Thrifty Thursday: Thinking Out of the Box

There seems to be one subject that most parents, home school parents, public school parents, or private school parents, seem intimidated by…math! While I’m not necessarily intimidated by math, I don’t like it and I don’t want to spend a lot of time on it. So of course, God, who apparently loves to keep me on my toes, sent me a child who loves it. She enjoys it *shudder*, she want to do lots of it *agony*, she likes to play math games *pencil into the eye*!

Recently I discovered a resource that every parent needs to keep in their favorites menu or pin it on Pinterest. It is called Education Unboxed, and it is a huge resource of math videos that shows parents how to teach their children math concepts in a way that is hands on and fun. The videos are divided into math concepts so if your child is struggling with a particular concept then you can watch the video and present the material. Or if you have a child you really enjoys math and is good at math, then use the videos for a more fun, discovery based approach to math.

As an example, this week I wanted to find a new way to work with Chipette on her addition and subtraction facts (we’d been using flashcards and XtraMath), so I went to Education Unboxed and found a game called, “Math War” which helps kids learn their addition and subtraction facts, but in game form.

I had an old deck of jumbo playing cards that the kids had won at Chuck E. Cheese years ago. I removed the queens, kings, and jokers. I used white out to mark out the A on the ace cards and wrote a 1 in its place. I also marked out the J on the jack cards and wrote a 0 in its place. Now we were ready!

This game is just like old school War, but instead of turning one card over each player turns over two, adds them together, and whoever has the higher answer gets all of the cards.

To play the subtraction version, you turn over two cards, subtract the lower number from the higher number, and whoever has the lower answer wins all the cards.

We played two games and she was still asking for more. I also discovered that she knows her math facts better than she lets on during our math lessons!

This is just a sample of all the cool stuff that you can find at Education Unboxed to make math fun and interesting. Most of the lessons use Cuisenaire rods which cost less than $20 for a set. We love using these rods in our math lessons. They really help children “see” math. Check out Education Unboxed for some great ideas for free!!!

Not feeling the math love, but faking it for my math-loving daughter in the tree house,


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