Math Manipulative Activities are recommended by the educator, Charlotte Mason. She suggests that math should be taught with concrete objects, and I couldn’t agree more with her suggestion.
Growing up, I did fair in math, but I absolutely had no understanding. I memorized the steps and was able to always easily pass. But when review time came around, I usually didn’t do so hot on the exams.
I decided I wanted all my children to have a strong understanding in math. Three of my six children have a natural understanding of math, but the other three, well let’s just say God gifted them in other areas. Just like their mama. Yes, we have other gifts, I must emphasize.
We moved this year to a much smaller house and lost our beloved school room. I had to come up with some sort of organization system for our school to deter me from sending my children on the next yellow school bus. I can’t stand clutter! It makes me insane.
As we started our first day of homeschool boot camp, I decided to pull down our neat white box down, labeled Math Games. This box is where we keep all of our math games and math manipulatives. Since I strongly believe in hands on and teaching with concrete objects, I took very good care of them. Everything was marked appropriately and not one piece out-of-place. Yes, I am a little proud of these nifty objects. They are very colorful and pretty.
My children asked me if they could play with the math manipulatives while I finished organizing the homeschool bookshelves. My first reaction was, “I guess so, but be careful with them.”
I caught myself saying, “Be careful with them!”
(Really, this is a true story.)
I thought to myself why on earth do I want them to be careful with these math manipulatives? They are all made out of plastic, paper, or wood. I realized that I have been hoarding these special concrete objects. They certainly aren’t going to teach my children about math concepts while collecting dust on the shelf. Are they?
I decided from this day forward…Math Manipulatives are FREE to Use at all Times!
I made the announcement and all my little ones cheered, “Hooray!”
I have them all neatly on a shelf within reach. I am encouraging them to play with them daily because I am cool like that.
And who cares if they lose a few pieces? They are so cheap and you can always find them used online.
So are you going to be cool and join the Math Manipulatives are FREE to Use at all times club? Come on and let your hair down this upcoming school year with me.
Golly Jiggers, you never know what I will allow next school year. Maybe I will let them put stickers on their notebooks or something. lol! If you can relate to this eye opener idea, you will want to read this post.
My children had a blast playing and building with the math manipulatives for over an hour today. I can’t wait to tell my husband about how I am letting my hair down this school year. He will be proud of me.
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