Parents who homeschool their children have the special benefit of being able to teach a wide variety of subjects in a myriad of ways and at your child’s pace. Children are able to learn in the natural environment of a home and parents can capitalize on teachable moments every single day. With some creativity and a few ideas to get started, parents can use the home environment and their enthusiasm about learning to inspire their children.
If the activities are engaging, meaningful and fun, your children will learn to enjoy math and other subjects without even knowing it. Encourage your kid to learn about math with everyday activities like cooking, drawing, gardening, exercising, and playing. Math games make learning fun!
Below are some creative ideas of how to incorporate basic math into everyday learning for your young child:
1. Big Number Bingo – Encourage your child to recognize numbers with a favorite game like Bingo. Make your own number bingo boards and paper number calling cards. Use paper strips or cereal pieces for markers.
2. Number Journey – Make any car trip a learning experience. While you are driving, encourage your child to find the numbers from 1 to 20 on signs, license plates, and addresses. Race to find them all in order before you reach your destination. Afterward try finding all of the letters of the alphabet in order.
3. Counting Cardio – Children love to move and they need to exercise, so why not incorporate learning with action? Try 20 jumping jacks, 10 sit-ups or timed races. Ask your child to make up his or her own exercise to count.
4. Eat Your Numbers – Help your child make a tasty snack mix using 2 pretzels, 5 banana chips, 10 raisins, 15 cereal pieces, and a variety of other fun foods. Then gobble up the goodies.
5. Monster Math – Inspire creativity and counting with a simple drawing activity. Have your child create a silly monster with different number parts. His or her character might have 1 leg, 2 heads, 3 ears, 4 eyes, 5 arms, and 6 mouths!
6. Computing Fun – Allow your child some time to explore math concepts with free math games online. Try games like Brainy Numbers, Count the Sheep, or Number Balls. You can also practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts with online games like Math Pacman. Chart your child’s score each time to show progress.
Addition & Subtraction:
7. Add ‘Em Up – Use a pair of dice, dominoes, or playing cards as “flash cards” for addition. Pick two (or three or four) and see how quickly your child can add them up!
8. Addition Art – Use crayons or markers to draw your own addition equation stories. For example, 3 kittens plus five puppies equals how many pets in all? Draw the story to find the answer.
9. Egg-stra Special Adding – Save an empty egg carton and use it to practice addition with jelly beans. Place a random number of jellybeans in each egg spot, and then ask your child to add the jellybeans that are side-by-side. Change up the jellybeans and do it again!
10. Spare, Strike, Subtract! – Collect 10 empty, plastic water bottles and set them up in a 10 pin bowling arrangement of your choice. Use a small ball to bowl at the bottles. Show your child how to subtract: 10 take away the number of pins knocked over. Can he or she solve to find how many are left standing?