Math is one of those skills that we need in life. It’s essential to functioning in society, yet if you bring up doing math to your child during the holidays you are probably going to get a freak out of epic proportions. My oldest has said that if we ever truly want to punish him for something, the most effective technique is to give him extra math work. And I believe him, math is a major stressor for him. This attitude has carried over from his school years and I’m still working on making math a more positive experience. So this summer I’m using some exciting, new techniques to sneak in math practice.
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Even though we homeschool we have taken a break from the workbooks for the summer holidays. Summer is a fantastic time to do some simple, fun and effective math practice to strengthen the math foundation. With a strong foundation, math should become easier for my son. At least that is the hope. I would love to one day have math be boring or too simple for my son. I think it would do a lot to build his confidence.
With that in mind, here are 10 ways to sneak in math practice.
Prodigy is one of our favourite ways to practice math. There is a free version or a paid version and we have used both. There is no time limit on the free version, so you can try it for as long as you want and upgrade when you are ready. The thing I love about prodigy is that it is a fun, interactive game that kids love, but on the back end I have FULL control over the types of questions my kids are answering. I can assign them any questions, on any topics, from grade 1 to 8. It is an amazing resource. We’ve been avid users for two years.
These DVD’s are super fun. They have rock, and even hip hop to help kids get excited about learning math. The Early Math DVDs cover addition & subtraction, telling time, and money & making change. Each DVD has 12 to 18 video segments, and each video lasts about an hour.
It’s one of the easiest and most basic way to learn numbers, playing card games! I always carry a deck of cards in my purse. It’s a wonderful way to keep the kids occupied while in waiting rooms or at a restaurant. It’s also a great time for bonding and connecting. The games do not need to be complicated. Go Fish or Blackjack (21) are fun and easy games.
It is what it sounds like – sort of like a Bop It for math learning, this tool uses sounds and lights – and slams – to engage kids in a fun contest of math acuity. There are 3 levels, with 13 questions each. When they lower their time to answer, they boost their score!
Sir Cumference Books
We love these books! They are colorful and interesting and teach wonderful lessons. The topics engage my kids without drowning them in terminology or lessons. My boys can read these books simply because they enjoy them, and I love that it’s a brilliant way to sneak in math concepts.
What’s Your Angle Pythagoras?
This book makes learning about the Pythagorean Theorem fun! We did a great activity you can learn about here, that can be used even for young students.
Mix a little hands-on science with the math and you’ve got active learners on your hands! As a student, it was difficult for me to grasp math concepts I didn’t see applied in the real world. Here’s a delightful antidote for young learners.
RESTAURANT MONEY MATH CHALLENGES
With these fun sheets, kids pretend they are working at either Della’s Diner or Pizza Palace and need to tally up their customers’ bills. Della’s Diner is visual only for those who might struggle with reading, while Pizza Palace offers some challenging word problems. Kids love to pretend play and practice their math!
Run a Lemonade Stand
Our final idea is my oldest son’s favourite. What could be more fun and a classic childhood adventure than running a lemonade stand? It’s a great way to practice counting money, adding and also learning customer service. The perfect summertime way to sneak in math!