Free Math Apps for Kids


While I do not advocate plopping your daughter/ son in front of a computer or giving them a portable electronic device that has a math app on it and calling that teaching math, I do think technology can reach students. Sometimes you have taught multiplication facts with multi-sensory activities, games, and explained it in as many ways as you can possibly imagine and it still isn’t sticking. A math app can provide reinforcement and added practice to help a child with concepts. I have chosen a couple of websites that you can go to to read about various FREE apps for your student.

10 Free Math Apps for Students Here are ten apps that are recommended by teachers.

iGameMom gives her list and descriptions of her ten favorite math apps.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~



MLK Day Activities

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I am so glad we, as a nation, honor Martin Luther King, Jr. He is a man that I admire because he had convictions of fairness, equality, and loving others that he didn’t give up on even though he was imprisoned, persecuted, and eventually tragically killed for them.

Are you interested in having your son/daughter do a lapbook? Here is a free lapbook with notebooking pages too. Homeschool Helper Online

Here are quite a few FREE worksheets and activities for all grades that focus on Martin Luther King, Jr.   Teachers Pay Teachers

Brain Pop video about Martin Luther King

Another video with quotes from Martin Luther King:  Martin’s Big Words

Here is the I Have a Dream speech with subtitles.

Have a great week! ~ Lisa ~

Fun Math Activities and Games

Math, Kids, Thinker

Mathematical concepts can be difficult at times. You may be at the point where you are wondering how you can teach the concept one-more-time. Hands-on activities are helpful for helping children make the transition from concrete to abstract thinking. Here are some ideas that you can use.

Graphing– Have your daughter or son write down a list of ideas (s)he can poll others about their likes or dislikes. Afterward, have your student graph the results. For instance, ask a question such as, “Would you rather have chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry ice cream?” You can even create an online survey to send to out of town friends and family. An added bonus is your student is using other skills that are incorporated into this activity- language arts- writing questions, sharing the results; technology, and art- creating and coloring the graph. Two easy to use FREE survey generators are:

  • Survey Monkey
  • Google Forms

Not everyone wants their child to use the computer for math drills so I am going to list some games you can play with things around your home.  I will have online games for you in the near future.

Get to 101 

  • You will need one dice
  • a pencil for each player
  • a piece of paper for each player

The goal is to roll the dice and add the numbers. The first person to get to 101 wins. Each person takes a turn rolling the die, strategizing to count the number at face value or multiply it by 10. For example, if you roll a six, you can keep that number or turn it into 60. Keep a tally of each round until one person reaches 101. This can be adapted by setting the number lower should you have a young student.

One Meter Dash (Metrics) You and your pupil look around the house for four items you think add up to one meter long. Measure and record how close your estimations were. The person closest to a meter wins.

Jumping Beans Do you have a wiggly child who needs to move? Try this game. Using flashcards, show your child the card and you give an answer. If it is correct, they have to sit down. If you give them an incorrect answer, they remain standing. For example, 3 + 3 and you say 9. Since that is correct, they will have to sit down. If you show the flashcard 5 + 5 and say the answer is 11, then they will need to stand.

Tic -Tac- Toe Create several game boards to play this version of Tic-Tac-Toe.   Instead of a blank 3X3 grid, write in math problems. If your student can correctly answer the problem that is in the grid they get to mark that space. The first person to get 3 in a row wins. If no one wins that game, we say our cat (Oreo) wins. Tally the number of wins for each person or animal. 🙂  Who won?

Math Bingo I thought I came up with a fairly original idea, but not so! This website is amazing since it is a print and go for different math skills. CLICK HERE 

If you have a favorite math game that you play with your family, please share!

Have a great week of teaching and learning! ~Lisa~

 Some of the math game ideas are from

Midyear Evaluating: What’s working, what’s not


As we begin 2020 this is a good time to do a quick evaluation of your school year so far. It’s easy to get mired in the day-to-day routine of school and not consider changing things if needed.

What is going well? I take it for granted when things are going well, but perhaps it would be better to figure out what is going well. Here are some questions to ponder:

  • Is it the curriculum? Does your student love math because of the way it is presented? There may be other types of teaching styles for other subjects that are not going well.
  • Does your daughter/ son enjoy the subject matter?  Consider incorporating that into other subject areas. For instance, if dinosaurs are a loved topic, how about not only using this for science, but also math (measuring the distance of various creatures, graphing the lengths), or Language arts (writing a report; doing a lap book, or reading books about them).
  • Is it the time of day or where it is placed in the day that works well? Do you have a son who likes to sleep in or a daughter who is an early bird? Fit the schedule (within reason) that accommodates their sleep patterns. After all, you have the flexibility to begin and end when it is best for your family.

What do you think needs to change? Let’s face it, some subjects are just not our daughter/ son’s favorite and no matter what you do, it doesn’t seem to go well. But, what about a heart-to-heart talk to her/him about making the most of the school day? These are things to consider why things aren’t working:

  • How are attitudes? Bad attitudes breed bad lessons and bad school days. I know, I have done this myself. 😦 Teaching with the right attitude and expecting the same from your child will help with the tough things.
  •  Is the curriculum or subject too hard, not challenging enough, or just plain boring?  You do not need to stick with the curriculum if it is not helping you to teach your children. If you are looking for some curriculum ideas check out Cathy Duffy’s website:
  • Do you need to change your daily routine? If you teach the easy subjects first and the harder ones last, your child’s focus could be waning. How about teaching the hard things first, take a 10 minute break and come back to it?
  • Is your son/ daughter sitting too long? Everybody needs a break. How about for your younger son/ daughter having wiggle breaks or brain breaks?  Set the timer for 2- 3 minutes and choose an activity such as do jumping jacks,; run outside; get a drink of water and a handful of nuts or granola; carry the books you have already used back to their place of origin, etc. Your older daughter/ son can stretch their legs; get a small snack; get a drink of water, etc.

If you have other ideas please let me know. 🙂

Have a great week! ~ Lisa ~ 


Teachable Moments

I just wanted to remind myself (and perhaps you too) that some of the best learning that takes place is away from the formal lessons. I can get caught up in teaching and making sure my lessons are “just right” and be disappointed when things just don’t seem to be clicking. Then a funny thing happens, something else happens that reinforces what I have just been trying to teach. The lights go off and my students say, “I just found out about ______!”

Funny, that’s what I have been teaching this whole time! Most of the time our children are going to get the lesson from other sources that our class time and that’s okay! The more exposure, opportunities to hear, and ways to interact with a new concept, the more we understand. Here is what I have learned helps me to teach and also learn.

Take your time– New concepts may take days, months, maybe even longer for your child to understand. Knowledge is built one idea at a time. Think about when you learned to drive. You just didn’t take off and get on the highway. The first time my oldest drove he was going about 10 miles an hour and said, “Boy! This is fast!”  It took a bit of time for him to feel comfortable to drive on the interstate. 🙂 No, this isn’t our car, but I DO love sports cars, especially red ones!

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Small steps Taking learning in small, bite-sized pieces is better than throwing the whole lesson with new ideas at your son/daughter and expecting the material to be understood right away. You can’t eat a plate of spaghetti in one gulp, neither can your student learn to multiply 2×8 if they don’t know that it is really 2 sets of 8 items is the same thing.

Partner Learning thrives when we partner with our child.  We do it, we do it, you do it, is what my boss says when I am tutoring a student. In order to build understanding and confidence, a LOT of partnering needs to take place. There are still going to be mistakes made as your daughter learns something new. Reminding her of where she began and what she can do now helps her to continue on.  I helped my mom make brownies a dozen times before I got to make them myself. I was never so disappointed when I read the recipe incorrectly and added an extra cup of water to the mix! I think I needed just one more time with my mom before I did it myself… maybe not! lol

Step away It’s okay to put that lesson away and come back to it another time.  Just because your curriculum says the next lesson is about adjectives, don’t teach it if your son is still not understanding nouns. Add some hands-on activities before introducing adjectives.  (find nouns in the store ads, identify objects in the kitchen, build a model, make a list of favorite characters, games, foods,etc.)

Review It is important to review the concept/ idea you have been studying before moving on. If things are still unclear, don’t move forward until you feel they can be given more information without being overwhelmed.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~