## Friday, October 23, 2009

### Fun with Math and Science

So now that we're a couple months into this homeschooling bit, I've learned a few things. They may sound simplistic, but sometimes the simple truths are the hardest to learn. I'm learning that the hard way, too. ;)

1. No matter how good the curriculum is, you're going to have to supplement with something.

2. Necessity is the mother of invention.

3. When the kid gets excited, you know you've hit it right.

All that being said, M1 was having a hard time with learning addition. He had the basics, knew what he was doing, but c'mon... memorizing facts is boring. Every kid knows that. I don't know a person in the world who thinks sitting around saying "2+3=5" over... and over... and over... is fun.

I know there are a ton of math games out there, but it's tough for me to know which one is going to be fun for MY kid (and what might be fun for M1 might be totally dull for M2, if and when she comes home), so... see #2 above.

So, when I came to the knowledge that something other than flash cards and repetition were needed to help M1 master his addition facts, I did what every good mom does. I improvised!

First, I broke out the timer. Five minutes is a good time for a 7-year-old with ADHD, right? OK, OK, I admit, there are times we play 2-minute rounds.

Next, I got out the 10-sided dice. Two of them. Yes, I had these on hand, but you can purchase them in learning stores or... well... at gaming stores. My mother-in-law actually had donated a couple of sets of dice to me a few years back, and I'm kind of a pack rat like that, so I still had them. Yes, that is the truth. I swear! ;)

Roll the dice...

And have the adult put the sum on something so it can be visualized.
The goal? We're starting out with getting the totals to reach 100 in five minutes. It's possible! He's done it! As he gets faster, I'll up the ante and have him aim for 200. He's gotten close already, 170-something the other day. If he misses an answer, he has to stop and repeat the problem with the correct answer (so if he says 7+4=10, he has to stop and repeat after me that 7+4=11). Losing the time in repeating can be a big penalty, and it's also a great motivator for him to work on his flash cards so he can get faster.