Making Math Fun in the Home
As public school students continue to fall behind in their test scores, more parents are choosing to homeschool. Homeschooling allows parents to control what their children learn and at what pace. However, like their public school counterparts, homeschooled children often do not find learning math to be enjoyable. They may dread the subject and struggle to master basic math skills. When homeschooling parents want to make learning math more fun, they can utilize several techniques to both entertain and instruct their children.
Playing games with their children can be an effective way for parents to teach math. In fact, they might utilize DreamBox math games for kindergartners as they instruct their children in math skills like counting and adding numbers. Children may believe that they are playing and having fun; however, they are absorbing the lessons found within the games themselves. As they continue to play, they retain what they have learned through having fun with their parents.
Along with games, parents may find that Internet resources can be of great value in homeschooling their children. Many websites cater to the homeschooling community and offer lesson plans, teaching tips, and other helpful suggestions. People who want to learn new ways to teach math to their kids might search online and follow the advice on these sites. They might discover that fun can be had in counting household goods, like how many canned goods they have in their kitchen and what percentage of goods are fruits versus vegetables.
These websites also may encourage homeschoolers to utilize math in everyday tasks. For example, if the family goes grocery shopping together, the children may be asked to keep tally of how much money the groceries cost. This task can be entertaining and educational at the same time. As they check out at the store, a parent might ask his or her children to figure out how much change the cashier should give the parent. Kids usually accept this challenge and savor the praise after they figure out the right answer.
Learning math does not have to be restricted to lessons taught by parents. Math skills can be obtained by children’s watching educational shows. Several shows on TV highlight the importance of math, as well as science. Kids should be encouraged to watch the people on these shows build machines, test hypotheses, adjust their guesses, and find success by using math in their endeavors.
When it comes to making math fun, there is no reason to stick to pencil and paper. In fact, the more you can integrate the technologies kids are used to using on a regular basis into their math lessons, the more likely they will be to not only learn it, but love it. So out with the old, and in with the new!
This is a guest post by Sam Peters, who manages the The Education Update and enjoys writing about many educational topics, such as how to stay mentally sharp over Summer vacation.