Math Madness!

The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics!

I'll be the first to admit, I am not a math person. But, it's a life skill that we all must learn.

As a homeschool mom I need to somehow help my children understand why the skills they are learning are important and hopefully, by some miracle, they become more engaged so they may better take ownership of their education.

So, in my complete desperation to add some fun to our math, I started our Monday Math Madness day. The kids loved it!

So what is Math Madness?

As much as I love our current math curriculum, I wanted to add some fun hands-on math learning activities. So the search began and I found myself on Teachers Pay Teachers

finding some cool math learning activities that would allow the kids not only to learn some new concepts but reinforce what they were already learning in their textbook.


Teaching basic money, and it’s value, is a life skill. So I bought some play money and the learning began. I gave each child an envelope with money. Then I charged for meals, gas for taking them to activities, and even charged for using the washing machine. In exchange, I gave them play money when I “hired” them to do work around the house, babysit or anything I could dream up. We talked about what the Bible says about tithing and learned how to determine 10 percent of our “income.” I’m so excited as I’m about to step up my game. We are going to learn budgeting, how to save, and to ask for wisdom for wise financial choices. Caleb has enjoyed his online Dave Ramsey course-Personal Finance.

Basic Forms of Measurements

Without realizing it we measure all the time. Cooking, building, baking, and sewing are a few examples. Knowing that we had some house repairs that needed done and how important culinary skills are in our everyday life, I made a plan to teach basic forms of measurement.

I made a list of house repairs that required measuring. We began with learning to estimate the length and width of various objects. We explored centimeters, inches, feet, and yards as we worked in the yard. The children had to measure the length of various objects by selecting and using the appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, and measuring tapes for various household repairs.

Then we moved to the kitchen where we learned how to measure dry and liquid ingredients. We discussed and used various measuring cups, spoons, and learned how to use a kitchen scale. This opened the door to learn about capacity as we compared gallons, quarts, pints, and cups. Victoria learned to convert measurements with cooking and the children were given recipes to follow.

Pumpkin math was a favorite! We measured the circumference by wrapping a tape measure around the largest part of the pumpkin, calculated the diameter and radius using only the circumference measurement, estimated the weight of each pumpkin, and measured the heights and widths of the pumpkin and its stem. Then we measured the volume of the pumpkin using water displacement and learned to graph our results. It was so much fun!

We are getting ready to begin our unit on fractions. Fractions can be tough! While it might take time, and repeated exposure with fractions, I hope to incorporate lots of experiences and activities to move their understanding along. What do I have planned?

First, we will use play-doh to make their own fraction "cookies" that we will cut into equal parts, like halves, thirds and fourths.

Second, I plan to use candy. What kid doesn't love candy?

We will sort skittles in to colors and label each color as a fraction. the total number of candies would be the denominator and the numerator would be the specific color of candies in that group.

Teaching fractions with food is a natural way to learn. I plan to teach such terms as equal, equivalent, as well as learning to convert recipes as we bake cookies!

Math doesn't have to be "boring." Take a day, every now and then, and step out of the ordinary. Do some fun, hands-on, real life math with your children. Never get so bogged down by your math curriculum that you lose the joy of learning.

Life is a math equation.

In order to gain the most, you have to know how to convert negatives into positives.

We use Christian Light Education Math for our elementary students.

This math program is extremely solid, easy to teach, and reasonably priced. It uses an incremental spiral approach with clear explanations.

Lessons are clearly marked, requires the student to use mental math and complete speed drills. This program includes a teacher's guide, ten light units (small workbooks) for each grade, and uses flashcards.

Our older children use CTC online math. Read my review!

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About Me

Welcome to our home, my name is Michele. My husband, Walter, and I have been happily married (most of the time) for 28 years. My husband is the Pastor of Strong Tower Church while I work as a Critical Care Nurse. Together, we have been blessed with 10 beautiful children.

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