Mario Kart and I Are Math Buddies


There are moments in our unschooling/homeschooling experiences where I get that “You just SCORED a MAJOR goal!” kind of feeling. Fist pumping, send out the cheerleaders, and “can I get an amen.”

It is the best feeling. It really is.

So the other day I mentioned that I was using Mario Kart to teach math (

Specifically, three digit subtraction.

Yesterday, Emily had some free time and she decided to spend it playing Mario Kart. That was fine. I was busy with writing and financial tasks and we had already covered our main homeschooling topics for the day.

But instead of just playing a solo game, she decided to play a team game. Why? So she could do the math problem. Which she then came upstairs and showed me. “Look Mama, my team won 156 points and the blue team only had 136 points.” She then proceeded to subtract the numbers from left to right and proudly displayed her answer. “My team won by 20 points!”

Just writing it, it takes my breath away.

I didn’t suggest it. She decided to do it. She LIKED the idea of know just how many points ahead she was. And she went about it completely on her own.

I took the opportunity to explain that, in the future, she should move from right to left, just in case she had to carry a number. I then immediately explained what “carrying a number” meant – which was conveniently put to the test with today’s team race.

I could see also creating a graph and showing her the individual race scores – so we could discover which race was the most successful and which was the least.

And that could lead to averages…and…and…

Yep, it’s official. Mario Kart and me are math buddies!

MarioKart wikia

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