Are You Guilty of Math Torture?



After the 10 Days of Teaching Music, I've been missing blogging about the other subjects in our homeschool.   I do hope, however, that you listen to some great music this week and decide to incorporate SQUILT time!   ( Do  you need a refresher course and the printable? )

After three years of homeschooling (yes, it took me that long) I've learned to CHILL OUT about math.   Yes, you read that correctly.  CHILL OUT.  
I know math is a big concern for homeschool moms... my most popular post ever was about Unifix Cubes and math! 


{ For a good two years I subjected my precious children to MATH TORTURE!  }

I have one child who is very good at math and another who is average.   I was the mother that would make her child do ALL of the workbook problems, and we would keep plowing through the book NO MATTER WHAT.  Yes, I heard the advice from seasoned homeschool moms about math, but I didn't really LISTEN.   

{ Thankfully my children have now escaped math torture. }

For what it's worth, these are the things I've learned about math instruction in our homeschool - and maybe these observations will apply to your homeschool as well.

  • There is no need to complete all of the problems in a math lesson.   Really, if my child is great at subtraction and can complete 8-10 problems correctly, why do they need to do more?    Blank problems no longer bother me.  

  • It's perfectly fine to go at our own pace.   The earth will not spin off its axis if we stop and spend a few extra days on a concept that is just covered for one day, or vice versa.  Recently, I've found that we need to STOP on the concept of long division.  Lots and lots of practice with this concept has helped my daughter tremendously.    I found some free printable worksheets that have made it varied and colorful.  
(By this same token, since one of my children is very good at math I don't make him stick to the book a whole lot.... if he's understanding more difficult concepts then I let him tackle them.   He started multiplication in Kindergarten and totally understood it. In fact, he teaches me daily about how to better approach solving math problems.) 



  • Seek Out Real World Math Applications Whenever Possible.    My husband and daughter have been volunteering at the concessions stand at the baseball fields ~ talk about a great way to put your math knowledge into action!    This is the kind of math that REALLY COUNTS, too.   I'm also putting my children in charge of baking and cooking certain things to help them with their fractions and measurement conversions.   Last year we set up a  candy store to work on making change - they kids had so much fun!  

  • We play a lot of math games!  There are so many games you can play with a deck of cards.  We also love Yahtzee, and one of our most recent favorites is Fractazmic! for converting fractions.  

  • In the younger grades, if my children have a firm grasp of money, time, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions they will be equipped for math in the middle grades.   I am focusing on a lot of the basics and real world math... and if that means not getting to some things in our math program, that's ok.   I like a math program to guide us, but it's not the end all - be all.   

Now, the big question is.... are YOU guilty of math torture?    Do you feel like confessing?  Leave me a comment if you do (I promise there is no judgment here!) ... or if you have a great math resource to share let me know that, too.