My youngest has always had a natural affinity for math.
He was the first one in his preschool class to understand the concepts of addition and subtraction (and apply them). I never worried about which math curriculum to use with him. He seemed to respond well no matter what we used. He would shout out math problems and their answers at the grocery store, the science center, and when his older brother couldn’t do the math in his head.
He was great at it… until he wasn’t.
As we move into higher level math, he is falling further and further behind.
The concepts are more abstract and mental math is no longer possible. Both make math much more challenging for my son.
I am not concerned about his “grade level.” I have learned that eventually, he learns anything he puts his mind to. Even if it takes years to master, I am confident we will eventually get him back on track.
No, what concerns me most is his confidence and self-perception.
Last week, my son looked at me and said, “I guess I am just stupid now. I can’t do math.”
My Child Is Behind In Math, But That’s Not My Main Concern
After reassuring him that he was not, in fact stupid nor deficient in math, I decided we needed to call it quits with any progression in math, and instead focus on his natural mathematical strengths.
Where he excels most, is in practical math. The kind-of math we use everyday to get along in the world.
The kind-of math he will need most as an adult.
Thus, this week’s Friday Fun-Day activity was born.
Everyday Math Scavenger Hunt
I loved using this approach and so did my son. The activity was a perfect way to remind my son of how capable he really is. Plus, we had fun!
In order to really do it justice, I published this week’s activity as part of Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus‘s ongoing focus on hands-on activities for older children.
You will find all the activity details, as well as a free printable math scavenger hunt here.
Friday Fun-Days: 52 Weeks of Easy Hands-On Activities
Looking for more ideas for hands-on learning?
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.