The key to teaching maths is making it fun, practical and hands-on wherever possible. Whilst content wise we follow the national curriculum, once we’ve grasped the basic concepts, a lot of Issy’s maths is done through play and life experience whilst we are walking, talking, shopping and baking. Most of the time she doesn’t realise she’s learning but it’s vital for making mathematical concepts seem relevant to her.
When we started home educating we were reliant various on on-line programs and then workbooks but as my confidence has grown we’ve realised that for us winging it has much better outcomes. Don’t get me wrong, having Carol Vorderman’s Maths is Easy, the odd workbook and friends who are teachers are great but Issy is a kinaesthetic learner; she needs to learn by doing stuff. With this in mind, we have whittled down our box of tricks to
- Fitness watch (see Fitbit Maths post)
- Uno cards/Pack of cards (operations)
- Travel Rumikub
- Basic Geometry set (ruler, set squares, protractor and compass)
- Tape measure (we got ours from Decathlon)
- Squared Paper
- Little Professor App
- Corbett Maths 5-a-day questions (worksheets)
- Small amount of Lego (an alternative to Numicon)
The only workbook/worksheets that we use now are the Corbett maths 5-a-day sheets. They have the added advantages that they are free and can be done anywhere from an airport lounge to the laundrette.
Another great maths resource is the Go Figure series of books. Whilst they won’t come with us, we have both fallen in love with these books as they pose maths problems in a colourful and engaging way via different settings from Extreme Sports to the Animal Kingdom.
This is what works for us but we are always on the lookout for new ideas so please let us know what works for you.