fun because you get to eat your results!
How to Keep Math Fun
Play an Instrument
Did you know that kids get loads of practice counting when they learn how to play an instrument? Music and math intertwine beautifully because to play an instrument one must understand rhythm, beat, and scales. Music is fun plus your child will learn sequencing, and pattern recognition while gaining increased memory skills. Our son takes his guitar lessons through Gentle Guitar but we also incorporate music theory with SQUILT which stands for Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time.
Give Kids an Allowance
We give both of our children an allowance for extra chores done on the farm. This gives them the opportunity to build a foundation of money management. Have you heard of the concepts of Save, Spend, Share? I really want to get better at modelling this behavior for our children. Here are a couple of ways to incorporate the Save, Spend, Share idea…
Our son also enjoys Smartick, Khan Academy, Beast Academy, and Life of Fred as part of his math “Curriculum.” We incorporate all of these along with games, read alouds, cooking, music, and allowance management to give our kids a strong foundation in math.
How do you keep math fun?