How Will They Learn Math!?!?

Piggy bank from German bank HASPA, around 1970.
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If you’ve been educating your kids at home or thinking about it, whether homeschooling or unschooling, you’ve inevitably had an annoying a caring, kind, concerned relative ask how your children will learn math. It’s as if math is some mystical subject that can only be imparted on children from schools when in reality math, like reading, is ubiquitous.

My girls love UNO, they would play UNO until the cards fell apart. This is a great educational game. They learn sorting and grouping when arranging the cards and playing the game and at the end when the score needs to be tallied there are wonderful opportunities add and even sort the cards into equal numbers and multipy. Adding in this way with larger numbers has helped my oldest learn to count by 20’s and also taken away any anxiety over adding larger numbers. Another favorite of my girls in emptying out their piggy banks and counting their change. This again provides opportunities for sorting and we organize the coins into grids to make counting easier. Once the coins are in a grid it’s easy to then move on to talking about multiplication. Another good practical math application that I’ve talked about before is cooking. Following a recipe takes some practical knowledge of fractions. My girls love to bake with me, mostly super healthy snack bars cookies.

One thing that I’ve learned, thanks to the great homeschooling resource center my kids go to, is to approach the activity as a game and fun (all the better if it’s an actual game). Don’t sit down and say “OK now we’re going to learn about sorting and multiplication.”, say something like “Hey, let’s count the money you’ve got in your piggy bank.” If there’s resistance or no interest move on to something else. I’m not the best at this and I’m still struggling with the idea of facilitating my kids rather than teaching them but as they get older and we all learn a little more it gets easier.

What works for you and your kids when teaching/facilitating math?

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One thought on “How Will They Learn Math!?!?”

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