Sometimes a little bit of competition can be a good thing. 🙂 Our two oldest children are boys, one year apart in age, and they push each other to excel.
A couple of months ago Caleb was really struggling with math. He was getting his numbers backwards (for example: 51 instead of 15) and couldn’t seem to add unless he used his fingers. It made math a slow and tedious subject for him. Then, at one of our homeschool meetings, our pastor was talking about the importance of drilling numbers and math facts in order before mixing them up. I realized that they weren’t taught that way in their school books. When they learned addition they were given random addition facts to complete. They never did them in order. Caleb was struggling because he didn’t know them well enough so he was having to add each individual problem on his hands.
We took a break from his books and began having him write out 1-100 every day in a notebook. He was to say the numbers as he wrote them out. In the beginning he had a chart to copy so he’d know he was getting the numbers right. As he got better he needed the chart less and less. Periodically I would quiz him by pointing to numbers and having him tell me what they were. If he couldn’t tell me what it was right away we’d go back to doing them in order.
We also started drilling his math facts in order. 0+1=1, 1+1=2, 1+2=3 etc. Then I would print out a page of addition facts for him to do and timed him. As he got better, he got faster. Recently, he and Jon (who has always been good at math – it’s his favorite subject) decided to race to see who could do their math facts faster (and with accuracy). Caleb won, barely but he won! Jon was shocked and (of course!) wanted to do it again. Caleb has won three times in row at this point. His confidence in a subject that used to be difficult for him has majorly increased and Jon, who had begun to get a little lazy with his math because it was so easy for him, is now asking me to drill him so he can get faster with his math facts. 🙂 Sometimes a little bit of competition is a good thing. 🙂
For some math printables, check out the links below: