I mean, this is a kid who loves baby animals, glitter erasers, and rainbow-pooping unicorns. We yank her from her sparkly fairyland and plunk her down with pages of dreary, soul-sucking math problems and zillions of facts to memorize.
“Here’s the rule,” you say.
“But why?” she says.
“Because I said so,” you say, hating that line, hating the look on her face, wishing like crazy the two of you could be anywhere else but here.
On bad days, math makes her miserable
…on good days, mind-numbingly bored. “I’m bad at math,” she decides. “I’m just not a math person.”
It keeps you up at night, her worrisome loss of confidence and plummeting self esteem. In a 3am spurt of wakefulness you wonder, “What if it didn’t have to be this way? What if my kid could learn math with baby animals and make-believe?”
You feel certain that if such a thing existed, your child would find math irresistible!
And so, you decide to try something totally different
“Honey,” you say, “I think it’s time to take a break from flashcards and worksheets. How would you like to learn math with kittens instead?” (Oh hey, THAT was an easy sell…)
In minutes, she’s got her nose buried in the Kitten Math handbook, oblivious to the world around her. You peek over her shoulder a little while later and see a giant smile on her face as she fills page after page of math problems.
“Hey mom!” she says. “I named my kitten Fluffypants. And guess what? I did the math code and her name is worth $146!” You do a double-take. Is this YOUR girl? Doing math already? And liking it??
You’ve never seen her so excited about math before.
THIS is the bouncy, happy girl you know so well. Nothing like the deflated little match girl she usually turns into when doing math. She’s too excited to sit still; she does a little hop and calls out a new kitten fact before diving back in, eager to see what comes next. Already, her confidence is beginning to soar!
Introducing the Kitten Math Project
“Imagine…you’ve just gotten a text from the animal shelter asking you to foster four tiny kittens. These babies are too tiny to be adopted yet. Your job is to give them lots of love, and help them get big and strong enough to go to their forever home…”
Thus begins Kitten Math, an immersive “choose your own adventure” that is part math project, part kitten handbook, and part just plain fun!
HER MISSION: Your child must take in four (imaginary) orphan kittens and raise them to adoption age. There’s shopping to be done, formula to mix, midnight feedings to coordinate. Math is woven into each new kitten challenge so naturally that your child hardly realizes she’s learning.
Focusing on math skills alone is not enough
Did you know a girl can get 100% on every math test and still think she’s bad at math? That’s because she (quite reasonably) thinks that being good at math should feel good. If she feels stressed, confused, or anxious, she’ll conclude that she must be bad at math.
Most math programs simply focus on how to do the math. Kitten Math raises the bar, turning math into a meaningful time of excitement, connection, and joy.
Kitten Math equals…
1. Math that makes your child feel GOOD! Remember that time math reduced your child to tears? This is not like that. As your child falls in love with her fuzzy friends and becomes the hero of her own story, she’ll connect math to happy feelings–and want to come back for more.
2. A math experience that is 100% unique. She’ll put her own creative stamp on each activity, making decisions and choices that reflect her tastes and personality. The result is a one-of-a-kind math adventure that she’ll never forget.
3. A proven system for deep learning. “Hard math” seems easy as your child works through each new skill in tiny, achievable steps. Charts and illustration help your child think about math in pictures, so math makes sense and she’s able to think through solutions in a meaningful way.
4. Adorable kitten photos bring math to life. A page of math problems is easy to forget, but stories and emotion stick with us. Those sweet fuzzy faces aren’t just eye candy; they’re powerful motivation and memory tools for making math stick.
5. More than 15 different math skills. A kid only needs ONE positive experience with a math skill to think, “Oh, that’s easy, I can do this!” Kitten Math exposes your child to a wide range of skills, giving her confidence and a solid foundation for exploring math concepts more deeply in school.
6. Games that make math learning feel like play. Games are fun, motivating, and highly repetitive–the perfect framework to practice new math skills. The more she plays, the more she learns!
7. A multimedia experience to give the whole brain a workout. The best learning happens when kids encounter a new math topic in many different ways. Kitten Math mixes online and offline tasks (videos! games! art!) to keep kids on their toes and excited about math.
8. Online quizzes make kids feel confident and proud. A math quiz doesn’t have to be scary—especially when there are kitten questions sprinkled in! Your child will look forward to testing her knowledge and seeing herself get better at math.
9. Tools that build kindness and character. The Kitten Math scenario may be fictional, but the applications are authentic and real. She’ll wrap up her project by making a kitten blanket and donating it to a local shelter. And who knows? Maybe one day she’ll foster actual kittens!
There’s quite a lot of math, sneakily hidden inside
Like a whirlwind tour through Europe, your child will be exposed to a lot of math in a short period of time. The goal isn’t to know everything inside and out, but to get a little taste of lots of different kinds of math in a context that makes her really happy.
What this does is tells your child, “Here are all these different math skills, and would you look at that, you’re doing them! Oh hey, here’s another one, you can do that too!” When she sees that math skill in the future, she’ll think fondly of kittens and already know how to apply it to real life.
How it works
Kitten Math is made up of (1) the Kitten Handbook, and (2) the online portal, where your child will go for Kitten Recess.
She’ll start each unit in the Kitten Handbook–an interactive, full-color PDF that she can write in online (no printing necessary). After every few chapters, she’ll click on a link and head over to Kitten Recess.
Kitten Recess is an online multimedia page where she’ll learn a new math game, take an online quiz, watch a kitten video, and earn other enrichment bonuses.
Here’s a video that shows how the two work together:
You will receive…
- 80-Page, Full-Color Kitten Math Handbook packed full of illustrations, real-world practice activities, and (of course) adorable kitten photos. This is what you WISH your kid’s math homework looked like.
- More than 15 Real-Life Math Scenarios keep her motivated to push through the harder math–for the sake of helping kittens!
- 9 Fun Math Game Videos sneak in even more math learning, with NO fancy materials, NO complicated instructions, and almost NO prep–just a few simple steps to give your family a much-needed laugh break, in 5 minutes flat.
- 9 “You Call This A Quiz?” Quizzes that somehow manage to not make your child hyperventilate, and instead help her feel proud of her accomplishments and reinforce what she’s learned.
- Answer Key frees up your child to check her work on her own, so YOU’LL never be put on the spot to see if her math is correct.
- 9 Adorable How-To-Foster-Kittens Videos, taught by the world’s #1 orphan kitten expert Hannah Shaw “The Kitten Lady”, to round out your child’s math learning with empathy, caring, and practical, real-world skills.
- Bonus Enrichment Activities (art, Mad Libs, kitten slide shows, etc) multiply the motivation even further, keeping interest high as your child keeps coming back for more.
- Achievement Award Certificate wraps it all up with the PURR-FECT celebration of all her hard work and accomplishments in Kitten Math!
About your instructor
Kelli is phenomenal. I was afraid that my girl would have a fear of math like I did. She is soaring with math now!Ephi Lu
For less than the price of a tutoring session, your child gets an entire month of irresistible, creative math explorations, and a learning adventure that she’ll never forget!
Kelli is hands-down the best math teacher we have ever known. My daughter’s skills have leaped forward, and her confidence and attitude about math were transformed. Kelli works magic!Stacey Low
How does Kitten Math fit in with the math my child is already doing?
Kitten Math is an enrichment activity that supports and enhances her regular math program. It gives context to make math make sense, and eliminates anxiety that acts as a roadblock to learning. Most important, Kitten Math gives kids a positive, joyful experience of math and a reason for sticking with it.
Will I need to participate? If so, how involved will I need to be?
Kitten Math is set up in such a way that your 3-5th grader should be able to do most of it on her own. Of course, every kid is different, and those in younger grades may need a bit more support or simply want to share the experience with you.
You will most likely need to help her get started on the first day to see how everything works, and you may need to clear up some questions along the way. An answer key is included, so you won’t need to check her work.
The main way you’ll want to be involved is by playing a math game once or twice a week with your child. These are super simple dice or card games, explained in a short video so you’ll be ready to play in 5 minutes flat. Schedule a game for the weekend or a time that works for you; it’s likely to become your favorite part of the week!
What materials will my child need to complete this project?
- Computer (desktop, laptop, or tablet)
- Deck of cards
- Dice (or a free dice app)
- Basic game boards (print or draw)
- Graph paper
- Paper and pencil
- Colored pencils or markers
- Glue stick or tape
- Recycled materials for kitten toy invention
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Fabric for final project (2 yards of fleece)
- A printer is helpful, but not essential*
*A printer is helpful for game boards etc, but you can get by without one. You will NOT need to print out the Handbook.
How much time will this project take?
Kitten Math is divided into 30 days, though some kids like to work ahead (Kitten Math can be a bit addictive!). Most kids finish in 3-4 weeks.
What level is Kitten Math?
For math and reading levels, this project is best suited for 3-5th graders.
(If you’re a grown-up and really want to do Kitten Math yourself, hey, knock yourself out! You’ll have a good time, get some fun math review, and learn a ton about fostering.)
Is Kitten Math for girls only?
It’s insanely hard to find creative math resources that are uniquely designed for girls. I set out to create a math project that would appeal to girls–even those who usually don’t like math–and Kitten Math seems to hit the sweet spot. That said, ANY child who loves kittens is likely to love Kitten Math!
I think my kid would love this, but she doesn’t want anything to do with math. How should I introduce the idea to her?
Say, “I’ve been thinking about how to help you like math more. Do you have some ideas about how we can make math more fun for you?”
Then, “I found a project that helps you learn math with kittens! Would you like to hear more about it?”
Any suggestions on how to schedule in Kitten Math if I’m homeschooling?
I recommend putting Kitten Math near the end of her regular math time, as something fun to look forward to. Once she starts on Kittens, it can be hard to get her to stop–so do the other stuff first!
I have a question that’s not on here. Can you help me with that?
Of course! Shoot me a note and I’ll get back to you within 1-2 days to answer any questions you might have.