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Homeschool Help: Make Math Time Count

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

Ideas For More Engaging Math Time

Fun Counts!

It isn't too far into the homeschool year when the typical approach to teaching and learning math concepts, start to get a bit tired. Worksheets, computer games, and memorizing math facts certainly have their place in the subject, but I didn't want to resort to relying on these tools alone. In our homeschool math time, I wanted laughs, challenges, hands-on activities that would inspire my young ones to look forward to math. My goal for them was not only to master the topics, but to engage them in unique ways that would have them actively participating in growing their skills.

You Do The Math...

Smiles + Math = Success!

We've all had the experience ourselves, or the eyewitness account, of tears while working those math problems. If there was any way I could avoid that deep, depleting frustration in my own kids while practicing math, I wanted to. Of course, as they grow and get further down the number line of math topics, I understand we may face some obstacles, but while laying the foundations of learning in the elementary years, it was important to me to keep them open to learning math, instead of building a mental wall against it.

So what's the equation for making math time a happy and productive time?

I've started a list of ideas below that I hope will add up to a whole lot of fun for your math wizards!


#1. Multiply the fun

One of the ways I have added fun to math time, is by creating games where they

can get more hands-on, or stay active when it comes to collecting answers.

From simply cutting up worksheets to use as game cards, to creating a twister

number comparison board, there's been quite an array of ways I've been able to increase the fun. Turning a math topic into a knock-it-down or toss-it-in style game is another sure way to keep the desire to practice math positive.

The Lion and the Lamb Lesson Plan: "Pouncing Paws" Math activity
Comparing numbers the twister way, in our "Pouncing Paws" math game

Snowman Lesson Plan: "Snow Roll" Math Activity
"Snow Roll": A knock it down style game that focused on measurement

Soap Lesson Plan: "Slippery Soap" Math Learning Activity
"Slippery Soap" game that aimed at identifying place values.

Scarecrow Lesson Plan: "Stuff the Scarecrow" Learning Activity
"Stuff the Scarecrow" game focused on identifying fractions. Each correct answer earned them a sack of straw to toss in.

Transportation Lesson Plan: "Road Signs" Learning Activity
From our transportation unit, "Road Signs" math game focused on filling in number patterns , by rolling along and adding them to the road signs.


#2. ADD the interest

Supplying them with math activities that involve the element of surprise has been

very instrumental in advancing their math skills. The eagerness to "find out what's

inside" or "what's going to pop out" has engaged them on more levels just

solving an equation. Math becomes interesting and more relatable. Include ideas

that require they dig out a number, or where they can sink their hands into

foam or slime to retrieve digits. An unexpected number popping out from a

balloon, or reaction earned from a correct answer, will keep your young learner

invested in the idea that math is intriguing, not dull.

Mummy Lesson Plan: "Mummy Ashes" Learning Activity
"Mummy Ashes" game focused on rounding numbers. Players popped the correct mummy to reveal its dust!

Archaeology Lesson Plan: "Equation Excavation" Learning Activity
From our Archaeology lesson. "Equation Excavation" had them digging out numbers and building equations.

Cheese Lesson Plan: "Curds and Whey" Learning Activity
During our Cheese lesson, we played "Curds and Whey" to scoop out fractions to then represent in a drawing.

Monster Lesson Plan: "Monster Arms" Learning Activity
The Monster Unit included "Monster Arms", where we were able to grow our measuring skills by stretching out the monster arms.


#3. Subtract the rush

As we know with math, getting to the answer isn't always the goal. What's more

valuable than the arriving at the correct answer is understanding the process. My

constant reminder to my own kids, is that math takes time, time where you have

to be patient in your work and showing it. So often, my kids want to rush to the

answer to be done, but don't realize that by forcing themselves to rush, they are

causing themselves frustration and pressure. Teaching them to slow down, sitting

through it together, and gentle reminders that investing themselves in the math

process, is what will lead to greater gains in the math department.

Homeschool Help: Make Math Time Count
Working skills while taking her time

Homeschool Help: Make Math Time Count
Putting patience to practice

I hope this has inspired you, and will help grow your learner's math skills exponentially!

Have any more tips? Be sure to leave a comment!


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