Homeschool Math Can Be Fun and Games

Finding ways to make math fun and interesting can be difficult. Children need to practice certain skills in math to become competent but doing the same drills again and again isn’t much fun.

However, making math fun can be as easy as adding a few games into your daily math routine. Math games can be used to introduce new concepts, practice math skills and consolidate math concepts.

Here are four different types of math games to consider using in your Home School math program.

Math Board Games

Board games can be used to teach different math skills. Commercial board games are available but these can be expensive and often one board game will only teach or practice one skill. A better alternative is to involve the children in making their own board games or look for ready made board games that can be printed from the internet.

Math Card Games

Math card games can be played with a simple deck of cards or with specially designed cards. Simple match up games are easy to make with cards having an equation on one card and the answer on the matching card. This can be played like Memory or Concentration. Children simply turn over 2 cards at a time and if they match they get to keep the cards.

Pencil and Paper Games

Many games can be played with just a pencil and paper. Everyone knows the word game Hangman but not everyone knows that Hangman can be adapted to a math game. Simply choose an equation and draw a dash for each of the numerals and signs in the equation, e.g. 24+18=42 would be recorded as 8 dashes _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. Children then guess the signs and the numerals (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). Write the sign or numeral on the dash for each correct guess and draw a part of the hangman for each incorrect guess. HINT: If you don’t like the idea of drawing a hangman, just change it to something else and play ‘Racing Car’ or ‘Robot’ instead. Just decide upon the shape to be drawn before you start.

Other Games

Many math games can be played with little or no equipment. Twenty Questions can be played with no equipment at all. One player thinks of a number within a set range, e.g. between 0 and 100. The other player/s asks questions about the number until they guess what the number is. Each question can only be answered with yes or no, e.g. Is it an odd number? Is it larger than 50?

Tips for selecting Math Games for Home School Math

- Make sure that the instructions are simple, clear and easy to follow.
- Make sure that the game will challenge the ability level of your child without being so difficult that it will frustrate them.
- Ensure that everyone is aware of all of the rules.
- Involve children in making and selecting the games to give them a sense of ownership of the games. This way they will be even keener to play as they will regard it as ‘my game’ or ‘the game that I made’.
- Let your child know why you are playing the game – what they will get from playing the game.

Get creative and you will find that there is no end to the number of games that you can use to increase math skills and increase math fun.

Promotional Products Strategies – How To Use Branded Gifts For Fun And Profits

Are you trying to grow your business? Why not profit from using fun and games? Here is an effective promotional products strategy you can use to get more customers and clients while having some fun and without spending a whole lot of money.

Whether you have a retail store or a business with many locations, you can use promotional gifts to get the word out about it. Here’s the five-step process:

1) Set up booths or tables at community events or trade shows

An excellent way to get your promotional items in front of your targeted audience is to set up booths or tables at community events. Larger businesses can do the same at trade shows.

2) Arrange for a variety of suitable promotional products

Have a range of suitable branded items on hand. These should range from the obvious, such as pens, to t-shirts, bags, and other items that would be appealing to your audience… and that people would be likely to use!

However, be sure to include some branded gifts that will be useful to lots of different people, including water bottles, coffee mugs, travel mugs, USB memory sticks, and note pads. Calendars and diaries will also work well, especially towards the end of the year or early in the year.

You can also attach your logo to bottles of water or other consumables, such as mints. As people walk around the event, a bottle of water is always welcome, so it’ll be a popular item.

3) Set up a Prize Wheel (or Wheel of Fortune)

Next, prepare a prize wheel where each of the fields features one of your promotional gifts.

Maybe one field could feature a t-shirt, a couple of fields each could offer reusable branded water bottles or travel mugs, and so on. There should also be several fields that offer small items, such as pens or notepads. It’s important that everyone who plays will be a winner.

The wheel of fortune will get people involved and will make the gifts more desirable than if they were given out indiscriminately.

4) Create a gift basket

Finally, create a big gift basket featuring all the promotional gifts, plus a few gourmet treats, such as coffee, chocolate, and biscuits.

Have everyone fill in a form with their contact information, and raffle off the gift basket.

5) Hold the drawing

If the event is local, you can hold the drawing after the event is over and call the winner so they can pick up their prize.

If it’s a trade show or there are a lot of attendees who live farther away, you can hold the drawing towards the end of the event (post a sign with the time) and require the winner to be present so that they can pick up their prize right then and there.

Home Improvement Tips: Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Reasons for A RedoHome improvement projects often begin with someone saying, “Wouldn’t it be nice if… ?” usually followed by a wish for a remodelled kitchen or a room addition for space to accommodate every family member’s needs. More often than not, reality and dreams don’t coincide, due to limited funds for realizing the dream, or limits on the available space. The trick: turning your dreams into reality. Begin with a realistic evaluation of your needs. Homeowners usually consider home improvements for one of the following reasons.You may feel the need to update something that is out-of-date. If your kitchen colour scheme was perfect a few decades ago but no longer works, now may a good time to update it.Some home improvement projects grow out of an immediate need to replace broken or inefficient fixtures. If a sink, tub, or toilet needs to be replaced, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to do a makeover on the entire bathroom.If you’re preparing to sell your home, you’ll want to be sure to get top dollar from the sale. That’s great motivation for some home improvement projects.You have decided that staying put and improving your home is a better option than moving.Your family has grown and you need more space.Improving to Move? or Improving to Stay?Evaluate your plans carefully if you’re improving your home to list it for sale. Cutting corners may hurt your prospects rather than helping them. But don’t go overboard either. Potential buyers may prefer not to pay for some of the extras, such as a hot tub or pool. You’re better off keeping the changes simple.And remember that buyers who view your home may not share your tastes and may not appreciate the care you took to find just the right shade of green paint for the walls.You’ll find that improving to sell is easier if you can think about it from the prospective buyer’s point of view: What is important to the home buyer? Here are a few remodelling projects buyers are likely to find valuable:Adding or remodelling a bathImproving the kitchenAdding a new roomLandscapingAdding a bedroomAdding or enclosing a garage.If you’re remodelling because you want to stay in your home, you should still avoid over-improving it. You’ll probably want to sell it someday, and even if your house is the best on the block, it may be difficult to convince potential buyers to pay for the things you considered important. And when you consider making improvements, keep in mind the value of other homes in the area. Your home’s value should not be more than 20% above the average, which means that a $10,000 kitchen improvement project well could be a better investment than a $10,000 hot tub, especially if yours will be the only home in the area with a hot tub.Home Maintenance versus Home ImprovementsIt’s unfortunate that some home improvement projects are undertaken because something has broken. Replacing a leaky bathtub may be the first step to a major bath remodeling: since the tub has to be replaced anyway, why not do the whole room?While that might be a legitimate reason to remodel, avoid basing your home improvement projects on immediate needs. You’ll be better off if you minimize problems with proper maintenance. Examine every part of your home at least once a year. Check the roof, the plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. As soon as become aware of a problem, fix it. Making repairs when you’re first aware of them will help you avoid larger expenses later on. Keep in mind that maintenance does not add to the value of your home. Usually repairs are not improvements; they are necessities.Hiring Professionals May Save You Time and MoneyIt should go without saying that home projects can be expensive, so you may be tempted to tackle them yourself as a way to save money. That may be a smart move for small projects. You won’t have to wait for someone to fit your house into their busy schedule, and you can boast about having done the work yourself.But unless you’re very versatile, major home improvements are better left to professionals. If you decide to remodel the kitchen and plan to do the work yourself, will you be able to handle the plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work on your own?. And don’t forget that you’ll need to finish it quickly, because you won’t have a kitchen as long as it’s a “work in process” and eating three meals a day in restaurants could get expensive. Keep in mind, do-it-yourself jobs generally take more time. And you’ll be responsible for getting all the necessary permits and inspections.Hiring people who have the required experience can save you money and time, too. For example, these professionals can help you get a custom look using stock products, and that can be a significant savings. Getting something done right the first time will give you value that lasts for years.To find qualified and dependable home improvement specialists, check with friends, business associates, and neighbours for recommendations. Always get at least three references, and check them out thoroughly. Also check with the local chapter of the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce. Their numbers can be found in the community services section of your telephone book.Once you’ve located the necessary home improvement specialists, make sure everyone is in agreement about the design, the schedule, and the budget, and get the details down in writing in a signed contract.It’s also wise to check on professional certifications and licenses, where required, and be certain that the contractors you hire are fully insured and bonded. Your town or city Building Department can provide that information. And it’s very important that you make sure contractors carry workers’ compensation insurance: if workers are injured on the job, you won’t be liable if the contractor is covered. Request copies of their insurance certificates. And make sure that either you or your contractor have gotten any necessary permits before the work begins. Contact your local Planning and Zoning Commission for information.Here’s a quick overview of some of the professionals you may need to work with when you remodel your home:Architect: Architects design homes or additions from the foundation to the roof. If your project will require structural changes such as adding or removing walls, or if the design is complex, you will probably need an architect. Since architects may charge an hourly or a flat fee, make sure you get an estimate of the total cost: drawing up the plans for a major remodeling project can take 80 hours or more.Contractor: The contractor oversees the home improvement project, including hiring and supervising workers, getting the necessary permits, making sure inspections are done as needed, and providing insurance for work crews. It’s always a good idea to get proposals from one or more reputable contractors, based on the specific details of your project.Be sure each contractor bids on exactly the same plan so that you can compare their bids more easily. When you’ve chosen a contractor, make sure the contract specifies that you will pay in stages. You’ll usually pay one third when the contract is signed so that the contractor can buy supplies. The number and timing for making the remaining payments will depend on the size of the project. Do not make the final payment until all the work is successfully completed, inspected, and approved.Interior Designers: Interior designers are specialists who will provide advice on furnishings, wall coverings, colors, styles, and more. They help save you time by narrowing your selection, and save money because they usually receive professional discounts from their suppliers. When meeting with an interior designer, be sure to tell them about your personal style and preferences. Expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour, or you may be able to negotiate a flat fee of approximately 25% of the total project cost.