Each month I give my kids a challenge. I print off the monthly calendar from over at Math Geek Mama (looks like it’s currently only in her membership site, but I’ll have an update on that in a few weeks). The idea behind it is to solve each day’s problem. But that is too easy in my mind.
How I’m challenging my math kid
Each day’s math problem is the number for the day (1-28 in February’s case). If I left the calendar all in one piece it wouldn’t take my kids long to figure out they just have to write out the numbers in order.
So I took the problems and cut them out. I give them an envelope with the problems in them, and they solve the problems and glue them on.
It really challenges my super math kid, and it’s one that I can help my less inclined math child with.
The math helps I’ve given them
A few months ago, Samantha over at Creative, Clever, and Classy put together a Math Cheat Sheets book. Most of it is pretty straight forward for them, but some were perfect for reminding them of stuff they don’t do so often.
Like geometry. None of their math curriculums have spent any significant amount of time covering it, so when they come up on those topics they have to look up formula every time.
So, when random child comes up to me with the “I don’t know how to do this question,” I first point them to look at the math cheat sheet book.
Usually they’ll take a quick look at it and say, “Oh yeah, now I remember how to do that.”
Sometimes, they study the math cheat sheet for a bit and say, “Now I get it.”
If that still doesn’t do it, I’ll sit down with them and look at it again.
Math is a challenge in our house
I have one child who doesn’t really need help. Mainly this child charges ahead, and has to be brought back to show his work so he can see where he got off in a step. This is my child who takes a quick glance at the math cheat sheet and says, “That’s right, I knew that.”
Then I have a child who enjoys math, but it’s not super his thing. He’s my child who studies the math cheat sheet for a minute, and then says, “Now I remember. I’ve got it done.”
My final child, will look at the math cheat sheet and say, “This doens’t make sense.” Once we start walking through it all step by step, then suddenly it all makes sense, and she’s impatient to finish up.
It really amuses me how different each child is.
Math Cheat Sheet
This has quick references for 4-8 grade students. A lot of the information is on our mini offices, but now that we’re up into junior high, the quick references and reminders they need are a little more than easily fit on there, so this is where our math cheat sheet is so helpful (I actually need to reprint my writing cheat sheets for two of my kids because they lost them, and a couple of times a week I’m reminding them of something they should be looking up there.).
I’m considering making a similar math reference book like our writer’s notebook, but I’m not sure how much use it would get longterm, so we might just stick with my current printed out and bound with the binding machine.