Homeschool Fractions

the Easy Way

Are you wondering how to homeschool fractions? Here are some of my ideas. Use a meaningful manipulative to give a visual clue. Learn some terms. Best of all make learning real to life.

Your child will love homeschool fractions when you use food to teach. I used sandwiches, fruit, and pizza.  Cut sandwiches into half, fourths, or thirds. You can separate a banana into three equal parts. Cut your Apples into half and fourths. If you use an apple corer you can cut it into six equal pieces. You can cut pizza several different ways.

During lunch I would talk about the fractional amount. When my child ate a piece I would ask what part he ate. Then we would count how many pieces were left.

Using food to teach can organizes the material visually and immerses the senses. Both are important for teaching struggling learners.

Other Manipulatives

You can use paper plates to teach equivalent fractions. You will need four paper plates. Cut one in half. Cut another one into fourths. Cut the third into eights. Leave the last plate hole. Your child can learn that two-fourths make one-half and two-eights make one-fourth and so on.

You can also make a set of thirds, sixths, and twelve's. If I mixed the two sets I would remove the thirds. I want to teach which fractions go together to make a whole.

Have your child draw pictures to compare fractions. Make each picture the same shape and size. Divide a rectangle in half. Divide another same size rectangle in thirds. Let your child see that one-third is larger than one half.

Use pictures to find equivalent fractions. They have the same amount such as 1/2 = 2/4 = 3/6 = 4/8 etc
Using hands-on learning will help your child remember. It is also fun.

How to Add, Subtract, and Multiply

When you homeschool fractions you will want to teach how to add, subtract, and reduce fractions. This is confusing for children who have special needs.  Use a lot of demonstrations.

You will also need to teach your child some terminology. The numerator is the top number. The numerator is how many parts you have.

The denominator is the bottom number. It shows how many equal parts to divide the item into.

Remind your child that you cannot add or subtract fractions with different denominators. Find the common denominator before you add or subtract.

So how do you make the denominators the same? One way is to multiply the denominators together. So if you were to add 1/2 and 1/3 the common denominator would be six. Now change each of the fractions. One half is 3/6 because you multiply the numerator and denominator by 3. One third is 2/6 because you multiply both numbers by two. Then add the two fractions together, so 1/2 + 1/3 = 3/6 + 2/6 = 5/6.  Sometimes you need to reduce the answer to lowest terms.

Another way to find common denominators is to find the least common denominator. To find the least common denominator list the multiples of the denominators. Then find the smallest common number.

Sometimes your child will have trouble with worksheets because the fractions are too small to visualize.  Find a common denominator if you need to. Change the fractions. Then have your child add or subtract the top number.

Multiplication is harder to understand. Multiply the numerators together then multiply the denominators together. An example is 1/2 x 3/5 = 3/10. You multiply fractions when you want to know a part of a part. It is useful when measuring.

Real Life Homeschool Fractions

Besides cutting food you can cook to learn about fractions. When you make recipes point out the marks on the liquid measuring cup. An older child can learn to double a recipe. I did this a lot with my children. One of the cookie recipes did not make enough, so we doubled it. This taught my daughter to add fractions.

Also teach about how to measure. Use a ruler to teach one-half, one-fourth, and one-eighth of an inch. Sewing and other crafts can teach about measuring.

Dad can also teach about wrenches, sockets, and screws. Most use fractions of an inch.

Homeschool fractions are fun for both boys and girls. Some children will like to cook. Other children will like to sew and other children will like to build things.

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