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How to Homeschool Math

Far too many people find themselves suddenly, unexpectedly homeschooling their children. This prompts me to consider what advice I might offer after more than three decades of teaching kids at home.

Through my decades of homeschooling five kids, we lived by two rules:

Do math. Do reading.

As long as we hit those two topics each day, I knew the kids would be fine. Do some sort of mathematical game or activity. Read something from that big stack of books we collected at the library.

Conquer the basics of math and reading, then everything else will fall into place.

Continue reading How to Homeschool Math

Play Math with Your Kids for Free

One of the most common questions I get from parents who want to help their children enjoy math is, “Where do we start?”

My favorite answer: “Play games!”

And in this time of pandemic crisis, it’s even more important for families to play together. So my publisher agreed to make my ebook Let’s Play Math Sampler: 10 Family-Favorite Games for Learning Math Through Play free for the duration.

Continue reading Play Math with Your Kids for Free

8 Weeks of Playful Math for Families

Yes, your kids CAN learn to love math. Keep your children’s math skills fresh with my 8-week email series of math games and activities.

No purchase necessary! Just sign up for my email newsletter, and every week for the next two months you’ll automatically receive one of my favorite math club activities or an excerpt from my series of math game books.

Continue reading 8 Weeks of Playful Math for Families

Proofreading 2

To keep the books in a series looking like they go together, I use each finished book as the starting template for the next one. That way, all my paragraphs use the same fonts, all headings are the same size, and the titles line up on the cover.

It’s a handy publishing trick that saves time and keeps everything looking right.

Until it doesn’t.

Continue reading Proofreading 2

FAQ: I’ve Ruined My Daughter

My daughter is only eleven, but I’m afraid I’ve ruined her chance of getting into college because she is so far behind in math. We’ve tried tutors, but she still has trouble, and standardized testing puts her three years below grade level. She was a late reader, too, so maybe school just isn’t her thing. What else can I do?

Standardized tests are not placement tests. They cannot tell you at what level your daughter should be studying. They aren’t designed that way. The “placement” they give is vague and general, not indicative of her grade level but rather a way of comparing her performance on that particular test with the performance of other students.

There can be many different reasons for a low score. I’ve listed a few of them in my post In Honor of the Standardized Testing Season.

Continue reading FAQ: I’ve Ruined My Daughter

Proofreading

Still working on the Prealgebra & Geometry Games book. I got a paperback proof from Amazon, which is not my primary printer but could print it faster.

The graphics look better than the first time around. Success there.

So now I’m reading through and trying to catch any of the little errors (or sometimes not so little!) that managed to sneak past all the rounds of editing.

There are always errors. It’s like trying to get all the burrs out of the dog’s coat this time of year. No matter how hard you work at it, you’ll always miss a few…

To Badger a Child

Here’s the full quote:

Audrey seemed, for once, at a loss for words. She was thinking about the question.

I try to stay focused on being silent after I ask young children questions, even semi-serious accidental ones. Unlike most adults, they actually take time to think about their answers and that often means waiting for a response, at least if you want an honest answer.

If you’re only looking for the “right” answer, it’s fairly easy to gently badger a child into it, but I’m not interested in doing that.

—Thomas Hobson
Thank You For Teaching Me

CREDITS: “Pismo Beach, United States” photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash.

Bookshelf Cat

Only a writer who loves wordplay (my daughter) would name her cat Hypocorism. Hypocorism’s hypocorism is “Puck,” which well suits the little trouble-maker. He loves to climb up to the top of the bookshelf by the window, where we hung a couple of toys for him.

When he was little, he used to climb across the curtain rod to the opposite set of shelves. He still tries it from time to time, though the rod bends under his adult weight. And at least once he took a fall and had to grab for the curtain on his way down. We didn’t see it, but that’s the only explanation we could think of for the huge rip we found later.

One other disadvantage to growing up: The places he loves to sleep have somehow shrunk. After playing for a bit, he stretches out for a nap — and his back hangs dangerously over the edge.

Playing Math with Michael and Nash

Michael and Nash have been creating and posting new math games with astonishing regularity throughout the pandemic. Their YouTube channel is a great resource for parents who want to play math with elementary-age children.

Today’s entry: Closest to Ten, a quick game for addition and subtraction fluency with a tiny bit of multiplication potential.

And here’s one of my favorites for older players: Factor Triangles, a card game for 2-digit multiplication.

Check out their channel, and have fun playing math with your kids!

Visit Michael and Nash on YouTube

How to Build Math Literacy

Here’s the full quote:

We all know reading a book each day to our child develops their love of literacy… well, playing games is the equivalent in maths.

Through playing card games and board games (just short and sweet ones) children develop problem solving, counting and so many other skills.

Imagine if every time you play a game you say, “Let’s do some maths.” What a positive association your child will develop with maths!

—Ange Rogers
Instagram post

Discover more creative ways to play math with young children at the Number Doctors blog.

CREDITS: “Falling dice” photo by Riho Kroll on Unsplash.