Regardless of your child’s age, you can always make learning fun, engaging and enjoyable. Summer is a great time for your child to brush up on core concepts or get ahead on future curriculum. Homeschooling math can be a challenge, but with a little creative thought and ingenuity, anyone can learn at home and have fun at the same time. Make up your own math games, use the ideas here, or find free math games online. Get started with a few, fun ways to engage your child with math content at home:
- Show Me the Shape! – Make your own artwork with a variety of different shapes. Cut them out of construction paper and let your child make a shape picture or collage.
- Peanut Pretzel Patterns – Use different kinds of food to experiment with patterns. Make peanut, pretzel, bagel chip, cookie patterns, or try cracker and cheese sandwich patterns. Encourage your child to eat in a pattern – corn, peas, chicken then repeat.
- Pretty Patterns! – Use colorful beads to practice patterning. String beads by color or shape to make an interesting design.
Sequencing & Time:
- Story Sequence – Cut apart the Sunday comics, and see if your child can put the squares back in the correct order. Or, ask your child to make his or her own comic strip with a beginning, middle, and end. Sequencing isn’t just a math skill – you can help build language skills with this activity, too. Encourage your child to try other word games for kids online.
- Down to the Minute – Show your child how to use a timer, a calendar, a digital clock, and an analog clock. Practice telling time with different kinds of races, cooking countdowns, or tasks where your child can race to beat the timer.
- Little Spender – Practice counting money with everyday tasks like budgeting for groceries, cutting coupons, starting his or her own business (like a lemonade stand or carwash). Set up a pretend store or restaurant, and exchange money with your child for toys or food items.
- Computer Counting – For more practice with money, or other important math concepts, play computerized math games like Giraffe Race Time or Coin Counting.
- Measure This! – Give your child a ruler, yardstick, and tape measure. Let your child measure his or her height, the length of one foot, the length of the kitchen, the width of the bath tub, or the distance he or she can jump. Challenge your child to estimate the length or width of something then measure to see how close the guess was.
Charts and Graphs:
- Chart It! – Introduce your child to easy tracking and recording of data with a simple chart or graph. You can keep track of chores completed each day, fruits and vegetables eaten, the number of books read. Use stickers or ask your child to write in numbers to keep track of data.
- Guess How Many – Teach your child to estimate height, weight, volume and distance, and amount with a variety of fun activities. Can your child estimate how many seeds there will be in one slice of watermelon? Can your child estimate his or her own weight? Can your child estimate the distance from your home to the post office? Create your own estimating challenge each day.
Fractions and Percentages:
- Double That! – Study fractions by cooking, sharing snacks with friends, dividing pizzas and pies into fourths, eighths or sixteenths, and doubling various recipe ingredients.
- 50% Off Shop – Have your own pretend store at home. Create simple price tags for items then hold a 50% off sale. See how quickly your child can calculate the new price of different items. Change the percentage and pretend again.
- 100% Fun – Let your child explore math concepts on his or her own with online math games like Dirt Bike Proportions, or Hungry Puppy Decimals.