A few years ago, I had an idea to make a math warm-up for our homeschool similar to the one I used in a Charlotte Mason school. But since I have multiple children, this math warm-up would need to serve multiple age groups.
This idea remained in the back of my mind for about a year, and then as a draft in my graphic design software for another year. Planning math for multiple children is a daunting task! But once I worked up the courage, I put my experiences of teaching 1-5th grade to use.
Six months of hard work later, I can now officially introduce Family Time Math!
Family Time Math
Family Time Math is a 36-week curriculum for three levels: Early Years, Elementary, and Upper Elementary. Each week, there are questions for each level that help build mental math skills and develop concepts. By asking questions when all of your children are together, my hope is that math conversations will flow naturally, helping to build a math-centered culture in your home.
This is a four-day a week curriculum, but for those of you who school five days a week without the interruption of co-op or other activities, there is a 5th day option for practicing math facts.
Every four weeks, there is a family math activity, designed to offer a math experience that the whole family can bond over. These activities are seasonal, math games, or real-life math.
I wanted to present math skills in a way that they would develop gradually. If a child already knows the skill, he or she can have extra practice with it. But gradually increasing the difficulty of the skill will help develop it more completely. Here are just some of the skills present in Family Time Math.
Counting- There are two types of counting: the ability to say the numbers in order, and the ability to give a value to multiple items. The Early Years math level focuses on both types of counting for numbers 1 through 36. Many children can count verbally before they can identify the value of multiple objects, so even children who “know their numbers” might benefit from these activities. Towards the middle of the Early Years math section, skip counting is introduced.
Skip counting- Skip counting is an important elementary math skill that deepens number sense and ultimately prepares children for multiplication. Skip counting starts with simple skills like counting by 2’s and 3’s, and progresses into more difficult skip counting, like 4’s, 5’s, and starting on an unlikely number.
Developing number sense- Number sense is understanding what value each number has. Ideas like “more” and “less” fall under number sense. It continues to grow through an understanding of place value.
Vocabulary development- Children will develop vocabulary to help them describe concepts related to numbers, distance, weight, and size. Being able to talk about math concepts and use the vocabulary they’ve learned will be important as well.
Addition and subtraction facts- Children in the elementary level will start adding and subtracting using concrete tools, then move on to calculating mentally. They will also create fact families, which are a set of four addition/subtraction problems using the same three numbers. (Example: 2 + 5=7; 5 + 2=7; 7 - 2=5; 7 -5=2).
Copybook- Keeping a math copybook is a beneficial habit for math learning. Children will begin keeping a math copybook, adding in math definitions and sample problems, during this level of Family Time Math. If your child hasn’t developed writing skills yet, you can begin the copybook by writing the definitions for them.
Patterns- Children will interpret and create patterns throughout all levels of this curriculum.
Story problems- Being able to solve story problems is the basis for most real-world math! In this program, story problems start out as simple, one-step questions and develop in complexity.
Geometry- Children begin by learning about simple shapes in the early years, and continue to learn about the attributes of 2 and 3-dimensional shapes.
Money- The value of money is introduced once children have solidified the skill of skip counting.
Measurement- Measurement, using both standard measurement units and familiar measurement units (hand widths, paces…) children are encouraged to understand distance as well as weight.
Fractions- Fractions can be a difficult undertaking for many children, so this curriculum begins introducing the concept of equal groups at an early age so that it can serve as the future foundation of fractions understanding. Older children will learn about fractions and experiment with different fraction operations.
Multiplication and division facts- The concepts of multiplication and division are introduced in this level, as well as offering facts practice.
Learn More About Family Time Math
If you're interested in learning more about Family Time Math, take a look at it in My Little Robins' shop. You can also find a sample of it through the sign-up link below.
Want more math ideas? Download My Little Robins' free Family Time Math Cards.