Q. How do I get my kid to memorize math facts? She hates when I quiz her.

A. You can’t see the forest for the trees, is one of those clichés that might have been especially made for math. As adults we KNOW kids need to memorize the math facts.  It’s easy to get so invested in math review and to feel so concerned that we forget this key point: Kids don’t feel the urgency or see the need that we do.

In this morning’s Denver Post I read about a young girl, admirable in many respects, but she mentioned when she started raising chickens to sell eggs she was getting very poor math grades. Now she gets all A’s.

“I have to be precise,” she said.

All the skills she is developing with her business of raising chickens and marketing eggs is carried over to other aspects of her life.

In school we would probably call this project base learning.  I don’t care what name you give it.  Whenever we see the need to learn something, generally we’ll grab hold way differently than if someone tells us this is what we need to do.

I don’t know what motivates your daughter so fill your basket with ideas that are authentic.

Fun apps and other ways to spark interest in math

  • Find a project that she wants to do or that you can do together.  Most of us don’t have the set up to raise chickens, but we can plan a meal, shop using a budget, cook and measure.  Or perhaps the project might be with cloth and a sewing machine, or in the wood shop—numbers abound when it comes to projects.
  • I’ve found a great deal of success with different apps for math review.  I’m always up-front with my granddaughters on the need for review and the need to spend time on learning math facts. I use musical apps because timing is involved, Math Bumpies, Math Bingo, Toy Physics, Toy Balls, Doodle Fit (because math is about patterns) and these are just a few that I have on my iPad.
  • I’ve purchased CD’s and DVD’s for my granddaughters but those are more personal depending on music preferences.  Google what you need and enjoy the hilarity as you review together.

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