Friday, January 17, 2014

Exploring Math: real life ways to teach your child to care about it

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Exploring math: real life ways to teach your child to care about it - doesn't have to be difficult or boring!

This week, we took a family trip to Disney World and the Disney parks. Now, we may call this a homeschool field trip - but we were there to have fun and enjoy ourselves. Of course, being the addicted  dedicated homeschool mom that I am, I could not help but to look for ways to incorporate learning.

I like to sneak it in when they least expect it!

As we looked around at all the fun architecture and designs around the place - it began to dawn on me that this was a terrific opportunity to point out the value of a good math education.

One look at the big geometrical ball over Epcot - and I was on a roll!

The boys had the opportunity to design their own race cars, to make changes which resulted in better speed, more power, improved aerodynamics and more. It was not hard to find ways to point out the math involved in the various activities we encountered on our adventure. There were plenty of other educational opportunities as well. Any time you can make learning fun - it is important to take advantage of the opportunity. They may not always want to stop to do a math lesson, but they are always interested in race cars, speed, and other cool things - all which involve math in one way or another!!

Mostly, we played. But, there were enough chances to point out where math had been used to create, or why math would be needed to accomplish the exciting exhibits we enjoyed - that I felt we'd had more than just a good time and I had made the most out of this family field trip.

Even when you can't leave home to find exciting examples of why math matters - you can help your child discover the everyday math around them. 

Have the choose a favorite meal - then plan a budget together to include that meal this week. It's a great example of how real math is used every day. It also offers the opportunity to teach them about budgeting and why it matters. 

These kinds of mathematical life lessons don't have to be complicated to be effective. Be creative, get the kids involved in looking for the math around them. 

While running errands, look for various geometrical shapes in the buildings you encounter. Discuss why they may have chosen those shapes or what makes a building strong. Re-create them with building blocks or play dough at home. 

Begin a sketch journal to record shapes found in nature or whatever you come across. Most any kind of math can be sketched or drawn. The point it to have them realize how much math is all around them. Help your child understand and value the reason to study mathematics - and you just may find they actually enjoy it! 

Check out this FREE & entertaining math video: 

Math is all around us. There is nothing random about it and using these kinds of fun ideas to show your kids why it matters can go a long way in helping them care about learning more of it. Although these are fun ways to explore math - it is important to include regular lessons with a math curriculum which builds a foundation they can count on. See the A+ Interactive Math site here for more & get your math curriculum at an additional discount! 

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