Mar 26, 2020

Make the Most of Math at HomeA student looking up at mathematics equations and learning on a book.

If we use social media as a gauge of the pressures caregivers are feeling around this new idea of homeschooling their child in mathematics, then we can safely say that the pressure you may be feeling is high. We can relieve some of that pressure with fun and engaging ideas to do at home with your student.

Remember, you do not have to replicate the classroom environment. Math instruction at home doesn’t have to include worksheets and loads of practice problems. Instead find ways to enjoy this time together by considering the following tips:   

 •    When playing a game with your child, let them calculate their score or be the scorekeeper. This activity is a great way to sneak in some math practice and make it fun.     

•    Continuously ask questions that open up a great math conversation. “How did you get your answer?” or “Why do you think that solution strategy works?”   

 •    Whatever you assign your student to do, you do the same task as well. This is a great way to learn together and compare solution strategies. This allows your student to take on the role of “teacher” when they can show what they did in comparison to you, and makes it feel more like a team effort.     

•    Rather than dictate the routines and schedules for math time at home, sit down and come to some common agreements. Offer your student options to choose from so that the plan is a mutual one. Some teachers create a choice board (imagine a 3x3 grid with activities listed in each one) and let students pick what they want to do each day. Some might list as the “Must Do’s” and others the “May Do’s.”     

•    Most of all, make it FUN! Celebrate your mistakes and mishaps along the way, and use it as a lesson in what it takes to figure it out as you go. A true problem-solving scenario!     

•    Mathematize the world around you (even if that world is limited to your home). Take everyday routines, like using a recipe at mealtime, walking the dog, making a craft, or putting away toys and look for opportunities to ask a math question. For example, “How many more cups of flour will we need if we double the recipe?” or “How many more green beads do we need to finish the necklace?”

Below are great places to start when you are looking for resources and ideas for activities to do at home with your student.

Dice Games
Math Games with a Pair of Dice
6 Easy Math Games Using Dice

Card Games
We Are Teachers (K-8)
Math Games with a Deck of Cards (K-6)
Card Games _ Zeno Math

Watch for more resources in our next blog post to make the most of math at home for your children.

- Becky Thorson, GWAEA Curriculum Consultant - Math

Category: The Carpool Lane