Thursday, January 10, 2013

Those Math Drills Matter

This post is especially for my homeschooling friends who need a little encouragement when it comes to answering your little questioning pupil....

 "Yes, Darling, you have to do the whole page of math problems every day... Yes, we will play multiplication baseball again today... Tomorrow you can do your horse-racing math CD, and we'll skip and clap as we say our multiplication tables."

I follow Dr. Jay Wile's blog, and yesterday he posted a study that suggests math facts burned into your memory help you on your college entrance exams.

Take a moment when you have time and check out his post if you'd like.

Happy Thursday!



  1. I'd be interested in hearing some of the things you did to make math drills enjoyable. (not that something has to be enjoyable - but just going through stacks of flashcards does get weary)It seems we need some fresh water in the stream in this area. Particularly if you used any software. I've looked at some of the Critical Thinking Co. material (we use their material in other areas) and would like your feedback if you've used it. Thanks!

    1. Marianne, So nice to hear from you.
      We used a couple of the Critical Thinking Company CD's, but they were for language and critical thinking. (Word Roots and Get Me Out of Here)

      One enjoyable and beneficial Math CD the girls used came from CBD. It was Quarter Mile Math. Here is the link.

      Baseball with flashcards went like this. I sat behind "home plate"—behind a pillow on the floor. We laid three other pillows (bases) in a diamond around the big open great room, and the girls competed to get around the bases answering the flash cards.

      They had a couple of grades of the Math Blaster CD (and enjoyed those) as well as several other cheap ones I found here and there which had various math drills.

      When they did A Beka video school, there were numerous variations on math drills: skipping and clapping as they counted, skip-counted, said their multiplication tables, etc. I wish I had made notes of the various games they played to drill, but I didn’t. I do have teacher’s manuals from the grades we didn’t use video. If you have further questions, please ask. I can grab one of those manuals and see if I find any more detailed ideas. In later grades, I was impressed with how the teachers would give them a string of math problems without flashcards. They would just have a couple of students stand up--our girls would also stand up to compete alongside--and the teacher would say something like, "5+2-4x6+5X5/2=." They would do it faster and faster, and this really motivated my girls.

    2. I just worked out the string "5+2-4..." and realized I made one up that didn't end up an even number.
      They always ended with even numbers. :)