We make up little "math tests" for the girls. Â And yes, we also called them "puzzles". Â Math is very much a puzzle for them, and because of that they still love it at 7 and 9. Â All we did was write down a few equations for them to puzzle through on plain paper. Â At first it was very basic, only about 5 problems (I hate that word for math--what are my options here? Â Is "equation" correct, or does that refer to the finished "2+2=4"?)

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As they advanced and we did this more often (though still very infrequently) I would try to include problems that were easy for them, ones I figured were just about right, and one or two a little further ahead to gauge what they were ready for. Â Last August, I printed out some Singapore sample pages, which they enjoyed.

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We also do math games in the car. Â Very simple ones, since I am not mathematically clever enough to come up something trickier. Â We simply take turns throwing problems at each other. Â Both my girls are very good at mental math because most of the math they do is mental. Â I'm not so great at it, but helping my girls puzzle through it has helped me immensely. Â You could do the same in the kitchen or while walking or folding laundry. Â

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Doing math off the paper is something I value greatly, most especially in the early years. Â My 9yo still prefers it, even while she advances into addition with carrying and 3-digit numbers. Â Even when I write it down on paper, she uses the paper merely as a startingÂ point for her mental calculations. Â She understands that the special notation can allow her to add insanely huge numbers, but she's not interested in that yet.

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Sudoku is fun--it is mathematics but the numbers are incidental, as you can play it with pictures or colors. Â I would stick with that, homemade worksheets, printed worksheets and puzzles, not necessarily curriculum at first. Â We've really enjoyed just playing with cuisenaire rods--we have the wooden ones and I should have purchased the bucket-size. Â Those lead to all kinds of mathematical discoveries and are fun to play with by themselves. Â Solitaire card games can help internalize number sequence and logic (I have 3 games I've showed them). Â Wooden pattern blocks for making pictures, illustrating the relationship between shapes and just being gorgeous. Â For computer time, we've recentlyÂ been playing with bbcbitesize, on the Scottish KS1 (KS1 has mostly the same material, but I find the Scottish levelÂ easier to understand, accent-wise,Â across the board.)Â Â

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I've stuck with suggesting things he can do on his own. Â I have a slew of other suggestions that he can do with others that have helped with our mathematical explorations.

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ETA: we found that Khan academy, while fun and it does have basic math there, simply isn't geared towards the younger set. Â My girls failed to be be engaged by it, though I had lots of fun with it as an adult.

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