Teach Math In a Way Your Child Will Love

Teach Math In A Way Your Kids Will Love

This site contains affiliate links to products. All of which I have personally tried and loved! I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

I’ve been noticing lately, among the facebook pages, that math seems to be a bit of sore spot for new homeschoolers. Don’t fret! It’s a right of initation. I mean, if you haven’t gone through at least 3 different math curriculums, are you even a homeschooler?! We ALL buy the “top rated” curriculum, complete with expensive maniuplative set. And for the most part it works. But something is often missing. The fun! The joy! The excitement! Or, if your like me, and by the time you have your 3rd child actively being homeschooled, YOUR bored of the curriculm. But there IS a way to teach math in a way your kids will love, and consequently, maybe even you too.

Math Picture Books

There it is. My secret recipe for enjoying math.

Almost every child loves picute books and being read to. It’s the perfect blend of traditional schooling and unschooling. It’s cuddle time while still learning.

As a note, this post is geared for children in K-6, as there are MANY picture books on the topic that fall within this age range. Though I feel strongly that you could use this method all the way up to pre algebra, it just gets a little trickier to find as many books. When you look at the list below some of the titles for older kids include, The Number Devil, Penrose the Mathmatical Cat, and Math Girls I think this method would also work amazingly for children with learning disabilities and the like, though I am no expert on the matter.

What You’ll Need

  • Math picture books
  • Manipulatives

That’s literally it.

Let’s take a moment to talk about manipulatives. DON’T go out and buy the big fancy kits. I mean, if you want to, power to you, but as a recent minimalist who has gone through EVERY thing in her home recently, I can guarantee that you have plenty enough lying around to use. Here are just a few ideas.

  • dolls
  • legos
  • toy cars
  • beans
  • candies
  • dice
  • real coins
  • printable play money
  • Monoply money, if you don’t have it you could get it from a thift store on the cheap.
  • A wall clock, again, hello thrift store!
  • playing cards
  • uno cards
  • literally anyting that you own in quantities larger than 5 or 10, or already has numbers on it.

If I haven’t mentioned anywhere that I’m frugal, the secret is officially out of the bag. The only thing you might want to buy at some point is a scale, all though I’m pretty sure you could put together a fun science/engineering unit on how to diy one like these.

I’d reccomend having the smaller items like beans or coins prepared in zip lock bags, and put those bags along with some of the restof the manipulatives, like cards play money etc, ready and waiting in a nice basket on the bookshelf next to your math books.

How to Use Picture Books as Your Math Curriuclum

Creat a Plan, Collect Books, and Read to Them

I’d reccomend choosing a topic per month.. For example, let’s say you have a little one in kindergarden or grade one, so you want to teach them all about addition.

Firstly you’ll either go to you local library, or place an order on Amazon for a bunch of story books about addition such as One Is A Snail, Ten Is A Crab, Ten Black Dots, or How Do Dinosaurs Count To Ten. There are a gagillion more.

I’ll throw in another plug for your local thrifts stores and used book stores. I can’t even count how many amazing books we’ve found at both. I’m a huge fan of curating your space and surrounding your child with amazing books, therefore I tend to lean towards these methods of shopping. Also, I have a tendancy to lose library books, therefore racking up such a huge fine that I might as well just own them, I digress, back to the topic at hand.

So, however you did it, you have a bunch of books about addition. You could plan a certain time everyday, or just wing it. But step two is to simply read,

Bring In The Manipulatives!

Depending on your childs personality, you could:

  1. Encourage them to play out the story with the maipulatives while you read and encourage them with instructions
  2. Talk about it after and play it out with therm

Little ones love, nay, NEED to be tactile, as a result, manipulatives are perfect for kids up to grade 4, though I don’t see a reason why older kids shouldn’t get to play while they do math too!

Admittedly, not all children will play diligently while you read to them, so if your child is like that, don’t sweat it. Cuddle time is just as awesome. Remember, we’re trying to teach math in a way our kids will love. Forcing them to do something will do the exact opposite. If resistance is the case, play with the manipulatives your self while you read. It’s sort of a, “If you build it, they will come”, approach. You can work your way up to them acting it out and using manipulatives.

After a few lessons, or once they’re feeling comfortable with the topic matter, you could also ask them to act out thier very own addition story to see how their grasp is. on the topic. So not only only are you doing math, but a double dose of language arts. #winning

So as not to overwhelm, it might be wise to only lay out ten manipulatives at first, and add more and more as they start mastering the subject matter. Again, you know your child and what they are capable of. More on that in the next section about the progression of math topics.

Look For Ways To Point It Out in Every Day Life

What do we all say about the math we learned in public school? “But I didn’t learn anyting I really needed to know.” And while you we’re there you and your friends probaly said things like, “I’ll never have to use this in the REAL world.” And let me guess, you didn’t truly learn it, because you came in with limiting beliefs about it’s worth in your life.

This is your chance to change that mindset.

Show your child how math is used in every day life, and how it serves them in a positive way.

Have them count how many of cups of flour or ingredients you need to add to the bread or cookie recipe. How many dolls they have while they clean up, etc.

What Next?

Once you feel confidnet that they have one topic down, move on to the next. and start from the first step of choosing and sourcing books.

The Natural Progression of Math Topics

This is a typical progression of learning maths in the early years. But remember, if your child shows an interest elsewhere RUN with it. Remember, we’re looking to teach math in a way that our kids will LOVE! Holding them back and telling them they’re not ready isn’t going to foster that.

  1. Addition, Telling Time by Hours
  2. Subtraction
  3. Grouping/Multiplication, Telling Time by Minutes
  4. Division
  5. Decimals
  6. Fractions
  7. Pre Algebra and Algebra

You might want to bounce back and forth. Such as, doing addtion up to 10, subtraction up to 10, then cycling back to addition, but this thime going up to 20, then the same with subtraction.

Afterwards you might cycle through addition and subtraction one more time before moving onto multiplication, but this times you’ll do double digits.

You would follow suit with miltiplication and division, cycling through until mastery is achieved, before moving on to decimals and fractions.

That basically sums up this article on how to teach math in a way your kids will love. If you have any questions, just pop them below. I hope you find this method of leaning math as helpful as I have in our home!

Below you will find a buch of books that we have personally used in our homeshool. I even stuff them in the vehicle pockets on drive days now that I have little ones that read, and guess what they do…. read them. Talk a about win for curating your spaces.

This is just a small selection of some of our favourites, but there are so many books on almost any topic you could imagine

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.