How I Teach Upside Down Children Math


Oh the screaming!  I am sure if you were on the other side of our door on any given morning there would be some sort of screaming going on in my house.  And while I am working hard to curb my end of the screaming-most of it comes from my children.  For many reasons. (Remember I said my house is never quiet-one of the many reasons) But a lot has to do with not wanting to do math lately.  Expect AnnieQ.  Last year she was the one screaming and the boys were all good.

Last year I started math with AnnieQ and made it through 12 weeks of horrible screaming.  I requested help.  I got suggestions from other Math U See mom’s.  Finally at my wit’s end I put the book away and let her “unschool” herself in math the rest of the year.  I never mentioned a math lesson with her at all.  More for my sanity.

Any guess what?  We started the whole book again this year and she is flying through it with little screaming.  Only on math drills on the computer- when I add new numbers does she have issues.  It was worth stopping.



So how do I do math?  I don’t Steve does!  That’s really what I tell people!  See we use Math U See.  I love it. My kids mostly love it.  Here is how a week looks like for us.  Normally.

Monday:  We watch the lesson on the DVD-two or three times.  And do one work sheet to make sure we understand the lesson.

Tuesday-Friday: kids do the 1-3 worksheets a day.  Isaiah only barely gets through 1 a day.  AnnieQ can fly through 2-3 now that she understands it!  Robby various.  Plus they do math drills on the computer or iPad.  Isaiah does 50 a day and the two older ones do a 100.  We use Math Boards.  LOVE that program!

I don’t do test.  I know I should BUT the test are the same at the worksheets, and by Friday I know if they know it or not.  Plus I do use the “test” as a worksheet.  The math drills are helping them learn how to do math problems for any standardize test for the future.

Now these are not the only things-I also do these things.

  • Isaiah has a hard time looking at the math problems from horizontal to vertical.  So I am have to teach him to read and say  each problem to show him it is the same.  Isaiah does not do well with transition and quick change.  I guess the change in the problems throws him.
  • If the problem says 4+5-Isaiah doesn’t get it.  If I say you have 4 dollars and I gave you 5 how much do you have. He says 9 right a way!  I don’t get this, and have to figure out how to merge this thinking to the blocks and number with him.
  • I would stop with Isaiah-like AnnieQ-but he wants to do as AnnieQ.  So that is why we only do one sheet-and next year may be repeating again.  I don’t know.
  • Counting-my kids count everything.  We encourage counting things.  Like how many cars are there.  How many books on the selves.  How many eggs are left.  They  are always counting.
  • AnnieQ writes her numbers backwards.  I correct her as fast as I can.  Signs of Dyslexia.  Isaiah just doesn’t want to write them unless perfect, and he can’t do perfect yet.  So I try to get them to write numbers when ever I can.  Isaiah I find sheets that have traceable number, which also I encourage AnnieQ to use.  But she things that too baby for her.
  • We do use some flash card- not many
  • There are some great Math Apps for our iPads. From younger to older ones.  One of Isaiah’s favorite from the last two years was Monkey Math.  Math Blaster HyperBlast is fun to play
  • We estimate how we spend when we goto the store.  It is a great way for them to know how much groceries cost plus other items.
  • We give them some money to spend.  And budget money with them.  I don’t do allowances.  It is too hard.  But they earn money different ways plus they get money as gifts.  At Christmas this year I gave them budgets for each one.  So when I took out Isaiah he had a $5 per person.  I did not include tax for him cause that was too much.  The item had to be under $5.  That was a challenge as he has an expensive taste and will need a well paying job in the future.
  • Tell time.  Ok I never taught my children how to tell time.  They taught them selves.  Our biggest problem is our clock is a roman numeral clock-so I have just bought a number clock too.  But they understand the concept.  All by them selves.  But Steve will teach them too!
  • Showing your work.  In upper math showing your work becomes important.  I have a child who loves mental math.  But my husband says he needs to show his work- it does make it easier for us to know where he went wrong.  So that has been a big change this year.
  • No counting on fingers.  I know-but I am trying to teach them to use the Math U See blocks and not count on their fingers.  I have noticed that my public school foster kids count of their fingers on the time.  I tell them good-what happens at 21?
  • Skip Counting.  I even encouraged my high schooler last year to learn skip counting.  He missed the first 6 years of math-so he missed many building blocks.  Learning skip counting helped.
  • LOVE Legos.
  • Beginning to love Mind Craft
  • Check out my Pinterest board on Homeshcooling for Math ideas and the iHomeschool Networks for some great ideas!

If you are new to my blog, three of my four are adopted.  I will not tell you who:) But I have learned that my kids in some areas are not at their right age levels among other things.  This showed up in math.  Holding AnnieQ back has helped in many ways, and like a preemie, my hope is she will catch up when she is ready.

I am starting to read a book call the “Whole Brain Child” recommended from a conference I went to this last summer.  It is on my list of books I am reading.  12 steps to nurture the brain.  I am looking forward to learning about step 7 remember to remember.  My kids-especially AnnieQ has a hard time remember things she has learned.


I am in day 2 of a 5 day series. Yesterday I blogged about how I homeschool my upside down kids Language Arts.

Check out these other homeschooling families and how they teach Language Arts.

Hopscotch with us January 13-17 as we share a round of posts detailing how exactly we teach within our specific niches.

Day 1: how I teach language arts
Day 2: how I teach math
Day 3: how I teach science
Day 4: how I teach history
Day 5: how I teach fine arts


Save pagePDF pageEmail pagePrint page
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. […] I am in day 3 of a 5 day series. Day 1 I  blogged about how I homeschool my upside down kids Language Arts. Day 2 was about Math. […]

  2. […] Day 1 I  blogged about how I homeschool my upside down kids Language Arts. Day 2 was about Math. Day 3 was […]

%d bloggers like this: