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Essential Math vs Earlybird SM


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Ok, I have a little 3yo Dd who LOVES worksheets, any type of bookwork. I'm looking for some easy preK type math books for her to use next semester. What is the difference between the Essential and Earlybird SM? The SM seem to be very high quality, but a little confusing with all the extra books. What are your recommendations? Should I look elsewhere for a good preK math book? Any help is very appreciated. Feeling lost already...:confused:

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We used this for PreK and LOVED it:




This book is now broken into two books - one for 3 year olds and one for 4 year olds. I don't know how those are but the "green" book helped me fall in love with CTC!!


We also used EB and it was OK. If I had to do it again, I would go with EM (based on the rave reviews I heard about it on this forum).

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You might consider Miquon and Cuisenaire Rods. With my son this was a marvelous way to introduce the whole-parts methods you find in Singapore in a way that is "concrete", playful, and developmentally appropriate for young children.


Singapore math has a philosophical attachment to the idea that there are "stages" of math learning: concrete>pictorial>abstract. However, their math programs (as good as they are) do a rather poor job on the "concrete" stage, and jump almost immediately into the pictorial (the HIGs and activity book try to mitigate against this, but to my mind are less than fully successful).


Miquon--and perhaps more importantly,activities and play inspired by Miquon and the 3 teachers books--fills the gap for the "concrete" stage brilliantly.


To my mind it is perfect for preKindergarten. A child can make number combinations in all sorts of ways, solve equations, and have all sorts of learning experience without needing writing skills, and without a great deal of parent-led instruction. Which is not to say there is no work required of parents in creating learning situations, being partners, and in their own self-education, but the gift of learning-though-doing falls to the children.


I like the Singapore program very well, but was not a big fan of Earlybird. I think they missed the boat. For my taste it is too "workbooky" for an age when other methods are more appropriate. With Miquon I felt got both a more mentally interesting and developmentally appropriate start.


And the "method" is essentially the same. So you are laying the foundation skills for later, rather than starting on a road you will divert from if you then move to Singapore. They are a very strong combo.



Edited by Spy Car
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Essential Math. Its nice and uncluttered and has teacher notes at the bottom (like Earlybird). Essentials adds a section on odd/even and fractions, while leaving off money, which is found in EB. My daughter will begin book B soon. We used EB Book A and I just found lots of redundancy and cartoonish, and we were skipping over pages. EM is still 158 pages vs 208 in EB, but looks to be more effective and efficient. We are alternating sections on MEP Reception and Singapore EM Book B.

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