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5.26.2016

Math for Creative Kids--Rose Academy

Ahhhhhh....summer break...I love summer break. So do my kids. BUT I don't like it when they forget what they learned during the school year, especially in math. We like to keep our school work light, simple, and short in the summer time. We participate in the local library reading programs, and we do math maybe 3 times per week. Mostly I like to allow them plenty of free time to play, explore, create, bake, and just have fun. I think this summer we will just work in these math books for 15-20 minutes a few times per week. (This post contains affiliate links. When you use my affiliate links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting my site!)
Are You a Math Genius? The Inventor's Book of Calculation Games is filled with brain teasers and logic puzzles that require using multiple math skills ranging from basic math to algebra. This book has 8 chapters for the students to work through. Chapter 1 is a test of basic skills. Once the student passes this chapter, they may advance onto the other chapters. I will not require my kids to work through these chapters in order after they complete chapter one. Subsequent chapters have students solving problems, writing descriptions, completing drawings, and accepting challenges. This book looks deceivingly simple, but don't be fooled by that fact. The kids are practicing math skills in a real life setting. They are solving word problems and using higher level thinking skills.
So what if a problem comes up that they haven't learned in their math book yet? That's really not a problem. You can teach the concept right there on the spot or have the child find a video tutorial online. You might actually be surprised that learning math in this way will have a much bigger impact on your child's learning. They need to know how to solve the problem so they will naturally figure it out.
Comic Book Math draws the child into the math by the use of cute (and well-known) character drawings--minecraft, LEGO, and many others make their appearance in this fun-schooling math journal. Along the way the child will review their addition and subtraction facts and participate in some creative writing activities. Again don't be fooled by the simplicity of this journal, there is some serious math and thinking going on. Along with reviewing the basic addition and subtraction facts, the students will engage in the creative side of learning math and that appeals to many, many creative kids. The fact that your child will be having FUN while practicing math is worth it. Several blank charts allow the child to make up their own math games and puzzles.
Multiplication Games uses logic and creativity to give a thorough review (along with plenty of practice) of the multiplication facts and skip counting. The students use logic to intuitively solve many of the puzzles and games in the book. Throughout the book the students also complete the multiplication table several times, which provides a good understanding of how the skip counting patterns and multiplication works. This would be a good book to complete in place of many of the speed drill worksheets that are so popular. 180 pages means the student could complete one per day of the school year and have a solid understanding of multiplication by the end of the year. I for sure would prefer to have fun with math rather than drill and kill those facts into their heads! This book is very similar to the math book from Dyslexia Games series C. The main difference is that this book includes extra multiplication charts for extra practice.
Which math book should you choose?

That really depends on what your children need at the moment. The Math Genius book is recommended for ages 13 and up, but I am working through it with my 11 year old. It is a challenge for him, but he is insistent on working through it. Younger students may enjoy the fun and simplicity of the review of addition and subtraction in Comic Book Math. For very young students, The Littlest Math Book may be the best place to start. It includes many similar activities from Comic Book Math, but is in a pocket size format. 
The ages are very flexible for each book and were created with a wide age range in mind. I personally would suggest that you choose a book that would appeal to your child. I would prefer that the book be too easy for my child rather than too hard. Use this graphic to help you decide which book is best for your child. 
What do your creative kids do in the summer for math review?
Read my other posts about the Thinking Tree books. I hope your family will enjoy these books just as much as we do!

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