Rediscovering the Joy of Maths

rediscovering the joy of maths using art

Like many other homeschooling Mum’s of creative artsty type children, we’ve had our challenges as of late with this area of learning.  It’s not even that my eldest (7) is not comprehending so much as it’s just dry and boring, and requires a little more effort than the breeze of reading that she’s come to know.  Some things in life just take effort, don’t they?  A good lesson for her.  🙂

But for the sake of her enjoyment (and the peace of our home), we are taking a month long break once finishing Math-U-See Alpha and before we start Beta, just to look over the basics again and make sure those foundations are solid for moving up a level.  Hopefully we can have some fun as well, and reclaim Maths as an enjoyable subject!

My approach is going to be two-fold: first, making maths meaningfulAnd second, combining maths with art.  My daughter has complained that Maths is not beautiful enough, so I’m hoping we can do a few fun things to help her learn.

So with some helpful tips from my friend Emma, a little bit of Pinterest inspiration, and a mix of my own ideas, I think we have a plan for the next month.

Here are some things we’re intentionally adding to our Maths learning:

  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Clock with numbers
  • Number flashcards
  • 100s Chart (actually displayed, not just tucked away in the cupboard :))
  • Mathtacular DVD #2 (we already have the first DVD from a Sonlight package and will re-watch some of the later lessons).
  • Sparkle Box printables
  • Beads on string (separated into 5s)
  • Magnetic letters
  • Math-U-See activity sheets for alpha
Mathusee art

Our first two ‘Alpha’ rules in art (not the best photo, but you should be able to see +0 at the top, and +1 at the bottom)

Using Art in Maths

We’re also using art to practice the Math-U-See Alpha sums (addition and subtraction).  Inspired by this pin yesterday my daughter drew +0 in the centre and wrote the sums on the outside (0+1=1, 0+2=2, 0+3=3, etc).  She really enjoyed it.  So since we had some momentum, we did the second one, +1, and the accompanying sums around the outside.  Each segment had about 4 or 5 sums.

We intend to use crayons and dye, scrapbook paper with different prints, ripped paper into mosaic tiles, sand and glue, stamps, and whatever else we can think of.

[You don’t have to be using Math-U-See for this to work:  you can always tweak the art project according to how your maths curriculum teaches the basic addition and subtraction sums]

Here are the sums that coincide with Math-U-See Alpha, and we’ll use this list for our art projects:

  • Adding 0
  • Adding 1
  • Adding 2
  • Adding 9
  • Adding 8
  • Adding doubles
  • Adding doubles plus 1
  • Adding to make 10
  • Adding to make 9
  • Randoms – 3+5, 4+7, 5+7
  • Subtract 0 and 1
  • Subtract 2
  • Subtract 9
  • Subtract 8
  • Doubles Subtraction
  • Subtracting from 10
  • Subtracting from 9
  • Randoms – 7-4, 7-3, 8-5, 8-3
  • Subtracting 7
  • Subtracting 6
  • Subtracting 5
  • Subtracting 3 and 4

We are marking the sums learned on the free printable charts on Math-U-See’s website (look under ‘Addition Fact Sheets’ and ‘Subtraction Fact Sheets’).

While we were doing this, my preschooler joined us at the table doing a similar activity – a page with a single number that she coloured or glued scraps on.  She feels pretty special to be learning her numbers and doing Maths like her big sister.

We’ll also be looking at doing some art with one number under 100 in the centre of a circle, and different ways of arriving at the number around the outside.

Please feel free to share things that have helped you in your Maths challenges!  I am an open book…

[You might be interested in my Pinterest Board: Home Educating – Maths for further ideas.]

maths website

{Linked up at Maths Games for Kids}

10 thoughts on “Rediscovering the Joy of Maths

  1. Valerie

    Great ideas!
    When Maggie started tiring of doing the lengthy process of long division, I allowed her to do her problems on our chalkboard (as a change of scenery) and it somehow helped a lot! 😛 Also, I would sometimes do the problems FOR her, with her dictating to me what I was supposed to do, just so she could have a “break” from the writing part of it.
    We have used lots of homemade games, manipulatives, onine flashcards/games, etc over the years. 😀 She starts 8th grade (Pre-Algebra) next month!!

    1. homemakingwithheart

      Sometimes the simplest things can work can’t they? For a few weeks, I’ve said to my daughter that she can use coloured pencils in her maths book to make it more colourful, and even that has helped! Funny!

  2. mwfinchwren

    Thanks, by the way, for visiting our blog and liking our post on Ellyn Davis’ wonderful new book. I enjoyed your blog as well! We are a Sonlight family who took a year off to do something different this year and, Lord willing, will return to SL this fall. Anyway, blessings to you! —Wren

      1. mwfinchwren

        I’m sure it will be wonderful! I think our SL grade will be using that too…in 6th grade, whatever letter they are using for that now.

        Btw, we are now officially following you. 🙂

  3. Stephanie Stevens

    I have found that a break can be the most effective tool in helping a child overcome a slump. One of my children struggled with reading until we took a few months off…then got it instantly. More recently we backed off of math for a bit when one of them was struggling, and now (of the child’s own volition) we’re back on track with a lot more enthusiasm! Sounds like you are doing great!


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