We are just getting back into the swing of our homeschooling schedule. My daughter, since she is older works fairly independently, so I am mainly teaching my son and monitoring my daughter. For both of my kids getting things into their memory is a hard task. Memorizing is not something that comes easy for either one of them. Add in my son is a wiggly little boy who can’t sit still very long and it makes teaching a little more challenging.
How We Tackle Math in our Homeschool
For math, my thinking is to teach the basics and add in everything else with real life activities. My son just the other day figured out how we could divide up six items evenly between the four of us, without even being asked. I took advantage of the situation to teach him about halves and quarters. He thought it was great fun and didn’t even realize he was doing school. I have to sneak the knowledge in where I can. 🙂
We do have a workbook he likes to do a page or two out of each day, but he loves games. So instead of using a paper and pencil to practice his math facts I came up with a game for him to play. He can play with or without me but he prefers I help him. This game we call the Number Tree.
We made our Number Tree out of felt using sharpie markers to write on the felt. But if you don’t have felt you can use the printable I made. Just print the Number Tree Package off onto card stock paper and cut out the numbers. I recommend laminating the number tree pieces just so it will last longer. I have used clear contact paper in the past since I don’t have a laminating machine.
Playing the Number Tree Game
To play just add one of the number cards to the top of the number tree like below.
Then add in all the numbers that make the number at the top of the tree. Here’s an example of the Number Tree with the number ten at the top. To teach the tens facts
Here’s one with the number seven at the top, to teach the sevens facts.
We review addition facts and subtraction facts by using the filled in number tree. I find the repetition along with the answer being right in front of the child helps to get the correct answer into their memory. By the child having the answer right in front of them they are not guessing the wrong answer or counting on their fingers to find it.
We also check to see if the number is odd or even by looking at the last row of numbers in the tree. If they are both the same the number is even, if they are different the number is odd.
I also point out that you can count down one side and up the other to see if the number cards are placed correctly, just so the student knows how to self check before starting to practice if they are working on their own.
I know I learn best by watching someone demonstrate how to play a new game or when I am learning a new task. So I have made up a video to show you how we use this game in our homeschool. My son even volunteered to demonstrate.
If you can’t view the video try this link.
If you would like to make your own Number Tree Game out of felt here’s what you will need and the instructions,
1 large piece of White Felt
3-4 smaller Pieces of Felt (in different colors or in one color whichever you prefer)
Sharpie Markers to Write on the Felt Pieces
- Write a big T on the large white felt piece, this will become your Number Tree Board.
- Cut of fifteen 1 1/2 inch squares out of the smaller felt pieces.
- You will need to write the numbers one through ten on the first ten felt squares.
- On the remaining felt squares you will want to write one through five.
- So in the end you should have two number squares of the numbers 1 through 5 and one number square for the numbers six to ten.
- I store all of the pieces and the board in a gallon sized zipper bag so we don’t lose any pieces.
Do you use games to teach in your homeschool?