Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Learning those pesky math facts

  So here is a "Day in the Life" kind of story.  Imagine if you will 3 of my 5 kids with dry erase boards and dice ready to play the game SNAKE.  At the time of this event my children are:  Miss A - age 16, Mr. C- age 12, Miss J- age 10, Baby A- 15 months.  Buddy C is at his grandmother's house.  We start the Snake game and Baby A is in charge of throwing the dice.  In fact she is sitting on the counter.  In my world, it isn't great to sit on counters, but it is infinitely better than her being on the loose to play in toilets and draw on herself or eat cat food.  Not that she has every done ANY of those things.  Miss A begins with a typical teen comment of "this is stupid" (translate that into, I have Chemistry and other subjects to do that take hours, why do I have to play math games?)  Mr. C is fiercely competitive.  He shouts at the top of his lungs every time he scores points.  He also throws things and stomps when he loses points, which delays the game as I correct these attitudes.   I really can't imagine where my kids get their competitive nature. (Hint: it ain't me, but it might be Daddy C).  So as a bonus, this math game has character training too!  SWEET!  Who doesn't need more character???   Miss J is just thrilled that EVERYONE is playing her game with her and totally oblivious that to a stranger our "day in the life" looks a lot like chaos. 

   As the game progresses, Baby A gets a bit wild with the dice and it turns into part search for the missing dice and part all three running to make sure the dice finder doesn't tell a fib and call SNAKE EYES.  ;-)  I could have videoed this, but I will be honest.  I don't need that kind of evidence to prove my real mom skills.  It's enough that I write it down.  Maybe I should reconsider "sharing" so much.  If you are super organized, then just this image of baby on the counter is enough to mortify you.  However, if you are a mom with 5 or so kids (who happens not to be Type A) and you are struggling to fit it all in each day, then this may encourage you. (There is a house even more crazy than mine!)  You may never have considered having a toddler throw dice in order to add excitement to the game (keeping them out of the potty and eating cat food is just another BONUS).  The kids are learning their multiplication facts and the older kids are learning things like the squares and cubes.  For example, if I roll the dice, Miss J will add or multiply, but Miss A will have to find the square or cube of just one die.  It's my attempt at the one room school house.  In the end, all of the kids are having fun.  Good review and preview has been had by all.  Now if I keep this up, I'm hoping the last two will just know those facts cold by about 1st or 2nd grade from simply hearing them said aloud so many times every single week.  I'll have to let you know how that turns out.  It might just be wishful thinking.  Either way, below I have linked my favorite resources for family math  games.  I can't say enough how much kids LOVE the buzzers.  Beware though, they will drive you insane, so you may want to also purchase a lock box to store them in between games.  Have fun with your kids playing games and learning math facts.  

Mrs. P

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