In this post: Math Games My Kiddo Created Himself
Math tends to be the one subject a lot of home-schoolers dread. Whether it’s because of difficulty in the home-school teacher’s own math instruction, or resistance from the home-school student, or something entirely different, math can lead to a lot of grumbling and headaches.
Fortunately in our home-school, I have one kiddo, a self-directed learner, that LOVES math. He is constantly using math in his daily life, whether it’s subtracting as he takes a milk container out of the garage fridge to tell me how many we have left, or dumping his piggy bank to count his money.
Over the past year, I’ve thrown the planned math lesson out the window more than once because my kiddo came up with something way better. Having found much support and many ideas from other home-school bloggers, I want to share some of his best ideas here.
Scare Crow Chase- A Measurement & Addition Game
The idea of “Scare Crow Chase,” his name for it, is that each player solves a math fact and then moves their Batman or Robin that number of inches forward. Batman & Robin are in a race to see who catches Scarecrow first.
Surprise, surprise, my son wanted to choose his own math facts to solve. The first one he chose was 30 + 3, so he ended up catching Scarecrow pretty quickly 😉 What’s great about this game is there is so much addition. Not only is he solving the math fact, then he is adding the number of inches he is suppose to go to the total he has already gone.
For example, on his first move he went to 33 inches. Then when he solved his next math fact (say it was 10 + 15), he needed to add 33 + 15 to find Batman’s destination on the tape measure. We played a few times, and he said he also wants to play again with the goal of catching the Penguin 😉
His game could easily be modified for any homeschool. Choose characters of interest to your kiddos, and if you want more focused practice use flash cards, or take turns coming up with math facts for each other to solve.
Another Favorite- Not Sure if He Named This One, but You Can Call it Airplane Measurement & Addition
One day last spring, we had been using little plastic jumping frogs for a reading game, and my son decided he wanted to see how far the frogs could jump. So I pulled out the tape measure, and we started seeing whose frog could jump farther.
The frogs did not go very far on the carpet, so he asked to make paper airplanes to throw. Go for it, I said. After making the paper airplanes, he gathered paper and pencil and started drawing charts.
I had no clue what he was doing, but he was writing, and he obviously had a plan. So, I watched and waited. He wrote his name on one side and told me to write mine on the other. Then we took turns throwing our airplanes.
For each turn, per his instruction, we measured how far our airplane had flown and recorded it on his chart. This was perfect for what we have been working on in math. He got practice reading and writing three-digit numbers, AND it was all his idea!
After ten turns, we were done and he wanted to add his score. I pulled out our math counters (100s plates, 10s rods, and 1s cubes), and he counted out each of his measurements with the counters. At one point, we ran out of 1s, and I asked him what he could use instead.
He immediately started regrouping his 1s and trading them in for 10s. He also ended up trading in groups of ten 10s for 100s, and when he counted up that he had ten 100s, he shouted out “I have 1000!” I couldn’t have planned a better lesson for him. It went so well, that I wanted to share it with other homeschooling mommas.
Math doesn’t have to be all worksheets and headaches. With a little imagination it can be a game that you play with your kiddos.
What fun ways or games have you or your kiddos come up with the enjoy math? Please feel free to share in the comment.
Thanks for reading!!! Amy