No one in our family is a big math fan, but as homeschooling parents, my husband and I realize that it is an important part of our son’s education. Besides being a spirited youngster, our son has mild Asperger’s, one of the reasons why we chose to school our child ourselves. We use an online curriculum and supplement our classes with worksheets. However, as bright as he is, we still have to mix up the math sometimes. Since math is such a central part of many a college curriculum, we work hard to make it fun for our child.
During the course of the past year, I found some helpful websites and tools that support the math portion of our school work.
We play exciting math games. One way we keep sharp with our multiplication is to play Penguin Jump at Math Playground. My child moves his penguin avatar across an iceberg playing field, hopping from ice cube to ice cube every time he provides the right answer. It’s a confidence boosting activity that we use before work time. There are tons of other free games on Math Playground too that cover many different subjects. He also loves “mom-approved” games at CoolMath like Rolling Ghosts. (It’s great for boosting those problem solving abilities.)
We use props-a lot! Sometimes a visual aid is all you need to really “get” a math problem. We need those! I love breaking out the dried beans, paper money and marbles. I recommend that parents think outside the box when it comes to making math real for kids. When kids can see how they can apply the math concept to everyday life, they will get it faster.
We drill, drill, drill. Repetition is the secret of math success. You have to repeat, repeat, repeat for kids to get it. I rely on a website called Math Drills for good drills on many different subjects like addition, multiplication and even pre-algebra. Besides digital worksheets, you can also print paper ones too. That can come in handy if your child gets tired of staring at a screen. I often use the Five Minute Frenzies and the Money Worksheets. These are not the core of our curriculum but they are great teaching aids.