The Funnest-est Bestest Math Game Ever!

In spite of accidents and upsets, we still managed to have a great week of homeschooling. I need to remind myself of that!

We’ve passed the hump in phonics, where Caleb now has fewer “special sounds” to learn than he’s already learned! He learned how to write a cursive capital “S” yesterday, which means we’re approaching the end of new daily instruction for cursive letters. And we began studying the concept of subtraction for the first time in math this week!

First, we took some extra time to study telling time with some clock worksheets from Math Mammoth’s Blue Series (50% off at the Homeschool Buyers Co-op right now!). We also cemented addition facts before moving on to subtraction. Best of all, in a moment of unexpected extra time, I invented a fun review game for addition. Caleb is so encouraging! He called it the funnest-est bestest game ever!

Here’s how to play the funnest-est bestest math game ever:
(We used Skip-bo cards, but you could probably play a variation of this with other card games.)

  1. I separated out the 10s, 11s, and 12s, and the Skip-bos, placing one 10, 11, and 12 in front of me and one each in front of him.
  2. Then I dealt 7 other number cards (numbers from 1-9) to each of us. (You can deal 10 cards once you get the hang of the game, or as many as you want.) The remaining number cards went into a draw pile, along with Skip-bos mixed in.
  3. We took turns trying to add numbers in our hand to equal sums of 10, 11, or 12, and then laying those cards down in front of their sum. For example, if Caleb had a 7 and a 5 in his hand, he could take those two and lay them down in front of his 12. You could play as many cards at a time as you wanted if they equaled the sum you placed them in front of (for example, 1+8+2=11).
  4. If you are left with a number(s) that doesn’t add up to 10, 11, or 12, you could draw from the pile. A Skip-bo acted as a wild card. You could name it to be any addend you needed to equal the sum, so long as you added correctly. (For example, if Caleb had a 7, and he drew a Skip-bo, he had to name it as a 3 to equal 10, or a 4 to equal 11, or a 5 to equal 12.)
  5. Whoever gets rid of the cards in his hand first wins!

You could make it harder by choosing just a 10, 11, or 12 to place in front.

Addition game.

Addition game.

In science we are studying about the fourth day of creation. We read about the trip to the moon, as well as our solar system. Caleb drew a picture of our solar system and labeled and colored the planets according to their descriptions. A highlight of the week was when we found a bird’s nest with babies inside, which he drew for his nature study journal!

Caleb learned about ancient Assyria and began studying about Babylon in history this week. We read about Jonah and Daniel in Bible time, and he built an Assyrian siege tower. That was something he could do independently. I just told him to put it on wheels, make three sides, put a battering ram at the top, and see if he couldn’t fit a soldier on as well. He put the soldier looking backward off the siege tower, but it’s all good. Gotta protect your back too, right? 😉 (from your own army)

Siege tower.

Siege tower.

We “met” the percussion section of the orchestra this week (specifically the timpani), which made a great connection to the children’s aunt, who plays the timpani. So I added a bit of “memory work” into their schoolwork, in preparation for our upcoming furlough. This week we memorized that “Aunt Nette” goes with her two children, Connor and Brianna. Next week we’ll work on a different aunt, uncle, and their list of children. (Maybe the other aunt who plays percussion instruments?) 😉

We also had a drawing lesson, doing the preliminary sketches for and beginning drawing a parrot. We will finish the details next week!

Colin learned the letter “P,” and we read lots of books starting with “P” this week.

And Callie’s homeschooling involved toilet training (or rather, failure at toilet training).

Seth was working from home for much of this week and could pinch-hit for me with Callie’s training in dire need. LBI canceled two days of classes this week so that the students could go back to Zimbabwe for some government paperwork they needed in order to legally study in South Africa. I hope they come back!

We miss friends and family in the States and cannot wait to come back for our furlough! Only a little over 7 weeks now!

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About Amy

I'm Amy, a missionary wife and mother of four children, blogging about our lives and perspectives on culture in South Africa.
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10 Responses to The Funnest-est Bestest Math Game Ever!

  1. Anne Biesterfeld says:

    Too bad this kind of teaching has no place in the public schools. Learning should be fun.

  2. Dorothy says:

    I had to “pin” your math game. Sounds like a great way to practice facts!

    • Amy says:

      Great! Glad you can use it! 🙂 I also posted just the math game instructions by themselves over under the tab “Our Homeschooling Journey” if you don’t want the extra story as well.

  3. Rhonda says:

    I loved this post!! Great job coming up with that game! I’m going to have to play that with my kids! And I’d LOVE to be the other aunt you use in your teaching of percussion instruments! 😉 Always willing to help! LOL

  4. Cara Brooke says:

    Looks like a good week. You always have so much fun going on in your home!

    • Amy says:

      Thanks! You must not have read about my not-so-fun events this week in “I Can’t.” 😉 I hope it’s fun, but we do have our moments!

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