I struggle with staying consistent in math with my youngest. Granted, she's cute, and she works that to her favor to get out of doing the work she needs to be doing when I'm not giving her 110% of my attention. She's also struggled with reading, so it's much harder to send her off to work independently. As I prepare for the upcoming year, I know that math will be a primary focus for her schooling. I also know she can wear out quickly.
When I found out about the math unit studies from Kendall Hunt, I was excited to try one out with her. It seemed like a perfect change of pace to revive our math routine. In working through these unit studies, I've learned some valuable ideas for freshening up any math lesson. Here are my top three:
I received the product for free in return for my honest review. I was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.
1. Center an Entire Lesson On One Math Problem
The beauty of the Project M3: Mentoring Young Mathematical Minds unit studies is that they use conversation and creativity to build logical thinking skills in the lessons. By simplifying the quantity of the problems, you have the opportunity to deepen the quality of your conversations about math. That's where the real excitement can return to your math studies.
Spending an entire lesson on one single problem allows you to play with math. It's so easy to get stuck on a difficult problem because you are unsure of any other way to solve the problem. By playing together with the problem, you can find multiple ways to solve it. This truly builds logical thinking patterns and strengthens problem solving abilities.
2. Make It a Family Discussion
Although the unit studies are directed towards classroom interaction, you can recreate the same type of conversations at home by bringing it into your morning time routine. It is so helpful to have others add varying options for solving problems. The answer will always stay the same, but the path to get there doesn't always have to be a straight line.
Even though all of your children might not be in the same place in math, having a conversation about a math concept can be a great way to benefit from the old one room schoolhouse model. The ones who have already learned the concept will be reviewed, while the ones who haven't learned it yet will get a preview. It's a great way to share ideas with one another and have fun with math.
3. Don't Be Afraid to Pause Your Regular Math Curriculum
Just because you're already tied down to a certain math curriculum doesn't mean you can't take a break every now and then to mix things up. Some times it's good to pause and come back to a curriculum after you've had a chance to take a break and learn from someone else. The lessons will still be there when you get back.
The unit studies from Kendall Hunt are a great supplement to any math program. The unit studies only take one to two weeks to complete. Since you are cultivating tools to help your child think about math, it's kind of like muscle conditioning in the off season. Working on building those logical math muscles, your child will return to their regular math curriculum stronger and ready to get it done.
I'd encourage you to check out all of the curriculum offerings from Kendall Hunt to see if they have anything that would bless your home school. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on their latest products.
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.