Podcast Episode 22:
Learning Should be FUN! Part 3- Mathematics

Learning should be FUN!  But Math can feel so abstract and confusing to so many.  These tips will help to make math more fun and natural in your home!

Guide: How to Use Chores to Teach Math

Audio version: www.DecodingLearningDifferences.com


Welcome to Decoding Learning Differences with Kimberlynn Lavelle. This episode is Learning should be fun Part three- mathematics. By the way, I just love the word mathematics. I like using the whole thing sometimes instead of just math. So this episode is based like the last two on the principle that children learn more when they're having fun. If a child is feeling stressed out,

overwhelmed, anxious, angry, frustrated their brain, doesn't really let them learn much of anything. So forcing a kid to do something is not the best way to help them learn more. The more we can do to make learning enjoyable, fun, and a little bit easy, kind of really will help them learn more. So this episode is all about ways to make math fun.

I'm gonna give you several strategies, tips to help make math, fun, and enjoyable for your child. Number one, enjoy it yourself. So if you do not yet love math as I do, actually, I really liked that, but I didn't when I was a kid, because I thought I was bad at math because I didn't know how didn't like memorize my multiplication facts and actually never learned how to.

I mean, when I was in third grade and being tested on it, I wasn't taught how to memorize multiplication facts. So I just took the test every week and you know, I got to like threes and got stuck and then eventually figured them out after taking the test for a bunch of weeks. And everyone else is like progressing. And I just kept taking the test,

but not studying in between because no one told me anyways. So I used to not like math, cause I thought I wasn't good at it. And then I like in high school I learned algebra and I was like, Oh my gosh, this is amazing. This is brilliant. Let's do this. Or I guess it was eighth grade. Yeah. All right.

So enjoying yourself, if you don't already enjoy it, learn to enjoy it by using some of these others tips on yourself because your love of something definitely impacts your child's love of it. The more enthusiasm you have for what you're doing, the more your child will pick up on that and enjoy that participation. Number two, make it a part of everyday life and activities.

So grab the guide, how to use choice to teach math. This guide will kind of help walk you through some of those ideas of how does math just get incorporated into my everyday. Instead of waiting in math, when we open up the textbook, it can be, we do math. When we do the dishes, we do math. When we're folding laundry,

we do math. When we're scrubbing the bathroom tiles, right? We do math and we can kind of incorporate math into all of those everyday things. So I've given examples before about laundry and like using sorting socks with fractions and adding and subtracting and all of that. Similarly, anything you're doing, if you've got a bunch of stuff, you can add the plates to the cups while you're washing dishes,

how many plates, how many plates were in the pile? How many have we washed? How many are left right now? Subtraction, what fraction of plates have we watched? What fraction of plates are left? What is an equivalent fraction to that? When we're talking about dividing, we might look at, we have this many ounces of soap and I'm using this many ounces at a time.

How many days is my soap going to last? Right? You can kind of have some problems like that, work. Some of that stuff out, figure things out, or this soap bottle was this many ounces. I bought it on this day and it's gone on this day. How many ounces did I use a day on average? So you can to think through like,

how do I just ask math questions? And by the way, your kid doesn't have to be the one that solves them. You talking about it, you solving it actually can be very beneficial in helping your child to solve those problems, solve those and, and just see that math is in everyday life. Okay. By the way, that guide, you can get it at,

I'm going to say the wrong thing. Look for the link below, get it there. Otherwise your parent health.com will have the link just on the homepage. Number three, allow calculators and multiplication charts. Again, as I've said before, if things feel too hard that your kid is not going to be able to learn what you want them to learn. So should you allow of kindergarten or to use a calculator to learn how to add?

No, because that doesn't help them learn the adding, but should you allow a sixth grader to use a calculator to figure out a word problem about ratios and percents or whatever, right. Yeah, sure. When you're at the point of the skill is what operation am I doing with these numbers in this word problem when you, so, so we're, we're kind of looking at it as two separate skills.

If you're trying to solve a word problem and you have to figure out what is happening, then sometimes the skill of understanding the word problem can take the focus and you just give them the calculator to solve the math part. But they're thinking through what is happening in this story, what would, what operations would get me to the answer I want? And then one benefit of using a calculator is they can see it quickly without investing 10 minutes trying to solve the problem.

They quickly see that doesn't make sense and even spend time analyzing why their calculator Ann's answer. Didn't make sense because they might not notice it first. Well, that's the answer it's on the calculator. And then you can point out to them why it doesn't make sense. And then think through that problem again, what, what operations should it have been instead?

What would have made more sense what's really happening? So showing them all of that can really, really, really help calculators and similarly multiplication charts. You can use multiplication charts to find equivalent fractions besides multiplication and division. Like if you look for which column has a two above a five and then move it over, you can find out the things that are bigger.

I should've done with it. So you can find an equivalent fraction. That's bigger. You can also find reducing fractions. So if you have a column that has a 10 over a 40, you can take it across until it's a one over a four and you're reducing that way. So it's kind of a simple way to use a multiplication chart for equivalent fractions.

Sorry. Sometimes I get off on these tangents of tips that I just think about, but hopefully they're helpful. So make it easy, beneficial, fun, number four, spend more time with real objects, doing math with real objects, more time with that than with worksheets or workbook G Spending time actually interacting with the physical things around them and applying math to that is much more enjoyable and much more beneficial for them actually learning it.

Doing a whole bunch of worksheets can feel very tedious and can kind of disconnect them from what math really is about. Math is not just like in a vacuum and a worksheet and a workbook. It's not like this just theoretical thing. It, it applies to the real life. So let's apply it to real life. Let them touch it, feel it,

know how it works. This is really critically important in the beginning of any skill that they're developing. So adding, make sure they have lots of time with physical objects that they're adding, subtracting fractions, Lees, don't rush to showing them how to do equivalent on one motivation chart. Like I just told you about don't rush to that. They need to spend a lot of time with looking at how fractions are the relationship between their sizes and the way that they're written,

because kids will see one third and immediately think it's smaller than one sixth and they need to see why that's not true. One six sounds bigger to them, right? But it's, it's not. So they need to see that by actually looking at it, whether it's cutting a cookie into thirds and another cookie into sixth, or just having fraction tiles, that you can show them the two different sizes,

any time, whatever it is, the physical representation of something. If you're dividing even long division, get out a whole bunch of beans, count of all those beans, divide them into how, whatever you're going to divide by, right? Like show them how it works, why it works. And then eventually, sometimes it does get fun for them and they want to just do the worksheets.

And they're like, yeah, this is fun. I don't like this. I haven't gotten like that. Show my nerd. Number five, Keep an afternoon. Having a log of what they're writing. They're learning about with math can help really make it feel real. It also gives them a place to go back. I was like, wait, what did we do with that?

So it can look a lot of different ways. It can be like today I learned blah, blah, blah. It can be like that. You have it divided into sections and maybe you're going back and forth. Like every time you're working on a word problem, they write it down in their journal. They solve it out. They show the math for it.

And then in another section they have work on fractions and another section, they have a work on geometry. You know, you might have it, you can lay it out different ways, but have it in some way that they can go back to it and look at it and remember, and then if you do this for a few years or even a year,

go back a few months or a few years, and they look, look what you were learning and was hard for you and look at where you're at now and how easy that would be. So that can be really validating to them also and help them feel really good about the progress that they're making. Okay. So What did I miss? What else would you suggest?

What do you do to make them have fun? Email me. Kimberlynn@DecodingLearningDifferences.com. I can't wait to hear from you. And I look forward to talking to you again next week.



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Decoding Learning Differences