Growing up in the UK my husband has always called math, Maths. So I thought it only fitting, since our kids are half European, to indulge him in my vocabulary. I am trying to keep Oliver learning maths at home and some of the ways he learns are so unique that I really need to get creative in helping understand, and even enjoy, learning about numbers.
So far I have not delved into the math curriculum that I bought for him because I know he isn’t ready but I’d like to keep working with him in areas like counting, basic adding concepts and using shapes. Living in the US has brought a huge blessing to our lives in the area of thrift store accessibility and the glorious advantage of the yard sale. I get most toys, games and books for the kids at these places. I have to add that it can be hit or miss. There have been a few games that I’ve opened up and cursed the gods for making such a stupid game for little kids. But mostly I find treasures.
Today I played BINGO with the kids and they actually enjoyed it. I told them I had prizes for whoever won. No cash prizes; I’ll save that for when they’ve retired and have too much free time on their hands during the day. I’m thinking more like stickers and the occasional treat. But with two kids you need to have two treats; a big treat for the winner and a small one for the….un-winner (nice save, mom).
I also found a Labyrinth at the thrift store which is more fun for the big kids then the little ones and Oliver now owns a magnetic slab where he can take shapes and make them into animals, a game he is profoundly good at. So I am a fan of thinking outside the box when trying to teach boys about maths. Keep the numbers in front of them but play lots and lots of games with them so they can practice counting as well as strategy concepts. They get to be more competitive while playing games which can hold their interest more than starting at a worksheet. That’s why God invented Candyland!