One of my new favorite math resources is the book, Family Math by Jean Kerr Stenmark, Virginia Thompson and Ruth Cossey.
The Family Math book is based upon the EQUALS program at the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkely. The entire book is focused on math activities that children can do with their parents—a homeschoolers dream! A typical course includes 6-8 sessions of an hour or two and gives parents and their kindergarten-8th grade children opportunities to develop problem-solving skills and an understanding of mathematics with “hands-on” materials (concerete objects) that are generally found at home or easily created using household items. Family Math activities are meant to be fun and there is no need to rush or master ideas immediately. There is no test at the end and you can take your time and continue an activity for as long as your child is interested. I am using this book with Bear and G-man who are almost 6 years old.
Here are a few of the suggested tips on creating a mathematical environment that I found interesting. If you have the book, you will find the complete list onpages 18-20.
Let your children know that you believe they can succeed.
Be more concerned with the processes of doing mathematics than with getting a correct answer. The answer to any particular problem has very little importance, but knowing how to find the answer is a lifetime skill.
Practice estimation with your children whenever possible. Estimation helps the thinking abouta problem that precedes the doing, and is one of the most useful and sense-making tools available.
Encourage group study. (This is a wonderful idea for co-ops!)
Model persistence and pleasure with mathematics.
Try not to drill your child on math content or create hositilities with math. Don’t sue math work as a punishment.
Also in this series is: Family Math for Young Children.
I am using this book primarily with Pumpkin who is almost 4 years old. All of the activities in this book are appropriate for preschool age children.
I will blog about our activities in this series as we complete them.