Fun Ways to Teach Math in Your Homeschool
Math is one of those subjects parents dread teaching and kids hate studying. Honestly, it makes sense that people struggle with math. Often taught on paper, it can feel abstract and unconnected to the world around us. Where is the fun in that? Why can’t it be more practical, especially when kids are young?
If you ever remember thinking, “When will I ever use this in the real world?” you understand this feeling. As a homeschool parent, there are a lot of great ways you can teach math and make it come alive and feel more natural and valuable to your child.
Tips and Ideas:
1. Swap out the long drilling worksheets used for teaching memorization for board games. Games are a great way to work on math facts, memorization, and speed without spending all day doing long boring timed worksheets like we had growing up. You can find both classic board games and electronic games and apps to help with this.
2. Get out and get active. Math can be a great project for outside. Tell your child to hop, jump, skip enough time to answer the math problem you give them. Hop 2 x 4 times. This can be done while you’re out and about, too! Think about the math you can teach and they can practice while waiting at the doctor’s office, at the bus stop, in line at the grocery store, in the airport lobby, or while walking back to your car after eating at a restaurant to burn off energy. This is a good way to get some math in while traveling on a road trip.
3. Cooking and baking are a great way to connect with your child and teach them math. These are wonderful ways to have some one on one time with your child or teach them a new hobby, but luckily, they require measuring skills. If you double or reduce the recipe, you can work on fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division depending on what your needs are to adjust the recipe. You can work on units of measurement for dry and wet ingredients. Even calculating the nutritional information is another way to sneak math in.
4. Food can be used for math beyond the cooking process. Pies and pizzas are amazing for teaching children fractions in a personal and easily connectable way. Pizza night can totally be educational. There’s nothing like using a pie to teach the concept of pie charts, too, and once the lesson is over you can enjoy it too. This is a great way to study the basic concept over the holidays when you have actual pies to practice with.
5. Candy can be used to teaching graphing, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in a fun way that kids can understand. Creating a tactile and visual representation of what you are teaching is a great way to drive the topics you are studying home for your students and making the lessons truly stick.
6. Use toys that your child loves to teach basic math skills. LEGO is awesome for teaching math skills. Each bump makes the perfect tool for teaching multiplication and addition through hands-on manipulation. Stacking then in groups of 10 is perfect for learning place values, multiplication, or skip counting. For a child that loves LEGO this is a great way to get them to work on math while they play.
7. Teach geometry on a shape walk, having your child point out shapes or telling you what the names are of shapes that you have found. Challenge your child to measure shapes you find while on your walk. You can do this at any time. Keep a fabric tape measure or an inexpensive Dollar Tree utility-style measuring tape in your bag for an impromptu measuring lesson to keep a bored child busy.
The best way to really teach math is to just go with the flow and make it fun as you can when opportunities present themselves in normal life. At the end of the day, your child can easily learn to love math!