Topic | Help With Math – DS8 is Bored and Wants "Fun"


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  • I am using Singapore Math with DS8. In public school last year his teacher said he was at the top of his class in math, but now we battle daily over all of his assignments….right now we’re learning multiplication and division.

    After one too many battles and his plea for something “fun” I started switching things up….text/workbook one day, flash cards the next, online math game like Math Man, Super Maths World, Timez Attack, Addition Attack, etc. one day, back to text/workbook or a different worksheet on Thursday and then a board game like The Allowance Game on Friday. Of course however on our text/workbook days he still complains and procrastinates and acts like he can’t do the work. But on flashcard days and online math game days he’s able to do the problems with ease.

    I explained to him that the answer to 6×2 for example is the same no matter if it’s on a worksheet, a flashcard or in an online game, yet he still is craving for “fun” ways of doing math. I told him we can’t do math games everyday for math, but I’m wondering if that’s not completely true?

    Sites like offer math programs and I’m sure there are others out there. Could I take advantage of some of these free or low cost online math games/programs and still have an effective math curriculum for my son and feel confident knowing that he is learning the concepts, or do I still need to keep using his core math program, Singapore, and supplement with the “fun” stuff?

    Or, could it be that I need to look into a different math program for him? My concern with that is that this kid is a bit of a video game whiz….he can finish a brand new video game without any type of instruction manual in one day so my fear is that any type of traditional math curriculum/program is going to bore him because he’s so naturally prone to the challenge of pulling apart and figure out video games. What do you guys think? Is anyone out there using an online math curriculum or games as their primary source for learning?


    With mine I knew after switching curriculums and trying different things that it was time for a lesson.  All things in life can’t be fun and there are certain things that we have to work hard to achieve.  If you have Laying down the Rails, look at the Habits of Mental Effort and Fortitude.

    I got caught up in changing curriculums and finding ” fun ”  stuff to do, and I have to say that it is important that the curriculum matches the child’s learning style but…there are some things they need to just do.  Almost all math curriculums are spiral or mastery. If you have tried both approaches, then it may be that your son needs encouragement to forge ahead and just do it even if its not fun.

    Jodie Apple

    We have a boy who did the same thing around that age and after changing our method so many times I finally told him that I understood that he didn’t like math but it’s something we have to do.  As mrsjamiesouth stated everything in life isn’t going to be fun.  In fact, I think our math lessons have been more of a tool for learning how not to have a complaining spirit than they have been about numbers!  Laughing  I found that switching around so much wasn’t a good thing.  Once I stuck with a program and we dealt with his attitude we began making much progress.




    While it is true that not all of life is fun . . . if there’s a different program that he thinks is fun, what is the harm in trying it?  Don’t we, as adults, lean towards things that we enjoy – even if we are learning something new?  I started my three kids on Singapore a year ago (ages 12, 9, and 7) and just switched my 7 yr old to Right Start math because of similar things you are describing.  My other two kids are still using Singapore because it “works” for them, but it didn’t for ds7 (almost 8).  We’ve only been using it for 3 mos, but it already has changed our math time dramatically.  He is still learning, still required to do math, but he is enjoying it more.  This program is more visual, more hands-on, and we play games to learn math, instead of doing a workbook page full of many exercises. 

    I understand there are many schools of thought about this – these are just mine.

    Best wishes,


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