‘Teaching maths’ with home education – 10 tips

mathsOne of Little Miss Green’s least favourite subjects is maths. This is such as shame because she has a great aptitude for it, but one of her school teachers completely destroyed LMG’s confidence – beware the power of the spoken word.

If I offer maths worksheets they are met with fear and an instant defeatist attitude.

Recently, we were working on our first lapbook which included lots of information about LMG, in it she has to write her least favourite subject – you can guess what it was, right!? One of her reasons was that she liked to be active and you had to sit still at the desk for maths, so I put my mind to work

I believe that if learning is fun, it provides a motivation to do it, so I’ve taken away the sitting at the table reciting times tables and made it more interactive. That way LMG doesn’t get fearful and sometimes she doesn’t even know we’re doing maths![amazon-product align=”right” small=”1″]B0002CYTVM[/amazon-product]

Here are some ideas for introducing maths into every day life and I’d love to hear your suggestions too:

  1. Cooking: most kids love getting messy in the kitchen and by the time you’ve weighed and measured things, you’ve learned all about measurements, weights and conversions.
  2. Water play: Show me a child that doesn’t love a bowl of water to play with! Give them some different sized containers to fill to learn all about measurements and volumes.
  3. Games: Monopoly is great for teaching money, Bingo can be used for all sorts of things and one of favourites is the Magic Couldron game which has heat sensitive patches on cards for the kids to rub off
  4. Shops! Real or imaginary, allow your child to spend their money and work out their change.
  5. Measure up Let your child loose with a tape measure. They can help measure up for DIY projects or might like to measure their favourite toys and put them in height order
  6. Jigsaws Apparently jigsaws help with maths skills; I’ve no idea why, but who cares? They’re fun to do!
  7. Making Get the junk card out of the recycle bin and make shapes from them – your child might like to make houses, cars, a scene from their favourite book or whatever takes their fancy.
  8. Bird / car / tree spotting Whatever your child is interested in, go out together and record what you can find on a chart – who knows you might even get them drawing graphs without them realising!
  9. Gardening How many seeds shall we sow, how large is the bed you are planting, how many potatoes do you get from one seed potato and how much do they weigh? The possibilities for learning maths with gardening are endless …
  10. Beer If all else fails, you can always learn maths with beer!

What about you – how do you teach your child maths while making it fun?


  1. Mummy Zen on December 1, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    This is a great list of fun activities that incorporate maths! I too was not a fan of maths and had a very dull maths teacher at school. These suggestions are all ways to work with numbers almost without realising. I’ll definitely have to try these with my son when he’s a little older.

  2. Mrs Green on December 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    @Mummy Zen: Hi Mummy Zen; I’m glad you found something useful in this. LMG still hates maths, in fact she had a meltdown about it this morning; so we just left it in the knowledge that she’ll pick it up when she’s ready. We are always in such a rush aren’t we?

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