Math and science…you either love them or hate them. Teaching them brings on a similar response. I have heard many mothers lamenting over how bad their math lesson went. Science often gets neglected or we fall way behind where we want to be in our curriculum. The struggles are real. Take a deep breath and relax. Teaching math and science isn’t rocket science..it’s ministry!
Teaching preschool math can be an obvious ministry. You can take bible stories and turn them into math problems with manipulatives. Here are a few examples:
- Teach beginning counting and number writing with the 7 days of Creation
- Teach counting by 2s with Noah’s Ark
- Use gummy fish to do math problems when studying the story of Noah
The Problem With Math
(Ha ha. Get it? Math problem?) As children get older, math becomes more difficult for both the student and most math teachers. The struggle with math is that there is only one right answer. When our children arrive at an answer that does not agree with the teacher’s manual or our calculations, we can’t sugar coat it. Our kids often get frustrated with the process, wondering where they messed up. We get frustrated right along with them.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19 ESV
The SolutionWhen we turn a stressful situation into an opportunity to show love and patience , that is ministry! Click To Tweet
The solution to teaching math isn’t rocket science. The solution is to remain patient and Christ-like. When we are able to turn a potentially stressful situation into an opportunity to show love and patience like God would, that is ministry!
When you feel like you are about to lose your cool while teaching, try these tried and true techniques:
- Take a deep breath. Or several.
- Say a prayer. God cares about everything–even math. He is a God of order and He created math. He especially cares about how we handle ourselves when we teach.
- Walk away. Teach something else or take a little break. Then come back to it.
- Have some fun teaching in a different way. Search for a video explanation or song on Youtube. Find a picture book that teaches the concept. Play a math game.
Here are my 3 favorite ways to take the pressure off when teaching math:
- Khan Academy: Khan Academy is a free online program. They offer math and other subjects as well. There are video explanations of the various concepts. If you still don’t understand how to do something, you can ask for a hint. Students must master each concept by correctly answering 5 math problems in a row. If you are looking for a more cutesy approach, you can supplement with ABCya, another online favorite.
- Right Start Math: Children use manipulatives and learn to play math games. A few worksheets are included, but the core of math is done in a fun way, so there isn’t so much pressure if they get a problem wrong. You can just teach as you go along in the game. The downside of this curriculum is it takes a bit more time and parents must work alongside the child.
- Outsourcing/Tutoring: There is no shame in outsourcing a subject. We all have different interests and talents. If outsourcing keeps the peace and your budget allows, it’s worth it!
It is the glory of God to conceal things,
but the glory of kings is to search things out.” Proverbs 25:2 ESV
Science and math often go hand in hand. Teaching Science can be a ministry too. After all, the Bible is full of science! God created this amazing world and the design for how it works. Discovering scientific concepts is almost like getting a glimpse into God’s mind. When we look at the world, we see evidence of an intelligent creator. We see evidence of His great plan for making all things work together for the good.Teaching science can be a ministry. The Bible is full of science! Click To Tweet
Christian Science Curriculum
You don’t have to teach from only Christian science materials to see the order of the universe. However, if you are looking for good resources that help you discover the Christian perspective, here are a few:
Answers in Genesis: God’s Design for Science
Simply Charlotte Mason: Living Science Books
Christian Kids Explore Science Series
Teaching Math and Science Isn’t Rocket Science…It’s Ministry!
I hope you find some suggestions here to help make teaching math and science a ministry. As always, review these ideas and see which style works best for your family. I’m a big advocate of praying over your curriculum. Prayer has led our homeschool in the right direction! Our whole life can be a ministry if we let it.
What are your favorite math and science curriculums? How do you turn your math and science into ministry?
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All truth is God’s truth. I really believe that the act of study is an act of worship.
Alice recently posted…You Are What You Eat: Communion Reimagined
It’s because of mom’s like you and blogs such as this that make the option of homeschooling so much less terrifying. Thank you for sharing all that you’ve learned.
Erin recently posted…It’s time: Put your big boy britches on!
Jennifer DeFrates/Heaven Not Harvard says
My daughter loves Apologia science! She says she wants to be a paleontologist so she can teach other paleontologists about Jesus! But math has been hard for us. We’ve had to learn how to be teachable and not to let getting the wrong answer be defeating. Prayer does help! And Moby Max is another great free site!
Jennifer DeFrates/Heaven Not Harvard recently posted…Is Christ in your Social Media Message?
Everything we do with our kids is a ministry unto them – and it’s pleasing to God!
Heather Hart says
Yes! I love all of your ideas. Makes me miss homeschooling.
Heather Hart recently posted…The Beautiful Chaos of Summer
annette @ A net in Time says
interesting perspective. I figure math and science are part of life and adding God into the mix (just like you do with all of life) is a given. Good job in pointing that out.
Maria Hass says
I had really good success with Right Start Math – and now I’m at a school year where Teaching Textbooks works so I can focus on other things. For science we loved Sonlight – even if we didn’t do all the experiments, the reading portions were very good! But my kids did well in Math and Science so that wasn’t as much of a ministry in my family as teaching them to write.
What a refreshing perspective. I am passing this on to my homeschool non-math friends.
Thanks for passing it on!
Love these ideas! I will have to try them with my littles!
I appreciate your spiritual emphasis in subjects that aren’t normally associated with spiritual lessons. I have taught my kids that everything we learn about has been created by God.
Yes, we need to have patience even with math! My first loves math but I definitely have to take a few deep breathes with one of my other kiddos
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Sara Beth says
Boy, I remember Math. It was not a fun experience for my son or myself.
Eventually, though we found a curriculum that worked – Teaching TextBooks.
The most important change was me. I accepted the fact that my son doesn’t learn or even see the world the same way I do.
Knowing this one thing changed everything.
p.s. Did you know that Mama’s not always right? Go figure. ^_^
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Hi Sara! You are correct–mama is not always right! Our kids are different and we have to find a happy way to teach them for ourselves, as well as find a way that they can learn. Great points!