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I was compensated for my time writing this post about teaching math when you’re busy.
Teaching math when you’re busy is frustrating. I’ve been there done that. You have no time to teach. But at the same time, math is an important subject for our kids.
They need to know math!
7 Tips for Teaching Math When Life Gets Busy
When life gets busy, it’s hard to stay on top of your homeschool. Here are some tips to help you keep your kids going so they stay at grade level in math.
1. Keep Supplies in One Spot
Keep all your math supplies in one spot. This way you don’t need to search the house for books, notebooks, compasses, or rulers. Younger kids have their own collection of supplies that they need. Again, keep everything in one area.
This way when you sit down to teach math, you can grab everything you need and get going.
2. Put Math First
Another tip to ensure math is taught is to schedule math first. Make it the first subject you do each day. I’ve found that this keeps math from being slid into last place and neglected.
Another benefit to teaching math first is that kids have more mental energy in the early morning. They’re able to complete their math without tears.
I’ve noticed that whenever the kids and I postpone math to the last subject of the day the waterworks begin.
So teach math first thing in the morning.
3. Half Lessons Are Okay
When life truly gets busy, remember that something is better than nothing. It’s okay to schedule half lessons a day for a time because something is better than nothing.
What I mean is that you can schedule one math lesson over two days. On the first day teach the lesson and do some example problems. On the second day, you can complete the lesson set.
If you’re using Saxon Math you will complete the odd-numbered problems on the first day and the even-numbered problems on the second day.
This will keep you and your kids moving forward in math at a crawl, but you will be moving forward.
More importantly, your kids won’t forget the math they’ve learned. So when life is no longer crazy busy, you can move back to full pace without having to worry about reviewing past lessons.
4. Know what you’re going to do each day
Have a plan in place so you know what you’re going to do each day. Because nothing takes more time than spending 5 or 10 minutes each day trying to figure out what lesson you’re going to do and then searching for the needed supplies.
You’re behind before you even get a chance to start.
So sit down and figure out what you’re going to do in math each day. You can do this over the weekend, on Fridays, or at the end of each math lesson. If you do it at the end of the math lesson, just jot a quick note on what you’d like to do each day before you put your math supplies away.
This way you always know what you’re going to do before you sit down to teach your children their math lesson.
5. Set Time limit to math
If you only have 20 minutes for math, set the timer and stick to your time limit. This can be a great way to make certain you cover all your bases each day, not just math.
If you’re setting a time limit for math, first set your kitchen timer before sitting down with your kids. Concentrate and work on nothing but math for that time period.
Just as a heads up, the first few days may be frustrating because kids will be used to wasting their time. Keep working with them and work on learning to focus for 20 minutes.
You’ll be amazed how much kids can get done when there’s a time limit for math.
6. Write down assignments for kids
If you have kids who are able to work independently, then write down the assignments for your kids. And don’t be afraid to get detailed.
In fact, I recommend you do just that. Write down very detailed plans for your children. In my experience, kids tend to skip anything that isn’t explicitly stated in their instructions.
They want to skip ahead to the good stuff and run outside to play.
So write down detailed instructions for your kids. Include everything you want them to do such as drill sheets, reading the lesson, practice problems, completing the lesson, etc.
This way the kids won’t need to constantly ask you what they need to do next when they sit down to study math.
7. Learn Math Online
Another great way to save time when life gets busy is to switch to an online math program like CTCMath‘s Homeschool Family Membership. The Homeschool Family Membership allows you to work through your to-do list while your kids study math.
Your kids will have the videos, autocorrect, and guidance they need. Plus, you’ll be surprised how smoothly math goes when your kids don’t need you. They hop on the computer and head over to CTCMath. They watch the lesson and then move on work through their problem set.
And if there’s an issue you can give them extra problems.
Don’t worry about losing track of how your kids are doing. The Homeschool Family Membership sends a weekly report keeping you updated on how your kids are doing in math.
It’s super easy!
So check out CTCMath’s free trial. Your kids will receive excellent math instruction. And you’ll have time to enjoy your cup of coffee in the morning.