This is one post in a 31 day series on read-aloud <— Click here to see all the posts. This one is about how to teach math with read-alouds.
Homeschooling moms have sick days like all teachers, but we can’t call in sick. What do you do when you don’t feel like getting out of bed? Let the kids take the day off?
But what I usually do on sick days is to do read-aloud for a few hours. If my voice gives out, I can get an older child to help out. Or, I have the younger kids read to me to practice their reading ability. You can easily teach history, science, geography, grammar and vocabulary this way.
You can even teach math with read-alouds!
How to Teach Math with Read-Alouds
This year the elementary and middle school kids are using Life of Fred books for math, and they LOVE it. The books follow the adventures of child genius Fred, using math to get him out of various scrapes. These books are simply awesome. I wish I had discovered them years ago.
For the early elementary years, the author of LoF recommends that you sit the child in your lap and read the books together. I get my Life of Fred books from Educents, who have the best price I’ve found.
Even if you don’t use Life of Fred to teach math exclusively, they’re a wonderful addition to the curriculum.
There’s plenty of evidence that this low-tech, unstressed approach is best, by the way. Read this excellent article on the history of teaching arithmetic to children for research.
Some more books we’ve enjoyed that teach math via reading:
The I Hate Mathematics! Book is a fun book of games, puzzles and real-world math that may leave many adults scratching their heads. My math-phobic 10 year old daughter spent weeks with her nose in this one
Mitsumasa Anno‘s books math are awesome too. My kids have enjoyed these a lot. Beginning with Anno’s Counting Book and working up to the other titles, such as Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar, they introduce math concepts with pictures and stories that kids enjoy reading.
Of course, teaching math with read-alouds isn’t just reserved for sick days or when you want a change of pace from your regular math curriculum. They’re great anytime!
Do you ever use read-alouds to teach math? Share your favorite titles below.