Flash Card Math Games


Flash Card Math Games at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Marci

Flash cards might seem old school, but they are very effective teaching tools. These simple, portable cards are great for memorizing facts and can be used on your own or in a group.

Another benefit of flash cards is their flexibility. Of course, you can use them the traditional way, or you can play games with them. Here are some fun flash card math games to try with your kids.

The Stair Game

This can be done with one or more students. Start at the bottom of the stairs. Each student gets the opportunity to answer a flash card. They go up one stair for every right answer and go down one for every wrong answer. The first student to the top or to the top and down again wins or play until a single student reaches one of those goals.

Option: You can use this as a speed drill with 2 or more students competing against each other and have the winner go up one stair. Winner gets to the top first.

Sum It Up

This is a fun game for more than one student or with a parent and a child. Divide flash cards evenly between all players. Each player solves the problems on his or her flash cards and keeps track of their answers on a piece of paper. Players total up the numbers on their paper and the highest total wins.

Make Math Families

Give the student a stack of multiplication flash cards and a stack of division flash cards. Their job is to match up the multiplication card with their corresponding division cards and make math families. Example: Match 6×7 with 7×6, 42÷6, and 42÷7.

Model It

Flash Card Math Games at The Happy Housewife

This game is especially good for young learners. Give the student a flash card, then give them a manipulative such as Legos, candy, or beads. Let them represent the equation on the flash card with the manipulatives. If the equation is 2 + 3, the student should have a group of 2 items and a group of 3 items. This lets the students “see” the math. They can find the answer by counting. This is great for moving from concrete to abstract thinking.

Match Game

Write the answers to the flash cards on index cards and scatter them on the table or floor. The student’s job is to match the flash cards with the answers.

What flash card games do you like to play with your kids?

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Solving the Homeschool Math Challenge

By contributing writer Colleen

When you have kids that just won’t stop moving in your homeschool, subjects like math can be a huge challenge. Even if a wiggly child is good at math, that subject presents unique challenges that are hard to overcome.

Solving the Homeschool Math Challenge at The Happy Housewife

photo credit: tracy the astonishing via photopin cc

Math is:

  • Sequential – Each lesson builds upon the last. A child (even a bright child) needs to do it mostly in order to lay a good foundation for higher levels of math. If he skips around too much, he’ll struggle in math later.
  • Repetitive – Math takes practice. While not all children need as many repetitions as others in order to master concepts, each kiddo needs some practice to become a strong mathematician.
  • Paper and Pencil – Because math is a skill to be mastered, most kids need to actually do the problems on paper in order to cement them in their minds. Active kids aren’t always the biggest fans of this type of work.
  • Overwhelming – Let’s face it, math can be overwhelming to kids. There is always something new to learn, and it seems like it never ends.

All of these issues add up to fights in many homeschools. I know that my son, who is very gifted, struggles whenever it’s time to pull out the math book. He doesn’t struggle because math is challenging. He struggles because the nature of math is tough for him. But math has to happen. So what should we do as homeschool parents?

Change It Up

If a curriculum isn’t working, there is no law that says you have to stick to it. Try something different. There are computer-based programs, textbooks with lots of repetition, and workbooks that favor more of a spiral approach (circling topics back around and around until a child gets it).

Solving the Homeschool Math Challenge at The Happy Housewife

Try a few different things to see which method works with your child’s learning style and personality. Borrow a few different programs from local homeschool friends, if possible, to try different things out. Remember, your only limit is yourself.

Homeschooling is a chance to see what works best and go with it. There is no one size fits all method of learning.

Get Your Kids Moving

If your kids don’t like to sit still, try to get them moving. In desperation one year, I took scissors to my son’s workbook pages and cut apart his math workbook. I spread the small chunks of paper throughout the house, told him how many pieces he had to find, and let him go on a math scavenger hunt to do his work.

I didn’t modify the work in any way. I still had him do all the problems on the page, but he didn’t feel as overwhelmed because those assignments were spread all over the house in small bite-sized pieces, and he was able to move between each segment. It was an adventure that he loved, and the complaining ceased.

Solving the Homeschool Math Challenge at The Happy Housewife

Modify the Curriculum

There is no rule that says your child must do every problem in a lesson. If there are a lot of repeated concepts and your child has clearly demonstrated to you that he knows that skill well, don’t make him practice any more. Allow him to move on.

It’s easy to become a slave to the curriculum, but really, it doesn’t do your child (or you) any good. Make the program work for you; don’t become a slave to it. If your child knows what he or she is doing, then let him be done with that concept. Otherwise homeschooling isn’t any different than having him be in school.


Above all, relax. It’s math. Yes, it’s important that your child knows how to manage his money, count, and calculate, but it’s more important that your child is confident, well-adjusted, and sure of himself. If the math you’re doing isn’t working, and it’s weighing you all down, step back, reevaluate, and try something else.

Above all, enjoy having your kids home with you, and work together to figure out a plan that works. It’s your turn. What simple ideas do you have for helping your kids through their math issues?

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Math Worksheets for 2nd Grade: Free Printables

Math Worksheets for 2nd Grade: Free Printables at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Lauren

At our house, math is a subject that always needs reinforcement! To help my 2nd grader nail down her math skills, she’ll use this set of worksheets in the coming months.

Each worksheet in this packet is geared towards the 2nd grade level.

In this Math Worksheet Packet for 2nd Grade:

  • Addition or Subtraction? – Determine the correct operator for each equation
  • Fruity Forms: Expanded and Standard – Match the expanded form of each number with the standard form
  • Missing Numbers! – Solve each equation in the cycle
  • Greater Than, Less Than, or Equals? – Solve the inequalities by practicing addition, subtraction, and simple multiplication
Math Worksheet Packet for 2nd Grade
Math Worksheet Packet for 2nd Grade
September 2014 Math Worksheets HH.pdf
512.9 KiB

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Learning Math Vocabulary

Learning Math Vocabulary at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Marci

Just like history, geography, and science have vocabulary words that we need to know, we need to learn math vocabulary as well.

When we first start learning math, the words place value, estimate, and fraction are new. As we progress, we need to learn what integer and exponent mean.

There are lots of fun ways to learn these math terms. Here are some sources and ideas.

Math Vocabulary Lists and Games

Math Vocabulary Art

If students are having a particularly hard time remembering a math vocabulary word, have them create art to represent it.

For instance, my son got confused with the term “less than.” He couldn’t remember what function that represented. He drew a comic with three frames. In the first frame, he drew an apple tree with 10 apples and “ten apples” written next to it.

math vocabulary comic strip

In the next frame, three apples are falling off the tree with the seven remaining apples still on the tree and the words “3 less than 10″ written next to it. The last frame shows just the apple tree with seven apples with the sentence and equation, “3 less than 10 is 7” and “10-3=7″.

What other fun ways can you think of to learn math vocabulary?

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This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.