What is the Pythagorean Theorem?
Yeah, no kidding? If you are not homeschooling your children then you probably don’t have any idea? (Unless you are an engineer) If you are like me you have never used the Pythagorean theorem since high school–and that was a long time ago, in a galaxy… Never mind–
Any way, if you have never used that since high school, how do you answer your child when they give you that exasperated look and say, “When am I ever gonna use this in my life?” That is a hard question to answer… honestly!
There are two ways to conquer that question. The first is to make math so much fun that they don’t ever think to ask it. The second is to get them in situations where the practical uses of math become obvious–ideally in a practical situation that they are interested in.
Today I want to show you some fun math games that you can use as a homeschool parent that will help you children really get a solid foundation of the math building block.
Math Tic Tac Toe
Create nine index cards with math equations on them. Then lay them out in a 3×3 grid so that it resembles a Tic Tac Toe board. Each player (you should have two) gets five pieces of different colored paper. In order to claim a square, a child has to correctly answer the equation. If he gets it correct then he gets to put his colored piece of paper on that card. The idea, like Tic Tac Toe, is to get three in a row in any direction.
Math with Legos
Legos may be the original math manipulative. Okay, probably not the first one, but definitely one of the best because you already have some kicking around your house. I give you some of my favorite ways to use Legos for fractions and multiplication in the episode.
Also, here are some great links to websites that will demonstrate additional ideas.
Math with Dominos
Slide your child a domino and have them multiply, add, or subtract. Use ten and time them. See if they can do better each time.
“Beat the Box”
I learned this game from a friend who uses it in a totally different setting. I like the game because it will work with any school subject: math, history, geography, etc.
Take a bunch of popsicle sticks and write math equations or facts on them: one equation or fact per stick. Use 25 to 30 of them. You can make one set for each of your children making the skill level appropriate for each child.
Now, scatter them randomly on a table. Give your child a shoe box and have them pick up a stick and answer the equation or fact and then put it in the box. Time them and keep track of their progress.
Khan Academy is by far, my favorite educational website. It is the best and it is free. That may change in the future, but until then it simply offers the best interactive instruction as well as awesome features like weekly updates on my children’s progress. I love this site.
Here are some others that you might enjoy: