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Math: The Subject That Bring Fear to Most Parents
Why is math so frightening? Could it be because there are over 600 math terms? Or is it because the math symbols look like gibberish? As a nurse, I have often heard the phrase, “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” Even though the phrase refers to the lack of muscle use, it applies to math as well. If we do not use certain mathematical functions on a daily basis, we lose that knowledge. Hence, when our children ask us for help we begin to perspire. Here are a few homeschool math helps that may make math seem less scary for both you and your children.
Math Tools for Mom
A teacher’s guide is a must have when purchasing any math curriculum. The extra expense is so worth it. Many times I have been lost when my children asked me how to complete a math problem. Thankfully, I had teacher’s guides to help me.
DVD and CD-ROM curricula are great since someone else is doing the teaching. The other benefit is you and your children can replay the DVDs and CD-ROM as many times as needed
Websites such as Khan Academy are also a big help in explaining math concepts.
Use Math Manipulatives
Manipulatives are objects students may use to get a better picture of how math works. They are especially helpful for the visual and hands-on learners. You can may just about anything for a manipulative.
Things in your kitchen are useful for teaching weights and measures. Use measuring spoons and cups, scales, pitchers, milk jugs, canning jars, and other objects.
Use non-traditional objects for counters and grouping. Examples are cereal, paper clips, erasers, Legos, and socks.
Cut out round foam shapes to represent the fractional equivalents.
Cuisenaire Rods are a popular manipulatives. They are plastic rods that snap together to help simplify addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, and other math concepts.
Make Math Fun
Monopoly, Yahtzee, Sequence, Dominoes, Sudoku, computer games, and Chess are a few of the games that require the use of math skills. A number of children do not realize they are learning math when playing those games. They think they are just having fun.
Make a math scavenger hunt. Give your children a list of things to find around the house. Those could be objects that weigh sixteen ounces or an item that is three feet long.
Jumping rope for math drills will help make math more motivating and provide a form of exercise as well.
Baking a cake uses measuring for math. Fractions come alive when cutting the cake.
How to Answer the Infamous Question
Students at one point or another will ask, “Why do I need to know math?” The list below will help prepare you for when your children ask the well-known question.
- Math is a building block for the future. Children cannot adequately function in their adulthood without math.
- Making purchases requires math. If they want to buy ___________, they need to know their math first or they take the risk of spending too much money, not having enough money, or receiving the incorrect change.
- Nearly every career uses some sort of math.
- Math boosts brainpower. Learning abstract concepts forces the brain to think in new ways while building the foundation for future learning. Besides, many children relish on being smarter than another person is, especially their parents.
- Knowing math limits embarrassing moments. Example being: the student is eating at a nice restaurant with friends. The group decides to split the bill and give a 15% tip. The student is to figure out how much each person owes.
Now, I have to admit the above reasons may not satisfy some children. But, hey it is worth trying.
Challenge: Try one of the above homeschool math helps to see if it makes math less frightening and more interesting for both you and your children.
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As a Homeschool Consultant, I am always looking for ways to help other homeschool moms. Do you have a question or topic you would like for me to write about in my upcoming blog posts? If so, please let me know. I will be happy to add it to my list.