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How I Teach Math

Tips on Teaching Math

I often get asked the question of how I teach math. One of the most frustrating parts of homeschooling or even supplementing some of your child’s education is seeing your child struggling with formal studies. They can feel discouraged or disengaged at times and all you want to do is make it an easier process for them.

I’ve been able to try different products, games, and tactics over the course of many years and I’m happy to share with you what has truly helped our children.


Nature Schooling

I’m a firm believer in the fact that children need to spend time outside. One of my goals for this year is to get them outdoors more and school in nature. As a homeschooling mom, I’m always in search of a more hands-on approach to our formal studies because our children are kinesthetic learners. You don’t need to use a bunch of expensive items to do simple math. We get out into nature for some of our manipulatives.

Kids have a lot of energy to burn right? Why not work on math while getting some of that energy out? I have our children run around the yard to collect our manipulatives. I may say, “what is 10+9? Go run and find 30 sticks in the yard and come back so we can figure it out together.”

They have a great time running around and feeling free, which turns something that may be frustrating them into a fun game with someone they love to be around. We’ll then lay the problem out together. You can use a piece of paper and draw the symbol of whatever the problem is.

Real life things you can use for manipulatives:







-vegetables from your garden

-dried beans


Game schooling

We have a few games that we’ve purchased that I believe have helped our children learn and practice addition and subtraction.

Sum Swamp

This one is their absolute favorite! We’ve shared so many laughs and spent quality time together with Sum Swamp. It’s short enough to keep their attention and gives them the confidence they need to play another round.

We've added small butterfly erasers for our daughter so she can play along with us. She's four and with the added manipulatives, she has a great time playing with us. This game offers addition and subtraction problems from 1-6.

Click here to learn more about the game or purchase yours for home.

I have also included a FREE printable to go along with this game. It includes the manipulatives and a number line so they can figure out even and odd numbers on their own.

Click here for your FREE copy.

Lakeshore Learning Addition Machine

This is also a product that we use in conjunction with the Sum Swamp game. It helps them memorize the problems, rather than always relying on manipulatives. Like I said before, I’m all about the hands-on approach and keeping their hands busy. This is a fun pop-up board that gives them the answer to put to memory.

Click the picture above or here to purchase this item on Amazon.

Another side note about this item: If you’re like me and you have multiple ages you’re teaching at the same time, this is a perfect add on to the board game. Our 6, 4, and 2 year old all play this game with me because with these items that I’ve added. it creates a game that works for all the learning levels we have. Our 2 year old just simply throws the dice and uses the board to get the answer.

Addition Strategies BINGO

What child doesn’t enjoy playing bingo? There’s a whole lot of loud cheering and laughter in our house when playing this game. I like the large answer page that goes along with the board for when they’re stuck on a problem. This game actually comes with square markers that you can double as manipulatives for each problem that's called out. This is perfect for grades 1-2 and a great family game. The product linked is a slightly different version but it's a great bingo game.