I think I have tried just about everything to teach my kids their math facts–flash cards, repetitive curriculum, electronics, games, pictures, and software. The problem isn’t so much teaching them as it is the kids retaining them.
While I am happy with my current math curriculum, I decided to give Learn Math Fast a try. The basic setup for book one is:
- Teaching using money
- A worksheet on the facts
- A timed test on the facts
Competition Can Motivate
My children are competitive. While I know many homeschoolers aren’t wild about competition, I have seen the value of it in teaching–even when the only way you are competing is with yourself.
I time each of the kids with my iPhone (it’s my version of a Swiss Army knife). They know when their siblings have completed the test under the time limit. They also know how much time they have to shave off to come in under the time limit set in the book.
Rewards Can Motivate
Yep! Learning is self-motivating, but offering my kids a small reward for passing the timed test has them begging me to learn their math facts. Not even the math video games they’ve played have had that effect. The combination of competition and rewards has been a winner for me.
My kindergartner and second grader know their addition and subtraction facts cold. The upper elementary kids are making progress on multiplication and division. I expect them to really get them down when their younger siblings start learning them.
When it comes to motivating kids, timed tests, competitions, and rewards can be very effective!
Do you want to give Learn Math Fast a try or could you get the same results using your current curriculum or flash cards? Do you have any tried-and-true tips?