When I say “make homeschool math fun,” do I sound completely … ridiculous?
As parents, a lot of us have long-lasting negative associations with math. Many of us learned math via textbooks and worksheets from a teacher who wasn’t exactly dressing up as Pythagoras or rapping Prime Numbers.
(Wait – would that have even been fun, or just awkward?)
Actually, I taught math before I homeschooled my kids – and I’ll still say that making math fun can feel challenging.
So today, I’m going to share just a few ideas to help you and your kids enjoy math more, and even create some great math memories – no robes or raps required!
This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.
Homeschooling Math In Our Family
Even as a former math teacher, I know that in general, math can feel tricky. Lots of long-time homeschool parents will tell you that math is the place they feel least confident and worry the most.
I never expected to want someone else to teach my kids math, but Mr. D Math was the best decision for our family. Experienced teachers lead online live classes, or your students can take self-paced classes.
It’s safe to say that we are BIG fans.
As I wrote here, using Mr. D for math: “completely changed our homeschool environment. Our homeschool frustrations when it comes to math class have completely disappeared.
None of my children complain about math anymore. NONE.”
But … Mr. D hadn’t started his amazing company yet when we started homeschooling, and so as a former math teacher and mom, I worked for years to find ways to encourage math thinking and application outside of daily lessons, mix in games and even make practicing math facts fun.
Homeschool Math: 25 Ideas to Make Learning Fun
The following are ideas based on what I did for math in our homeschool, and a few new ideas that I endorse as a math teacher turned homeschool mom, who is always looking to add fun to our homeschool days.
I mentioned that we love math games here. I think games are a great way to reinforce concepts and show kids that numbers don’t have to feel intimidating.
Game-Based Math Curriculum
If you’re looking for a math curriculum that includes games, this series of four “Facts That Stick” books from Kate Snow of Kate’s Homeschool Math are built around games and help kids memorize math facts in a fun way. You just need to add a deck of cards and dice.
Kate Snow’s Math with Confidence series for grades Kindergarten through sixth includes games as well.
Other math programs may not be game-based but can incorporate games.
For our family, playing the stock market game in Consumer Math engaged everyone and showed a fun and important application of math.
Instead of using their notebooks for calculating, give them a larger format and a lot of room to add arrows and doodles. They may even end up teaching their siblings a few things Khan Academy-style.
Speaking of Khan Academy, Khan offers great, simple videos that can help break down more complex subjects.
If you ever need to show your kids an example of a concept that isn’t quite clicking, Khan Academy probably has a video for that, and it will probably involve drawing, lots of colors, and maybe a joke or two. (Plus, it’s FREE!)
The Bedtime Math series of books isn’t just for bedtime, it’s actually perfect for teaching multiple ages.
This series of three books offers fun family math riddles, and has questions for “wee ones,” “little kids” and “big kids.” The series is recommended for ages 4-7, but it can be fun for older kids and parents too!
Math for the Whole Crew
Life of Fred is another series of books created to make math fun. Starting with “Apples,” Life of Fred books teach math all the way through Trigonometry and Calculus, and even a few university-level math subjects like Statistics.
The early books can be used solo, or as fun support in addition to another curriculum. Later books become more stand-alone.
Wondering where to start with Life of Fred? Head here.
They may be hard to find, so check your library or for used copies.
Find fun ways to incorporate math into the current season. Planning Halloween math activities or other holiday math fun is a great way to make homeschool math fun!
Simply search on google for “[holiday name] math activities” so you can find timely printables.
Math Picture Books
Speaking of math books, there are so many good math books and series that can add fun to your homeschool.
These books are educational and fun:
- Feast for Ten
- The Storytelling Math series (20 books!)
- Your Place in the Universe
- The Universe in You
- Lemonade in Winter
Speaking of Lemonade in Winter, (a book that includes counting money), there are so many fun ways to incorporate fun into learning about money.
Kids love to play bank or store and even just adding a cash register like this one makes math feel like play. My kids used theirs for YEARS.
Or, you can get life-size money manipulatives plus money activities in this kit.
Real Money and Shopping
Another idea to make math fun is to give your kids their own shopping lists when you go to the grocery store. (These boards are handy for making lists.)
Add just a few items (you can work up to more) and have them estimate the total cost at check-out. Throw in coupons and you have a lot of real life math in action.
For older kids, have them compare prices and even value. Grocery shelf tags usually show the total price of an item, and the price per unit (ounce or pound). Challenge older kids to find the best deal on popular items with lots of choices.
Learn with Logic
My kids really enjoyed some of the logic and puzzle-solving books from The Critical Thinking Company.
Run a Business
If you want to take learning about money (and more) to the next level, it doesn’t get much more fun than the Your Business Math series from Simply Charlotte Mason.
Choose between running a pet shop, book store or sporting goods store.
From Simply Charlotte Mason: “Your Business Math Series is a fun and ‘living math’ kit that reinforces math skills for ages 8–12. Your student uses math knowledge to keep his or her very own store running and, hopefully, make a profit. But there are also some surprises along the way!”
Fractions, Food, and Fun
Food always makes learning feel more fun.
Baking is a great way to learn fractions and doubling or tripling recipes (if you have a big family or a holiday is approaching) teaches kids real-life applications for using fractions.
Or you can start simple with a pizza or pie, or try these Magnetic Fruit Fractions.
Celebrate Pi Day
And of course, you can never have too much pie, right? Make it a tradition to bake a pie or visit a pie shop and do a little pi math every March 14.
PiDay.org has tons of resources devoted to Pi Day, and even a countdown calculator so you know exactly how long it will be until you can celebrate with pie!
Books and Baking!
If your kids enjoy baking, there are lots of great books that include recipes or easy recipe tie-ins and therefore, math!
These are some winners:
- Marigold Bakes a Cake
- Cranberry Thanksgiving (this book is part of a whole series)
- How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
- Fry Bread
And don’t worry if you don’t love baking and cooking. There’s a toy for that!
Learn Math with LEGO
Those little LEGO bricks can help kids learn some big math concepts.
Pull out your LEGO bin and try a few of these LEGO-meets-math activities:
And if your kids adore LEGO, take a peek at Brick Math.
Get into Geometry
Geometry can feel easier to understand (and be a lot more fun) with a 3-D component, don’t you think?
These 3D shape manipulatives come on their own, or you can bundle them with a Dive to purchase a Shapes Building Set.
If you have hands-on learners, there are lots of fun measuring activities you can do together.
This book is a great interactive resource for learning about perimeter, volume, area, etc. Plus, it’s reusable with multiple kids!
You can also add books like How Much is a Million and Your Place in the Universe to better help your kids understand BIG measurements. The Universe in You is great for helping kids understand microscopic measurements.
Math doesn’t get much more active than an outdoor game like Hopscotch. This post has so many math-meets-hopscotch ideas.
My grade school art teacher used to tell all time this way:
“We’ll start when the big hand is on X and the little hand is on X.”
Or “go ask Mr. J to come get you guys when the big hand is on X and the little hand is on X.”
Then she’d ask us to translate the time. We naturally learned how to tell time pretty easily!
To reinforce telling time and make it a game, there’s this Learning Resources Time Set.
Try this Math Fun Pack
From The Waldock Way, this math fun pack, is a great way to keep little learners engaged.
If you have a pre-schooler who wants to do school too, “help your little ones learn their colors, shapes, and numbers in a play based, hands on way. They will be having so much fun they won’t even realize they are learning.”
(Note: This product is included in The Waldock Way’s Purposeful Preschool)
And … everything is more fun with candy, right? This Candy Math and Science Pack from The Waldock Way is just $3!
Math on the Go
There are lots of fun math workbooks that can seem like play to your kids.
This book offers logic puzzles that get increasingly harder.
Electronic Flash Cards
This Minute Math tool is also perfect for math on the go. Made for ages 6 and older, it has three difficulty levels, and teaches skills up to pre-algebra.
Plus, it has buttons, so it feels fun!
Make a Joke
If you want to start math each day math with a giggle, try one of these math jokes.
Math in Sports
Do you have a sports fan? There are so many ways math shows up in sports!
The It’s A Numbers Game book series helps kids learn math via:
Here are five more math ideas for your sports fan.
World records involve all kinds of numbers!
Guinness releases a new version of its world record books for kids every year.
The super engaging books also cover lots of other topics like history, geography, and more – BONUS!
I’m wishing you family fun as you explore math together!
More Math Resources For Your Homeschool
More Ideas for Homeschool Fun
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