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Math for a preschooler (don't judge, please!)


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#1 4kookiekids

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 04:31 PM

My 3rd child is 3(.75 -- will be 4 this fall) and has been begging for math work for the past 4 months. I have four kids, and no real desire to do seat work with her, and I've done what I can think of to dissuade her: extra 1-on-1 time, extra playtime and cuddles (in case she was just feeling lost amidst the other three kids), lots of fun math talk, playing with C-rods (lots of activities with those, like addition/subtraction, parity, teens, counting on, etc.). But she REALLY wants a workbook to sit and do. So somebody help me out here with what would be right for her (seems good at math, gets concepts quickly, but can't write numbers yet - I don't mind scribing, but she wants to write in HER workbook). I tried the first few pages of Singapore 1A, and the concepts were easy for her, but I feel like it's going to ramp up too quickly for her.

 

I never thought I'd consider a preschool math curriculum for my kid, since I'm a mathematician and can do anything preschool related on the fly. My older kids both just started Singapore 1A around 4.5yo (they were also chomping at the bit to do math - perhaps inevitable with a mathematician parent?) and we went at their pace. So I expect child #3 will follow most of the same path, but I need something else to get me through the next 8 months of begging for a workbook and I'd love your thoughts. I've looked at Essentials, Earlybird, and Miquon, but am open to whatever. I don't need help with teaching the math or coming up with fun, hands-on ideas or creative ways to use my c-rods or other manipulatives. I just need a workbook that will satisfy a 3-yo! lol. 



#2 Amoret

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 04:59 PM

My DD loved Miquon at that age.  We also switched it up with SIngapore 1A & B, going back and forth as she liked. She is now just 7 and doing well in BA4.



#3 Jackie

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 05:20 PM

Mathematical Reasoning from Critical Thinking Company is colorful, interesting, and should keep her occupied for a while. I'd suggest investing in some number stamps so she can do her own "writing".
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#4 seemesew

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 05:32 PM

This math made easy book is really good and lots of activities for kids!

 

I also like the look of Abekas 3 year old and K4 math, it is cute/colorful but the concepts are solid. I don't love all their math but the younger books I do.



#5 mathmarm

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 05:37 PM

...I just need a workbook that will satisfy a 3-yo! lol.

Kumon makes a number of engaging pre-writing and number writing books. Maybe she will like one of those?


Sounds like you already do a lot of fun math, so if it were me, I would gradually fold in PM1 as her writing becomes better. Just 2 sittings a week or so, as her writing catches up.

#6 4kookiekids

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 07:44 PM

Thanks for the great ideas! I haven't ever looked at Abeka, but I will take a look at it.

 

Kumon makes a number of engaging pre-writing and number writing books. Maybe she will like one of those?


Sounds like you already do a lot of fun math, so if it were me, I would gradually fold in PM1 as her writing becomes better. Just 2 sittings a week or so, as her writing catches up.

She's done the writing letters, numbers, tracing, and cutting ones, and maybe one or more of the easy mazes? She loved them and was finished all of them before she even turned 3. lol. But maybe that would satisfy, since it sure did then. They'd completely fallen off my radar since she whizzed through them so quickly, but I know they have a lot more than what I did with her so that's a great idea.

 

Mathematical Reasoning from Critical Thinking Company is colorful, interesting, and should keep her occupied for a while. I'd suggest investing in some number stamps so she can do her own "writing".

I've never even considered getting her number stamps. I'm not sure why I never thought of it, but that's an amazing idea. Thank you!



#7 4kookiekids

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 07:47 PM

double post


Edited by 4kookiekids, 07 August 2017 - 08:45 PM.


#8 RosemaryAndThyme

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 08:39 PM

If your child is asking for math - go ahead and give her math! You will know when she's had enough. You know your child far better than anyone else, and if you believe she needs it, then she does. Some kids are just sponges for learning. They need input as much as they need air. All we can do is figure out the right type of input  and try to keep up with them. It does not have to be busy work.  And if she hits Calculus at 12 - so what? There is always plenty of math to do. And what if she doesn't? That's perfectly fine, too.

 

I like Horizons workbooks (can be done without teacher's guide). Take a look at the samples as well as the scope and sequence for Horizons Math K and Horizons Math 1. They are published by Alpha Omega Publications. If you have the funds, try getting the K and the Grade 1 workbooks (K workbook 1 and Grade 1 workbook 1 to start). It's fine to skip through lessons until you find the right level. It is also perfectly fine to go backwards and do something easier if she hits a wall. The easier book can be a favorite toy's personal school book, and your child can teach the toy easier things if she gets frustrated with higher grade work.

 

She may enjoy learning to use a clock - not just knowing what time it is but how long until a certain time or how long it has been since another time (as in  32 minutes before bedtime, 43 minutes since we had lunch, 2 days, 3 hours, and 20 minutes till the next field trip, etc.). You can teach her Roman numerals and do addition and subtraction Roman style, too.

 

If you are not opposed to using electronics, DragonBox Numbers and DragonBox Big Numbers are great apps for number recognition, addition, subtraction, place value (Big Numbers), etc. 

 

 

 

 

 


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#9 dmmetler

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 08:42 PM

Saxon K is a good preschool curriculum. I don't like Saxon much, but the K program is very hands on and gentle without much writing-a nice fit for a 3 yr old :).

#10 4kookiekids

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 08:53 PM

If your child is asking for math - go ahead and give her math! You will know when she's had enough. You know your child far better than anyone else, and if you believe she needs it, then she does. Some kids are just sponges for learning. They need input as much as they need air. All we can do is figure out the right type of input  and try to keep up with them. It does not have to be busy work.  And if she hits Calculus at 12 - so what? There is always plenty of math to do. And what if she doesn't? That's perfectly fine, too.

 

I like Horizons workbooks (can be done without teacher's guide). Take a look at the samples as well as the scope and sequence for Horizons Math K and Horizons Math 1. They are published by Alpha Omega Publications. If you have the funds, try getting the K and the Grade 1 workbooks (K workbook 1 and Grade 1 workbook 1 to start). It's fine to skip through lessons until you find the right level. It is also perfectly fine to go backwards and do something easier if she hits a wall. The easier book can be a favorite toy's personal school book, and your child can teach the toy easier things if she gets frustrated with higher grade work.

 

She may enjoy learning to use a clock - not just knowing what time it is but how long until a certain time or how long it has been since another time (as in  32 minutes before bedtime, 43 minutes since we had lunch, 2 days, 3 hours, and 20 minutes till the next field trip, etc.). You can teach her Roman numerals and do addition and subtraction Roman style, too.

 

If you are not opposed to using electronics, DragonBox Numbers and DragonBox Big Numbers are great apps for number recognition, addition, subtraction, place value (Big Numbers), etc. 

 

I'm not opposed to giving her math! I just wasn't sure where to go with it, since she's not content with the hands-on stuff I did with my others, and I don't feel like Singapore 1A is the right fit for her right now. I'm also not opposed to some electronics, and she plays DB numbers occasionally, but it's pretty easy for her. The running game not so much, bc her hand-eye coordination still leaves much to be desired, but I've also not checked out Big Numbers, because I heard pretty poor reviews of it previously. We got the bundle with Numbers, Elements, Algebra5 and Algebra12. She has been working on her clock and Roman Numerals (via place-mats and talking it over with older sibs... lol) but that's a good idea too. :)

 

Saxon K is a good preschool curriculum. I don't like Saxon much, but the K program is very hands on and gentle without much writing-a nice fit for a 3 yr old :).

I've never considered saxon because I didn't like it at all. Too boring and too much drill. But I don't think I ever looked at their K curriculum, so I'll check it out. Thanks!


Edited by 4kookiekids, 07 August 2017 - 08:57 PM.


#11 CadenceSophia

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 09:47 PM

Singapore Essential Math A is great. Level B has a lot of overlap with PM1A, but also has some nice big pages with even and odd and fractions at the end. My current 5 year old really wanted workbooks when he was that age so the first ones we did were the StarWars PreK books which mostly involved circling things and repeatedly counting to ten (or maybe it was 20)? And matching groups of the same. He loved them and I was actually pretty impressed with the set being appropriate for the age.

There is a great Montessori math app for the ipad. My ipad is dead or is get you the exact name.. I think it is called first something, but has Montessori in the title. My son did that, plus Dragonbox Numbers and Algebra 5+, and most of Elements. Big Numbers is still pretty hard for him because you need to write the answers with your finger and his fine motor isn't great, and he's often frustrated.
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#12 HomeAgain

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 06:27 AM

I'll vote for Anno's Math Games.  It's not a workbook, but you sit and go through the exercises together to build a good foundation - sorting, graphing, tangrams, charts..they get difficult for a 4yo.  We have volumes 1, 2, and 3 and use them about every other year through elementary school.

 

If she wants a workbook to write in at the same time, I'd offer one from the dollar store.



#13 visitor

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 06:59 AM

My boys also loved workbooks at that age . We did Singapore Earlybird and then SM1A ...
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#14 4kookiekids

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 07:11 AM

 

 

If she wants a workbook to write in at the same time, I'd offer one from the dollar store.

The only thing about dollar store workbooks is that I find them to be very heavy on tracing letters. Even when they teach numbers and math, they have pages and pages of having the kid actually trace out "eight", which she's not so into! :)


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#15 beckyjo

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 07:14 AM

You could do lots of different things.

  • Continue your hands on stuff and get cheap K workbooks
  • Most K level math programs are pretty brightly colored and fun. Besides the ones mentioned above, McRuffy Press K may be a good fit
  • I second the stamps. I have one who has dysgraphia (I didn't realize it then, just knew that she wouldn't write). We used number and letter stamps extensively for the first several years. 
  • Print off freebies and make her a personalized workbook with the topics she's ready for. You could make it dry erase by putting the pages in page protectors. I did this a lot with preschoolers as I was teaching olders; all of my kids went through the pre-Explode the Code books as 2-3 year olds this way. I found dry erase crayons weren't as messy as markers.


#16 CadenceSophia

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 08:58 PM

The only thing about dollar store workbooks is that I find them to be very heavy on tracing letters. Even when they teach numbers and math, they have pages and pages of having the kid actually trace out "eight", which she's not so into! :)

 

 

Yup!  There is very little for an interested kid to do in the cheap workbooks that is developmentally appropriate.  If your kids just like to scribble, who cares what they scribble on. My kids actually wanted to have the instructions read to them and then be able to follow them. Most of the cheapie workbooks I have found go something like:   "Here is one thing. Trace the number 1. Write the number 1. Trace the word 'one'. Write the word 'one'. Copy this sentence about one duck."   Uhmm.. not so much. That is why I was so impressed with the Star Wars PreK. It was something like 80 pages of counting, comparing, circling, and matching. At the wrong age, it is busy work. At the right age, it is gold. 


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#17 mathmarm

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 07:14 AM

She's done the writing letters, numbers, tracing, and cutting ones, and maybe one or more of the easy mazes? She loved them and was finished all of them before she even turned 3. lol. But maybe that would satisfy, since it sure did then. They'd completely fallen off my radar since she whizzed through them so quickly, but I know they have a lot more than what I did with her so that's a great idea.

 

The only thing about dollar store workbooks is that I find them to be very heavy on tracing letters. Even when they teach numbers and math, they have pages and pages of having the kid actually trace out "eight", which she's not so into! :)

 

 

Given this then you might look into a bundle of Kumon books for math. They sell this bundle with books for Addition, Subtraction, Geometry and Word Problems. You could splice the books and arrange the pages so that she's doing one lesson from each topic a day.
 
Then you can progress into the grade 2 bundle if she finishes them all. Then work the IP and CWP from PM 1, and start working in Primary Mathematics Directly.



#18 kiwik

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 02:01 AM

Ds8 played with math mammoth grade one addition and subtraction at 4.5 so a bit older (the dark blue ones). I couldn't find stamps so I bought stickers and wrote the numbers 1 to 20 out multiple times.

Edited by kiwik, 10 August 2017 - 02:02 AM.


#19 purpleowl

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 08:04 AM

With both of my girls, I used A Beka math for K4/K5/1st grade material. (I skipped the number writing tablet.) The math is solid and the books are colorful, and the amount of work was not overwhelming for my kids - in fact, for K4 and K5, they generally wanted to do two lessons per day. One started the K4 material at 3.5, the other just after turning 3. 



#20 RosemaryAndThyme

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 10:50 AM

The only thing about dollar store workbooks is that I find them to be very heavy on tracing letters. Even when they teach numbers and math, they have pages and pages of having the kid actually trace out "eight", which she's not so into! :)

 

Exactly!

 

And when your 4 year-old can do two and three digit addition and subtraction with regrouping in their head but has no interest in actual writing or using manipulatives, you may find yourself using higher grade workbooks and scribing for them.


Edited by RosemaryAndThyme, 10 August 2017 - 10:51 AM.


#21 mathnerd

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 03:33 PM

Cuisenaire rods + Miquon, MEP, Singapore math, Critical Thinking company's Mathematical Reasoning - these are the resources that I used at that age. I went back and forth between these books as needed.



#22 Runningmom80

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 06:25 AM

We liked earlybird essentials from Singapore.

#23 MThurow

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 11:27 PM

Have you looked into Shiller Math? It is Montessori-based, scripted, good use of manipulatives, etc. I am trying it out this fall, and a friend of mine who is using it has really liked it.

#24 4kookiekids

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 10:45 AM

I managed to scrounge up about 6-8 partially used workbooks from my other kids (joys of being 3rd in line, right?), things like Kumon numbers and mazes, as well as various cutting and pasting and dot-to-dot and drawing booklets, and she's been very happy with those for the last three days. Once those run out, I think I'll get the Abeka k5 curriculum for her if she's still not quite ready for PM 1A (just depends on how long these booklets last! :D ).

 

I really appreciate all the advice! I love the look of Abekas k5 for her: it's right on her level (based on the online samples, at least) and fun and colorful, but I would've NEVER thought to check it out since I'm not an Abeka fan for older grades. So thank you very much!! 



#25 nwahomeschoolmom

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 09:00 PM

When my son was just past 4, we used Math U See Primer...thought it gave him a good start.  We used Rod & Staff Math now..



#26 Donna

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:10 AM

Dd did Miquon then Singapore workbooks at that age. She liked to do school with her brothers.



#27 Mommyof1

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 10:42 AM

I use Ray's Arithmetic with DD4, done orally, for she isn't ready for writing.

#28 kaitneel

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 08:25 AM

I would really consider singapore essential math over Abeka K5. My daughter around that age loved it and since it was black and white she could color it at the table after you do the page with her, my daughter loved that. It is also the perfect transition to 1A later on :-) 



#29 Expat_Mama_Shelli

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 11:41 PM

My DS started RightStart A at 3y3m. He LOVED it! It is very hands-on, very playful, & has almost no handwriting in the first level. He's now 4.5 & will wrap up B in the next month or so.

The only issue I can see with this in your case is that it does need to be taught; it's not just a workbook she can complete independently.