# Making Math Fun

September 4, 2012 4:34 PM Subscribe

Is your elementary school youngster struggling with math? Are they a visual person? Would math games and videos help them learn? Enter Math Playground, to assist with problem solving and real world math. Try the enticing logic game Sugar, Sugar or beef up your math word problem skills. There are plenty of games to help educate while entertaining.

It takes gifted, motivated teachers to properly teach math - games are just part of it. And most teachers at the elementary level are not good at teaching math. This is not a slag on teachers by the way - it's just that not every teacher has the aptitude to teach it.

At the beginning of last year, our son was struggling with math. The teacher adopted a fairly philosophical attitude - he'll get it eventually, or he won't.

Instead my wife, who used to be a math tutor, sat down and went over the basics with him. Once he mastered the basics, he practised using worksheets. He eventually started doing his own math problems.

He ended up in the top of his class for math by the end of the year.

posted by KokuRyu at 4:53 PM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

At the beginning of last year, our son was struggling with math. The teacher adopted a fairly philosophical attitude - he'll get it eventually, or he won't.

Instead my wife, who used to be a math tutor, sat down and went over the basics with him. Once he mastered the basics, he practised using worksheets. He eventually started doing his own math problems.

He ended up in the top of his class for math by the end of the year.

posted by KokuRyu at 4:53 PM on September 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

My kids are great with their 7's multiplication table because of Mad4Math's website. It features a Dad sitting in an outhouse, literally blowing the tiles off the roof with his trumpeting flatulence. As the tiles fall, you have to do the 7's problems to catch them.

posted by I'm Doing the Dishes at 4:58 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by I'm Doing the Dishes at 4:58 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Eat my dust, 4th graders!

posted by thirteenkiller at 5:53 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by thirteenkiller at 5:53 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

It takes gifted, motivated web surfers to navigate that site without landing in a totally different web site that wants your money.

posted by Chuffy at 6:30 PM on September 4, 2012

posted by Chuffy at 6:30 PM on September 4, 2012

Yeah, chuffy, teachers eat up these 'free' educational websites full of ads. They should promote ghostery to parents at open house.

posted by zangpo at 6:44 PM on September 4, 2012

posted by zangpo at 6:44 PM on September 4, 2012

Sugar, Sugar is a wonderful and occasionally frustrating game. For a logic game, it is surprisingly whimsical. I'm not entirely sure how it'd help an elementary-aged kid learn math, though.

posted by asnider at 8:01 PM on September 4, 2012

posted by asnider at 8:01 PM on September 4, 2012

*I'm not entirely sure how it'd help an elementary-aged kid learn math, though.*

It may not help them remember what 7*6 is or how to add fractions, but anything that exercises the mind in terms of solving problems and critical thinking is definitely something that will help a kid learn how to think mathematically (which was a topic brought up in the recent Vi Hart thread).

posted by King Bee at 8:28 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Number Munchers and Oregon Trail forever!

posted by Malice at 8:49 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by Malice at 8:49 PM on September 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

*Number Munchers and Oregon Trail forever!*

Yes!

Although, Number Munchers didn't really help us learn math. We quickly learned that if we always chose "multiples of 5" the game became super easy and we could focus on the "game" aspect and not so much on the "learning" aspect.

posted by asnider at 9:22 PM on September 4, 2012

I can't possibly be the only one who read the post as "Is your elementary school youngster struggling with

posted by item at 9:36 PM on September 4, 2012

*?", can I?***meth**posted by item at 9:36 PM on September 4, 2012

As someone who is often charged with supervising kids playing math games online, Manga High is very popular, even without full membership.

posted by RedEmma at 6:47 AM on September 5, 2012

posted by RedEmma at 6:47 AM on September 5, 2012

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posted by fullerine at 4:36 PM on September 4, 2012 [4 favorites]