We're using Math Mammoth for our math curriculum. This is the second year we've used this program and we really like it. The lessons are short. There's little to no teacher prep required. Jonathan's is a bit of a math nut. Much of the time he does the lesson by reading the intro himself and requires no assistance from me outside of an occasional question.
Another thing that I like about Math Mammoth is that the Light Blue levels, which are intended to be a complete curriculum for a year, are split into two books. This provides a natural breaking point in the school year for us. We started our school year in mid-July and Jonathan completed Light Blue 2A in November. That was a nice stopping point for Christmas. Then, we decided to do a bit of extended break from formal math and focus on finishing other subjects in preparation for Baby #3's arrival. This past week after finishing history and worldview, we jumped into Light Blue 2B and plan to finish this book in June.
So what did we do during that break? Did we abandon math altogether? Of course not! Math is more than a text book or a worksheet. Math is found in the every day and in real life, especially for elementary school level math. Plus there's so many ways to supplement and practice math.
10 Ways to Practice Math During a Break
- Play with tanagram shapes.
- Play Uno.
- Play Yahtzee.
- Make up math problems to solve – in the car, while playing with lego, etc.
- Teach younger siblings how to count and recognize numbers.
- Count and prepare needed amounts of items – setting the table, preparing for a craft, etc.
- Figure out how many weeks remain until the new baby comes. This was a favorite.
- iPad Games – We especially like the Splash Math series from StudyPad Inc. Jonathan has been using Splash Math Grade 2 which corresponds well with Math Mammoth.
- Flash Cards – We have some dry erase flashcards that we found at the Target Dollar Spot that have been great for us.
Whether it's a Christmas break or a summer break or another reason that you're taking a break, I hope these tips will help you and your kids when it's time to set the formal curriculum aside for a while or make every day math more fun.
Original Photo Credit: Doing the Math by MoneyBlogNewz (CC BY)