Posted by: katlea611 | March 2, 2014

Making Math Fun

Math wasn’t my favorite subject.  Sure, I knew the basics but as I progressed to High School I learned Math through headaches and repeated lessons.  And I did not enjoy it.  I sometimes forget my age for goodness’ sake and it takes me forever to subtract my birth year from the current year.  But even if Math wasn’t my favorite subject, I surely don’t want my boys to hate it!

The first few years I homeschooled Nikki and Ethan were tough.  Not only was I getting to know their (individual) learning styles, I was also being too strict as a teacher.  I mean, I would be all “Answer from pages 7-12” even if they hardly understood pages 8 and 10.  Yes, I was trying to be a public/private school teacher in our homeschool set-up.  But now, I know better.  Ethan’s Math workbook has answers on pages 15-17, 25-26, 38-40,… Well, you get the idea.  I know Math teachers would shake their heads at me or gasp at my horrible Math teaching style, but believe me, I know my kids.  If I push Ethan too much on a Math topic he could barely understand (he has ASD so I have to keep terms simple all the time), he’d either refuse to listen, be cranky, or simply lose interest and the day would be a waste.  If I push Nikki to do drills all the time or do repetitive Math lessons, he’ll have a face that says, “This again?!” and it just breaks my heart because I don’t want them to hate lessons or learning new things.

So, we tried to make it fun.  We played Bingo so Ethan could read double digit numbers and we’d correct him or teach him the proper pronunciation (he has some speech difficulties).  We’d play Monopoly Jr. so the boys would have an idea on how to use money and Ethan would add or subtract.  I’d get Math puzzles for them, Multiplication songs for Nikki or we’d use flashcards.  We’d play supermarket and one of the boys would be the cashier.  We’d do fractions with pizzas or play dominoes.  And yes, they had fun.  And they did learn.

I guess I shouldn’t pressure the boys too much about knowing things now, or immediately, or right this moment.  I suppose I simply have to trust their readiness, their willingness to learn and to believe in my heart that they will learn when they are ready.  

And maybe it wouldn’t hurt to enroll them in Kumon classes too. 🙂

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