We are finding ourselves in uncharted territory. We are all, in some form or fashion, “homeschool” families now, and homeschool math activities are top priority.
And if your children are struggling with the assignments that are being sent home, and if they’re crying, and if they are acting out of frustration…THERE’S A REASON. I am of the belief that our children are not being willfully disobedient when they are resisting school work. However, it can definitely be exhausting for mom and dad.
Change your outlook.
This season can be an absolute blessing. It can be the best situation that could ever happen in your child’s educational journey. Now you can focus on what your child needs in order to progress educationally.
If your children are typically in traditional school and this is your first time to experience homeschool life, I’d like to offer you some help. Please know that I am giving you the best that I can under these new and uncharted circumstances.
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Identify Your Starting Point Before Planning Homeschool Math Activities
First, it is important to find out where your child stands in math. If you can get your child to take some sort of diagnostic test, then I recommend you find an online math assessment to get an idea of where your child is currently.
Check out Teachers Pay Teachers and search for a math assessment for your child’s general grade level. Let’s say that from there you may realize that your child hasn’t mastered basic math facts.
Set a homeschool math goal.
First, I want to encourage you to allow your child to take a step back…it’s not only OK to do this, but actually a necessary step. It is critical that a child have a solid foundation in basic math skills in order to succeed in math.
So if your child is stuck on multiplication facts, that’s where homeschool math activities and curriculum must begin. Because nine times out of ten, if those foundational skills are not automatic yet, it makes school work that much more challenging; it makes it that much more difficult long term.
One step at a time.
Address only one concept at a time. You may decide:
“We will focus on multiplication facts this week. We will specifically target the 7s and the 8s time tables. Once we master those, we will move to the 4s and the 9s.” (Again, this is only an example.)
Be specific, be intentional, create a loose plan and follow it sequentially step by step. Because when it comes to homeschool math activities, your child needs a solid foundation. Without that, your child will continue to struggle as the concepts continue to build. Grab the free Homeschool 101 Planning Guide for extra support.
What if my child has ADHD?
Many parents have been told that their child is a wiggly worm or off in his own world. Whether your child has been officially diagnosed with ADHD or not, know that this is likely one of your child’s greatest strengths. If you are feeling overwhelmed with how to best navigate your child’s ADHD brain, be encouraged.
Incorporate movement into homeschool math activites.
This is especially beneficial if your child is one who “can’t sit still.” Friends, this “can’t sit still” is part of your child’s unique-wiring. Embrace this and use it to your child’s advantage.
Using addition facts for the moment, grab a set of flash cards. Then take that deck of addition cards, go outside, set a timer for five minutes, and practice math facts.
Next and most importantly, you want to reduce the pressure by indicating to your child that the addition practice will only take five minutes.
Start playing and practicing.
Practical ways to incorporate movement and much needed input to prime the brain for learning include:
- Jumping Rope,
- Swinging on the swings,
- Jumping on the trampoline
Hold up the flashcards in front of your student while they are engaging in the movement activity. Start calling out the math facts and watch your wiggly student thrive.
Do what works best for your child. However, when you have a child who is struggling to memorize facts, increase the opportunity for the brain to receive and process the information by including movement.
Make the most of this time you have been given.
Above all, I want to just give you some encouragement that you can do this, and nothing you do in this season is going to make your child go backwards.
By the time the school systems do open again, and if you decide to send your child back, he is likely to be refreshed in so many ways. I would venture to say that your child will be thriving beyond where he may have been otherwise.
You Are The Primary Teacher
Finally, remember that you are the primary teacher both now and quite frankly, you have always been. Your child is only to benefit from spending this season strengthening foundational skills and deepening relationship with you. Enjoy it as best you can, Friend.
Ready to look at homeschool math curriculum? Check out this post where I offer 5 things every mom needs to know before purchasing any curriculum. Save yourself money, stress and time and read that here.
How are things going for you, Friend? Are you a new homeschool family? Where do you need support? Would love to hear from you. Comment below.