How to Use Homeschool Math Virtual Manipulatives: Fractions

Jul 06, 2022

Today I'm sharing a great free homeschool and unschool math resource you probably haven't heard of yet, the Fractions Intro Interactive Simulation by PhET. PhET (no that's not a typo) is a Colorado based math and science virtual simulation company. They have some phenomenal math and science virtual interactive simulation resources you'll definitely want to add to your homeschool math toolbox for years to come!

Why use a fractions interactive simulation? So many homeschool math kids struggle to learn fractions! I see it over and over again. Fractions are one of the main math learning sticking points in elementary and middle school math. Learning fractions from a cut and dry, black and white textbook or curriculum can just suck the life out of learning them.

Isn't it so wonderful that now homeschool parents can totally take advantage of the many great AND FREE technologies we have today combining an adult tool that kids love (meaning screens) with brilliant scholarly animations and technology all created to help your child have numerous aha moments in hard to grasp concepts like FRACTIONS!

Homeschool moms and dads, I believe that ya'll will REALLY use and appreciate this free math resource to spice up homeschool and unschool math. So many kids struggle to learn fractions, so, this may very well be a magic "fractions bullet" for your child's fractions learning.

CLICK HERE & view my latest video about this amazing fractions tool so that you can jump in using it in you homeschool math today!

Here are my suggestions for using the PhET's Fractions tool:

First, before any instruction, give the link to your child and allow them untimed free exploration of this fractions virtual manipulative tool. You'll most likely be pleasantly surprised to find that your child will do many creative things with it and find out much on their own about fractions and how the tool works.

Children learn best through free play and exploration BEFORE instruction.

You can simply be available for your child's questions about the fractions virtual tool. This method of introducing children to a tool without initial instruction works great with any homeschool math style. However, giving children untimed free exploration of new tools is an unschool math learning method suggested by John Holt, the founder, or rather re-introducer of the unschool, child self-directed learning philosophy and methodology.

Even very young children can benefit greatly from playing with and exploring such tools as PhET's Fractions Intro Interactive Simulation.

Once your child has thoroughly familiarized themselves with the Fractions Intro tools, explored and played around with it, then it will be a great time to introduce formal fraction instruction with them using the tool, that is, if you do formal math instruction in your homeschool.

If you're already unschooling math, again, you can be available for questions your child may have. Check in with them. Ask them to show you what they've learned from it so far (homeschoolers you can do this too). Listen, watch, and you'll most likely be intrigued by their discoveries WITHOUT formal instruction.

After your child has had ample free play and exploration of the tool, you'll be amazed at how much more smoothly formal fractions instruction with the tool will go!

Ready to liberate your homeschool math from academic drudgery through fun and real life connections?

Want more out of the box math thinking and nuggets to implement in your homeschool or unschool?


Talk Soon,