“What!?” exclaim health-conscious parents everywhere. “Sugary cereal good for your brain?!” Well, they’re good for counting anyway, and therefore perfect for homeschool math lessons, on the days when workbooks won’t cut it and your kids need something tangible to help them compute.
It happened to us the other day, that after getting stuck on a math problem in her book, my eight year old wouldn’t budge. “I’m not doing it! I hate math!” I remember feeling the same way in school myself. So I had a few options. Give up, force the issue and make a fight, or find a more fun way to teach the same concepts.
A great homeschooling mom blogger called Bonnie Landry quoted Plato on this dilemma:
“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”
“Honey, want to grab some corn pops and one of those kid’s divider plates? We can do some math that way.”
Her eyes brightened. “Ok, Mummy!” Off she scuttled.
So using our handy three part plate (good for more than preventing food groups from touching, apparently), we used corn pops to add, subtract, multiply, divide, count by twos and fives, and do word problems. With a smile! And this for the supposed math-hater!
Her little brother, who is just over one, loved corn pop math, too. Especially subtraction…his expertise!
Later that day we baked peanut butter cookies, and practised reading fractions and measuring (1/2 tsp this, 1/4 cup that, etc). Who knew math could be so yummy?!
Bonnie has a great little book called Chocolate Chip Math which gives more examples and the theory behind this fun, relationship-oriented approach to learning. Check it out:
Or read more on her blog: