Updated: Nov 24, 2021
I am not a fan of math. In fact, it was my least favorite class. I just couldn't understand what it was. It was just too complicated. I literally blew through my maths class in high school and college. I wanted nothing to do with it at all. Now I have boys who are at school and have to learn math. I am now putting on my math "thinking cap" to be able to help them with this task I so hated.
I don't want them to hate math as I did. I want them to be able to love doing it regardless. So I am here to take up that task, brush my math skills off and help my kids out a bit. Yes I know I'm silently crying!
I enrolled them in a program held by the Children's board to show them different ways of learning math that are not done in traditional schools. The boys were actually impressed and loved it. They have been attending for the most part and I can see some improvement in their love for math.
Here are several of the ideas that I have seen, that you can also try at home as well. Let me know which ones are your favorite?
Have you also found any tips that you could share? Please feel free to add to my list, or ask your questions or concerns in our FORUM section. I would be happy to help you!
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“Getting boys to love math can be achieved with the right tools.”
1. LET THEM EXPLORE NON-TRADITIONAL WAYS OF LEARNING
I think that this is a great idea that we as parents can utilize to help our kids succeed in math. There is the school's way and then there are non-traditional ways.
The non-traditional ways are anything creative that you can do to help them to learn. Sometimes with boys, it is difficult to get their attention. They are actively playing with other things that are of interest to them. I have found that if you make the activities interesting for them, then they will love to do it even more.
Make math fun by doing different things, such as math games, math video games, etc. I will explore some of these options later.
2. ATTEND ANY EVENTS THAT HELP WITH LEARNING
I like mixing things up a bit for them by bringing them to different environments to have them explore. I signed them up for math games held at the Children's board and they love to play with other kids while learning math.
I think it's a great way to encourage them outside the classroom setting to love doing math not just for school but for fun too.
They look forward to going to these classes and seeing other kids interact with them while learning.
3. FIND INTERACTIVE PROGRAMS THAT ARE MATH-FOCUSED
There are many interactive programs that are actually fun to do, but strangely enough, they do help them to learn math. Some of these programs are for example.
www.abcya.com (currently using)
www.ixl.com (currently using)
www.starfall.com (used before)
Homer (APP-used before)
ABCMouse (APP-used before)
ABCya and IXL are two of the ones that my kids are currently using to help them with math.
Abcya is more like computer-centered games that kids just love to play. I do however prefer them doing that rather than the regular video games so it is a win-win situation for me because I know they are learning something while they are playing "video games". Just our little secret!
IXl is another program we use that is helpful as well. It is not as straightforward as what is required in school. It is more programmed to help identify any weak areas of math that you may not be aware of as it is step-by-step learning.
Once you are aware of what areas your kids need help on, then you can better be able to do the area that they need help with the most. I like that it is structured this way and not just scattered material all over. It also awards them with little prizes for jobs well done.
4. MATH CENTERED GAMES
Many board games are math-centered that can help them to learn math. For example, snake and ladder is a game that I played growing up that many of you might also be familiar with.
Other games such as Jax, Monopoly, Ludo, etc. can also peak interest in learning math in non-traditional ways.
Here is a pack of cards that a friend of mine bought for one of our weekend friend and family games night that I actually love for my kids. It's a pack of cards with games that everyone enjoys but in a more kid-friendly version. However, it can help them with number recognition and counting from early on. They won't even realize that they are learning math just by playing card games.
5. EDUCATIONAL TOYS THAT ARE MATH-RELATED
There are educational toys that can help kids to learn math even though they are considered to be toys. My favorite toys for math learning is:
Abacus - This is great for visual learning especially when doing addition and subtraction.
Math link cubes - They actually use these at school to practice counting. I also think it's useful for home as well. Here are some on amazon that is similar to the ones they use at school.
The Leapfrog cash register is a great toy to use to teach the concept of counting and subtracting as it relates to money.
The Learning Journey: Match it! Counting. FYI: we had the 3 in one set with letters and pictures, however, it was not available on Amazon. This is the same set but only includes numbers.
Workbooks are my favorites because they can be used to switch up math work a bit. They are usually fun, engaging, and interactive for kids. My favorite math workbooks are:
Brain Quest - It is not only a book for math but for other classes.
Number Tracing - Great resource to use for practicing writing numbers.
Big Preschool- This is great for preschool learning math. It also includes other learning activities.
I love to use worksheets with my kids also to switch up math learning a bit. I think that the more variety you provide for learning, the better your child will be able to love math and learning in general. Worksheets give me the flexibility to do different activities at any time.
My go-to resource for worksheets is Teachers Pay Teachers. Or you can do a general "Google" search and find so many free math worksheets out there.
This is also an option to do if you have the time to make your own worksheets. I use Canva to create easy math sheets for my kids.
8. YOUTUBE VIDEOS
I love to mix learning with a few fun you-tube videos to help for memory recognition and retention. My favorite videos are musical-centered to encourage fun for learning math. Here are some of them.
Jack Hartmann- His count to 100 songs was very helpful in counting and knowing numbers all the way to 100. That helped my kids to learn their numbers.
Numberblocks - I love this cartoon because it is so colorful and fun at the same time. The kids watch this program on the television as well and I love it because they are actually learning something.
Preschool Prep company - Their Meet The Math series is entertaining for learning math. We also have their entire series on DVD, which is a very good resource to have at home.
Here are other related posts that you can check out on my blog:
Overall, these are some of my favorite ways to get my boys to love learning math. It is best to do several of these activities to create a more well-rounded and fun experience for your child. I will update my list as I go. But for now, try a couple of these activities and see how well they are learning math.
Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.
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