Homeschool Help: Fun Math Enrichment Activities

Math is a subject where consistent practice is necessary to master the subject matter. Worksheets, workbooks and math labs provide my child the needed exercises to master the different areas of mathematics. But once in a while, we would do activities where math becomes a part of life.

Pretend play. Just recently, I asked my son to pretrend that he is selling books and we used play money to buy books from him. He enjoyed the role playing and giving us the change needed from every transaction. He had to add and add then subtract so he knows how much he needed to give us.

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Board Games. We love playing board games together as it allows us to spend time with each other and do something together as a family without using any technology gadgets. There are several board games which helps my kids hone their math skills without them knowing it. Monopoly, Let’s Go Shopping, 7 Ate 9 and Math Bingo are some of the Math board games we use.

Baking and cooking. Preparing dishes uses math! I involve the kids while I prepare their lunch so they learn to apply  measurements and fractions in preparing the ingredients. It is like hitting two birds with one stone as they also learn a basic life skill as they learn about baking and cooking.

Math doesn’t have to be just worksheets. Make Math  fun and your kids will appreciate it better!

IXL.com Online Math Membership Review

My son’s favorite subject is Math, so when we had the opportunity to review IXL.com , we tried their Online Math Membership program for ages PreK to 12.

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IXL.com provides state standardized and comprehensive online practices for Math and Language Arts.  As of the moment, IXL.com offers 2nd grade skills to 4th grade skills only for Language Arts. Though they plan to add more in the immediate future.

We all know that the best way to master Math is to keep practicing. Sometimes, solving problems and drills repetitively for students gets boring and this is where IXL.com can be a big help to students and parents alike. The practices are presented in fun and colorful pictures. Their Online Math program offers Pre-K to Algebra and Geometry skill practices. Pre-Calculus will soon be offered too.

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Each grade level’s skills are all listed. This allows the student and the teacher to see all the skills that the student can master in every practice. As the student completes the interactive practice, they are learning the skills systematically and they earn awards each time. The teacher also receives a detailed report of what the student has learned and accomplished over the whole week. Every milestone, the student can print their awards and certificates as well.

For our review, we were given a one year subscription to IXL.com. We only tried their Online Math Membership program as my son is only in first grade. Upon login, I created an account  for him. He immediately tried the different skills listed under first grade.

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Each skill took differnt amounts of time to complete. Some skills which are easy like subtracting 0 or counting review from 0 to 10 took less than 15 minutes while harder topics like skip countring by twos, fives and tens took longer.  While my son was practicing, he is able to see his score on the screen. He gets immediate feedack. Each correct answer gives him the harder question next, but whenever he gets the wrong answer, the program will not continue but show him the correct anwer first. Then his current score will be lower so he needs to answer more questions to make up for the mistakes.

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When he finishes the skill and gets a score of 100, he gets a medal besides the skill he finished. It also gives him a virtal award. When he goes to the award tab, he is able to see how many medals he has earned, how many questions he has answered, how many minutes he has practiced, how many skills he has learned and he gets to open a piece of the puzzle.

My son was interested to play with the different drills but I couldn’t get him to do more than 2 drills a day.We used the program about 3 to 4 times a week.  Though he can choose which topic he wanted to practice, the repetitiveness of the drill especially when he gets a mistake probably makes him want to stop using the program already. The drills are pretty simple and straight forward to use. Though I wouldn’t use it as our primary Math curriculum, it is useful for practice drills.

Aside from using the online version through our computer, we also used the just released free iPad Math app for pre-K through 6th grade math.  This allows my son to use the iPad and do his drills. Though you would need to be connected to the internet to use this app.

I would recommend this if your children needs serious drills to practice Math proficiency. There are over 2,000 skills which your child can be proficient in. For the parents, the reports are already very detailed for easy tracking.

For only $9.95/month or $79/year, you can already have access to the whole IXL.com program, including Math and Language Arts.

Find out what other members of the review crew think of IXL.com!

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Homeschool Help: Learning Math

Math is a challenging subject for my daughter. Because of this, we have tried many different approaches to make learning Math easier for her.

For learning and memorizing the multiplication table, we have been using the big visual multiplication table. We bought this multiplication table from last year’s Manila International Book Fair. Since my daughter likes visuals, this has been a great help to her.

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Since we are using Singapore Math, we have used ThinkingBlocks.com to help understand Math problems better. This free program uses blocks to visualize the given numbers and understand what is missing in the problems given. You can use this program on your PC over the Internet and on your iPad.

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We also use manipulatives from  Math U See. The blocks are in groups of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. The blocks help Kyla remember the multiplication process and also understand the division process.

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As for fraction and decimals, we use coins, pancakes and any other object we can find inside the house which uses fraction and decimal. There are also available manipulatives which you can buy.

We also tried Life of Fred. It is a Math curriculum with a very different approach. This curriculum has allowed my daughter to enjoy Math and see Math from another point of view.

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Learning math entails practice and for non-math lovers, we take it one step at a time. If you know of any other ways of  learning Math easier, do share them and leave a comment.

A+ Interactive Math Review

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My 3rd grade daughter isn’t very good with Math  so when we were asked by the TOS Homeschool Crew to review the product of A+ Tutorsoft Inc. called A+ Interactive MATH , we wanted to try and see if it will help her. We were given the opportunity to try the online homeschool edition.

A+ Interactive Math is a complete Math curriculum which includes lesson plans, lessons, worksheets, exams and answers to the exam questions and it even has an automated grading system. It utilizes the 3 learning styles efficiently. It shows a video (visual) where the student can read (text) then there is a teacher who explains (audio) the lessons and interactive questions follows to ensure learning. It is a step by step learning program where the student can get immediate feedback about how they did in the exams.

For the parent, this is an ideal online program where there is minimal parental supervision required.  Everything is already prepared for you. As you login as the parent, you can create a student account for your child and you can see the automated progress tracking report. If you are not satisfied with their worksheets, you can generate your own worksheet using the template they have stored. There is also a recommended lesson plan so you can see the overview of the lessons being covered and how far the student has come.

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Since we were using the online version, the only thing we needed was to have a browser and make sure that pop-ups are not blocked by the web browser. Once logged in, it was fairly easy to use as everything was very straight forward. My daughter used the A+ Interactive Math once a day for a couple of weeks and learned key concepts and was able to practice them at once through the interactive Q&A. There are visuals presented per lesson making it more fun for the student.

Though this is a great product, my daughter didn’t like the program very much. It does not fit her style as she likes to interact with the teacher. She wanted to ask questions but can’t and she finds it too slow. She is a very visual person so I think the program just didn’t fit her learning style.

You can choose the grade level you need from 1st grade until 7th grade and Algebra 1. The A+ Interactive Math online homeschool edition for 1 parent and 1 student costs only $19.95 monthly or only $49.99 quarterly or only $124.99 for a full year! And as a special offer to all readers of this blog, they are offering 50% OFF Special Promotion through the end of MARCH! The coupon code you can use when you purchase is: SPOFFER50

Aplus Tutorsoft Coupon Code March 2013

To know more about what other crew members think, click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew!

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Math Problems

I graduated high school from a local Chinese school. There are a lot of people who say that the Chinese are good in math. Well, it must be because we have two math classes. One is taught in English while the other in Chinese. But when I reached college, I have never been a fan of math subjects like calculus, trigonometry and linear programming. Contrary to others, I just barely passed those subjects.If only online math tutoring was common those days, I would have gotten math help from TutorVista.com They offer online math help 24 hours a day. I think it is a great idea since you won’t need to waste time traveling to get to your tutor and you can do tutoring anytime or anywhere you are as long as you are online.They also offer unlimited tutoring package for all subjects at a very reasonable price of $ 99.99 a month. It sounds interesting. If you are interested, they offer free demo for first time users so that one can try out their service first.