Math Fun With Affordable Math Manipulatives

How do we make Math fun in Camp Espino? We play!

Among the academic subjects we study here in Camp Espino, Math along with Araling Panlipunan is the most challenging one.  My two little ones’ love for Math is indirectly proportional to their love for Reading and Science.  This is why one of our major academic goals this year is for them to learn to appreciate and to love the beauty of numbers. 🙂

One way we’re doing this is by making them realize that Math is part of our everyday life.  At home, they measure ingredients when we bake or cook.  They learn the concept of division when they share toys or candies. When we go out to eat or to buy groceries and other stuff, I ask them to place their orders or to pay for their purchases. This makes Math “real” to them.

Another way we’re trying (trying is the operative word here!) to make learning Math more fun is by using manipulatives during our study time.

Our Math Manipulatives

Before we started homeschooling, I bought the Gigo Linking Base Ten set from Learning Plus.  It’s a great tool for helping kids learn place values and other basic Math skills.

 photo PhotoGrid_1466945746831_1.jpg

This has been very useful during the first part of our lessons this quarter but as we progressed, I realized we needed other manipulatives when dealing with bigger numbers.  Since, I can’t afford to shell out thousands more for a Place Value Discs set, I opted to improvise using poker chips and stickers!

 photo PhotoGrid_1469310515375.jpg

I bought a set of poker chips from NBS and wrote the values on them using permanent marker.  The chips set only had three colors I covered the others with pre-cut round stickers which is also available in bookstores.  This entire set just cost a little over a hundred pesos!  We’ve been using these chips for our lessons in addition and subtraction.  We’d most likely need to add another set of chips when we start studying multiplication.

For their Math bonds practice, I got some inspiration from the Fact Family Blast Off game. I printed templates on regular bond paper then inserted these into card cases.  Now we’ve got an easy wipe-erase activity board!

 photo PhotoGrid_1469311186439.jpg

 photo PhotoGrid_1468153351178_1.jpg

Aside from these, we also use their Legos and other building blocks to study Math.  Since my son is highly kinesthetic, we incorporated some games into our learning.

Games Make Learning Fun!!!

For one of our games, I just wrote different activities to do on strips of cardboard.  The activities are a mix of lessons from different subjects including PE and Music.  We call this game “Ready, Get, Do!”

 photo PhotoGrid_1469310841368.jpg

Math – kids have to finish one Blast Off card, skip count, or do Math operations; PE – kids have to do a locomotor/non-locomotor activity; Music – kids have to name notes on the staff or play them on the keyboard; English – make a short poem about the word; Filipino – think of a rhyming word and make a two-line poem. 

When I attended Milona Barraca‘s workshop on How To Make Learning Math Fun At Home at the Learning Plus last June, I learned that even something as ordinary as playing cards can be used to make learning Math fun.  I taught the kids how to play “Go Fish! The Tens Edition” to help them master their 10-bonds.  🙂  They don’t even realize that they’re actually learning while playing!

(playing cards with kids)

Instead of making the usual pairs, the kids have to make pairs of tens. No one loses in this game!

Do the kids love Math already? I wish!!!!

Oh well, it may be far from being their favorite subject but at least they’re having fun learning it!

How about you? What Math manipulatives do you use at home? Would appreciate your sharing your ideas with me so we could try them out in Camp Espino. 🙂

Camp Espino: Homeschool Rocks!

Welcome to Camp Espino – where Supersonic Kids learn!

We finally took the leap and decided to homeschool our children this school year.  Yes, we did get the typical violent reactions of “Why?!” “What about their socialization?” “What’s wrong with them?” “Whyyyyy?!” “Are you sure that’s the right thing to do?” etcetera etcetera.  However, I’m glad to say that those were very few.  Majority of those who know us  have congratulated us on starting this journey.  Many have already offered (and continually offer)  support. God bless their good hearts!

This new journey of ours is also the reason why this blog has been quiet the past couple of months.  The Tottering Mama had been quite busy preparing for her new role as Teacher Mama.  🙂 Hopefully, I can share those preparations with you soon.  For now, let me share with you how our homeschooling has been since we “officially” started class last June 13.

Take a peek at our first month as TMA homeschoolers…

WEEK 1

 photo PhotoGrid_1466941108896.jpg

Week 1 was wonderful!!! Not perfect but really wonderful!

On our first day, we had our an orientation where the kids learned how we would go about our lessons (more about that in another blog post).  BUT before we started our study period, they got to ride their bikes outside first!

 photo PhotoGrid_1466939580097.jpg

Outdoor activities like these are what they like best in homeschooling. Riding a bike definitely trumps being stuck in traffic on the way to school!!!

[Read more…]