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Homeschooling? Check Out These Math Goodies

How to Homeschool Math: A long page full of my best tips on homeschooling math in a low-stress, creative, playful way. No matter which curriculum you use—unschoolers, too!

Get my email series “8 Weeks of Playful Math” plus regular activity ideas and other updates when you join my Math Reader’s Group newsletter.

My Let’s Play Math Sampler ebook contains short excerpts from my most popular books. Find out how to get it for free, no strings attached!

Math Game Monday: Fraction Train

Many parents remember struggling to learn math. We hope to provide a better experience for our children.

And one of the best ways for children to enjoy learning is through hands-on play.

Upper-elementary and middle school students will master a variety of fraction concepts with this fun domino game.

“Fraction Train” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from Multiplication & Fractions: Math Games for Tough Topics, which is available as an ebook at my publisher’s store (where you get all formats for one low price, and I earn higher no-middleman royalties) or through other online retailers, or by special request through your local library. Read more about my playful math books here.

Fraction Train

Math Concepts: proper and improper fractions, comparing and ordering fractions.

Players: any number.

Equipment: one set of double-six or double-nine dominoes.

Continue reading Math Game Monday: Fraction Train

Parents: Math Is Figure-Out-Able

I love listening to podcasts during my morning walk with the dogs. One of my favorites over the past year has been Pam Harris and Kim Montague’s Math is Figure-Out-Able podcast.

Figure-out-able. What a great word!

Figure-out-able sums up what I mean when I tell parents that math is “applied common sense.” Kids can use the things they know to figure out things they don’t yet know.

And figuring things out like that is fun, like a mental game where we play with the ideas of numbers, shapes, and patterns.

Usually, the podcast targets teachers, and the hosts try to show how they can help students learn to mathematize — to think mathematically. Over the past few weeks, however, Pam and Kim have been talking directly to parents about how to help their children learn math.

Continue reading Parents: Math Is Figure-Out-Able

Math Game Monday: Push the Penny

Many parents remember struggling to learn math. We hope to provide a better experience for our children.

And one of the best ways for children to enjoy learning is through hands-on play.

This game offers young children a chance to practice counting and early addition skills while racing to beat their parents.

“Push the Penny” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from Math You Can Play Combo: Number Games for Young Learners, which is available as an ebook at my publisher’s store (where you get all formats for one low price, and I earn higher no-middleman royalties) or through other online retailers, or by special request through your local library. Read more about my playful math books here.

Push the Penny

Math Concepts: addition to one hundred, thinking ahead.

Players: two or more.

Equipment: playing cards (remove face cards and jokers), a hundred chart, and a penny or other small token.

Continue reading Math Game Monday: Push the Penny

Math Game Monday: The Partitions Game

Many parents remember struggling to learn math. We hope to provide a better experience for our children.

And one of the best ways for children to enjoy learning is through hands-on play.

This game features the Cuisenaire rods, but you may play with any math manipulative based on length: Montessori bead chains, Mortensen or Math-U-See blocks, etc. Or draw pictures on graph paper.

“The Partitions Game” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from Let’s Play Math: How Families Can Learn Math Together—and Enjoy It, which is available as an ebook at my publisher’s store (where you get all formats for one low price, and I earn higher no-middleman royalties) or through other online retailers, or by special request through your local library. Read more about my playful math books here.

The Math Game Monday posts will be available for one week only. If you missed this one, explore the links in the sidebar. There are more than forty free games scattered around the blog. Have fun playing math with your kids!

Playful Math Education Carnival 147

Welcome to the 147th edition of the Playful Math Education Blog Carnival — a smorgasbord of delectable tidbits of mathy fun. It’s like a free online magazine devoted to learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to high school.

Bookmark this post, so you can take your time browsing. There’s so much playful math to enjoy!

By tradition, we start the carnival with a puzzle in honor of our 147th edition. But if you’d rather jump straight to our featured blog posts, click here to see the Table of Contents.

Continue reading Playful Math Education Carnival 147

Are You Reading This in Your Email?

My old email-feed server is closing down. If you’ve been receiving my blog posts in your email inbox, that stops at the end of this month.

You may have thought it stopped already, since my blog has been so slow lately. But no, that’s just me. I’m trying to finish a few books in time for a back-to-school promotion. Whenever I’m working on a book, it seems like everything else falls away. But I promise I will get back to posting new playful math ideas here.

In fact, there’s a HUGE new blog carnival coming soon, with all sorts of great ways to play math with your kids. Watch for it!

For those who want to continue receiving my blog updates, you have two options…

Continue reading Are You Reading This in Your Email?

Podcast: Real Math and Family Fun

Christy Thomas interviewed me for her Keep Calm and Mother On podcast. We had a wonderful chat. I think you’ll enjoy it:

Real Math and Family Fun with Denise Gaskins

“School math sometimes is more stress-inducing. Real math is more freeing and more joyful, and just more interesting.

    “Real mathematics is basically applied common sense.

      “Real mathematics is noticing patterns, seeing connections, figuring things out.

        “These are all things that you can do. You do them in other areas of your life. Real mathematics draws on those same abilities and focuses those abilities on numbers, shapes, and patterns.

          “Real mathematics is about solving puzzles. It’s about creative reasoning. These are the things you want your child to understand.”

          —Denise Gaskins, Real Math and Family Fun

          Go Listen to the Interview

          CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Bruno Nascimento via Unsplash.com.

          Podcast: Math as a Nature Walk

          Pam Barnhill interviewed me for the Your Morning Basket podcast. We had a great talk. I think you’ll enjoy it:

          YMB #94 Math in Morning Time: A Conversation with Denise Gaskins

          “Let me give you this new vision. I want you to think of math as a nature walk.

            “There’s this whole world of interesting things. More things, more concepts, more ideas than you and your children would ever have time to explore. And everywhere you look, there’s something cool to discover.

              “If you explore this world with your children, you’re not behind. Wherever you are, you’re not behind because there is no behind. There’s only, “We’re going this direction.” Or, “Let’s move that way.” Or, “Hey, look what I found over here!”

                “And as long as your children are thinking and wondering, and making sense of the math they find, they’re going to learn. They’re going to grow.

                  “So what you want to do is, you want to embrace this adventure of loving God with all your mind and approach math with an attitude of playful exploration.

                    “And you know, you’ll be surprised how much fun thinking hard can be.”

                    —Denise Gaskins, Math in Morning Time

                    Go Listen to the Interview

                    CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Jessica Rockowitz via Unsplash.com.

                    Historical Future Fantasy Time Travel

                    My daughter, Teresa Gaskins, has a new story out in Promise in the Gold: A Cave Creek Anthology. If you enjoy cross-genre fiction, the Cave Creek series is a fun mixture of western, science-fiction, and fantasy:

                    Cave Creek, Nevada—Where the Unexpected Meets the Real World

                      Strange, unexplained events long plagued residents of Cave Creek, a former mining town nestled in a hidden canyon north of Las Vegas.

                        Promise in the Gold takes the reader into the future, where people who slip through the portals create new timelines—and past, present, and future cross paths in some very weird and sometimes scary ways.

                        Teresa’s story is sweet, not scary. And even better, it features a cat. I think you’ll love it!

                        Click Here for Details

                        Or if you prefer traditional fantasy, check out Teresa’s epic series, The Riddled Stone.

                        CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Glen Rushton via Unsplash.com.

                        Playful Math Carnival 146 via Find the Factors

                        Check out the latest carnival of playful math:

                        Each monthly Playful Math Education Blog Carnival brings you a great new collection of puzzles, math conversations, teaching tips, and all sorts of mathy fun. It’s like a free online magazine of mathematical adventures, helpful and inspiring no matter when you read them.

                        Iva put together this huge and amazing collection of mathematical games, activities, art projects, hands-on fun, math storybooks, poetry, and more.

                        Click Here to Read the Carnival Blog

                        Help Us Keep the Carnival Going

                        The Playful Math Blog Carnival wants you!

                        The carnival is a joint effort. We depend on our volunteer hosts to collect blog posts and write the carnival each month.

                        Putting together a blog carnival can be a lot of work, but it’s a great opportunity to share the work of bloggers you admire and to discover new math-friends online. I love that part of being a host!

                        Classroom teachers, homeschoolers, college professors, unschoolers, or anyone who likes to play around with math — if you would like to take a turn hosting the carnival, please speak up.