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Successful Homeschooling, Issue #06 -- Simple Solutions to your Homeschool Math Woes!
October 08, 2008
Teaching math is as easy as 1, 2, 3...
In This Issue:
Conquer Math AnxietyIt often seems that math is a black and white subject with little gray area - you either love it or you hate it, you either get it or you don't. Here are 3 ways to conquer math anxiety and make math instruction fun:
Move at Your Child's Pace
Let your child know that making mistakes is a part of learning. Relieve any pressure he may feel by not placing an emphasis on grades. Let your child sit with you as you correct assignments. Discuss wrong answers and let him make corrections.
Don't be afraid to change curriculum if your math program is not a good fit for your family. Here are some tips for choosing a homeschool math curriculum.
Teach in a Way that's Right for Your Child
Some children love timed worksheets, but freeze up when you pull out the flashcards. Some children enjoy playing games and reviewing facts orally. Others thrive when using computer programs or self-checking materials that prevent others from seeing their mistakes. Even something as simple as working on a dry erase board instead of paper can make a difference for some students.
Become familiar with your child's learning style, and find out what motivates your child and what causes anxiety. Experiment until you find techniques that work well for your family. Here are some homeschool math activities you may enjoy.
Change Your Attitude
If math instruction in your homeschool has taken on a negative tone for any reason, take a break and begin again with a fresh outlook and a new attitude. Math is a useful, enjoyable subject that we are all capable of learning (yes, that includes homeschool moms). If your understanding of math is less than desirable, sit down and learn right alongside your child!
Dollars and Sense -
It is never to early to begin teaching your children to save money! Let your preschooler sort coins by shape and color, and count coins as he places them in a piggy bank. This not only gives your child an early lesson in savings, it is a great math and fine motor activity.
These are the years to begin talking to your child about banks, savings and interest. Take your student to the bank to open a savings account. Let your child regularly deposit a portion of any money she receives and watch that money grow.
Work with your child to set goals for small purchases, and allow him to make withdrawals on birthdays and other special occasions. Help your child learn to delay gratification and distinguish between a need and a want.
Middle School and High School
Give your child increasing responsibility during the middle school and high school years in preparation for the time when he or she will leave home.
Let your child open a checking account and begin teaching him to track income and expenditures. Give your child an area of financial responsibility - such as clothing or social activities. Teach him how to plan for both small and large expenditures.
Begin sharing your family's philosophy on saving, giving, debt and other money matters, and build a foundation for sound decision-making.
Here is some information about choosing a bank account for your child.
In October, I launched a blog series called Make it Fun Monday! Every Monday, from now until December, I'll share a fun ideas like this one that can be adapted for all ages. For details, check out my homeschool blog.
But if math is taught as a logical system so that all kids are allowed to understand the basic math, and if the general culture values mathematics and related skills, this won't happen.
That is the most important thing. Then, there will be several other considerations:
I started writing the original books because I had been tutoring some homeschooled kids, and I saw tremendous lacks in the materials they were using. I also realized those moms did not have the understanding to explain math to their kids in such a way as to promote conceptual understanding.
We were overwhelmed by the many high quality reviews we received in last month's homeschool curriculum review contest. Last week, I mailed over $400 worth of Usborne books to qualified participants who helped me collect 430 homeschool curriculum reviews.
Many thanks to those of you who made this project a success! Please visit the website often to find information about products you are considering and share opinions about products you have used in your home school.
This month, I am giving away Usborne's Illustrated Dictionary of Math - an internet linked resource that contains over 500 definitions, 300 illustrations and diagrams, and 100 worked examples. You can find details of this month's contest here.
As always, feel free to pass this newsletter on to friends and contact me with your questions or comments.
Thank you for subscribing to Successful Homeschooling.
Enjoy the journey,