Math without a workbook

by: JUDY ARNALL , author, Discipline Without Distress & Parenting With Patience

The birthday cheesecake looked smaller than a half. Although the store sold the cheesecake in halves and wholes, my children and I opened the box and immediately knew something was wrong. But, we had to figure out the calculation on paper with pi, to demonstrate to the store that an error was made. Children ages 0-12 learn math through visualization and thinking. At puberty, the children’s brain development allows them to understand abstract concepts such as a “variable.” If you have a child in school, math homework doesn’t have to involve a textbook or workbook. Sometimes, pi is better than cake! Here are some handy ways children can learn math outside a classroom. 


Cooking, baking, sewing, workshop projects, and art projects. Sharing food and items among friends.


Dividing up food with siblings. Deciding how much quantity of food to buy per person for hosting dinners.


At the gas pump, decimals are used to show how much gas is pumped as well as how much the gas costs. The odometer.


Reading maps and house numbers on a street. Dividing groups based on birthdays.


Measure baseboards in a room, picture frames, boxes. There are many options!


Tips, taxes and sale prices while shopping. Shops advertise discounts on products. “Up to 50% off marked prices.”


Measure carpet in a room, painted walls or area rugs. Sewing.


Monitoring temperature changes. Counting money.


Formatting photos that are upside down and sideways. Learning about astronomy to understand degrees related to a sphere.


Play Battleship. Use your avalanche beacon to find something buried in the dirt
or snow.


Measuring if half the ordered cheesecake really is half a cheesecake!


Playing with blocks and nets. Slides, turns, rolls and flips.


Playing chess helps children develop taking turns, planning the next move, toning working memory by holding multiple instructions in their heads, filtering distractions, and develop emotional self-control when they win or lose.

 Math is fun!
Cultivate a child’s learning math through experience and the mental concepts will stick on paper.