My kids love using manipulatives, but when I use Window markers to use the window as my white board that takes it to another level for them. They pay extra attention because Mommy is drawing on the windows!

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~~ Homeschool Teaching Tips ~~MAKE MATH FUN! 
Tell us below what you do to make math fun for your kids, and get a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card in our monthly Teaching Tips contest. Our winner will be randomly drawn from posts that are entered during March for our MATH MONTH. We will do the drawing at the beginning of each month for posts in the prior month, and announce the winner in the Coop newsletter. Your posts will remain on this page to provide ideas and inspiration to other homeschool math teachers! (Need help?) 
My kids love using manipulatives, but when I use Window markers to use the window as my white board that takes it to another level for them. They pay extra attention because Mommy is drawing on the windows!
To make math fun, I include as much handson work as possible. Traditional manipulatives are great, but you can also make manipulatives or use simpler objects. Paper can be folded to illustrated to illustrate symmetry. I've cut place value squares out of foam sheets to substitute for purchased place value disks. Fractional pieces can be cut out of construction paper to illustrate the parts of a whole. The main idea is to find something that will show the math concepts in a more concrete way.
My fifth grade daughter seemed to have no inspiration for math. We were using the textbook she'd used for years (carried over from school). The material was monotonous with increasingly larger problems. She is gifted in language arts and has had trouble making her multiplication tables stick. But she is very good with logic. We've always thought of her being an artistic and language driven learner  not a strong math student. However, I discovered an algebra book that had very clear instructions. I tried it out and she is really enjoying it. The material is new. As it turns out, despite the stereotype of not being a mathematical learner ... she is doing better now that I've moved her into more challenging material!
I have one that struggles with math. We are not near multiplication yet, but have started skip counting just to prepare for that time. We usually toss a balloon back and forth or kick a soccer ball back and forth taking turns counting. She's learned some real patterns doing this and it seems to help her concentrate on the rest of her math lesson. We usually bop each other at some point and have a good laugh over it.
Making math fun is relatively simple in the early elementary years: counting and skip counting while playing catch, jumping rope, driving in the car; incorporating word problems into daily life (including but not limited to the consumption of chocolate chips); measuring and building; mathematical storytelling; nursery rhymes and songs; origami; finding patterns; spatial reasoning games; playing store...for older kids, sometimes it means simply remaining relaxed and accepting that the TRUE joy of math cracking codes, solving challenging problems after a struggle doesn't always LOOK like fun. Math shouldn't be torture for kids who are still in the arithmetic stage, ever. A creative parent/teacher can make learning early math stressfree. But the stress of later math is actually part of the joy, and I think the age and stage when you can start applying a little pressure and allowing for the "aha" moments to bring joy is very much dependent on the skills and maturity of the child AND the intuition of her coach/teacher.
We make math fun by relating math to everyday life and things we are interested in. Cooking, baking, home improvements, cars, dirt bikes, hotwheels, money etc. Also, we started using Life of Fred this year and Fred makes math fun!
We make math fun by playing board games like Budget, Discount, Grocery Cart and Prime Climb. We also make sure work on mathematical thinking and not just calculations. We play SET and do Sudoku regularly. We also bake, and sew, comparative shopping at the grocery store, square foot gardening has a ton of math involved, we also put things together, whether it's LEGO or furniture from IKEA :) . We try to make math relevant to the real world.
Make Math Fun by using objects that kids love. For example, we went out to our car and measured parts of it. You can incorporate a lot of math in cars if you are creative. We calculated areas, volumes, distances and perimeters and speed. Use your car manual and approximate energy usage with calculations. If your kid is like mine, when you go on a car ride, tell them the speed your are driving and the distance you have to go, and see if they can calculate how long it will take to get there, approximately. Google maps helps with some of this. We also did some baking math where we calculated amounts by converting from Imperial to Metric or vice versa. We used the really old curriculum "Real Math" which is nothing but practical everyday math. Silly stories of how not to do remainders in long division or what would happen to someone if they calculated the best ladder angle to avoid a fall are fun, too. We weighed and measured pets and just tried to find math everywhere. We measured the kids' arms and legs, height and weight in Imperial and Metric. We measured rainfall and got temperature and pressure readings and made calculations with that. Fibonacci sequences in nature are really cool, too. I think introducing calculus to kids before they are 10 is good just because when they do get to it in high school, they can see it's not that difficult. I was never good at math but I am awed at people who are good at it and I like math. It is good to give kids a lot of math to figure out in their heads. Ask them random questions to do whenever. If the recipe says 400 degrees Fahrenheit, what is that in Celsius? If there are five red dogs in the kennel and three run away how many are left? We had the most fun with math when it was not connected to a text book or screen. We used jujubes as counters then built structures with toothpicks after we did some math with the candy. If you can take that text book question and do it together, which is the absolute best part of home schooling, then you will make math fun. It is really important that you say what you think of math. A community of kids to talk about math was never essential here. We used every RedBird (EPGY) math program but when it got too hard for me to help, I took the kids to tutors. We also used PurpleMath online a lot, and eventually EIMACS. Have Fun with Math! Happy Homeschooling!
We play smath, its like Scrabble but math based. And now he really likes to play prodigygames.com when he has free time. He actually chooses to do math.
We love playing math games! Nothing fancy here...just a good old deck of cards and some fun math games help us feel inspired again.
Board games! Yahtzee, Sequence, Flip 4...anything to make learning fun. There's a game for every math skill out there.
My daughter is 6 years old. To make Math Fun, I have her create her own math equations on index cards and have her draw pictures out of the numbers. We then play a game between 2 people to see who can answer the fastest from her flash cards. Other times, I have her create subtraction equations using stickers on paper. Today, I had her count her meatballs on her spaghetti and had a subtraction math lesson as she ate them :).
We use video games to learn Math facts .
The kids enjoy life of Fred and St Math.
Also we use math in real life all the time (cooking, sharing, car rides ...)
Math comes to life with stories, so as often as possible we create a story to go along with a math problem especially if one of my children is struggling with a concept. We add in amusing details about our characters and draw out the problem. I've also found incorporating a math game, whether or not it has to do with the concepts we're studying, helps keep their interest. To be honest, I've always looked at what I do with them as just making math more tolerable, but in thinking about it I realized we've had some good math laughs!
We do several things to make math fun. We start with their weekly commission. Who doesn't love receiving money?! They use percentages to divide the money into the categories we created. For the littler ones we count all the coins and dollars they have. We also use baking and cooking as a great way to work with math. Sometimes math is a worksheet, but when we can make it fun they learn better (and sometimes get yummy snacks out of it)!!
To make math come to life, I use real estate. We tour a home or condo for sale, talk about the cost, the cost of financing, the interest rates on loans, and what would be a reasonable monthly rental rate.
BAKING! Baking always tests their math skills as well as allowing them some small change to go to the local candy store or bakery to purchase an item or two, calculate the cost, and calculate the change! Fun and delicious!
My son loves teaching textbooks. And a game played in classical conversations called number knockout.
We like to play multiplication war, division war, and other games that involve math. The kids will sometimes even compete against each other with flash cards.
My children and I coach Crazy 8s and Math Counts math clubs. We play games, do activities, exercise, have discussions and deepen friendships.
MY daughter is memorizing her addition facts now. To make it more fun, we use a variety of activities. We listen to and sing addition facts songs by Audio Memory, I made her a colorful booklet for the songs. We use the math u see manipulatives that are colorful and hands on. We also use a colorful abacus to have a variety of manipulatives. When she has writing work to do, I let her use whatever color pencil color she wants. Choice is empowering. Color is fun. We also use flash cards.
Whether we re focusing on illustrating a concept through manipulatives or drilling for fluency, we like to change up the activities to stave off monotony s.
We practice skip counting and counting backwards while she s on the swing or when we re timing something in the kitchen. We also watch Jack Hartmann videos on YouTube. We point and say on a hundred chart, or by moving beads on an abacus. Variety it s the spice of life. ;) I think we both need the variety.
Above all, keeping a good attitude when we re doong it because kids are so smart that they recognize and mirror our attitudes.
We inclue math in all we do. We measure all ingredients while baking. While our items are baking we use the clock to time them. We build with Legos, counting bricks and separating fractions. Our outdoor exploration includes counting birds, bugs, buds, trees etc. When walking we use a pedometer to discuss distance. Our family projects include building birdhouses aND garden projects. While we are walking we sing songs that help us skip count. We have just begun sewing and exploring measuring materials and counting stitches. Math is exciting and we use it every day!!
Math can be daunting! But we try to incorporate art and literature into our math lessons to help make it more fun, and to help make the learning more concrete. If we're working on measurements we'll make large posters of Gallon Man (incorporating coloring/cutting/design) or we'll pair a lesson on geometry with readings about famous, ancient mathematicians. We're finishing up fractions now and try to find fun, coloring pages or games that have a holiday theme and relate to the math lesson. We're also big on "everyday math"  letting the kids figure out the tip at dinner, or calculating price per unit at Costco. This helps them understand why math is important to everyday life, helps them remember a lesson by doing some handson, fun activities and hopefully makes math something enjoyable vs something scary!
We do as much handson activities to bring math alive as possible. This can be anything from playing a game, cooking a complex recipe with lots of measuring, to doing a project. We aren't big on textbooks or tons of worksheets around here.. the skills you use everyday are the ones that really stick. One of our family crafts (something we all like to do) is making miniatures (for doll houses or toy train displays) and that has been an excellent way to make math fun for example.
Making each subject as enjoyable as possible is one of our main homeschool goals! For Math that means LOTS of manipulatives and handson reallife examples. Because each of our children is an individual and has learned best in a different way, tailoring the approach to their learning style has helped a lot. Mastery of the topic, rather than just halfhearted completion of tasks or busy work, has also been key. So we do not do "grades", but rather work at each new topic from many different angles until it is second nature. I asked my kids (ages 6 21) what they have liked the best and their answers included the following items: Cuisenaire rods, tens cubes, dice, games, storybooks about Math and Mathematicians, Wrapups, "store" with pretend money and checks, counters, balance scales, various building blocks, and personalized story problems. I have enjoyed reading through other posts. I love seeing how innovative and involved homeschool parents are!
I got dice that is dry/erase from the Dollar Store. I picked up 3 but since we are only doing addition, I write 05 on 1 dice, and 69 on the other, on the 3rd, I use 69 and than randomly pick numbers to finish the sides. We roll the 69 one each time and than 1 of the other two. He adds the numbers together. Eventually I will use one dice and write + or  on it and he will have to roll all 3 and either add or subtract the numbers.
We play lots of math games and use cuisenaire rods to make math fun.
I have a 6 year old who in trying to give the solid foundation I didn't have. I use a lot of manipulatives; base 10 blocks, unifix cubes, fraction pies and whatever else is handy. My husband and I regularly have friends over to play games and my son's motivation to read is so he can join us for games, but there are also many math concepts that can be reinforced through gaming. Just this week we've started him on Mexican Train Dominoes. His first "grown up game!"
We incorporate the history of math into our lessons. Fibonacci numbers, the golden ratio, and tessellations really make the math come alive.
We incorporate the history of math into our lessons. Fibonacci numbers, the golden ratio, and tessellations really make the math come alive.
As a family we love to play board games. There are so many math skills covered from identifying numbers (BINGO) to multiplication/division (Pet Me). Reallife situations make the children feel so grown up such as making change and counting out the correct cash. Every day we incorporate at least one of the following endless ways to make math fun. Hopscotch, jump rope, sidewalk chalk, dominoes, decks of cards, books...
I enjoy math talking about it, toying with it and so it becomes fun also for whoever I am interacting with. It s like a puzzle, and I think finding ways to enjoy the exploration is key. We ve always included math fiction, games, and discussion in our exploration of math.
We use Lego blocks and building to explore and learn geometry, fractions, and general math. We use cooking and shopping for many math skills. She helps to plan schedules to learn about time and budgeting time. And she LOVES to play games like Monopoly (she is always the banker), Yahtzee (she counts up all the dice and ALL our scores), and several other dice games where she has to utilize many aspects of math including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and predicting outcomes. She is in 3rd grade with special needs, but just tested out on the CAT test at a 5th grade 9th month level for math!!!!
I use my daughter's toys like Shopkins or Barbies as manipulatives, instead of blocks when possible. And she is really enjoying doing math on Always Ice Cream. It's a quick way to do a lot of practice on a concept until it really sinks in, and of course, she LOVES doing anything on Always Ice Cream.
My son really enjoys Life of Fred for math. I used to think it wasn't enough and used it as a supplement or alternated it with a more traditional math program. When I finally relaxed and accepted that this was the way he wanted to learn, I realized how much it is a full math curriculum, and he has blossomed!
We are a foodie family so much of our math is made fun by baking (doubling, halving, using equivalents) in recipes. My boys also enjoy going to the grocery store and being given a cart and a certain amount of money and a goal. (Say $20 to throw a party on Friday night, or eat for three days) This was a real reality check at first! It gets even trickier when they start having to think of tax on some items but not others. They are young teens now so I feel like it is not only fun but a great life skill at this point!
We make math fun through cooking, and shooting. My 9 year old son LIVES to shoot his BB gun, so I write the math facts he s working on out on index cards. When he gets the problem right, he gets to shoot it!
We incorporate math into everyday life, so that it's never intimidating or strange. We live on a farm and my son calculates fencing, nesting box needs, square footage needed for animals, garden boxes and much more. Before this we lived in a large urban area and we looked at architecture, sidewalk size needs, railroad tracks and whatever else we encountered in everyday life for fun math learning.
My son enjoys singing his multiplication tables to common song melodies!
I teach foundational arithmetic using math properties so my boys understand numbers so deeply that they find joy in it.
I try to make it as hands on as possible. We incorporate into real world activities, play games, and use songs.
I teach in the outdoors, so I have the environment as a tool to connect the math concepts to real world. We learn at the beach, by a hiking trail, and even at same odd locations. Last week my 7th grade son was learning a unit about percentage and since I had to replace my lost driver license and bring him with me, I used some of the situations that we encountered there as a connection to the lesson. Silly but makes math real and useful.
When my daughter was little we would come up with funny counting songs and worked our way up to adding. Now she just loves math and some days that is all she wants to work on.
From the time my oldest was little we ve always made math a game for him...I have a book, he has a book, how many books do we have? And as he s gotten a bit older we ve built on that to make the problems more challenging.
When she was in kinder and first my daughter enjoyed using a calculator to create math problems and find the answers.
We read Living Books on Math, and recently came across a book on fractals, after which we went hiking and we were able to recognize fractals in nature. We also recently made a Sorobon, a Japanese abacus, from one of the books we read, Amazing Math Projects. My 9 yr old loves it and watches instructions on Youtube on how to calculate using the Sorobon. The Living Books provide math lessons in different aspects such as introducing us to mathematicians and math projects. We recently read the Sir Cumference series.
We turn everything into a game, or work to connect it to real world scenarios. We often take our math with us to the store, zoos, etc. I also ask the kids to create games to teach others how to use the math skills they are working on. They love watching others play the games they created.
Games, games, and more games! There are so many awesome math games out there, and not just board games. I will cruise the internet for ideas for math games that get the kids up and moving, too, like taping numbers to the floor and doing mental math, jumping from answer to answer. We also do things like double their favorite dessert recipes for extra and fun practice.
We like to include the pets for math! For example, during a lesson on probability and statistics, we set out a certain number of treats, and our girls had to figure out the odds of the cat eating a certain treat first, second, third, and so on. Our twentypound cat is more than happy to help with such tasks! ;)
Our dog helps with math drills where we'll set out groups of tiny treats with an operation sign such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. The girls race their dog by solving the math equation before he eats it!
I use songs to understand or memorize concepts, play with cards or math manipulative, play some kinetic games, may be cook to practice on fractions.
We make math fun by playing a game like duck duck goose if you catch the person they have to answer 3 math problems. If they answer all 3 correctly they win a prize and they get to be it. If they get any wrong they have to sit in the pot.
My 8 year old was struggling with memorizing his multiplication math facts and flash cards didn't work at all and just made him frustrated. So we got Reflex math and he really improved a lot with it and he actually enjoyed it! I love that he just has to watch for the green light to turn on to let him know he can stop anytime after that. Once he had been doing that for 6 months, I found Prodigy math game online for free. He had just learned about Pok mon from his cousin the week before and was really wanting a Pok mon game. Well guess what?! Prodigy is just like Pok mon but they have to answer math problems to help them cast spells with their creatures. It is free, it self levels, and it sends reports to parents. Now I have to make him stop and take breaks from math! Love it!
I am mom to a 5year old. We are traveling through 6 countries right now  all with different currencies. I teach her how to pay with local currency in each one. She pays for an item and helps to calculate the correct change. She learns counting, money and many aspects of geography and international studies!
My son is working on algebra. We have made it more fun and hands on by mixing up a traditional text book with Art of Problem Solving, Khan Academy, and Mathletics. We have so many graphing tools (old fashion plastic ones), lots of dry erase boards (plain & graphs), and an amazing graphing calculator app. Understanding systems of equations is better when you can do it multiple ways and actually see it!
We are currently reading through "The Number Devil" by Hans Magnus Enzenberger. It's a fabulous book which takes a fun approach to several difficult to understand mathematical concepts.
My 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders like to have flashcard races. They don't all use the same type of cards, but they try to be fast anyway.
My children are in middle school and high school now. Often times they motivate each other by working on their individual math assignments at the same time. They spur each other on by "racing" to see who can finish X number of problems first and get them all correct. Other times I award them with animal crackers for working through problems. :) Even older kids like food treats! Life is fun here at our house. Homeschool math should be too. :)
All my kids learned the times tables easily with Math It and Timez attack. My kids learned concepts well with Singapore Math, and MyTeacher (MyHelp) works well for high school math. For one child I taught math concepts and then she practiced the concepts on IXL.
My kids are motivated by the computer, so we use a variety of online math tools. They like Khan Academy, Always Ice Cream/Clever Dragons, and anything similar that gives them points for completing tasks.
I have four boys and my best math tools are a big set of dice (we love the Tenzi party pack) and a deck of playing cards. I sit down with each of them for 1530 minutes and ask them what game they want to play today. I tell them what we are working on addition, subtraction, money, etc. I have games in mind but they usually like to come up with their own games. Because it is fun and "their game" I get a solid 1530 minutes of math practice. With one of my sons we went from 45 minutes of tears, innumerable "I can'ts and It's too hard" to complete one workbook page of simple addition problems to adding up 10 playing cards in his head with laughter. Priceless :)
I have 6 kids, 5 of whom are in elementary school. Math with the younger kids consists of only games. We use the book Math Games for inspiration and new activities and we also use the Mathit program. Sometimes my kids don't even know that they are doing school. It's fun and painless. I hated math when I was in school but I'm happy to say that if you asked my kids what their favorite subject is, most of them would say "math!". We use baking and cooking to learn about fractions and we use every opportunity presented to us to calculate. I have learned right along with my kids and significantly improved my own math skills.
I have many different ways of drilling facts. Triangle flashcards, WrapUps, Holey cards, Speak & Math, pushbutton multiplication & division chart boards, even an old poem bk of the times table. We rotate which way is used daily. I got a regular division flashcard set too so they get used to seeing division written with the number outside the box and inside the box.
We, of course, use rods, flats and cubes for place value, and SEEING math, along with beans and legos.
We read Life Of Fred outloud and work all the problems. This is a great supplement btw, not a stand alone curriculum tho.
We keep lessons short, unlike the another popular view that holds math should be an hour daily, done alone with no parental assisstance. Out of five kids, Ive had ONE who could have done this, and he did indeed do all his higher math this way and some lower levels too. He intuits math. Rarity, not the norm.
Math Mouse is a set of games great for practicing math, there are also old pc games we have, that of course, kids love, ut no pcs will run them now. Pity, becuz the kids rly enjoyed them.
Ive always tried to use metric in everyday cknversations to get them used to what is a km or 500ml or a meter? Thats half the battle there is simply being comfortable with the unit system. Fractions suddenly become unneccesary now (but I know they still need to fight with fractions, yes).
Read outloud God Is Not Silent...I think thats the title...about God in math. Created it, its laws and order. There are other math reading bks too, How Much Is a Million? etc.
I am a mom who hated math and rly has still not learned to think mathematically but I see the beauty of God's design in math now. Imagine what a mathmom could do to spice up her teaching!
My daughter and I race to do the problems. While I (almost!) always win, it keeps her on track and working quickly to get the not so enjoyable work done. She calls it "fun math!"
I love to make math fun using Lego bricks, board games, and graphic art projects but the funnest project has to have been working on fractions with a variety of chocolate bars! Some were divided into thirds, fourths, and twelfths which gave us so many different fractions to learn.
We do crazy 8 math club with other kids to certify that math is fun.
We use lots of manipulatives like cusinare rods, unifix cubes, Lego pieces.
During spring we slow down with curriculum and try out sample questions from Math Kangaroo contest which just freshen up the whole idea of math.
Charlie and I use workbooks, Board Games, Free Printables, Math Applications, and toys we have around the house.
I make math fun in the following ways:
A. I compose word problems each Friday that contain my children's names or the names of their friends in them; they love this. I even include places we have gone in the wording of the word problems.
B. I use tangrams to teach symmetry and encourage problem solving. My children attempt to duplicate a certain shape using various tangrams.
C. My children use rulers and yard sticks to measure various items so that they can actually "see" the math.
D. We use scales to measure the weight of items. I was lucky to find an inexpensive set of scales in a craft store.
E. I allow my children to teach each other. Even though it may not be their math problem, I open the problem solving up to anyone in the house to solve a problem if one of them is confused. I do this before I solve the problem. The person who solves the problem gets to write on the whiteboard and explain.
Hi. I have 2 right brain learners in my younger children. To make math fun, I have to make up stories about place values. While they can remember and understand concepts while I demonstrate it with numbers and a base ten set, adding in the characters "Penny" and "Deka" have helped them to remember order of procedure. Penny is a one year old who always finds a way to "go first" with everything except division. Deka, the 10 year old, always has to wait for her sister to go first. They stay with their "Granny Hun" who is one hundred years old. Creating these characters has helped dramatically with teaching my first grader ones, tens, and hundreds place value with addition and subtraction. It is helping with teaching my 4th grader double digit multiplication too. These are just a few of my math characters. It has taken time, but learning is increasing and "sticking" in my family!
Like another poster wrote, my boys (4 and 5) enjoy card games, like war and go fish. Their favorite thing though is simon says. I will lay down cards with numbers on them (outside if it is a nice day), and say something like, "Simon says, go to the number that equals 2 plus 2. They race each other to get to the four. They particularly enjoy being Simon. Sometimes I will deliberately pick the wrong answer to see if they are paying attention and know the answer themselves. We do variations of this with letters and sight words too.
we find math all around us. we use math daily and we show our daughter that. anywhere from out at a store or cooking at home. then we also use notebooking and board games to make it fun and memorable.
We do have a few math games we use to make math a bit fun for our younger kids. Math Noodlers is a cute and fun game.
We have "Minecraft Math" on Fridays where we use the Minecraft coloring books to practice fluency in math facts. We also play a lot of cards games like "war" and board games like Math Room and Sumology.
On sunny days I draw a number line or number blocks on our paving stones with chalk. We then practice counting forwards, backwards and skip counting by jumping along the number line. This works well for addition and subtraction too. The kids enjoy jumping about and the family dog joins in too.
We incorporate lego alot with my son; also we use the mathseeds seed program when he is just too stressed to take instruction from myself.
I have a 2nd and 4h grader that work together on math. We use Life of Fred, and they really enjoy having me read the stories to them. We also use some educational shows like cyber chase and odd squad to reinforce concepts, and my kindergartener has picked up a lot just by observing. We recently started using an online game called prodigy for more practice, and they really enjoy this one a lot! They keep trying to get their father to start and account so he can play too ;)
My son is 5 and he loves to do math with food (cheerios, m&ms, and pretzels). Doing math at snack time makes it feel not so schoolish (he dislikes writing and worksheets). After he gets the hang of a concept using food, we use numbers on a magnet board to help him learn the equations without having to count manipulatives. Once he seems to have gotten *that* down, then I'll give him a quiz on a worksheet with one of his favorite characters on it (Star Wars, superheroes etc) that we can put in his portfolio we have to turn in. We also play math games with Legos and I make up word problems for his action figures to solve.
We are homeschooling for a year of travel, so I have tried to find a variety of resources on a very small budget. My big purchase was Teaching Textbooks for my 9 year old who completes the lessons very independently; he loves the cartoon characters and speed bonus rounds. I am very pleased with that curriculum, and we supplement it with lots of measurement activities, math puzzles, and creative projects. My 12 year old is resistant to math, so I have presented her with fun math puzzles, and most recently, Life of Fred Percents and Decimals. I think she will enjoy the story format of Life of Fred most of all. She also is able to use math in art projects (measurement), grocery shopping and cooking (fractions and money), and trip planning (distance, rate, budget). Giving our kids allowance has encouraged them to learn about budgeting and looking for better buys; they love being in control of their own cash. We highlight the ways we use math EVERY DAY to keep them motivated and interested.
We play a lot of games to help build on math skills. We play a hard game that is a lot like go fish but instead my kids have to put two cards together so they equal a certain number. One of my daughters is currently working on her addition skills so pick a number such as 7 and call the game 7 out. Each player is dealt 7 cards and must use two cards to equal 7 when added together. When they have a set they have to share with everyone the equation and set the set aside. On your turn you must draw a card and pick one person to ask if they have a card that could help you make a set. The kids love it. I also use dice frequently for simple made up games to work with addition and multiplication. I have found the key is to have fun and then my kids don't even realize they are fine tuning their math skills.
Our family enjoys playing games together. Games like RackO, Rummikub, Shut the Box and Mathable have helped my boys to practice their math skills without making them feel like we are drilling with flashcards again.
I find that wrapping the math in a story helps my son to retain the information better. For example, this year (besides using the amazing Math By Hand curriculum), we have a daily continuation of a story about Merlin and King Arthur (my 8 year old's personal obsession) where he's had to calculate how many knights the dragons ate, the area and perimeter of the castle that needs guarding, how many feet Merlin fell off a mountain while gathering a special flower to save Aurthur's life, and more. I make it up as I go along and my son often remembers a part from weeks before that I've forgotten! It's the highlight of both our mornings this year. I've shared a few of these on my blog, theusualmayhem.com, if anyone would like some examples.
Our routine is Saxon Math from Monday to Thursday. Fridays is our relaxed Math day, where my child can choose Life of Fred, which is like math in a story and is silly enough to keep everyone's attention or Math Detectives, where my child has to solve problems in a story using math. Of course, we use Cool Math for math games and Sheppards Software for video math. Sometimes, I break out the division flash cards at dinner time and give out small prizes when one kids the right answer.
We have several ways that make Math fun. I find the more active my kids are the better the information sticks. For my daughter, she loves bath time, so I draw a butterfly on the wall with circles and numbers inside it. I call out problems and she throws a ball and hit the number. When the weather is nice we head outside. I use chalk to write the answers to math facts all over the place outside. I give her a problem then has to tell me the answer. She will keep repeating the problem as she runs around the yard looking for the answer. Nerf Math is also a favorite with both kids. The kids will create their own problems by shooting the numbers I have taped to the wall and then shooting the answer, or they just shoot the answer. If they get too bored with doing math facts, then to keep them going, I send them out on a hunt/safari. I will draw pictures of animals and put numbers on the back then hide them all around. The kids go around looking for the animals and have to keep a running tally by adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing the numbers. I will sometimes leave them out most of the day and whoever ends up with the biggest or smallest (whichever I picked for the day) numbers wins a prize.
I take my math student out for a special ice cream date when he/she can say all of their times tables in less than 4 minutes . . . Coldstone, here we come!
The biggest way we make math fun, is to use math games of some sort. Whether they are file folder games or regular board games. We have gotten games off Currclick.com which are our son's favorites, especially games from Learning Tree Games. One nice thing about them is that they don't cost an arm and a leg plus we can make a project of putting the games together.
If they we can't find a game to suit our needs on Currclick, then sometimes we create a game of some sort to fit our needs. Also, we do a lot of cooking and pull in one of our other subjects, like geography or history and make a dish from a country, state or period we are studying.
Something else that helps make math fun is a Leap Pad we bought for our grandson, which he plays games on to practice math basics. Sometimes, even our older son plays games on it to practice his basic math skills although he's a little old to be playing on the Leap Pad. VTech also has several great products that help with math too that we have picked up over the years.
Life of Fred is what has livened up our math. Our 8th grade girls are using Fred for PreAlgebra and Beginning Algebra (Expanded Edition). The storyline of the Fred books keeps them wanting more while they learn serious math. Even our notasmathmatically inclined daughter is moving right along. Soon she will finish her second math book in one school year! That says a lot!!! Also, our district advisory teacher looked over the Algebra book and was surprised at how much depth Fred included, more than the public school book covered! She expects that our daughter would easily pass the test for HS Algebra equivalence! WE LOVE FRED!!!
I make math fun by having my kids solve math problems that occur in every day life and they usually don't notice they are "doing math". When we shop for groceries, my kids figure out which item is a better buy for our money. The kids also like to help figure out travel times and measuring distance on a map when we are on the road. Finally, the kids have been baking a few times a month for our family. Baking a great way to visually understand fractions, and I don't have to ask or suggest they bake!
My oldest was STRUGGLING with basic addition. She spent 3 years in public school and I was completely unaware of her struggles since she had made passing grades in math. Her confidence in math was low, and she would cry and mentally beat herself up for not knowing an answer. To make it fun, I created the game "splash math". Bath time was her favorite time of day, so to encourage math practice I would pull the shower curtain and call out math problems. She had to splash the answer out. Water was flying and it was incredibly noisy but she loved it and the mental math practice helped!
My daughter struggles with math and especially the drills were stressing her out and her stressing out was stressing me out. It was a vicious cycle. Well we took a break for a couple of weeks while I regrouped. I found tons of free and fun math games online. We were both sceptical at first, but she's made huge improvements with her math facts! We both have fun playing them together. She does Math Mammoth MondayThursday and on Friday she chooses a math game for us to play. No more tears. She no longer hates math. I also bought a Judy clock, play money, etc. to add hands on learning with her math. I guess we have made math look fun because younger brother gets in the middle of everything and loves math from the beginning.
We cook  a lot! And we routinely double or halve recipes. Lots of working with fractions...
What a riot!! :) Times Tables the Fun Way is how we have a blast learning multiplication, and FAST! Even my 5 year old knows many of them by overhearing the hilarious, wacky stories. CTC Math is our other fun (and quick!) Math option we use. All 5 of my children love it!!
We have several Muggins! Math games that we play when we're practicing math facts. It's so much nicer to hear my son beg to play a game rather than groan about reciting the times tables or going through a set of flash cards. The simplest game was Jelly Beans which covers number recognition and counting. Now we mostly play their Muggins and Opps gameswhere you have to add, subtract, multiply and divide the numbers that appear on rolled dice to try and reach a specific number where you want to place your marker. The great thing is the games have grown with uswe've expanded from 6 sided dice to 12, now we use positive and negative numbers, etc. Part of the fun is playing with marbles on a wooden board, but they also have more economical dry erase boards.
I read Life of Fred to my boys and we play lots of math games. We play prime climb, money bags, sum swamp, I see 10, multiplication bingo, math war, sleeping queens, and we just got a pizza fraction game. It looks really fun and we can't wait to play it!
My daughter has loved math seeds. We also use math manipulatives and fun manipulatives like Candy ;)
We are using MathUSee for our younger students, and Teaching Textbooks for the older grades. I have been looking at CTC Math (an online math program), and we might switch to that in the future for the older grades.
We try to change it up as much as possible. One day we might do math on the computer, the next day we might work in a workbook and the next day we might play a math game. Anything to keep it interesting and fun so that they continue to love math and learning.
One of the things my kids hate is repetition. So we do math in a circular way; when they get how to do something, we do about ten problems. I give them instant feedback on those problems. Then we move on to the next concept or type of problem and repeat the same way of learning and teaching. Then we do a few reminder problems of the previous concept and if they remember (they do) then we go on again. So, my kids like math when they always seem to be challenged and move forward in it, when we talk about it, and when they get instant feedback. We use textbooks. In terms of programs, Thinkwell is one of the programs we have used and really really enjoy. Also, my kids like Catchup math a lot too. These programs as well as our own text book practicing have been the way we get through it. I have learned that math has to be done daily, as well. When tests are upcoming we do a ton of timed practice tests and I mark them right away.
We go through the math fact while we are driving around town. Then occasionally we stop for a sweet treat at McDonald's for 99 cents. :)
I let someone else teach it! (Ha.Ha.) Math was our more difficult subject and we used to have a lot of tears with it, me included. So, we switched to an online program that has a great teacher that is funny too, and we have gone from tears of frustration to tears of laughter, AND my son is now 3 grade levels ahead in Math. My daughter just recently asked, "Why don't I get fun Math?" I guess we'll be switching her soon too....
To learn the math facts, I bought two of the 12sided dice from the Teacher's Store. Taking turns, whoever shook the dice would have to add or multiply the two numbers that came up. If she got it correct, she would get a quarter. If she got it wrong, she would have to give me a quarter. Great incentive to learn quickly.....
We do m&ms math and we just got a copy of the Hershey fraction book. We also count Legos and anything else to help them learn that's fun!
They play video games such as Math Breakers. They also play online games on Matholia and other educational websites. They like to watch and interact with lessons on Khan Academy and Math Seeds. We also have a lot of math manipulatives to use during our normal lessons. Things like a balance scale, different types of counters, base ten cubes and rods, play money, and drawing pictures.
My 8 year old thinks that she is already like her teenager cousins has started getting into phones and loves to pretend to text. So, for Mental Math practice, I give her my phone and text from my hubby's phone or vice versa and I send her a text about a problem and she tries to respond back with the correct answer as fast as she can. She loves it when I try to encourage her with those smileys! This works well even when we are travelling/ are in the car :)
I would play 'math race' with my son, who needs to move, in order to help him practice the multiplication tables. I would give him something to solve as he ran by me and he had to give me the answer when he completed a lap around the house (or in our finished basement).
My 8 year old daughter uses CTC math it is a computer based program. She loves it! Being able to work on the computer, control her own speed and get the rewards bronze, silver, gold and platinum awards plus they allow her to print the quizzes so she can show me the questions she did is a plus. They send me a weekly email about how much time she is spending on the program and how she is doing and what sorts of things she is learning. It's a win win and no prep for me, Yay!
We use Right Start Math. It is an abacus based math program that uses games to reinforce learning. There are many different games, a CD, book and all the supplies you need to understand, teach and play all the many games that come with the program. I enjoy teaching it as much as my son enjoys learning it! I hope this is helpful. Happy Homeschooling!
Here is a copy and past from the google search site: rightstartmath.com/
RightStart Mathematics Math Card Games just received the FIRST PLACE "Excellence in Education" 2014 award in the Elementary School Games category
We love math games! I teach a coop one day a week and math game time is their favorite! We do a lot of drill games that involve relay racing and that makes it FUN! Another favorite is a dice game where you compete to see who can get to 100 first. The trick is you cannot roll a "1" or you lose your points for that round. If you roll double ones then you lose ALL your points.
We play math games and practice our skills using art/math workbooks, where my kids have to solve problems in order to know what color each section should be colored. I also use food in teaching whenever possiblepizzas and cookies turn into fraction problems; toothpicks and olives or marshmallows are wonderful tools for geometry; snack mix can be used for division reinforcement.
We build giant geometric figures! We roll newspapers on the diagonal for long pieces or along the short or long side for short and medium newspaper rolls. Then we tape them together for two dimensional shapes (name the shape for the younger one, measure the perimeter for the older.) Then we use the two dimensional shapes to build three dimensional shapes (names of shapes, find the volume) We've used newspaper rolls to practice measurement (length, perimeter, area, volume), to make angles and measure them, and then to have fun designing buildings. (How strong is it? Will it last a shaking table/earthquake?) Masking tape is the best!
We play a ton of math board games like sum swamp, money bags (our fave!), and countdown. We also play lots of paper games like bump, snowball, math bingo and math tic tac toe. We will add math to twister or have our little guy dive in the ball pit to find the correct answer using numbered beanbags. We also found a book that has math mad libs to make it all more fun!
Honestly  this is not my strong suit with my 9th grader. She is currently in Geometry  and I slept through public high school geometry (but still got an A, as I taught myself). My teacher was boring.
My daughter is artistic and creative and has always hated doing "boring math"  so my friend recommended Teaching Textbooks. She called it "Math for artists" because of the colors, animated helpers, etc. I love that it's all selfcontained with the lessons, grading, hints, etc! Math is still not her favorite  but she seems to do fine with this program.
I do what works for my kids to make it easiest to learn. For my son, that means doing a computer based math program in which the instructor is well educated AND funny, so it brings laughter into his learning. We (he & I both) had way too many tears when I was doing the teaching. My daughter, on the other hand, prefers me to read and teach her lessons to her, even though she has the computer program option. We also play lots of games that require them to do math  monopoly, Knockout, Muggins, and different card games as well. So just learn what works for your kids and go with it.
My kids like math games  Real World Math, Cashflow for Kids, cards, Math Scrabble.
Like many of the other posters, we try to show the connection between math and daily life. The kids like the results of baking, so we half or double our receipes when making cookies, etc. In addition, we are making quilts which requires fractions, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and geometry.
Grocery store math: addition, multiplication, percents, ratios  and with all boys at the house, the topic is relevant: food!
We like to scooter around the neighborhood with paper and pencil. We use house numbers to add across or stack 1, 2 ,3 ..... numbers and then add. We use them to write out the numbers, to order numbers, to multiply, to estimate, etc. I just get creative while we are out getting some exercise.
To make math fun we play lots and lots of games. We play card games like go to the dump to work on facts of 10, we use the math balance to learn about equations, and we even use the abacus to help when needed.
We try to make math applicable to daily lives by cooking, gardening, running a business, budgeting and investing. Also, we use lots of hands on manipulatives when younger to learn basic math facts. My kids were very inspired by watching videos of the chinese abacus and begged to learn to use it.
My daughter has a natural love for math already, so I try to incorporate it in every day life. Sometimes this means asking her simple math word problems while we are swimming at our gym and other times it may mean asking her to help me decide what ketchup is a better deal at the grocery store. I feel like this is not only fun for her but also gives her an idea of how important math is in every day life.
We are a family of math people! I love math, used to teach it, and am having a great deal of fun watching it develop in my boys. I am a firm believer in good number sense and nurturing solid mathematical thinking and conceptual development, not just learning the algorithms. The sequence and scope of math taught is often so artificial and illogical, so we are trying to balance what I believe are healthier mathematical bases with still teaching some level of competency for the skills grade level peers are working on.
While I think games are good, I'm a huge proponent of not just practicing math in "fun" forms but really digging into the intrigue and fascination of good solid math itself and allowing time for exploring numbers and concepts.
I cannot recommend Moebius Noodles (http://www.moebiusnoodles.com/) highly enough! Their stuff is largely what gave me the confidence to go "off the beaten path" and teach math to my kids the way I longed to teach it! My son is only 6, and we have explored tessellations and fractals and exponential growth and multiplication and algebra and all kinds of cool root ideas (in a less technical, formalized way, of course).
We talk about math a lot. I seem to have a natural enthusiast on my hands, but even our younger one (with quite a different personality and likely giftings) seem to enjoy jumping in on the random ponderings about numbers and quantities and relationships.
I could go on and on about this, as I truly think math is fascinating and exciting and builds so much valuable thinking framework (if done well) for kids that is far broader than just the set of skills so often taught in math coursework. I'll cut my math nerd rant short, though, and hope to see some good resources here from the group! :)
We play a lot of fun math games. Love Math Noodlers. Another favorite is making a budget for a grocery list. Seeing how close they can stick to it and then making whatever recipe it is they want. Great math in shopping and baking.
For math we do a few things. Miss Thing is 5.5. We read living books, play with blocks and Cuisenaire rods, sing skip counting songs and count everything. Another thing I did was create some fun worksheets for her to use for adding, they are used with doadots and have room for her to doodle as well..
We are learning angles and parallel and perpendicular lines right now. We have fun jumping 360 degrees around, then 180 degrees, then 90 degrees to learn our angles. We also use our arms for right angles and parallel lines. It is much more fun that just using a paper and pencil.
We love the card games in Right Start Math, especially cooperative games and speed rounds.
My children have chores assigned to them throughout the week for which they earn money. They are given the choice to spend or save their money. When they choose to spend it I take them to the store when I go grocery shopping and they are allowed to buy things for themselves. I let them go in line first and make their own transaction. They put their change back in their wallet, take their receipt and enjoy their plunder. It makes them so excited to get back home and do math in their workbooks. They also have a toy cash register that they love to play store with. The children are 2, 4, 5, 7 &11. They have also managed to save a great deal of money because they have goals to buy certain things in the future.
Using manipulatives and playing math games (we love the games from the Righstart curriculum) makes math fun for my kids. Educationunboxed.com and cuisenaire rods, too.
We use the Life of Fred books as well as Kahn Academy. My son LOVES earning badges and improving his avatar as he works through the math exercises on Kahn. We also play a lot of math games using a deck of cards. It's a win win  playing, learning and spending time together!
My boys like to be active during math. Sometimes they do jumping jacks while calling out multiplication facts!
We use a combination of instructional lectures from Great Courses and Virtual Homeschool Group, online games, and handson manipulatives. Flashcards, 'Smath, math bingo, Legos, and Play Tiles have brought a tactile aspect to elementary math lessons. While each student has their math text to follow, it is fun to substitute a handson lesson when applicable, even in high school courses. Seeing math applications in real life situations helps bring a greater appreciation for the subject.
We play different forms of 'concentration' with cards. All face cards removed, leaving the A through 10. Choose 2 cards that add up to 10 (3 matches with 7, etc) choose 2 cards and multiply them, if the right answer is given  its a match (3 and 7 chosen, must answer 21 for it to be a match). My 8 yearold hates math and loves to play our card games!
Every now and then, I'll have my daughter choose one of her math problems and make a video where she explains how to solve it. She has a lot of fun playing the expert and then watching her video!
I try to make math fun by using not only our books but real life objects. If doing measurements we may bake a cake or cookies u
Letting the boys help to measure. In fractions we use legos their favorite toy and thy just get it!
In learning about money we set up a store give them a list and amount they can spend and how to make wise choices with how they eat good foods so they grow big and strong.
I create some fun story problems using their friends which make it interesting and at time funny and bearable to get their math done.
When extra motivation is needed, I give chocolate chips for all correct answers on their math assignment.
We play math games and use coins as manipulatives for counting, etc.
My son has some severe learning disabilities and struggles with simple math, he understands all concepts but has no memorization skills among other problems so at 8 has still not mastered basic math facts, telling time etc. He will often even confuse a nickle from a quarter. Each week we focus on one of the things he has a hard time with. I write it on a our bulletin board, other daily dry erase posters and also write a sign for the fridge for the week so that he knows which thing we are working on on and off during the day. The little things we do are kept short, often a 2 minute question or hey look a the fridge while you are in there....sorta things. It's spontaneous and prevents the "oh I don't want to work on that it is too hard" responses. We spend a lot of time in and out of the kitchen so the fridge is the best place for placing things to work on for 'extra' short math practice several times a day.
The one thing that has finally started to make those math facts stick is bed time. I can't exactly say (SORRY) what it is we have been doing at bedtime for several years as it is something that is one of those funny little mother & child 'where did we come up with that' things ....BUT for a week or however long it takes. (I'll use a hug as an example as to not even bother trying to explain ours :) Facts of 8 an example....1st night, 2 hugs a pause and 6 touches on the nose. My son would say 2 plus 6 is 8. Each night using a different equation sticking with all facts of 8 until they are mastered. Using things like this only at bedtime makes it silly and fun for him and Ta Da over winter my struggling child has finally almost mastered them all.
Life of Fred books are so fun! Plus both of my kids really enjoy racking up points on Khan Academy and Splash Math. :)
My high schooler participates in the TEAMS competition of engineering problemsolving.
To make math fun, we play different types of games. My daughter is pretty good at math, but math facts need repetition to stick. So we play all kinds of games from traditional card games to games specially made to teach math. Some of our favorites are rummy, card games from Right Start Mathematics, Monopoly, webbased math games from Always Ice Cream, and a dice game that uses addition to place marbles on a board to name a few.
We do this all year long but mostly around Easter/Spring: I like to take Easter eggs and cut up my kids math problems and hide the eggs with 1 math problem and a skittle or Reece's Pieces or Jelly Bean in each. My kids get to find an egg and they have to do the math problem inside then they get to eat the candy. They love it. We only do it ever so often so it doesn't get old. No complaining about doing their math on these day, lol! We also use apps on their iPad and different sights on their computers to supplement.
We also use a LOT of hands on things for math! We have place value blocks, coins, fraction pieces, pattern blocks, etc. It helps her to use these when learning or reviewing a topic and my daughter thinks this is more play than learning!
My daughter is struggling to learn the basic addition and subtraction facts. Flash cards are not so fun when you drill them day after day... SO, i created and found some fun math games (board games, bingo, etc) and made a box of "Math Games" and she has to play at least one of those as "homework" (outside of our normal school time). She gets to practice math facts and have fun at the same time!
My girl loves online fun math games, we have also played math games using dice, cards, money, and fun board games that involve math. We have also played store sometimes. Additionally, we have gone to the store and learned about money and sometimes she gets to get some change and buy a little something and give her money to the cashier herself.
The other nice thing is that the app learns from your child's weak areas and drills those more often. The entire family worked on it and it was quite the learning experience for us. Since it is an app it is far cheaper than book/dvd sets. If you have someone who is really struggling to learn the times tables, we think it would be very helpful and would appreciate any feedback or suggestions. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/funtimestables!funtimes/id944109275?mt=8
How about watching cartoons while learning the times tables for making math fun? We are a homeschool family with 8 boys and 2 girls, and have had many struggles teaching times tables to reluctant learners over the years. "Why do I need this?" "Don't we have calculators for a reason?" We ended up making an iphone app that teaches ALL the 012 multiplication tables and drills them using cartoons, mnemonics and some easy rules.
There are so many things all around us that we use math for. But one of my children's most favorite is Big Brainz, a computer game that helps children master their addition, subtraction & multiplication tables. For free you can get the Basic edition and my kids love it, they begged us to upgrade to the Deluxe Edition for their Birthday present. While the kids conquer dragons and swamp monsters they are learning their math, so much better than drilling flash cards. Now learning multiplication tables is fun and they ask to do additional math instead of drudgery.
We use teaching textbooks and at the end of each week, each child has to come up with a fun or practical way to demonstrate one concept they have learned during the week. They have come up with ideas from making lemonade (1:1:1 ratio), using the floor tiles to demonstrate area, bowling, estimating the grocery bill to chemistry and art.
One of the games I came up with was the Mommy store. I gave my kids a set amount of money and they could use it buy things at the Mommy store. It was a huge hit and the kids got a really good grasp of money as well as adding and subtraction. Over time the game expanded with kids running out of money so we brought in the concept of earning more money and work, as well as concepts of crime and punishment came up when children tried to steal each others money. It was a great learning tool.
It is what it is. My daughters don't enjoy math games. They love math when they can see it. So we have been finding lots of visual helps for them to understand and formulate equations graphically. Any thing that make them draw their math problems and "paint" them is what makes them have fun. They are what we call "math artists".
This year we tried Teaching Textbooks and both boys have really enjoyed doing math better. My 9 yr old also got onto KHAN academy and Loves it. they beg to get on and do math, love working to Master a subject. He's also teaching himself java script in the programming section of Khan academy.
We play math card games and use lots of different manipulatives to help make math fun. Plus teaching it in a way each child understands it makes it easier therefore making it more enjoyable!
It sounds silly, but giving problems that are just a level up seems to work well for my 5year old. For example, he's not interested in practicing simple addition like 2+3, so I have him add bigger numbers using traditional algorithmic math. He's still practicing the basics in adding the ones, tens, and hundreds columns, but it seems more interesting to him.
We make our child consider math not as work but as a game that can be played like computer games, sports or fun board games(monopoly,cards). She likes to cook/bake, so we have her measure ingredients in wholes or in parts, or count and estimate objects such as number of chocolate chips. In road trips, we ask travel math problems such as If the GPS says we will arrive at 5:35 and it is 5:13, how many more minutes before we reach the destination? or If we are traveling 60 miles per hour, and our destination is 120 miles, how long before we reach the destination? At sports time/lessons , we teach her about the numbers used in sports such as scores, batting average, percentage of wins, and so on. At grocery store she likes to count and make sure if we got the right change, when we pay in cash. We had her find the unit cost of each ice cream (in a pack of 12), when she had to buy treats for her friends. We play math riddles and quiz , as a group activity and she loves it.
Since my child is diagnosed with Autism and games are not fun or rewarding for him, we go with a unique, but interesting way to encourage him. He loves to make "tests" for us. The caveat is that he has to provide an answer key too. This way we know he understands what he's doing and knows how to find the answers. He loves to do this not only for Math but for other subjects too. It's a way to get him to share what he knows in a way that is rewarding and reinforcing to him. It also encourages him to interact with us in a personal way. Something that is challenging for many children diagnosed with Autism.
To make math fun, we play! Have copy of Parcheesi? Play it with 10sided dice. Not only does this give
practice with addition, it makes the game go more quickly. Or play Parcheesi with 6sided dice, but
multiply your dice instead of adding. Any game with dice can be modified this way. Don't have 10sided
dice? Use a deck of cards with face cards removed instead.
Playing is how we learned all our math facts. My kids will play games like this for hours, but balk at even
15 minutes of boring "plug and chug" worksheets.
We have CDs, DVDs, living books, tons of printed folder games, and an entire bookshelf full of manipulatives. My kids are surrounded by "math"! My kids are now 9, 6, and 4; but even before the decision to homeschool, I have always kept lots of math related tools. They're the "fun toys" because they don't stay out like the rest of their toys. All I have to do is pull down a scale and a box of counting bears and they're entertained for hours! Math doesn't have to be boring. It doesn't have to be textbooks and lectures. Math should be fun, if it isn't fun at least some of the time, it's time to find something else!
We have lots of math manips, math apps, math games , and pretty much anything you can think of. But the most fun DD has with math is during everyday application. Cooking, measuring while building, price comparisons during shopping, figuring out and graphing how much money she needs to save from her allowance to buy that coveted American Girl doll. Her face just lights up and you can see the gears spinning as she works it out and plans ahead using math. I love it!
My kids love to play monkey math school on my tablet and they also play learning games on their mobigos.
To make math fun, I search out free themed math games at www.teacherspayteachers.com. We have found great games that are seasonally or holiday related themes, and the kids love playing! I incorporate this once every week or 2, and in between, we have a reward system, where if the kids do their math with a good attitude, they earn a math game immediately afterward on the IPad (we use Splash Math and Telling Time). These are great supplements, and the kids just view it as a free game. We also use the. BrainPop Jr. Math videos, quizzes and games, which the kids think is a real treat. Lastly, something as simple as earning a couple of m&ms makes the kids look forward to their math time :)
I organize a math circle for my children and their friends, where they tackle fun but challenging problems in groups and come up with solutions. The kids really enjoy it. It is like a mathfocused playdate.
To help keep math fun we find the cost of food at the grocery store and then come home to shop by making a little store out of the foods in our play kitchen. We love games; dice, cards and when we play board games we substitute the traditional pawns for a figurine of our choice perhaps a squinkie. Math outdoors is perfect whenever this frigid winter will end. We use extralarge dice, chalk, jump ropes etc. Don't forget math in the kitchen for cooking and baking.
After we finish our lessons/worksheets, they get to play Math Blaster and Math Slicer on the tablet. They love the games so much, they don't even realize that they are learning!
Just recently, I decided to introduce my daughter (in grade 2) to addition war (with a deck of cards). She loves figuring out the right answers and winning against her mom! My son (in Kindergarten) also requested a round. He uses MathUSee manipulatives to figure out the answers, so the game play is slower, but still a great practice of basic math facts.
We play 4 Way Count Down as a family! I also convert all math problems to hypothetical candy questions for my youngest. ie: If we have 18 pieces of candy and need to share them between you and two of your brothers, how much candy do you each get. For whatever reason that makes sense to him than any other word problem.
I have a child with special needs. She has difficulty learning about money. So I would give her a favorite toy catalog (American Girl, Christmas Toy, Disney Store...) and some play money. Depending on topic we were working would determine what I would have her do. For instance she had difficulty determining what she could buy if the cost of the item didn't match the amount she had exactly. So I would give her $5 and have her circle all the things she could afford to buy on 2 pages. There are so many things we would do with them. She would pick something to buy and she would have to determine how much change she would get back.
I have a kindergartener who is great at math, but gets bored easily. We use the Math U See curriculum, which she really likes. To add variety, we play games  Uno, War, Rush Hour, kids' picture Sudoku. We're just starting to learn addition facts, so we do "Jump Math"  where she has to jump to the correct answer. She also likes Math Seeds on the computer.
I'm just getting started in homeschooling, but I've realized that slaving away at a curriculum that's just not working for you is not productive, no matter how much money you've spent on it! We're making a switch to using 2 different curricula that will allow me a little more flexibility in teaching. Because if the teacher's more comfortable, the students will learn better too!
With 3 highschoolaged kids, we play a lot of card games and board games. Also, for my two kids who are math whizzes, we switched to the Life of Fred series. It has no unnecessary repetition, includes lots of humor, and even fun facts from multiple varied disciplines. It feels more like a conversation than a textbook, yet teaches high level math.
I've always enjoyed math so I sought out a multi sensory approach to teaching math. When I realized that my children loved playing the card/memory/logic games that reenforced the math concepts I looked for more games to have around as family activities that were similar. Now we've built a collection of various games like Iota, Blokus, Tangoes, various cards games as well as one of the games from the math curriculum called Corners which we all love. Despite being at different stages in their math studies my older kids get a kick out of playing these games with me and I love that it sharpens their math skills.
One of my kids also loves to latch onto certain math concepts that are not included in his scope of learning so I find information for him that I load onto his kindle reader that he can peruse at his leisure. He's delved into everything he can regarding large numbers (googleplexes, etc.) as well as extreme polygons, etc. It's been fun to show my kids that math is not a chore and depending on your area of interest has a specialty that applies.
I also don't hesitate to seize the moment and do impromptu math lessons if they ask a question. More than once someone has visited our home and stood in front of the fridge whiteboard with our grocery list and a bunch of math scribbles from the last explanation.
my daughter loves doing her math on a chalkboard eisel we have at home
For fun we do math games. For my Kindergartener chutes and ladders is quite the math challenge. For my 2nd grader Racko is a challenge and fun.
I have three kids who have different abilities in math. With my advanced one, we do Singapore math. For the other 2, we have been using Horizons math, but I'm switching the older to Teaching Textbooks soon.
For math fun, we use skittles or m&m's. Count how many we have, we group and count by color, we set up addition and subtraction problems as well as multiplication. We haven't made it to division yet. Probably because they are allowed to eat a bit as rewards.
To make math fun, we try different free computer games for math practice. Board games, card games, and dice games are always a big hit. We really like the game Math Noodlers from Rainbow Resource. Math books like Life of Fred and Mathmania (thank you HSBC for the Mathmania deal this month!!) help switch things up too.
With two very Active 2nd grade boys we need actin and excitement! We like to do Nerf math where I call out a math fact and they have to shoot the correct answer target. We also love roller math, I write answer in side walk chalk, call out a fact and they have to skate to the right answer. I have to keep it new and exciting all the time!
We have "Fun Friday"! The kids can choose to play with Tanagrams or do a coloring worksheet. Or maybe count candy ;) They love it!
I think mom's attitude has a lot to do with how much kids enjoy or don't enjoy math. I happened to really enjoy it and so I look for ways to show that love of math to my kids. It might be by looking ahead in their math books and commenting on something coming up that I think is fun, like fractions or angles, and getting them excited about learning something new. Occasionally we'll have informal math challenges, perhaps during dinner time, in which we'll present a verbal word problem for our children to solve, perhaps related to something we've been talking about around the table. They then like to give us, mom and dad, a math problem to solve as well!
We use XtraMath. It's a free online web drill of math facts. The kids love it b/c they get to "race the teacher" and earn smiley faces. They love watching their grid of math facts turn green as they master their facts. The program sends me weekly updates of their progress. It keeps track of what days they did XtraMath and charts progress along the way. I LOVE this program!
Dragon Box really got my sons going. They ask to play it. http://www.dragonboxapp.com/
Also, we used Crewton Ramone videos to introduce fractions & factoring. http://www.crewtonramoneshouseofmath.com I got some Cuisinaire Rods at a garage sale to use, and they work. However, if I had small children I would purchase the manipulatives he uses because they have more variety and options. They are the same as used with MathUSee, but Crewton is a much better instructor.
Whenever one of the kids get 'stuck' on a new concept, we close the book for a week or two and do math drills that get their confidence back up...once their confidence is soaring they are more confident to retry and they usually sail right through it!
My son is doing algebra ll ... We sometimes have a race to see who can get the problem correct first. He usually wins
...makes the math for sure more fun...
My mathloving son enjoys Critical Thinking's math book. We use Making Math Meaningful for math units. A variety of applied math activitiesboard/card/dice games, games he makes up (mathapault, flinging dice down the hallway, kitchensized number line train), cooking, building, shopping, poems, marching/clapping, music/drumminghelp the concepts come alive.
I provide my kids with a set budget which they use to create a menu for the month, write a grocery list and keep a "budget". Once they run out of their portion then they have to wait until the next month to buy their favorite foods.
We love Right Start math as well. We also love to play the game Double Shutter, card games, dice games, games found on the internet and created on the spur of the moment. We make word problems fun and funny by counting unusual things, like polkadot penguins eating purple pancakes. :)
We occasionally take a "Math Field Trip" to Chuck E Cheese. Talk about fractions when we get the pizza, we divide up the tokens equally among the three boys, add and subtract tickets and tokens, and make sure we have enough tickets to get the prizes we want. The kids usually don't like math that much, but they don't mind it at all on a math field trip!
We love Teaching Textbooks. We have school all year, so I try to mix it up a bit during the summer months. We lay a blanket outside and drill with flash cards. We also play Math Dice.
My 5 kids and I love Rightstart Math. Not only is it easy to teach, but it is easy to understand. The kids were frustrated with too much repetition in Saxon math. With this curriculum however, they learn by playing games  and everyone gets to play. Even our Highschooler still loves to join in good "Cornergame". Now that's fun!
Since I love Math myself, I am anxious to instill this love in my kiddos! EVERYWHERE we go I show them how the math they're learning can be put to practical use. Driving, grocery shopping, at the bank, or planning a new craft project, we use math everyday! I have a 6th, 4th, and 2nd grader, and each one will often point out to me, "Hey Mom! I just used the math I learned this week! These number things really ARE useful!" My mother's heart just sings! We use the BJU Press curriculum, and they do a great job teaching the fundamentals of math with just enough repetition. But I think kids enjoy learning more when they see how they can start using their knowledge right away.
I have found a program called Right Start Mathematics. We use the first edition not the second edition. They have tally sticks, blocks, and an abacus. The kids love the songs, the abacus, and the other manipulatives. I also found a book called Math Machine. It engages the student with addition and subtraction problems. They do the whole book without being asked and love it. We even break out the book to figure out problems own their own.
Our family loves to play with numbers without feeling like we are "doing" math. I just picked up some Learning WrapUps and they are loving those!
Every Friday we do "Fun Math." It's a day when I try to do more hands on math (i.e. solve a real problem together using math) or I let the kids do some fun math review games on the computer. They look forward to a day when they have a break from their lesson and have something "fun" to try.
Love, love love the Teaching Textbooks software for my 5th grader! Her motivation to do the work and learn has greatly improved. We also love the Christian Liberty Mathematics for my 1st grader. In addition, we use occasional worksheets that have fun graphics and work math teaching into everyday lifeshopping, percentages, cooking, etc.
We use BJU Press for math and love the manipulatives and visuals that make it fun to practice. My son struggled a lot with learning math facts in addition and subtraction. We bought a Math Mat which he and my kindergartner loved playing with and jumping around to get the answers right. THEN we bought the FLASH MASTER and LOVE it. It seems like it would be boring as there are no exciting graphics or anything that kids these days go for...in fact it reminded me of the days of Speak & Spell/Speak & Math when I was a kid. It is just a plain ol'"challenge yourself" kind of game. But my son LOVES it and it saved us. Flashcards were boring, and all the math fact games I could find did nothing repetitionwise to get the facts to stick. His improvement has been outstanding and I will be using it with my littler one as she gets older. I echo some of the allowance posts here...we give the kids their allowance in dollars and change which gives them the opportunity to practice in real life money counting, adding, and subtracting.
We love to play games. The kids have a "Whac a Mole" type game on their Kindles to practice math facts. My 8 year old and I bake a lot so we practice fractions....i.e. if we need 2 1/2 cups, I will give her a 1/4 cup and she has to figure out how many we need. We also use xtramath.org to practice facts.
My kids love playing online games so they don't feel like it's math. We use Minecraft a lot for our examples when working problems, our whole family plays. And I use beads on a pipe cleaner to help my preschooler and kindergartener see how numbers come together to form other numbers.
We try to find math everywhere. We look for numbers while we are driving and sing counting songs in the car. We talk about numbers when we are following a recipe in the kitchen, count blocks when we play. When it comes down to doing "actual" math during "school time," I find that it helps if I get excited about it. My attitude about a subject definitely rubs off on the kids.
We play different games (board, dice) that involves using math skills. They think they are getting a break, but actually they are working on math skills! We also read books that involve math which are entertaining yet they are learning! I also sneak in math with my daughter while we are cooking together! Win,win!
Our favorite math skill building activity is simple and can be done anywhere...in fact we just did it on an airplane trip! All you need is a dice or two and a sheet of paper. You simply roll the dice and add...everyone has to do their own addition. We've made it even more challenging by using 10 and 20 sided dice and incorporating subtraction. In addition the first to 100 wins and in subtraction the first to 0 from 100 wins!
We love to do math while cooking, or use small treats (goldfish crackers etc) as our math manipulatives. Then, we get to eat our work!
We love Right Start Math as our spine math curriculum because it emphasizes playing games to practice newly acquired math skills. We also read lots of living books about math like the Sir Cumference series, multiplying menace, and Mr. Base 10 invents Mathematics. We additionally incorporate living math activities whenever possible, things that apply math in a practical everyday life sense like cooking, shopping, building things, and play even more games. Favorites are TriFacta, sum swamp, and Buy it Right. Cindy West's book Loving Living Math is helpful for lots of ideas on how to expand math education beyond the textbook.
My boys love to use their math concepts and more in the kitchen! Simple recipes that are easy to follow allow practice for multiplying, dividing, measuring, teamwork, etc! And as a bonus, when they are finished, supper is ready!
I have a child with disabilities and learning math concepts can be a real bore unless I figure out what he "likes" at the moment and use that to bring alive the math concept. We were learning tens and he was having a hard time seeing the ones becoming a double digit once they came to ten and counting by tens had no meaning. He loved football at the time, so we made tens on paper and put them on our living room football field. We through the football to each ten yard line until we made it to the goal (100) and won the trophy made out of tens blocks on a hundred cube (manipulatives from Math U See). Sometimes math is worksheets, but many times we need to first teach the math concept with a game.
We love apps like Meteor Math and Rocket Math, and we watch old episodes of Square One on YouTube:)
We started multiplication (usually a dreaded rote memory project). However, by using multiplication.com, we have turned it into a lot of fun! The multiplication tables are taught with simple, easy to remember stories/pictures. My daughter was so excited she ran to tell her daddy about how much fun she had using this new website on the computer!
We make math fun through Legos, cooking and shopping. We also like to do a game of "fast facts" in the car.
Okay for all of you out there with MineCraft addicts, I have mine "write" his times tables could be addition, subtraction or whatever with blocks. He really likes making them with fire in the nether and he does not complain not even a peep and is very proud of himself after getting them done.
Games are the best for math! We love using the Math Card Games Kit from RightStart Math like the weight scale (so awesome!), Money Wars, Corners, and Fraction Wars which my 7yearold loves playing. We have some other games we love to play that teach subtle math concepts like Tetris Link, Qwirkle, Blokus, Uno Attack, and Dominoes. We also love using puzzles which teach logic and shape association, and even Lego and SnapCircuits involves spatial thinking, counting, and sequential ordering. My husband also involves our kids in helping him with construction projects that involve measuring and geometry. The kids love helping me with baking too which involves fractions.
For curriculum we just adore Abeka math! They teach math in such a fun, colorful, easy to understand way and we use the RightStart Math abacus to supplement. We do allow access to a calculator (not for use with homework just yet), and my son has discovered multiplication on his own this way without any introduction from me. There are so many fun ways to teach math! Keeping math fun and not a chore is really important. Kids need a foundation in a love of math and understanding its importance for when it gets a lot harder later on!
I think we have nearly every math manipulative ever made! My little ones get to play with them while I'm teaching their older sister (and she joins in when she thinks I'm not looking). Unit cubes, unifix cubes, cuisinaire rods, pattern blocks, tangrams, pentominoes, dominoes, counting bears, play money, geoboards, Legos, etc. We also have the Mathacular videos, which my 5 year old adores and watches constantly. My oldest has found her perfect math match in Life of Fred, and my middle child loves Miquon and any colorful worksheet.
We watch youtube videos about crazy math concepts and discuss them at home. Good channels are vihart, numberphile, and Veritassium.
I use M & M's to teach the kids math. They call it M&M school. I usually incorporate a white board during the lessons. We practice math facts, grouping, and count by's. The candy is the math manipulative. I always have their interest and their enthusiasm, and when it is over they get to eat the lesson.
Books! And I don't mean textbooks. Living math books have really made the basic concepts of math come alive for my 6yo daughter. We especially love Stuart Murphy's MathStart books and the Time Life series "I Love Math" (sadly out of print). Both include ideas for activities to cement the math concepts that were read about..much more fun than endless worksheets and drills. You can find a book list at www.livingmath.net
We love to play board games like Shut the Box, Monopoly, and LIFE. The kids are adding, subtracting, multiplying, counting and more without even realizing they are practicing math skills! This year we put a coin in each of the Easter eggs for the egg hunt  after the hunt, the kids sorted the different kinds of coins and counted their money  They loved it!
We do bathtub math! We have a white tile wall and bathtub crayons. I read a chapter from Life of Fred and kiddo writes out the math problems on the wall.
We play games like multiplication football where whoever catches the football has to shout out a number, throw to the next person who shouts out a number, then the third person it's thrown to has to answer what is the product of those two number...(could do with adding or subtracting), many board games, and some with our coop outside like scavenger hunts for math problems, and sometimes for rewards for correct answers.
The Mysterious Math Carnival from The Toymaker is a PDF book full of toys and games that you print and make( http://www.thetoymaker.com/3WORKSHOP.html ) The illustrations are beautiful, and the little toys are really amazing! The Picky Parrot is my children's favorite, and the most fun way I could ever imagine to teach fractions. They also loved the "clever person award" at the end of the book. It costs $4.98, but is worth more than twice that amount!
As a Christian homeschool family, we want our 8 year old son to be well rounded in every area of his life, to grow confidently into his manhood in every sphere: To enjoy learning during his lifetime all the benefits of good education, having good conscious moral conduct, continual spiritual growth and learning the MATH of managing of money (at an early age) to be successful in all his endeavors.
This "MONEY MATH ACTIVITY" idea came to me when we were having difficulty with his over the top strong will, wanting to harness it in a productive way. We taught him that "if" he has a good attitude in life that all will go well with him. That he 'ultimately has a free will' and that he can use his free will anyway he wants to: "If" he uses it in a good way, he will be blessed and contrary, "If" he uses it in a bad way, he will lose out and only he will be responsible for his actions.
 First we explained to him that everything is a privilege! We told him we are committed to give him love, nourishment, shelter and clothes, but that everything else is earned; even our respect and trust! Bottom line: NO PRIVILEGES UNLESS EARNED!
Our MONEY MATH CHART has a "HELPER BUCK$ LIST" and a "LEARNING BUCK$ LIST" to encourage him to self monitor his own behavior on a chart to give his very best everyday.
On the Helper Bucks List he is rewarded 12 helper bucks for each task he accomplishes throughout the day such as: making his bed, feeding his animals, mandatory chores, with extra opportunities to earn more helper bucks, etc... even getting extra bucks for doing 'special acts of kindness'!
On the Learning Bucks List he is rewarded accordingly: for completed school assignments, physical fitness, special projects, doing extra worksheets, flash cards, reading a new book, reading his bible, prayer time, and participating in any educational technology such as math/language games, learning videos or constructive computer time. He is also rewarded $20 dollars if he has had a superior attitude from morning to bedtime!
Throughout the day I fill in the chart, and take time to consult with him to be sure that I have given him all the credit he has earned. At the end of the day I add up all the PLAY MONEY "bucks" for the day, and "cash out" in the evening before bedtime!!
 HOWEVER  I also tally each brokenrule incident ( $2 violation) for each time he sasses back, is disrespectful, doesn't listen, whines, and even a more severe penalty ($20 violation) if caught lying, sneaking or doing something deserving a stiffer penalty!!
He then must weigh his gross earnings against having to pay up his "Too Bad, So Sad Bucks"'' for any negative behavior to see the bottom line of his net earnings that is actually rewarded him 'in hand' at 'cash out'. Now he hopes to have enough to spend on "PRIVILEGES"*...and if he doesn't, "Too Bad, So Sad!"
With positive "bucks" in his pocket, he can now spend them on longed after "privileges" such as: $20 to play a Wii game for 30 minutes, $30 for 30 mins. of approved t.v. time, $50 for family movie night, etc... He can also use his money to buy bugger privileges (costing him more 'bucks' that require him to 'save up') such as going out to lunch with mom or to have special outings or activities.
This has been a lovely way for him to learn to manage his own daily responsibilities, take personal inventory of his behavior, learn to manage and discern how he wants to spend his 'money' ((most prudently!!)). This daily learning MATH activity is teaching him how to become a good responsible citizen in society, giving him a wonderful way to take control of his life in a positive manner! And he is especially so proud when reaching into his wallet to 'pay' for his own privileges that he has earned!! We see him becoming a confident young man who is becoming very decisive and intentional, without the struggles of micromanaging his behavior in a negative fashion. Now that we are over the 'hump' of setting this activity in place, we are all beginning to have fun!!
Our MONEY MATH CHART is used positively to be effective everyday in the practical world we live in. (lesson: it doesn't pay being lazy or having a bad attitude to only spend his hard earned money in a foolish way having to pay for it!!!  and  that he can achieve ANYTHING he sets his mind to do, positive or negative, with awesome privileges or lack of, to reflect his work ethic and his attitude!)
Soon we will begin to learn how to manage a 'checkbook'! to manage his MONEY by writing "checks" to pay for his "privileges".
This opportunity has given us platform to monitor technology in our home, and to bless our wonderful son randomly, without him feeling entitlements are expected.
Joy In Christ,
LuAnn
*(Note: we did this method of him paying up at the end of the day for two weeks until he had a reserve of positive "bucks". Once he banked up his own cash reserve he now has to pay up "Too Bad, So Sad! Bucks" every time a rule is violated...which causes him to realize how much money he actually has to part with each time. :)
We have a kitchen table with a tile top. We discovered that if we write one math problem in each square using VisaVis or dry erase markers, our kids are more than happy to do "review" over and over again. Something about having permission to write on the furniture! (My sisterinlaw adapted this idea by covering her kitchen table with a sheet of vinyl.)
We use games, reallife situations, grocery shopping, and any other opportunity to "sneak" math into our conversation. I allow my son to ponder a question about numbers and then come up with the answer. He is always surprised when I say, "You just did multiplication!" (or fractions, or division...) I want him to know that math is everywhere and it's not scary, it's fun and useful, too! We also have a subscription to Reflex Math (via the CoOp!) and he loves it. It's not work at all for him, just fun, and it tracks progress for me. He also enjoys the Singapore math curriculum, but that's only a fraction of his overall math education. ;)
For math, aside from the curriculum, we use live situations like others here to teach concepts. The other things that I do for math fun is play games like math dice and Yahtzee, and set up math centers from The Mailbox books, which are really fun. We recently had a lot of fun with Pi day and ate Pie after some lunch at 1: 59 then pizza for dinner. We had fun calculating the area of our pie and pizza prior to consuming them.
I use "living math" to reinforce the skills that my kids are learning. When my daughter started learning about money, we took a trip to the grocery store to compare prices. For averaging, we looked up the value of all of the homes on our street to find out the average cost. This was really enlightening because then she could see how a few high values could make the average come out to be much higher and therefore averages don't always give us a realistic picture of how much things cost. We've made banana muffins to help understand measures of volume, and followed a European recipe to learn more about using metric measure. Math didn't come naturally to me as a child because I couldn't see how it applied to my life. My goal with my kids is to show them that numbers are all around us. Numbers are relevant to them, right now, and not just in the grown up world.
My 3rd grade son needed some extra practice doing multidigit subtraction. I handed him a camping catalog, and said, "Let's pretend you have $425 to spend on gear. What would you buy?" He went through the catalog, choosing items he likes, and subtracted the cost of each item. He had fun going on a pretend shopping spree, he practiced his subtraction, and as a bonus, I now have a wish list for his birthday which is coming up soon!
I always try to tie in practical real life applications when teaching our kids math. I myself am not very good at math so this is a bit challenging some times. But we have fun!
We try to make games out of it for my 4 year old daughter. We add and subtract our snacks, graph Skittle colors, group little toys by color/size/etc. We divide little toys into camps, families, or wedding parties (yes, she LOVES weddings), roll dice to see how many M&Ms she gets to eat. She also likes to play teacher, so I'll have her teach me how to add. Sometimes we pick number tiles out of a bag and she has to add that many stickers to a paperIt's all manipulatives at this point, though I do write simple equations so she starts making the connection. We also try and reinforce math concepts when we're out and about so she sees that math is used everywhere. We count change together, talk about distance and time on car rides, count apples as she puts in them in the shopping cart. Anything to make it fun.
Math and Movement, of course! Even now that my son is older, we still enjoy practicing math facts outdoors, weather permitting. One way to do it: use chalk to draw random blocks or circles with numbers inside on the driveway. Ask him to jump to the two numbers that add to a certain number. Or, to make it more fun, put one foot or hand on each of them. Chuckles ensue when the numbers are too far apart. Tossing bean bags to the answer to a problem (if you write bigger numbers in chalk) is another way. Inside, during the winter or inclement weather, we use index cards the same way. Makes a routine but necessary practice more fun. Also great for ADHD kids.
This may not make math more fun really but it helps with attitudes in our home. I have what we call "screentime bucks" in our home. With them our children can earn extra computer, DS, or television time. (They get 30 minurtes per day normally for whichever type of screen time they choose. ) The rule is that if they can get their math done in 20 minutes, or so, without any whining or complaining then they get a minute of extra screen time per correct math problem. This gives them incentive to stay focused, reisist the temptation to whine, and try to be neat and accurate. They also seem to enjoy the math more since there is potential for reward for a job well done.
My boys are 5 and 6 and I use candy, toys, games, pizza, etc. to make math fun.
My second grader doesn't much care for math and when it came time to memorize the multiplication facts she began to hate math in earnest. She understood the concept of repeated addition and could accurately arrive at an answer if given enough time. But it was time to move on to more challenging topics and we could not until she could recall the basic facts at will. We toiled for months trying to memorize the facts and she still could not get them all in her head at the same time. I did some research and discovered the The Vaughn Cube for Multiplication which is offered free of charge at http://www.deanvaughn.com/ . Within three days we had finished the course, practiced, and she could quickly recall all 100 basic multiplication facts at will. Best of all, she enjoyed the course!
Math becomes meaning when we can apply it to our senses: see, hear, touch, feel, and taste All subject matter including math! We see math shopping, on field trips, on the baseball field, preparing meals, driving to a new location, etc. the possibilities are endless.
Baseball: counting positions to run, count positions in batting order, adding each person who scores runs, adding all batters and subtracting the outs, ratios of opposing teams runs to players, purchasing snacks for all team members and coaches, reduce fraction of players missing to players present, listening to coach announce the score and determine if your team is winning or how many more runs you must acquire in the next inning, etc.
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing opportunity to teach and learn and waiting for you homeschoolers to embrace them.
However with my children and other school children I taught in the classroom, if you will introduce concepts and allow them to use their senses to make them relevant to themselves personally follow up in a workbook like Singapore is painless for them and yourself.
But the best reward and most fun is to find a field trip location relevant to concepts learned during the week. Your children will be eager to complete daily task knowing that when they complete weekly lessons a fun(yet educational) trip awaits them for their success. And you know what has been learned will be reinforced and possibly new knowledge will be acquired!
In the early years K2, we just used Stuart Murphy math story books and practiced math through the various handson activities that were mentioned. Their own toy cars, legos, etc. became the manipulatives. We never touched a workbook or worksheets. In later years we are using board games (ie. Pachisi), card games (ie. Speed, but also a regular card deck as well for addition/subtraction problems), and dice games for example that involve all basic arithmetic functions. We also play strategy games like chess, checkers, Stratego and Blokus. Family Fun & Games (Sterling) is a good resource.
We play lots of Math Games. Our favorites are Speed (find it on amazon), Math Dice (ThinkFun), Mummy Math (Learning Resources), Double Shutter (Blue Orange), The Everything Kids Math Puzzles book, and the Games for Math book (Peggy Kaye)....as well as things like Monopoly and Yahtzee My 3rd grade daughter came home from PS two years ago with alot of math anxiety and she is much more a RB learner  and I am amazed at how much she learns without worksheets and math books!! (and how much more peaceful it is around here!).
Homeschooling Moms!
A tip for helping your kids memorize multiplication facts:
The kids and I have been playing balloon volleyball. If you are memorizing addition and subtraction facts, you can use this game to help enforce the learning. I like it for multiplication, though. It's really designed for skip counting.
Blow up a balloon. Mom starts the toss with whatever number the child is working on, say 2s. Mom says "2" and volleys the ball to the child. The child then has to quickly count up the next number at or before the touch of the ballon, "4" and volley back to mom. If he/she doesn't skip count in time, the game starts back at 2. What I like about this game is that it's constant reenforcement of multiplication facts over and over, because most times, it's hard to think fast and verbally recite the number in time, so you'll find yourself going up the "chain" a lot. It's a funny game, and the kids have fun with it. Also, you must start all over again if the balloon hits the ground!
Have fun!
I have 2 or more kids play a game using math facts. (Also, could use other concepts.) One child sits in a chair. The next child stands behind the chair. I show a math fact to the two kids. Whoever says the answer first sits in the chair. If the one in the chair is slower they go to the end of the line. If the one standing is faster, they get to sit in the chair. If it is a tie, the one in the chair gets to stay in the chair. Then they try again. If one child is way faster and keeps winning, I make it where the slower child gets to see the fact first, so the slower child gets a chance. Or it could be where you show a fact for each child at the same time ( one is doing add facts one is doing multiplication). Those are some other ways to have different ability levels play the game. The kids love it! I have used this game with my kids, at coop groups, with groups of kids I have homeschooled, and now with my grandkids.
I use legos, cars, dolls, and other objects to teach math concepts (eg which car is the fifth in line? If I want to
share the legos equally, how many would each of us get? What fraction of the legos is red?)
One of my children is a little entrepreneur and likes to sell popsicles to the kids coming home from public
school. She sells different popsicles at different prices and has become quite adept at adding, sub
tracting, and multiplying money amounts. She has no problem making change. When we are working on
math at home and she gets stuck on a concept, I often tell her to think of the numbers as money amounts
and she is able to complete the problems easily.
One of my children enjoys doing a Saxon Math math fact worksheet by timing herself  she tries to do 25
math facts in 45 seconds or less.
We also use a lot of computer games to speed up our children's recall of the various math facts. Times Attack
now teaches addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. Quarter MIle Math gives kids speed practice
in everything from addition to algebraic equations.
We use Singpore Math as our core Curricula and there are a lot of suggested games and activities with each
lesson.
My children are 10 and 6. I find fun, monthly/holiday themed worksheets, use PostIt brand of math pages (1x3=____) that they love and find fun workbooks. We've looked at teaching videos and games onlineKhan Academy. They like counting bears and blocks too.
I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old so I try to do things that will help both of them learn. Here lately we have been playing UNO every day (mainly because they want to) and that helps with numbers and colors. We also play BINGO and they have chores to earn their own money. Then when we go to the store they have to use their math skills to figure out what they can buy.
I like to review multiplication, addition and subtraction facts with my son by using a deck of cards. We shuffle them and pass them out as if we were playing " card war." We each turn our top card over and the person with the highest number on their card gets the opportunity to answer. That person gets both cards if answered correctly. If answered incorrectly, the "opponent" has the opportunity to answer and get both cards. I determine before the game whether we'll be multiplying, etc. When we each turn our top card over and run into matching numbers, we'll each turn over our next card, just like in card war, and the person with the highest number on their card will get to add all the cards together, or multiply the last ones turned over and then multiply the first two and add both together, etc. There are an endless number of ways to incorporate mental math in all of this. We know how many cards are in the deck, so I also will do things like count the cards I've won and ask him to tell me how many he should have before counting his. It's so simple, but he enjoys the competition.
I try to provide as many math opportunities as possible: I have math games available (like Pizza Fractions), flashcards, Life of Fred books to read, Teaching Textbooks, Professor B, worksheets, Cuisinare Rods and other counters, BrainPop, and Khan Academy, along with PBS clips. I try not to stress out, just encouraging our boys to enjoy to process and explore math topics that they are interested in. Even asking them to help make brownies or go shopping can be a great math opportunity!
* Throw a ton of change in the pool and give them equations. First one back with correct amount wins round.
* Also have them simply look for a certain amount of money  first one back with the correct change wins that round
* Throw a ball into the air while shouting a math fact  they have to shout the answer while jumping in to catch the ball. Without the ball, they will stand at the side figuring the problem  this forces them to speed haha :).
Enjoy our warmer weather approaching! :)
Playing store with "cash sales slips"  this is a longtime favorite! The kids gather up various toys and books and set them up around a room on shelves and tables. Each item has next to it a little square of paper with a price on it (could be just a few cents or whole dollars or an odd amount like $1.37 depending on the age of the child). Then I (or a sibling) go "shopping" around the room and bring our "purchases" up to the checkout area, where the child(ren) each write out a "cash sales slip" which is just a 1/6 piece of paper with a vertical line to to separate dollars from cents. They tell me my total and I "pay" for it  once they can use money we use play money for the transaction and they make change too. We also act like we are different people and use different voices, maybe buying gifts for imaginary people.
My kids enjoyed learning money and making change. We put out sugar cookies, frosting, and different "toppings" (sprinkles, candies, marshmallows, etc) each with a price tag. Each kid got a certain amount of money in coins. They had to purchase a cookie and each topping. They had to calculate the cost and pay for it.
In a moment of unexpected extra time, I invented a fun review game for addition. My boy is so encouraging! He called it the funnestest bestest game ever!
Here s how to play the funnestest bestest math game ever:
(We used Skipbo cards, but you could probably play a variation of this with other card games.)
I separated out the 10s, 11s, and 12s, and the Skipbos, placing one 10, 11, and 12 in front of me and one each in front of him.
Then I dealt 7 other number cards (numbers from 19) to each of us. (You can deal 10 cards once you get the hang of the game, or as many as you want.) The remaining number cards went into a draw pile, along with Skipbos mixed in.
We took turns trying to add numbers in our hand to equal sums of 10, 11, or 12, and then laying those cards down in front of their sum. For example, if Caleb had a 7 and a 5 in his hand, he could take those two and lay them down in front of his 12. You could play as many cards at a time as you wanted if they equaled the sum you placed them in front of (for example, 1+8+2=11).
If you are left with a number(s) that doesn t add up to 10, 11, or 12, you could draw from the pile. A Skipbo acted as a wild card. You could name it to be any addend you needed to equal the sum, so long as you added correctly. (For example, if Caleb had a 7, and he drew a Skipbo, he had to name it as a 3 to equal 10, or a 4 to equal 11, or a 5 to equal 12.)
Whoever gets rid of the cards in his hand first wins!
You could make it harder by choosing just a 10, 11, or 12 to place in front.
Here are the instructions again on my blog. :) http://itavitaafrican.wordpress.com/ourhomeschoolingjourney/skipboadditiongameorthefunnestestbestestmathgameever/
My kids really like art, so I have found some worksheets/books where you have to solve the problems and then color in the picture according to the answers/instructions. These can be found for many different levels. Also, just some basic games with dice. I have found many free ideas on the internet for these kind of games that cover the basic topics  like greater then/less than; odds and evens; skip counting; easy addition/subtraction; putting #'s in order.....The other thing they love is an ipad app called mathmateer.
I found the Bedtime Math blog on the internet  short, fun arithmetic problems to do each day, linking maths to everyday life. But bedtimes are too stressful and busy in our household so we do Dinnertime Math instead. The problems are split into different levels so my preschooler can join in as well as the older children. Now that we are getting in to the habit of doing math each dinnertime I can make up my own problems instead of using the ones on the website. My children enjoy it so much that they remind me if I forget.
We play a lot of games that involve math and logic like Master Mind and Monopoly. The Life of Fred books make math super fun too. I have even found that playing mindcraft involves math skills when he is designing buildings. Doubling recipes in the kitchen helps with fractions. We have a basket of brain quiz type books and games that I let him pick from when we want to do something fun as a "break" from our studies.
My son drew pictures and wrote a story for each math fact to learn his multiplication tables. He will never forget them.
We like to find active ways to learn and practice math. This is a fun and active way to practice skip counting in multiplication. We bought 12 hula hoops from a dollar store. Then we would arrange them on the floor so there was space between them and the child could jump from one to the next all the way to the end. Then we made cards with the multiples of the number we were learning that day and placed the card in order, inside each hoop. Then as we would count by that number, the child would jump to each hoop as we named the number in that hoop. We sang skip counting songs to help learn them. Another fun thing we did was to have a product race, where we would scatter the product cards around the floor. Then I would shake a 12sided dice, and the children had to multiply that number by the number we were practicing. Then they had to race to be the first one to grab the product card. I have a lot more fun and active math ideas on my blog at fun2homeschool.blogspot.com.
We've been using Legos and Zometool and music. Ever since our son started doing Lego Mindstorms he has fallen in love with math. He makes up his own math formulas that he writes out on sand at the beach. He plays with a calculator or the hymnal during church. He has been involved in music since he was 2. Music is great for math. He absolutely loves music theory because its very mathematical. He helps us cook & bake because he gets hands on fractions. Playing board games is another way to make math fun. And reflex and IXL both are fun math games he enjoys.
I just bought some large foam dice from the dollar store. I roll the dice and my preschooler has to add up the amount in her head as fast as possible and shout out the answer. She enjoys the extra challenge of making it a speed game!
We describe ways to organize our life with math. We talk about what time to leave, how to allow for enough time, how much money is needed and how far to drive and at what rate of speed we must average to get somewhere on time. Math is connected to everything and we must find those connections!
We describe ways to organize our life with math. We talk about what time to leave, how to allow for enough time, how much money is needed and how far to drive and at what rate of speed we must average to get somewhere on time. Math is connected to everything and we must find those connections!
Many young children do not understand why a dime is worth more than a nickel, etc. To help my son, I placed chocolate chips in plastic Easter eggs, assigning values by color. For example, each yellow egg had 1 chocolate chip, each green egg had 5 chocolate chips, etc. I then made a chart for him with both words and pictures explaining the values. I could give him math problems (i.e. gather enough eggs to have 8 chocolate chips), and he would get to add up and eat what he found inside. Very quickly, if I told him he could choose any 2 eggs to eat, he knew which colors to choose! Having the sizes of the eggs not represent the quantity inside helped him understand the values of various denominations of money. And he definitely had fun. :)
We gather measuring cups and pint, quart, 1/2 gallon and gallons jugs and fill the bath tub or kitchen sink with water and learn how they all fit into each other.
We play a game using regular playing cards (no queens, kings, etc...). Each person picks up two cards and adds 10 or 20 to the first card. We then add or subtract the cards. The player must get the answer correct. If they do, the highest or lowest number (varies by game) answer wins all the cards from each player. At the end, we add up all the cards each player has. The winner gets to pick one prize from the prize bag  fun little things that kids love to win but don't cost a lot. It is a fun competition that everyone enjoys playing and they are learning their math facts.
One of our ideas: Took our son or daughter on his/her own shopping trip to the grocery store. They get a certain limit of play money (allowing for it in our bill), and then they could push the little cart around as their own, and then they would put it on the checkout belt as their own. If it was too much,they had to put some things back, but they got to use their play money (substituting the real money at checkout)
At first you start small with one item allowance, but as they get older, you increase the complexity of the shopping experience. It takes time at first, but both our kids have a very keep appreciation for figuring out bills to the penny now. All of the talking and teaching didn't compare to the hands on experience.
I am blessed with two boys who LOVE math, so I don't have to do to much to make it fun; it just is for them! However, I really love using manipulatives  we have a scale to weigh things: seeing how much a paperclip versus a bag of sugar weighs helps that measurement stick in their mind. Using the inch bugs to measure things is more fun that using a ruler. Recently they "measured" 2 cups of ziti by stringing it and then measuring the strings  it was over 13 ft long!
Life of Fred math books. Written in story form, my son begs to "please do another chapter!" I ordered the first elementary book, Apples, just to see what it was like. My kindergartener has almost finished the fifth book and I am completely sold on this series. They make math fun! Check them out.
One of the things we do is a weekly 'Math Quest'. My son loves math and works several grade levels above where he is "supposed" to be. To encourage and challenge him, I have a folder of Math Quests he chooses from each week. They are all different but are either applying higher math skills to real life situations (such as figuring out how much interest a savings account earns), hands on work (such as finding the area of some objects), or interesting and new math concepts (like Fibonacci or fractals). He really enjoys them and presents his project and findings on Friday afternoons to my husband and me.
To work on addition, fractions, and multiplication, we like to cook or bake things in the kitchen! We especially like to double cookie recipes and the kids have to figure out the equations and then solve them! The best part of course, is eating our math when we're done!!
My four kids love Family Game Night. It's refreshing to see my kids enjoy board games and educational games of all kinds more than video games. The struggle is to make it a priority when life gets busy.
We playing math games and doing mental math. We also like Timez Attack for multiplication.
Our most recent math discovery happened when we were having a rough period with interruptions. I had been carrying on about how we need to catch up on subjects, etc. My husband came in the door AGAIN and my daughter was distracted. Finally she kept tapping me on the shoulder until I shouted, "WHAT?!?" She said, "Give me a math problem." I said, "Why?" She was persistent and said, "Give me a math problem any kind". I wanted to get my husband busy and out of the way so I quickly wrote a complicated math problem and my daughter was quiet again. In about 10 minutes, she tapped me on the shoulder and when I turned to say a cranky, "WHAT?!?" again, I saw laid out better than she writes with a pencil, the entire math problem recreated in clay in TINY little numbers. She said, "There. See? I just covered math and art and when I press this shell I have been studying into it, we are then incorporating science." I laughed so hard I almost fell off the chair. The interesting part is that she not only did the entire problem I gave her, but then added her own calculations to that answer to make more connected problems. She is rarley this ambitious with paper and pencil! And the work was neat as a pin. The numbers with clay were TINY, very detailed and modeling clay does not dry out, so reusable.
We tend to cook a lot, and I'll ask the kids to halve or double recipes, which is a great way to work with fractions. When we go shopping, I send the kids on missions  find granola bars with less than 15 grams of sugar per serving, or figure out how much 5 pounds of apples will cost, or tell me how much the towels will cost if I use my 20% off coupon. There are also some math games we like, such as Double Shutter, Roll 'n Multiply, and Allowance.
We play monopoly. My kids have learned alot about how to make good money choices. It also helps increase their mental math skills so they do not always have to write things down but can answer quickly and accurately. I've done this with my 3 oldest and now do it with my 6 yr old and she loves it.
I have 4 kids (6th, 4th, 2nd and K). We make Math fun, by having a Practical Math Friday. We do a variety of things with this. We may cook, take a flyer and a menu and plan a meal saving money or combine coupons and see how much money we can save. We also sometimes get a set amount of money to each kid and then they can spend on whatever they want, but must stay in their amount without going over. It may be a snack, a meal, or maybe just a prize. This of course is their favorite! The ideas are really endless. =0) We love Practical Math Friday!!! =0)
I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old. When we are out and about we read the prices of things. I also let them quiz me on how many there is of a product. We have created a number book so they can start to recognize there numbers. At home I will set the table (cups, plates, and utensils) I make sure that there is always something missing. Example, there are 4 of us. I will have 4 plates, 3 cups, and 2 forks out and the kids get together and tell me if we have enough for everyone and if not then what we need and how many more we need of that item.
We use lego pieces (the boys favorite right now) as our manipulatives or use the cost of items that the boys desire to figure out 'how much more" our 7year old really got interested in banking and interest so we have found that real life math works best in our home.
We make math fun by baking. We often increase the recipes and change those amounts to strengthen math skills.
We've come up with Math Baseball while we use our flashcards for any subject. Easy problems answered correctly earn a single; questions we know a child may struggle with earn a double or triple; the hardest ones, especially if answered in record time, earn a homer! We keep track as our child or children move around pretend bases and attempt to earn as many runs as possible. Of course, incorrect answers are strikes... and three strikes, you're "out!" which means we clear the bases and start the next inning. Now that the weather is getting nice, we even play outside, which is even more fun!
We use Math games, manipulatives in the form of food, flash cards get to keep if you get them right. Maintain a sticker chart get reward at the end of the month.Consumer Math we use actually go the store and purchase own item with your own money. Give to tithes and offerings Tithes decimals 10%. Help write checks and spell the amount name on the check.
We use lots and lots of manipulatives, and we make sure we dont burn out, by covering different concepts to break up the drills. We also have handheld math games, and several fun math games on the computer for the kids to play. theses seem to help the kids with their basic math facts,
We make up songs. We begin with songs and end with them. It makes the day go by very nicely.
I kind of went overboard for my elders daughter and created a whole new math curriculum for her based on personification and treasures. It's called Arithmetic Village! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/search?utf8= &term=ArithmetiC+village
We have continued to struggle with basic addition/subtraction fact so, to mix it up, we take the pennies out of our big container of pocket change and put piles one to fifteen, several of each, then I give her the fact and if she gets it right she gets to keep the pile of pennies.
We got Math Dice for Christmas which has been a big hit. We also enjoy Sum Swamp and Pie In The Sky for fractions. Cooking is a great way to reinforce fractions and conversions. We also use Sorry for all subjectsthe player only gets to go if they answer a question right. For money we set up a "store" and they get to buy things. My older girl (11) can be the clerk and my younger (7) the customer. We do exact change some and then when change is needed to be given back. They really don't realize this is "school" I don't think. Lol! Hope this helps. :)
Recently we've been struggling with basic addition/subtraction facts. So, we made little signs (that we then laminated) that have each digit 013 on them. We number the stairs in order with the bottom being 0 and the top being 13. I use our flashcards and they have to jump or find the right numbered stair for their sum or difference. Even my three year old likes to "play stairmath." :) For any answers above 13, they just stand at the top and tell me what it is. We love it!
My boys, 4th and 6th grade, use a popular math curriculum. Sometimes, the drill and kill method can be a bit much day after day. We have begun supplementing with The Life of Fred Series, Math as Serious as it Needs To Be. Fred has adventures and there are stories with each lesson. Following the lessons are about 58 questions of relevant mathematics. Also included in the lessons are topics like AM and PM, constellations, and answers to the 'why' questions. Why, when we divide fractions, do we multiply by the reciprocal? He applies mathematics to his own daily life and shows the reader how things are useful to know.
Most of the time, a math curriculum is like putting rocks in a cup. Life of Fred is the water that you pour in the cup over the rocks and it fills in the gaps that the rocks missed. My boys never complain about Fred!
My son loves to play basketball! Each year college teams play in the March Madness Tourney. He prints out the brackets for our whole family to fill out. Then he keeps track of the point totals for each of us. The winner with the most points gets special treatment from the rest of the family. We look at field goal and free throw percentages and compare them. He loves it! It also encourages great family time and conversation, not to mention learning math concepts!
My little ones are still very little. Math involves learning their numbers and how to count. We sing counting games (5 little monkeys), or count items in books. We count blocks as we stack them, cheerios at snack time. counting is a game. At the play ground, i've taught my girls a number game using a hopscotch with numbers 18. I yell out a number and instruction and the girls run to the correct number to follow said instruction. (Hop on the 7!! hurry hurry. spin on the 5!!!), since i participate the girls think this is great . when we get to addition and subtraction, i think I will include it in lessons on sharing. ("Mama needs to give us each a Popsicle. How many Popsicles should mama get out of the freezer? yes 3. lets count them. 1, 2.... mama has 2 Popsicles. How many more should she get out of the freezer so that we each can have one? 1? yes. 2 + 1 is 3. one for little girl 1, one for little girl 2 and one for mama. 1, 2, 3. If we got one for daddy how many would there be?"
They love football, so I had them mark their favorite team on a USA map. Then each week they marked where their team played or where their opponent was from. Next they calculated how far the traveling team traveled. I then asked them to figure out who traveled the farthest for one game, how far their team traveled during the season. I also had them do calculations with the team stats. Because it involved "their" teams, they loved it!
We play a game called unscramble for multiplication. You write all the multiplication index problems on index cards, like this.. 1x1, 1x2, 1x3, etc... Shuffle the cards and deal ten to each player. Place your cards facedown in a pile in front of you. One player shouts unscramble. Each player turns thier cards over and places them in a row. Players re arrange thier cards from lowest to highest answer by solving the problems on thier cards (you do not write the answer on the cards but if you have to use pencil, so you can erase and use over and over again) The first player to put thier cards in order wins the round. (erase the answers, if they wrote on them) Shuffle the remaining cards and play again. The first player to win two rounds,
We have used many visuals, we make up our own stories using teddy counter bears! We have done math problems with ritz crackers with peanut butter in them which they love! My little one loves to play dominoes which is a fun way to get them to count numbers! We also love to make up songs to learn our multiplications! They definitely have fun with math! And I do too!
I try to use visuals whenever possible in Math. Cookies is usually the first thing that comes to mind..."if I had 3 cookies and I gave you 5 more, how many cookies would you have?" It's amazing how quickly they can relate to cookies! I also use small dry erase boards to draw out problems in groups with dots or boxes or silly pictures for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and fractions. It is a lot easier than using a bunch of paper, and colorful dry erase markers make it more fun, too!
We've used facebook to ask our friends a graphing question. After waiting a couple hrs we go back and check for answers...it's like opening a present. They can't wait to see what's "inside".
Perhaps this seems oversimplified...however, what makes math fun? When my boys feel like they are making progress. It excites them and makes them feel good. Heck, makes ME feel like I'm doing my job in helping them achieve things. Effusive praising when they at least tried when they couldn't figure it out. Nothing puts a damper on fun better than frustration and the feeling your not getting ANYWHERE. Sure...I've tried the little food enticements for /+...but that gets a bit hard when you start trying to figure out the least common denominator with exponents involved! So...what makes it fun for all of us (I get that way more than my children to...) is knowing we all pressed forward and didn't give up and it was NOTICED. I'll still eat those chocolate chips with my boys any day. :)
Finding a way of making practicing math facts fun was tough. Cheerios were boring, and candy ....was candy. One day I was making cookies and my daughter kept sneaking chocolate chips. The idea was born. We kept a baggie of chocolate chips in the school room to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It was great for showing the carrying, borrowing, and grouping. Funny how she always enjoyed the subtraction the most!
I try to make math fun by writing math stories that include my children's names and things that they like and like to do. We were learning about sales tax, so I made a story about how my son went to the sporting store and bought his favorite items. He had to pay sales tax and then presented the cashier with a % off coupon. I think this also gives him an idea of how much products really cost.
My 5 year old daughter really loves hopscotch. We have been learning numbers but I was looking for something fun, so I wrote one number per sheet of paper towels (still on the roll). She thinks this is great fun to hopscotch as she counts.
We start each lesson with a fact sheet. My daughters used to hate having to do it but now I have them each time the other one and they love encouraging each other. "Go on faster you have 30 seconds left" the older would say. Now they enjoy the sheets and they have become faster. They remind me now if I forget. They've also learned to time from a timer and a regular watch. I have them start at whatever time it is when I say start.
For word problems we draw pictures or charts and they really enjoy it.
We end the week's lessons by playing Flip4 we all enjoy it. My youngest only does subtraction and addition and her sister does the multiplication and division for her.
My kids love to play math applications on our iPad but also enjoy any math questions and counting that we put into normal day activities, like swinging or going on walks.
My boys love to play games like yahtzee to practice mental math. We also picked up a few games at the dollar store to have fun with math. One is a piggy bank and you use the coins you have in your pile to create the amount shown on the piggy bank. Also, anything with food demonstrations helps to solidify math concepts. We add, subtract, multiply, divide, etc using grapes, cake or whatever looks good! ;)
We like to play 'store' by putting price tags inexpensive toys/books and envelopes labeled with special activities(museum, park, Monkey Joe's, etc) in a special box. They use their allowance and grade points to 'purchase' things. The use addition, subtraction, and multiplication(gotta pay sales tax!) without complaining.
We do math all day long since my son loves it so much. We count everything, I give him random questions and he makes up hard ones for me. I think he actually enjoys making up the questions for me the most. We do a typical lesson each day as well, but we always have fun counting and manipulating numbers through the day. Also, he counts the prices for groceries and tries to help me find the change before the checker does.
I don't get too creative, but I sometimes have the kids stand up if they get a problem wrong and sit down if they are right. I also use a dog cutout at the end of a ruler and say, "Yeah!" or "Boo!" for answers for my 1st grader. Thanks!
Math is every where. It does not matter what we are doing, we make it a math lesson and always have. Our son is now 7 years and he takes the lead in making it all about math. It really is cool to see him do this now. The funnest one we do is grocery shopping. He gets a prize of his choice(usually chocolate) when he gets with in $5 of the total grocery bill. He has his note book and I have mine, we both play now and who ever gets closest gets to get the prize...I won today, but I shared with him, as he usually shares with me. I hated math as a child, I am loving it as an adult and enjoy watching my son loving math!
We do a couple of things. First we play all kinds of math games in the house. We find things that we can count (if doing laundry  how many socks, how many pjs  what is the percentage of items that get hung up, etc.), for fractions, we do cooking  measuring and comparing is terrific for really seeing the differences between the sizes. Then when we go out  grocery stores  which item is cheaper (figure out the cost per ounce, etc.); if shopping  it says 10% off, what is that percentage and how much is the final amount? I think they like seeing how math actually ends up being a part of their day to day life instead of something they just have to learn.
We work in an integrated way for all of our subjects, so that removes a lot of the barriers to start with. We draw constantly and play with clay a lot. We use it when we are running and jumping or cooking or looking at patterns. I show them more complicated things that come "later' and how seeing patterns can shape their thinking. We talk about mathematics as a way exploring and a state of mind, rather than a set of exercises to perform. I remind them that calculating is only a minor part of seeing the world mathematically and, for the most part, we don't do it until we come across someplace where the calculations are necessary and work on number sense and mathematical thinking using ideas from Patricia Kenshaft's Math Power book, Life of Fred books, Art of Problem Solving, Vi Hart, Khan Academy and the Kitchen Table Math books. We make our own manipulatives and do calculations using different methods to keep it fresh and find the most ways we can to understand what is "really" happening. The kids are not mathy but they started a Math Club and we do math as part of that ... it gets very silly and that also helps. We do zero drill. But we do sing songs and play different games that rely on knowing or learning math facts up to 20. (My kids are
Making math fun in our house can be a challenge some days and fine others...lol! My older son hates math and my younger one loves it! So we have created games. Like paper hopstoch ( where the obeject is to read a flash card and then hope on the answer as fast as you can) which we play right in our kitchen. We also have made up a racing track on bristolboard and use toys from around the house, a die and flash cards. Whoever gets to the end first gets to pick our morning snack for that day. We also use MathWhizz daily, that we purchased through the Coop and my boys love it.
To make math fun for my 4 yo, we race against the clock. I put the numbers he knows all over the room and set a timer. His job is to find the # in order 1 by 1 before the timer goes off. He is not allowed to pick up more than one # at a time.
For my 6 yo, we do basically the same thing, but with addition and subtraction family facts.
I make math fun for my son by setting a clock and allowing him to race against it, because he likes competing. I also use tangible objects and relate math to every day life, like cooking, doing my budget, etc. Another thing I do to make math fun is play math games on the computer along with my boy.
Math being the least fun subject and the least favorite, finding a way to make it fun was a priority. We chose to incorporate a notebooking style to our Math curriculum. Using templates,art, and making Math manipulatives. My daughter will decorate a small shoe box and make shapes numbers, graphs she designs and decorates that match what ever unit we are doing. Or she will use templates and make flap books, matchbooks, shutterfolds,etc to show her work. By using her own artwork and creativity it allows her to aid in and retain more difficult concepts.We then store each unit in a colorful file folder that we hole punch, lable and put in a 3 ring binder. It gives her an encyclopedia style book she made and can easily reference for review.
Math being the least fun subject and the least favorite, finding a way to make it fun was a priority. We chose to incorporate a notebooking style to our Math curriculum. Using templates,art, and making Math manipulatives. My daughter will decorate a small shoe box and make shapes numbers, graphs she designs and decorates that match what ever unit we are doing. Or she will use templates and make flap books, matchbooks, shutterfolds,etc to show her work. By using her own artwork and creativity it allows her to aid in and retain more difficult concepts.We then store each unit in a colorful file folder that we hole punch, lable and put in a 3 ring binder. It gives her an encyclopedia style book she made and can easily reference for review.
Every Spring Break, I tend to take my 3 kids away for a few days. Because it's just me and the kids, as Dad has used up all of his holiday time by then!, we turn it into a fun way of learning about money and the value of money. I give the kids our per diem per day, and we all decide together with pen and paper, or calculators, what we're going to eat that day  will it be diner, or fine dining, and if we do that, how much will it cost?
Does it fit into our per diem? If they pick an expensive restaurant, then, we'll go there for brunch, and have a light supper. We always make sure that there's enough money left over to take in at least 1 attraction of that particular city! It's a fun, cooperative way for the kids to learn about money and, more importantly, the value of money.
When my children were small, I allowed them to use crayons, colored pencils , or ink to complete some math pages. Using a white board makes it fun. We have a multiplication bingo game we've played. Now we enjoy math related games like Yahtzee, Rumis, & Rummikub. We have practiced math place values, facts and problem solving by making problems to solve by drawing cards from an Uno deck. This can be limitless as you can draw cards that make values into the thousands. I also bought a dollar store beach ball and wrote facts or numbers on each panel. We played catch, then they applied an operation : +, , x, or divide the two numbers their hands were near when they caught the ball. Currently, for my high schoolers, I use Quarter Mile Math for skills retention & speed.
Squinkie STORY PROBLEMS My K5 student enjoys using toys for her math manipulatives. She especially loves when I make up "math stories" with her Squinkies. It's a simple and fun introduction to word problems.
I have a 17, 13, 11,11,10,8 this is my second group of homeschoolers. I found hands on learning. Creating and referencing daytoday activities with Math helps children retain information. For example, my girls help cook using Math so the portions they make are exactly how much we eat. My sons however I use sports ahd basic building tools to help with the larnng of math and showing them heir ability to create with their minds and hands.
When you have 4 kids 7 & under, the BEST way to learn math is to EAT IT! Sometimes it's addition (and subtraction ;) with chikcen nuggets. Sometimes it's division with Papa John's pizza! We also use workbooks and MathRider. Just ordered Maria Miller's Mammoth Math, we'll see how that goes :) Oh, and the "one more" concept is best taught by M&Ms!
When teaching our kids to put together small lego kits, I show them how to count the bumps. First we count the number in one row, then then number of rows. This leads to adding and eventually, multiplying. We also look at the pictures to see if they match the legos. Later, we count how many bumps across and how many up or down. This helps prepare for graphing. Recognizing shapes that have been rotated is also a math skill. All this can be done with prereaders or slow readers.
I use seasonal worksheets to supplement her math program. My daughter asks for them and is disappointed when we are out. Also, we've viewed a few Khan Academy videos. Also, I just found a free math games program online that I'll be adding to the laptop today.
We signed up for a math game online as a supplement to their regular work. They enjoyed the games, but not as much as they enjoy OTHER games. So, they work really hard on mastering their regular work so they don't have to play the educational game. LOL. Not quite what I expected when I bought them the program, but hey, it works ... :)
My children are older, so I have incorporated math kills into our everyday "life" training by dividing their chores into two categories: "Just because you're in a family" chores and "pay" chores. We negiotate raises and "bonuses" based on added responsibilities; some permanent and some temporary. Then we apply it further to expenditures. Some items they must use their own money. Since we are military living overseas, an added dimension is currency conversion. They can choose to be paid in US dollars or Great British pounds. On their own, they have done things such as borrowed money from each other, developed savings plans for desired items, and decide which currency to receive based on our shopping habits. They are also included in our weekly family shopping trips and have been trained to compare prices using priceperunit to select the least expensive products, to decide when to stockup, to calculate sales (percentoff), and to utilize coupons. I started this training when they were all younger. To make grocery shopping more tolerable for all involved, they were given "exercises" or puzzles to complete while in the store such as alphabet scavenger hunts (list two products that begin with the letters of the alphabet  A apples, B barbeque sauce, etc. and budget games. They were given a budget of X amount of dollars and they had to choose and record how they spent it during our shopping trip. This didn't happen overnight and I had to be creative, but now that they are older the hard work is paying off well. All this has helped them develop a sense of control over their earnings while directly applying math skills.
As a mom of two active boys, I needed something that would help them learn their math facts AND use up energy. So, we now practice skip counting and other math facts while jumping on the trampoline, while bouncing a ball, while kicking a ball to mom......you get the picture!! They love it!
I made up "menus" with my kids favorite restaurant foods and assigned them prices. The kids picked a name for their restaurant and we printed and laminated the menus. They love to take turns being the waiter/waitresses, cashiers and customers and get a chance to use math that makes sense to them since it is something they know they will really use.
Now, they like to look at the bill when we really eat out and make sure it's calculated correctly.
In addition to using childfriendly curriculum, we try to play a lot of games that use math  Fudge, KnockOut, Pirates and Plunder, Mall Math and others. Also, I always try to point out where use is math in our regular lives, be it deciding in what fractions to cut a sandwich, talking about the physics used in constructing bridges. For older kids, I've found some of Key Curriculum Press's titles to really fascinate  "Functional Melodies", for example, explores the connection between music and mathematics through algebra, geometry, etc..
I am just finishing a "Circus Math" lapbook with my 6 year old twins. This simple adding has given them confidence, especially my one daughter who says she hates math. :o( They love playing the creative addition games at the end that summarizes all they've learned. Not only are they learning math, but they are also improving their cutting skills since I have them activitly participate in getting the lapbook together. Next week they get to show their creativity as we put the lapbook together! The have so much fun and are so proud of their work!! (and so am I!)
I take my 3 kids ages (1yr6yrs) to the grocery store with me. I point out prices, etc. We add up items as we go, then discuss the check out process. When we get the receipt I talk about the fact that we need to hold on to it so when we get home we can record and keep track of how much we have spent.
My husband does much of the math training since he is a math teacher in his job. He will often relate math to real life situations to help in understanding and make it fun. So he and our daughter (7) will play restaurant or store, writing up price lists, using play money, doing the equations required, and making change. She loves it!
My youngest daughter started learning about fractions this week and was having a hard time "grasping" the concept, so we cut up an apple in her lesson yesterday to demonstrate the concept. It really helped with that "lightbulb moment"! We've also played Time Bingo, made our own flash cards and they've helped me with cooking/baking too.
My daughter hates grocery shopping, so to stop her asking repeatedly "How much more do you need?" I hand her my phone and let her add what we have in the cart on the phone calcutalor. We also play Monopoly and Life. Another game we play is we each roll the dice and multiply the numbers together, the first person to get to 1000 wins and gets to pick a small treat.
To practice ordering fractions with unlike denominators with our ten year old son and to prepare him for real life use of those skills, he uses ratchets and wrenches. He keeps several bags filled with different sets up to 32nds at his desk. In each of the bags is a list of fractions represented by the tools enclosed. He sets the tools aside to order the fractions on paper then checks his work by putting the tools in the same order and comparing the size. Not only is he getting a good grasp of fraction values, but it will be so nice in the future, as he is repairing a piece of equipment, to be able to glance down and correctly choose the next size tool without having to set the tools side by side nor having to get a pencil and paper to convert the denominators.
We add the groceries up in our heads as we go shopping. If our son (he is in grade 1) guesses how much it will all cost within $5 he gets to purchase a treat. He has a blast doing this and gets so very excited when he gets close. The closest he has gotten was 0.08, his reaction was priceless.
We love to get up and move!! When doing division for instance I made the division steps on pieces of paper and put them on the floor then she would jump to the first step and go to the white board and start working that part of the problem ,then jump to the second step and go to the white board and start working on the next step of the problem and so on. The four steps are divide, times, subtract and bring down .It is always fun to incorporate a game into learning I have found out. They catch on faster and remember longer!!
I like to teach my daughters their math in real world situations, so they can not only understand the method, but the purpose. If it is just done out of a book or off of worksheets, it is just numbers and too abstract. When we go shopping they have to add up the groceries and see if they gat the subtotal right. Stuff like that, it has made it so much easier for them to grasp.
I went to the bank and got a few rolls of fresh, shiny coins. We began by counting with them and adding, subtracting. He likes for me to make up "bills" so he can pay the amount with his coins which has led to the early concepts of represen...tation as well as counting by 5's and 10's. Also helps with less and more than, and IOUs have been his first concept of negative numbers. To make it all easy to remember I photocopied each type of coin onto a page and wrote it's name and value next to it. So much fun!
With one child that has math difficulties, we try all kinds of things to make math fun. We use different curriculums and handson materials whenever possible. For fractions, overlays are the best! The youngest child thinks math is fun anyway, and claps her hands when I say, "It's test time." Recently the eldest started a math vocabulary notebook, to help her with some math language issues and is now making B's on her math. Hallelujah!
We have recently begun to supplement our math curriculum with Khan Academy online. My boys really enjoy this more than their regular math! The like being able to see the progress they are making on the big board.
We use a variety of different curricula and games to keep things fun and interesting. We use Rightstart, Math Mammoth and Life of Fred. We play various card games, and just try to use living mathcooking, baking, saving for a special toy. This keeps it fun and makes the numbers feel real!
I do my best to do math away from the "desk" as much as we can... baking and cooking (measuring, counting, multiplying and dividing recipes), trips to the store (money, adding, fractions, decimals, and percentages for sale items), crafts (cross stitch, knitting, and crochet are counting; weaving is good for patterns and measuring as well as predictions; drawing and sculpture are good for measuring, scaling, and geometry); field trips (algebra, distance and speed measurements). I make sure while we're doing said fun activity/problem that I point out that they're learning math. They're always so surprised!
We have been trying involve our girls in real life money issues...helping write out the bills, clipping coupons and comparing items at the grocery store, going to the bank with us and going inside to the teller, not the driveup...They feel grown up and it's a little bit of math at the same time!
My boys love Legos, so I create math problems that involve Legos. With my younger child, we look at the number of pieces in a set at the store or in a Lego catalog and learn about rounding numbers. We also learn about decimal addition (as Lego prices ALWAYS end in 99 cents), and talk about fractions (what fraction of the Lego pieces in a set are red, yellow, etc.) For my older son who is a fan of the minifigures series, we talk about the probability of getting a particular figure. For example, find the probability of getting a female minifigure OR a minifigure with two accessories, or determine the ratio of nonhuman character minifigures to the total number of minifigures in a series. We also incorporate functions in Lego math problems, and show solutions in visually, numerically, symbolically, and in words whenever possible. The ideas are practically endless...
Board games! My daughter (5) gives me difficulties when I try to get her to do workbook pages or answer math questions for me. But if I pull out a numberheavy game, she's happy to do math problems over and over. A current favorite is Number Ninjas. Math Dice Jr. is good, too. In HiHo CherryO, I added a rule that we have to say how many cherries are left when we lose or add berries  getting a little bit of addition and subtraction in.
When my 6, 7, or 9 year old (two with disabilities) have trouble understanding concepts in print, I get out the Legos or Duplos. Though we have math manipulatives too, somehow by pulling out something in the "toy' category rather than "math" category, their attitude changes. I've also had great success with my dyslexic learning her times tables with Times Tales from Trigger Memory Systems.
I am finding that my boys (5 & 3) both enjoy flashcards  from calling out numbers & putting them in order to adding & subtracting. They also love playing store. I have a container of real coins & they divide the coins (pennies, nickels, dimes, & quarters) & place each group from least to greatest & then proceed to "purchase" their favorite toys I've marked with price tags. Both LOVE playing store & it's wonderful to see my 5yr old help little brother recall coin value & how much he needs to "pay" mom:)
I let my kids choose Dominos and Monopoly after they have finished their math assignments. They get to take a break from "work"and have fun. Little do they know they are improving their math and decision making skills all at once.
At times our ds hits a road block. So that's what we do. We pull out a Road BLock. We have created a MathMAZING Race... and he has a certain amount of time to complete all the clues to the Road Block  (using a previously learned process or equation or solution) once completed depending on what time it took to get finished with the MathMAZING Race  will pull out a number coupon. On the back of the coupon is some type of reward for his extra effort. Usually  he is good to go after that because the energy created gives him a new thrust to keep going.
Avoid teaching algorithms and "shortcuts" before conceptual understanding. Short, frequent practices work best for retention of skills.
We use Math U See which makes use of manipulative blocks  always fun  but the real excitement comes when you know what you are doing and can actually do it correctly! As a former "math failure" I am experiencing this firsthand!
One of my kids' favorite activities is playing "Roadblock." I made a "city" on a piece of cardboard, then covered it with contact paper. It has a road winding through it. I use it to review anything from math facts to spelling words. If they miss one, they have to go back and start over. They get a prize for finishing within 2 or 3 tries (depending on what I am reviewing). My sons hate to write, so sometimes I will write the answers to all of their math problems on stickers. They have to solve the problems, then find the right sticker. This works great for fact review pages! Sometimes we move around while practicing facts, like jumping for each one, or throwing a ball, or something like that.
We liked having a "mathathon." Last year I made a "hitting the wall" marathon game to review the things my daughter needed. We had 26 short activities and problems to solve just like the 26 miles for a marathon. The cardboard wall had tissue paper holes that she "hit the wall" when she was ready for the next challenge. We made mathlete Tshirts, had water breaks, and even had a streamer line for her to break through when she finished complete with medal. It was a great way to finish up the year and tie up all the loose ends.
We do "real life" math as much as possible...if we need six keys and we have two, how many more do we order? How many apples make 1 lb? Is that number different for grapes? My son loves applicability, so we try to apply everywhere we can. We even did rudimentary fractals using mom's quilting patterns! We also sing whatever we can...after all, I remember all the capitals of South America from a song I learned in 1st grade...so we've already memorized the times tables sung to his favorite tunes.
We get up and move  times tables are done while throwing the football back and forth. We take breaks between problems and run up and down the hill. We skip while skip counting. Anytime we can move while doing math, it makes it more fun.
My oldest has just been starting math (she's five) and was really taking a dislike to it. She insists that she won't need math because she's going to be a dance teacher when she grows up (who apparently don't need to know any math, according to her). So I started "ballerina math." I made a bunch of little games using ballerinas to teach number recognition, skip counting, understanding place value, comparative size, basic addition, and writing numbers. It's based on activities that a dance teacher would have to do in her studio: taking attendance, arranging the program and choreography, etc. She still doesn't love math, but she does at least accept it more readily when it's about being a dance teacher. :)
A few of the ways I keep math work fun is (1) have a white board day when all problems can be done on the white board in a variety of colors, (2) studentteachtheteacher day is another huge confidence builder  I allow my children to teach ME the concept and it is amazing for them to realize they can understand it well enough to communicate the process, (3) I provide them with a monetary reward whenever they achieve 100% on a test which helps them stay motivated to do their best.
I encourage my kids to think outside the box when it comes to solving computation problems. When they arrive at an answer I always ask them how they got their answer. Telling me gives me insight into how their brains work and provides them with an additional review, as well. Most often, they have a new and original way to figure something out.
Kids frequently get confused when working with coordinate graphsnot remembering which axis to go on first.
I use the analogy of visiting a friend in an apartment. First you walk in the street (the xaxis), then you take the elevator up to the right floor (yaxis).
The kids are never confused after we practice "visiting" on the graph.
My kids have learned fractions and made some wonderfully tasty recipes. They've not only learned their fractions but have learned to multiply and divide them by increasing and reducing the recipes. By doing this they've gained not only math skills but cooking skills to last a lifetime.
We play board games from Stratego to Monopoly and Wits & Wagers Family. We also play math video games. Our favourites are Star Wars Math CDRom and MathRider!
My two boys needed extra help with learning mulitplication facts, so I created homemade games to help them. One of their favorites was called, "Connexagons." I used a colored file folder as a game board, and on it I drew hexagons in a grid, all sides connected. Inside each hexagon on the grid was a number which was the product of a multiplication fact. I then cut out hexagons the same size as those on the board, in different colors, to use as markers during the game. Using a stack of flash cards, each player draws a card, says the equation out loud, and answers it. If his answer is correct, he can then find the product on the game board and cover it with one of his colored markers. The winner of the game is the first person to have five or more markers of his color all connected in a line (it doesn't have to be a straight line, just connected!). We frequently varied the number of connected hexagons that were required, to make the game longer and get in more practice.
Because the game board was drawn on a file folder, it fit very well into my file cabinet along with several other games I created.
My oldest is almost five and learning her addition math facts. I found my daughter was more interested in learning them when there was some kind of game involved. I bought many math board games and curriculum that uses all kinds of creative manipulatives and different colored cards and activities to help make it more enjoyable. My kid loves beating Mom when we're playing, and she's almost got them all memorized!
My 8th grade daughter has been struggling with math since last year. We use SOS which is nice since its all on the computer. She has a tendancy to read the questions wrong though. So during her last test I had her read aloud all of the questions to me before she tried to answer them. She did much better!
My daughter is 6 and just learning math facts. She loves to use the new window markers to do math on the sliding glass doors and windows. We also have used bath crayons to do math practice in the tub during bath time! One more thing, she has also learned multiplication by playing Yahtzee!
My kids love to use personal white boards and multicolored dry erase markers.
I've been struggling with ways to teach my children math since we started homeschooling 10 years ago. We switched around to different curricula several times. Nothing worked. My children hated math and nothing was sticking. It wasn't until we found Teaching Textbooks that things are finally going well. My 7 year old tries to get his sisters to let him "play" math all the time.
I let my son work out his algebra problems on the window with window markers. He loves it and will ask for more problems.
We like to make number paths with sidewalk chalk on the seldom used road by our house for the kids to race through with their bikes. For example, last year my then 5 year old was learning to count by 2's and 5's. I would make two paths with these patterns and he would have to maneuver his bike to ride over the correct path while calling out the numbers. We would time him to see how fast he could go. It was great  speed and math!!! This year his brother is learning to do it and lil sister is often running behind the bikes mimicking the boys. :)
Manipulatives! We use toys, blocks, our abacus, jelly beans, mathlink cubes and anything else we can get our hands on. We made puzzles out of popsicle sticks last week for practicing number order. I made 110 for my PreK child and 5100 by 5's for my Kinder. I also let them play with their math manipulatives independently. They build with their pattern blocks and mathlink cubes, and they make up all kinds of silly shapes with their pegboard and rubber bands. :)
For my son, we often used his lego pieces when learning addition, subtraction, renaming/regrouping. We always had plenty of pieces with which to work. While we didn't use them much for multiplication/division, I'm supposing they could be used for this when multiplying/dividing smaller numbers.
Very simply, we take the math off the page and onto the sidewalk! Sidewalk chalk math is great in nice weather.
I have one math lover and one math hater. For the lover, I use curriculum that we enjoy and go at his pace. At times, this meant we finished three years of math in a single school year. We also have fun with random nontypical topics like alternative bases, Serpinski's Triangle, and math contest questions.
My math hater no longer hates math, but I doubt she'll ever love it. We switched curriculum (now MathUSee). She spent half a year solidifying fractions with Life of Fred; I stayed completed hands off for that. And when either of my kids prove they understand a topic, we move forward rather than completing every page and problem.
Finally, we participate in a math salon. At a math salon, people get together to play at math...math, strategy, and logic games and puzzles. Both of my kids love going to these, and I'm working on starting one closer to home.
I couldn't be more pleased with our RightStart math program. My just turned 7 yr old has just started level 3, after less than a yr in "formal" HS and he LOVES it. He's adding and subtracting in his head and has even done some division without thinking about it. This program intelligently uses manipulatives, introduces concepts in a way that children can understand and incorporates numerous games into the learning and he asks to play games and tells me how much he loves math. His concept awareness is striking to me. His just turned 4 sister will sometimes blurt out answers before he does because every day has some oral/memorization review. She's also started to play her own games with her cereal and numbers. We do incorporate math, and science, concepts into our everyday tasks as well, but couldn't be where we are without the great basics that they are getting with their program.
Our favorite fun way to practice math facts is using dice. We get 6, 8, and 10 sided dice. You can add, subtract, or multiply to get points. When they are litte we just do one roll at a time and see who gets the most points. As they get better at math we add up points to 100.
Using games and anything hands on really helps my boys, but nothing had them more interested than when we used M&Ms to practice counting, addition/ subtraction, and to make a tally and a bar graph! :) We have also made cookies and pizza to demonstrate fractions. Food works every time! :)
My daughter is only 4 years old, but she LOVES math! When we do addition or subtraction, we sometimes use nerds to help her visualize the problems. If she gets the problem correct on the first try, she gets to eat the nerds!
We also play bingo  where the bingo cards have the answers to the math problems and the problems are on the cards that we turn over.
To learn money, we gave her a purse with play coins in it. We will periodically tell her that she needs to pay a certain amount to do something  "That will be $0.43 to color a picture." or "It will cost you $0.87 to come into the kitchen." We make it fun and joke about it, but it's really helped her to figure out coins. We'll also sometimes put "prices" on her favorite toys at night and then the next day she "buys" her toys back from us before she can play with them.
We make math fun with lots of games. **I have used black electrician's tape to put lines on the floor that can serve as a football field if we want. Then I throw the ball to either son, and if they catch it, they can answer a question. If correct, they move up to next "10 yard line", if incorrect, move back 5 yards. **Also I have written the answers to multiplication (or addition or subtraction) questions very large on pieces of paper and taped them to the floor in a random sequence. When I fire out a question ("What's 8 X 7?"), my son has so many seconds to hop or jump to the answer on the floor and stand on it. **On a piece of paper I have drawn a baseball diamond and then laminated it. I made little baseball markers in different colors and laminated them. I have a card on the table that says what each number on a die would score: 1=single; 2=double; 3=triple; 4=homerun; 5=foul; 6=out. I can have both of my boys, even at totally different grade levels, play together. Each kid takes turns rolling the die, and then I ask an age appropriate question in math for him. If he answers correctly, he may put his baseball according to what he rolled (single, homerun, etc.). **I have drawn large cartoonish pictures of flies (can also be found on internet) and written numbers on each one and taped them to the wall. I then give each kid a fly swatter and have them race to swat the bugs that answer the question you call out. **I have used a permanent marker to write the numbers 0 through 9 all over a medium sized ball. I throw it to my son and wherever his thumbs end up, those are the two numbers he either has to add, subtract, or multiply. **We use cards and play games, too. For addition, my sons loved blackjack. We "bet" with silly things, like little mounds of pretty platic jewels, etc. **By the way, all these games work for vocabulary, history questions, or anything you want.
We make math fun with lots of games. **I have used black electrician's tape to put lines on the floor that can serve as a football field if we want. Then I throw the ball to either son, and if they catch it, they can answer a question. If correct, they move up to next "10 yard line", if incorrect, move back 5 yards. **Also I have written the answers to multiplication (or addition or subtraction) questions very large on pieces of paper and taped them to the floor in a random sequence. When I fire out a question ("What's 8 X 7?"), my son has so many seconds to hop or jump to the answer on the floor and stand on it. **On a piece of paper I have drawn a baseball diamond and then laminated it. I made little baseball markers in different colors and laminated them. I have a card on the table that says what each number on a die would score: 1=single; 2=double; 3=triple; 4=homerun; 5=foul; 6=out. I can have both of my boys, even at totally different grade levels, play together. Each kid takes turns rolling the die, and then I ask an age appropriate question in math for him. If he answers correctly, he may put his baseball according to what he rolled (single, homerun, etc.). **I have drawn large cartoonish pictures of flies (can also be found on internet) and written numbers on each one and taped them to the wall. I then give each kid a fly swatter and have them race to swat the bugs that answer the question you call out. **I have used a permanent marker to write the numbers 0 through 9 all over a medium sized ball. I throw it to my son and wherever his thumbs end up, those are the two numbers he either has to add, subtract, or multiply. **We use cards and play games, too. For addition, my sons loved blackjack. We "bet" with silly things, like little mounds of pretty platic jewels, etc. **By the way, all these games work for vocabulary, history questions, or anything you want.
We play (or often for real) with their pocket money (allowance), and choose things from catalogues, then work out if they have enough money to buy outright, and either how much more they have to save or how much change they will have. The reality of this, so works wonders in their understanding of how relevant maths can be even in their young lives.
We play pretend (anything... from supermarket, bakery, bank etc) then I give them some play money. I have a menu which states the prices of everything and they go shopping. For example: So I have a jar of cookie shapes I set them up like a bakery and my kids come in and go cookie shopping (as long as they can afford it) they have a blast! It helps them understand how to use their pennies, nickels, dimes & dollars.
My son is in "grade 3", and while he loves math and playing with numbers, sometimes the workbooks get boring. I like to change it up a little with baking together to help with fractions and playing with Lego blocks to help with things like perimeter and area. I also found at first, that while he couldn't always remember that 4 x 25 = 100, he always remembered that 4 quarters is a dollar and that there are 100 cents in a dollar. :)
Sometimes, we will do them out loud, using a white board. I also let dd11 write her own math problems, and we use it in science. The integration of math in so many different areas really helps her learn the concepts, and gives her some choice in how she learns it.
My son was hating his math program. I knew he could do it, but he was taking a long time and getting half the answers wrong in his book. He's in 1st grade. So, we checked out the Homeschool Buyers CoOp and purchased MathWhizz... he loves working hard to get credits to make his "Bedroom" nice and he's doing awesome now even in his math text book. It was a great purchase, and now Math is fun!! :)
We bought blowuo dice. We throw them in the air and use the numbers they land on as addition problems. My 4yr old likes to throw one up and my daughter (7) throws the other one. They're also are good for subtraction and multiplication. You can play indoors or at the park. :)
We play games. My son is having trouble with simple addition and we played a card game using only the number cards and aces. We each had 4 cards and would find the cards that added up to 10 and who ever had the most after all the cards were gone won. Well he liked that so much he decided we should play go fish with the cards adding up to 10 instead of the matches. Then we played snap, with the cards adding up to 10. I was very proud of him to come up with the other games himself. He was learning his addition and having FUN!
My daughter actually loves worksheets! For her the sense of accomplishment at finishing one is great. She also responds well to the math materials "talking" to her and saying how much they miss her and are jealous of the reading books she was paying so much attention to. :)
I am just getting started with homeschooling, and math is my least favorite subject. Because of this I not only try to make math fun for my child, but also for me. ;) So far, we like to sing songs about numbers and count with our food. I also work on shapes with her by asking her what shape everyday objects are and reviewing them on a homemade chart I made. She already has a favorite number  5.
I keep extra, small gifts on hand for birthdays and holidays. When it gets close, we set up "Mom's Secret Store". I give the kids my change jar and lay out the gifts they can choose from for their siblings. I will name random prices for the different gifts, and they choose which one they want to 'buy' and count out the money for it. I also make them purchase their choice of wrapping paper, bow, and gift tag. Then we wrap the gifts together. Not only is this their favorite math lesson of the year, but it helps Mom out!
We have a child with autism who is very hands on but this could work with any hands on learner. We had a small carnival in the backyard to teach about money. Each kid was given play money and had to pay a certain amount for each game. They got free prizes for how well they did for each game. It was lots of fun for everyone.
Also before our last son learned to do graphs, he had a science fair project where he needed to tell how fast an item lost heat. We had him use a number line with hot on one side and cold on the other. When he subtracted the heat lost he could tell which ones stayed hotter by where the answer was on the number line. It was an easy intro to graphs.
Songs, songs and more songs with numbers. We love Schoolhouse Rock. My three year old can skip count by 3s!
We play games to reinforce math concepts. Like Math War, involving many variations on the game war  currently we each turn over two cards, and the highest sum wins. More information is available on the "Let's Play Math" under the post entitled "The Game that is Worth 1,000 worksheets" http://letsplaymath.net/2006/12/29/thegamethatisworth1000worksheets/
Another one is Mathino, from Dr. Mike's math games for kids. http://www.drmikesmathgamesforkids.com/mathino.html
And, we occasionally use http://www.coolmath4kids.com/
Which has fun, free, adfree, math games for kids.
One fun thing we do to review math facts is to take our triangle flash cards and spread them out on the table in a pyramid shape. Then we cover one of the numbers on each card with a poker chip. We set the time and see if they can all be solved by the time the timer goes off. It is great for the kids as it is self checking and they don't feel like I am the one telling them they missed a problem. My kids really get into reviewing this way.
Sly bribery! I keep a jar of change and will throw a handful in the pool when they are swimming. I allow one of the kids to gather all the coins that land heads up, and the other gets to gather the tails up coins. Then, if they add the coins' sums up correctly, they get to keep the money. Exercise and learning fun when they think they're just playing :) If it's not swim season, and they need a break, I'll play a version of this on the kitchen floor.
I use a variety of methods to keep math fun for my 6 kids. We use Singapore for our guide but I supplement with many things including pattern blocks and patternables, tanagrams, cuisenaire rods and activity books, a huge variety of board games, and geoboards and activity book too. They love changing recipes to fit our large family (fractions!) too. My older boys are now applying their skills to computer science and programming too.
I teach my son to count on his fingers. It gets faster than with a calculator and it is highly accurate, and, best of all, it is fun! Counting on our fingers used to be the nono when I was growing up, but in Korea it is like using an abacus. The method is called Chisanbop. We have family championships and what a blast when my 7 years old can do multiplications better than his parents!
I have a wiggly child. Here are a few fun things for a wiggly child to learn math facts.
1. Write facts on a ball. Then throw the ball back and forth with the child. When he/she catches it, he needs to say the fact that his left or right thumb landed on. You do the same when you catch it. 2. Use an old sheet to make a "twister" style board. Instead of colored circles, write numbers in the circles. The spinner will be math facts instead of colors. You spin the spinner, call out the math fact, then they find the answer. 3. Make a life size game board. Use computer paper (or any other paper that size) and write a math fact at the top. Then at the bottom write "move ahead 3 spaces", or "go again". Anything like this. I also like to add some fun activities like "hop on your left leg three times", do 5 jumping jacks", etc. Also have a start and a finish square. Now arrange the papers in any shape/order/length that you like. Use any die that you have. ( We actually have a large foam one that he loves. ) Roll the die and the child moves that many spaces. The child then performs the math fact and task on the card. Hint: You can use contact paper to cover the game board squares so they hold up to be used many times.
My kids love the Sounds Like Fun CD that Discovery Toys sells... and no I'm not a distributor! ;) They have songs that teach how to count to twenty and how to count by tens. There is also one with some addition facts too. They love it and don't really even realize they are learning!
We play War, but not just any war! :)
I made cards with the numbers 09 on them with cardstock. Younger players play war just comparing numbers. Older players lay 2 cards down and add them and the higher sum wins. Then even more advanced players will multiply with the higher answer being the winner. This has helped my kids master their math facts and they ask to play it quite a bit. A good way to mix things up. :) Hope you find it fun with your kids as well.
My 7 year old son and I love to play store. Our last name is Cilley so we have a sign hung up that says "The Cilley Silley Store". We have a little cash register & an apron and take turns being the customer & the store owner. We pull all sorts of fun stuff from around the house & price everything. Sometimes the customer has $10 in cash and he can purchase whatever he wants, as long as he has enough money for it. Other times we will mix it up and will try to get as close to the amount of cash we have without going over. We make it fun by having silly things for sale, or by wearing silly hats, accessories. We have a melissa & doug cake & pizza and we also have to order it in fractions! (i.e., "may I please have 1/8th of that cake?"). Another thing we do is to take out a big jar of coins & I will ask him to find 4 different ways to make $.61 or I'll say "how many different ways can you think of to make $.74?" He loves the challenge of trying to find different ways to count it out. His favorite is when I ask him to use the least number of coins he can to come up with something. I love that because it gets him thinking of how to make change properly & how to count coins the fastest. Our make believe time is the best time of our day!
We play an addition game with one deck of cards and two dice. (It's a real game, but I don't know the name) Remove the jokers, 2's, & aces. Shuffle and deal out 10 cards to each player and set aside the remaining cards, which won't be used in this hand. All players put their cards face up in front of them and can stack any cards that have the same number or face card (suit doesn't matter) . Playing begins by one player rolling the dice. Add the sum of the dice. If it equals a number (example 8) the player turns over his stack of 8('s) if he has any; the player can roll again until he does not get a match, then the next player takes a turn. If a player rolls the dice and does not have a match, his turn is over. The first player to turn over all their cards wins. Face cards values are as follows (Jack = 11, Queen = 12, King = snake eyes (each die =1) A person could make this into a subtraction, multiplication, and/or division game by adding more dice or changing the value of the face cards.
My kids love going to the local candy store with a certain amount of money and spending it accordingly. They need to figure out how much they are spending and tax (depending on grade level). It's also fun to give them their own money to spend at a restaurant...they will make wise choices (like choosing to drink water instead of pop, or splitting a meal) They get to keep the money that they don't spend!
For my 14 year old, I work the Alg problems on paper and he works them on a white board. We compete to see who can finish the problem first and then whoever gets the problem right explains to the other how they got the problem. If both are right, we move on. He really likes doing the Math together and I learn right along with him.
My son has always been a mathy kid and is advanced by several grades. We do a lot of math literature. He's always loved the math books and calendars from Theoni Pappas. If you have a young student, start with her Penrose the Cat series. Other math authors we love are Edward Zaccaro, Edward Burger, Arthur Benjamin, Cindy Neuschwander, and Jon Scieszka ("Math Verse").
My son also loves to learn different base systems like Mayan math, octal, hexidecimal, binary, etc. He loves watching the math courses from The Teaching Company, especially Edward Burger's.
We play math basketball ~ winter time we use an inside nerf hoop! I call out a problem, they say the answer. If they get it right, they get to ask the next problem!
My daughter is in college now but I have many memories of making the rote memory flashcards for addition, subtraction, and multiplication fun. While she despised answering all the cards herself she would gladly allow all her stuffed animals to answer. Lining them all up on the couch, she would answer for her 'friends' while I called out the question. Each animal would get a point if 'it' answered correctly. Although she was actually doing all the math, she never complained because she was helping her 'buddies' .
To practice math facts, we sometimes played Bingo. The kids had various bingo cards that we made, with numbers that were the "answers" to the math facts. I used flash cards, said the math fact to them (e.g. 6 x 8 for the older kids, 6 + 8 for the younger kids) and if they had "14" or "48" on their card, they covered it with a penny. We played various kinds of Bingo: one row, whole card, square, etc. We had fun little prizes like gum, candy, pennies, etc.
To make math fun, we enjoy file folder games and games with lots of movement for my energetic children. The kids sit on the bottom stair and I give a math problem. If they answer it right, they get to move up a stair. If they are wrong, they move down. When they get to the top, they get a little treat. I also like to use file folder games available from filefolderfun.com. The pieces can be laminated and written on with a wet erase marker so the problems can be changed and the games used over and over again.
We bake! We double, and triple recipes and sometimes cut them in half. Lots of math fun in the kitchen.
We play grocery store to learn money. I label the little boxes of play food (that come in plastic shopping carts) with prices. I let the boys (5,6 &7) take a shopping cart and go shopping for any item they want. They have to read the price, count out the correct money, and take it all to the cashier. We take turns being cashier. The cashier has to recount the money to be sure the 'customer' is paying the correct amount and enter the numbers in the play cash register. I started off with change. Some items were really easy like 3 cents but other items were harder like 82 cents. I plan to make it even harder by adding dollar amounts and having the boys make change.
We play grocery store to learn money. I label the little boxes of play food (that come in plastic shopping carts) with prices. I let the boys (5,6 &7) take a shopping cart and go shopping for any item they want. They have to read the price, count out the correct money, and take it all to the cashier. We take turns being cashier. The cashier has to recount the money to be sure the 'customer' is paying the correct amount and enter the numbers in the play cash register. I started off with change. Some items were really easy like 3 cents but other items were harder like 82 cents. I plan to make it even harder by adding dollar amounts and having the boys make change.
We eat! I just have one in K right now, so we eat graham crackers (fractions), m&ms...subtraction, addition. It makes it much more fun. And my daughter can never seem to have enough to eat so it makes for a good snack too. Often when we need counters, I go to the kitchen for goldfish, apples, etc.
We love, love, LOVE "The Life of Fred" books! My son used to grumble with various other math curriculum we used but now he happily sits down and does his math by himself. My husband, a mathematician, doesn't like any of the math curriculum out there but really likes "The Life of Fred" because it's written by a mathematiciannot an educator, it teaches how to think mathematicallynot just how to do rote exercises, and it's fun and engagingthe way he says math should be taught.
We like to give each other high 5s and 10s to prepare for multiplication facts. We jump by 25s.
change to names and words used in problems to familiar/fun objects or people they know. For example, for my 6yr. old Thomas fan, "You have 24 Thomas trains. How many will you have when you buy 2 more?" My 3rd grader once struggled with some money word problems one day. The next day I kept everything the same, but substituted the things bought for "legos" and the people buying to names of friends. He got the problems right!
FOOD! This is the way to keep my childrens attention! We use their favorite snacks (raisins, cheerios, m&m's, gummy bears etc.) as math manipulatives. It works great, they enjoy learning the different concepts (and getting a treat) and you don't have to worry about storage space for extra math manipulatives (which is always an issue here)! It's especially great when the older kids get involved and "help" the younger ones with their math. They think they are being sneaky (just getting a snack), but really they are getting extra review practice w/ math facts and spending some quality time w/ their younger siblings.
USE IT IN DAILY ACTIVITIES.........COOKING, GARDENING, SOPORTS STATS.
My son (7) hates to write anything, so I let him do most of his math in his head. He thinks he gets of easy, but I know he is learning so much more and such an important skill just doing it in his head. Otherwise we play with cuisinaire rods or the math manipulatives from MathUSee do learn new concepts or figure out more complicated things.
We are using legos to help learn multiplication. A brick that has two rows of three bumps teaches us that 2 times3 equals 6.
The way to my children's heart is through art...and food...and story. We base the early math skills (numerals and number sense and the four processes) on stories, in the Waldorf tradition. Using art, food (our two favorite things around here, remember?), and dramatic play, we bring these concepts to life! Traditionally, it's gnomes that carry the story: Gnome Add, Gnome Times, Gnome Divide, Gnome Minus. For one of my children, I made up stories about fairy sisters  much more her forte! She played out these scenarios, drew them, painted them, used fairy stones to move from concrete to abstract. The math was done in water, mud, and fairy dust, of course! Sometimes the notebook was completed in pencil, but more times than not, my daughter used crayon or colored pencil  it's just more lovely and fairylike!
One of the best things I've done to make math fun for my kids is to take advantage of the many programs out there and choose the program that best fits them. In that vein, I won't change math programs unless it is clearly not working. I think change for the sake of change leads to missed steps and then frustration for the child. I also eliminate needless repetition within the program once my child understands a concept. There's no reason for a child to do 20 three by three multiplication problems once he knows how to do it. One or two a week to keep the skills fresh is enough. I know one reason my kids love math is that there's no pointless repetition.
We make math fun by using math for cooking and playing lots of math gamesNumbers League, Muggins, and Fudge, for example. I also use a lot of critical thinking products in our homeschool. Math Perplexors and Math Path Puzzles are two obvious ones that tie into math, but I think anything that builds problem solving or spatial skills helps make math easier.
My daughter LOVES the game "War" so we use it to play math. We take two decks of cards and shuffle them together so it's one big deck split the deck in half (like you do when playing the regular game of war) instead of placing one card each, we place 2 to 3 cards each and then either, add or multiply our cards to find out who has the most. It is SO much fun! And a great way to teach addition and multiplication. You can also try adding the first card to the second then multiplying the third card or in any order you choose, to really get them thinking :D
I try to make it as fun as possible. We do all kinds of different things for math  the kids especially love handson practice as well as computer practice. We do Math Mammoth for our main math curriculum with others mixed in. The kids practice on the computer each week day as well on IXL, Dreambox, or Big Math Time. They love practicing with measuring, weighing, and counting things.
We use math games whenever possible  it seems like almost everything we do holds the opportunity for learning and practicing math in a fun way. Games that involve physical activity are the most loved  beanbags, jumping off of chairs, etc.!
I turn the house into the real world. Well kind of. Heehee. I make simple signs like Penny Island or Audatious Audy's Hotel on the Island of Brian. The kids then come to the Island on the boat (our couch) and the captain (me in a funny hat with a funny accent) tells them that they must apply for a job to earn money. They apply to yet another person in a funny hat (me again with new accent). The jobs are all their normal chores. Some get promoted to manager as they lead the others to do the chores (jobs). They get paid real money. They also get taxes taken out (this never goes well). They then have to use the money to buy their lunch at the Mommy Cafe. The kids love this time and they learn how to apply for jobs, figure out what they will earn, how much the government gets, what they need to get the food they want, how to waitress, how to cook, and how to give out change.
We use an online program, and although my son likes math and I use various techniques to mix up the week and the material one of the best things I have done is enlist a family member to give him two tutor sessions a week via skype. It is an excellent way for my son to engage another adult, get a new perspective/teaching style, and talk math  he loves it!
If you don't have someone to tutor you could try asking a family member/friend to call via skype and simply have your child discuss what they have been doing in math that week or month. You may be surprised at how excited your child will get to chat about
We use Right Start Math for my younger two (5 and 8). They really enjoy the manipulatives and the games. My oldest was having some difficulty with math, and was getting frustrated and teary. I realized that he was mentally shutting down because I'm mom, and he can do that with me. I decided that a temporary tutor might get him over this hump. I found a high school honors student who has to do 5 hours of tutoring for National Honors Society. My son really enjoys being with an older boy who is patient and he is eager to please his tutor in a way he is not eager to please me. I was reluctant to allow someone else to "teach" him, but this has worked out great. My son enjoys it, his tutor is satisfying a requirement at school, and best of all, it's free!
When we go shopping, I might ask my boys to figure out the sales tax on a particular item. We might discuss at least two different ways to figure it out so that we can each decide which way works best for the situation or for our own personal preference in calculation. Then we figure out how much the total price will be. Then I ask what the change should be if paid with a certain amount of cash. I like to always discuss at least two methods of calculation as options.
My boys love army men... So we play army with them and decide how many men need to be sent into battle for a particular mission. (I make them up as we go depending on my sons level) we divide the army men up between my 2 boys and then I call out missions. Such as team 1 needs 1/3 of his men for this mission and team 2 will need 12 of his men for this mission. They set their men up accordingly and then I allow them to have battle for awhile before I interject for another mission!!! The boys have a blast and at the same time review there math skills!!
We draw squares on our driveway with sidewalk chalk and number them from one to ten . Then I write a problem in the ground like 2+3. My sons stand on the number two and hop three times forward to get the answer. They love hopping and it's a great way to visualize the difference between addition and subtraction. Here's some pictures of "math hop" in action: https://picasaweb.google.com/cariandanthony/MathHop?feat=directlink
I have older boys and we have created a Fantasy Hockey League for kids to help learn math/statistics. Each child has to go through a draft system where they are given an amount of money to have to "purchase" players and a team. Players have been assigned values and children must keep to their money cap to form their teams. Then throughout the NHL season, they follow their players statistics (which can all play for different teams) and they follow their chosen team for statistics and through a number of simplified math and statistics, weekly a leader is declared. The children get very excited to document their stats and love to follow their results on a blog. In the end, the student with the highest points based on the year long statistics wins the Fantasy League Stanley cup and bragging rights. Every we draw in more and more children....even those that don't like hockey but love statistics. So many math skills are learned.
We use recipes to work on multiplying and dividing fractions. We either increase the recipe, or decrease it. Sometimes you don't want to make 3 dozen cookies, after all. This fulfills both math and life skills.
We use the grocery store for math practice. My children count out produce, check the price/unit for best deal, bag and tag the produce and once a month we shop for the food bank. They have a set amount of money to spend and must get the most nutrition for the money. They read labels and look for the "2 for" deals. Then I let them pay with cash. I also let them use a calculator as we shop. Then we take those groceries to the food bank. This shopping knowledge has an extra payoff in that when we are in a hurry, I give each child a short list of things to get and we meet at the center Isle. We set a time limit and try to get out of the store as quickly as possible ( politely of course). We call this a "surgical strike".
After perusing "Carschooling," during our numerous trips in the car, we play add the license plate numbers. We all enjoy it and I tailor it to each grade level. My youngest two adds the plates and the oldest multiplies. They take turns picking whether Mom adds or multiplies when it's my turn. The driving time passes quickly. I also have them help me add up costs of things when we are shopping or dining out, especially when it is skip counting.
Use window markers and windows [home & vehicle] and mirrors for solving the problems. We also use card games like golf, cribbage, 13 solitare. They all help with adding quickly.
we play fun math games and count everywhere we go!
We have "fun" books of math word problems. Like Cranium Crackers or Alien Math, and I'll read the question aloud while we're eating a meal at the dining room table. Then the question is up for grabs to whomever thinks they have a way to answer it, but I'll also let them all work together. This is a great way for my younger kids to hear my older kids solve a problem and learn from them. (Of course on some of the easier ones I send my older child a wink and he knows to button his lip and let his siblings have a chance to work alone) Good stuff!
We practice math facts on the trampoline. For example, I will say 3 + 9. With one of my children standing on the trampoline and one sitting, they take turns jumping the individual numbers and then together jump the sum, product, or difference. It's good fun and good exercise.
I have my son help me double or quadruple recipes when we're cooking for our dinner coop. Our kids love to cook with us!
We also love to play math games, such as Yathzee, Monopoly Jr., Blokus, Racko, dice games, or dominoes.
We do many different activities so that the variety and novelty helps keep it fun. Some of our favorites are:
1. Math races  Our son tries to beat himself on a math speed test.
2. Math games  such as right start games and an assortment of other math games.
3. Board games that use math skills  games such as Battleship, Monopoly, etc that use math skills
4. Seasonal / Holiday math games, worksheets, and activities  I usually find these online and we use them for reviewing skills he has already learned or learning new skills. These are some of his favorite because being young elementary age he is always very excited about the holidays.
5. Baking and Cooking  a great way to learn fractions especially.
6. Building projects
7. Video games  Games like Jumpstart World, Math Blasters, etc. We limit computer time, so getting to play these is a real treat and they are very selfmotivating
We only do math in real situations (ages 4, 6 and 8  so still okay for now!) like at the store with money, measuring our rooms for perimeter, area, etc., measuring each other in inches, cooking for fractions. we do not do flash cards or worksheets or anything like that. when i sat my 8 yr old down to assess her math skills last month, she was at a 5th grade level! my 6 yr old is at 2nd grade level! there's my proof! :)
While doing flash cards I throw them in the air one at a time. It then becomes a fun interactive game and my son is running around the room yelling out the answers. Lots of fun!
We play a game called "Don't Fall off the Board".
Items needed: a dice, a game piece per player, a sheet of paper with a 100 square grid printed on it. (The numbers should be in numerical order. 1 to 100.)
How to play: Each players picks a number to start on. This can be any number on the board. Decide whether you are going to be adding or subtracting. Roll a dice, the player add (or subtract depending on how your playing) the number on the dice and jump that many places with their game piece.
(EX. Jane is on space# 18, she rolls the dice, rolling a 6. She then moves her game piece to space# 24.)
The point of the game is to NOT fall off the board by going over 100 or under 1. The last one on the board wins.
We do math facts races with our two sons. I start them on one end of our tiled floor, and with each correct answer, they jump forward a tile. For kids working on different area, tailor the question to the child. We also do this with spelling words, or any drill or comprehension question on any subject. Great fun!
Fraction lunch!
"Nathan, how do you want your sandwhich/ quesadilla cut?" In thirds Mom. This is helping my 1st grader who was needing to see fractions in his life.
Better yet cut after they eat a third, cut the last two thirds into halves, eat one of the sixths, and ask, "How much is left over?" This would fit my 5th graders math.
I started useing a plain deck of cards and lay them out face down. The kids turn two over at a time and either add, subtract, or mulitpy them. If they get the answer right they get to keep those cards. Whichever child has the most cards after they are all turned over wins the game. This is perfect for Mom's like me whose children are spread across different learning levels. It's also very portable, cards easily slide into a purse or backback and are not heavy at all !
My son is really good at Math, but doesn't enjoy writing in his workbook. So, sometimes, I will write out his problems on a big dryerase board that is hanging on our wall, and he loves to do them that way!
My son LOVES math while my daughter is mathphobic. In order to keep my son loving math, I don't teach it formally at all. We do little verbal brain teasers and I have him read off how many points or special items we've won on Facebook games and try to figure out how many more points I need for the next level. He's just in K so I believe this is enough since the calculations run into the hundreds and actual numbers into the tens of thousands. He also plays a lot of Jumpstart and Math Blaster games.
For my daughter, it's MUCH harder to make math fun. She's 9 and has had trouble with math since the beginning. We do formal lessons, but I try to get her to help me in the kitchen as much as possible to really use the math she's learning... especially fractions. We also play games like Sequence numbers, Mancala, even Memory using basic facts. The Memory game is so easy she can concentrate on the math without getting overwhelmed.
My daughter "hates math". Ironically, she's actually pretty good at it. And she used to know all the math facts really well, but has forgotten many of them. The thing that works best to keep her interest up is to switch around what we do. Although math is always described as being a subject that has to be done linear and in a particular order, it's just not true!
So, we do a little bit of addition one day, learn about place values the next, and work with money the day after that (it's amazingeven kids who have no idea how to add or multiply can do it if you change from "just plain numbers" to money!!). She relearned the 5 times table by working with clocks.
We also do a variety of types of learningoral, worksheets, textbooks, online, etc. To learn about negative numbers, we use the "whole body" methodplace the number "0" in the middle of the room (or on a staircase landing) with negative numbers on one side and positive on the other. To add, face forward, and to subtract, turn around. Positive numbers mean move forward, and negative ones mean walk backwards. (Now the child understands why subtracting a negative number is the same as adding a positive one.)
My son has severe dyslexia which makes math difficult for him. He does not enjoy sitting and answering question after question. He does a beautiful job though when he has to answer math questions in real life situations. Working on problems dealing with area and perimiter were proving to be difficult once again so I had him put his book away. He got his fathers tape measure and after making a floor plan of our house, he went to each room and measured the walls and labeled them on his floor plan. He then had to find the area of each room. He did a great job staying focued but when it came time to check his work, I realized he had found the area in square inches. No problem because the next day he got further practice by converting the square inches into square feet.
We use regular dice and also a dice that has numbers 112 on it (you can find them at game stores). We roll both dice. All children can play at different levels. Our 4 year old calls out the numbers, our 7 year old adds the numbers and our 11 year old multiplies the numbers.
We love the game "Countdown" by Cadaco. The more operations (+*/) you use the better chance you have at winning. Our four year old gets involved by moving the number planks when we call out the number. It helps her with number identification while encouraging her participation.
My son was struggling with learning to tell time. I made a large clock on the floor with painter's tape and had him lie down and position his arms as the hands on the clock. He grasped the concept that day. It was at this point that I realized that his learning style was through movement (kinesthetic).
My son is a kinesthetic learner (learns through movement). We made a calculator on the floor by using a sheet of paper for each number and operation. I had him jump out the math question and then the answer. By giving him time to 'jump' to the answer we avoided the usual stress and imminent roadblock. Winner!
We enjoy playing math games. Our favorite is called Giant Dice, sold by Discovery Toys many years ago. Any dice are great for games! Make your own rules, like: roll 3 die, add the highest two, subtract or multiply by the lowest, etc. depending on the child's level. Educational toy stores often have many sizes and types of die that make it more fun! We also use www.mathletics.com for fact practice (they also have a full curriculum). You have an online "real time "competition against 2 other children from around the world. Once a year they have a "World Math Day" where they try to reach a set goal for correct answers to math problems. There is normally a membership fee, but for the second half of Feb until the big day, it's free for everyone! I also try to incorporate math whenever possible into real life. Especially when talking about historical events, we usually figure out how long ago something happened.