We love to read at bedtime and always have. Even before the boys could talk, we read stories at bedtime. And, of course, they know that if they want to procrastinate bedtime, ask Mom if they can read a book (or 10).
In addition to reading, my boys love Math. On a whim, one will ask me, “Mommy, what is 45 x 34?” I always wonder what makes them ask such a math problem at such a random time. Just tonight, as I was tucking him into bed, my younger son, asked me what is 30 + 30 + 30. Obviously, something made him ask me that, but I have no idea what that something was!
I was so happy to have found “Bedtime Math” by Laura Overdeck and illustrated by Jim Paillot. My older son is so proud to tell friends and family that Bedtime Math is “a fun excuse for staying up late”. He even took it to our New Year’s Eve gathering with friends and told their kids (ages 7 and 4) just that! “I brought Bedtime Math! It’s a fun excuse for staying up late!”
Each night, we read between three and five Bedtime Math problems. The backdrop to the story problems make us laugh! One of our favorites deals with the 10 second rule and how long you have before your dropped food is too gross to eat. These short pre-Math problem paragraphs definitely get my kids interested in what is coming up.
The story problems are their favorite parts! There are three problems for each scenario. The “wee-ones” is always done by my youngest. The “little kids” is done by either of my kids. I like it when my younger son tries to do these problems because in many cases they are a challenge for him and will get him doing math in his head and not on his fingers. The “big kids” problems are great for my older son because it has allowed him to do fractions, multiplication and division – something that he has not yet gotten to in school. And, he has to reason through many of the problems because they are story problems and they involve a few steps to get to the answer. Again, I am not sure how much of that reasoning and problem solving he is getting in school on a day to day basis.