Math is one of my favorite subjects to teach. As a homeschooling parent, I love using math in the day-to-day. There are so many things you can do at home to increase your child’s abilities in math.
1. Money-Save your change! I don’t like all the kits with plastic coins and paper money. The coins never look like the real thing, and therefore, make it harder for kids to learn. Just use real money. Keep a mason jar on the kitchen counter. The next time your kids want you to buy an app, have them count out the amount in change, first.
2. Time-A traditional clock is a must. These days, most of use the digital reading on our cable boxes, stoves, and microwaves. No? I don’t even wear a watch, I just check my phone. If I didn’t make an effort my kids would never know how to tell time. Buy a new clock for the kids, and hang it in an area wear they need to know the time often. I suggest the kitchen or the living room. Then cover up all those digital faces for a while. There are SO many math skills hidden in the face of a clock.
3. Sorting-I love to use old egg cartons for just about everything. We use them as paint trays, mini gardens, and I love to use them for sorting practice. You can use any manipulatives you have on hand, money, or any old thing you want. Sometimes just re-purposing the egg carton will interest your child. Sorting stuff in piles is way more fun with an old egg carton.
4. Graphing-I get bored with the overused weather graph. So I try to graph something different each month. Last year, we made a Turtle Tracker. We added a turtle to our graph every time we spotted one in the yard. Do you have any animals that hang around your area? You can interview family members and friends and graph the results on a favorite foods or favorite colors graph. This can be tricky sometimes, because we don’t have a “class” of 30 kids to graph. We’re constantly interviewing family. You could also post a question on Facebook and graph the results!
5. Counting-No matter how old your child gets, counting is a a key element in speed and proficiency in math. Just like you don’t want to spell everything for them, you don’t want to count everything for them either. Have them count their own money when they make a purchase. Have them count their toy cars, trading cards, or Legos. Then get busy playing! Anytime we can incorporate play with learning, we’re on the right track!
How do you incorporate math skills in the day-to-day? I love to get away from the worksheets and flashcards sometimes, and so does my son!