FairProspects Posted January 5, 2011 Share Posted January 5, 2011 Is it really possible to just "play" with math enough to learn early math concepts? Such as without a curriculum? Math is making me crazy right now. Ds does not like RS or the abacus, although he will do the work when pressed. It doesn't seem like the techniques or re-grouping stick in his head as his go-to strategy for solving problems though. He does know addition/subtraction up to 10, place value, how to tell time & money. As demonstrated this morning, he definitely understands the commutative property. What else does a K/1st grader need to know? If he understands and can use these concepts, can we just play around with math for awhile? I ask because ds just seems wired differently and I hate to place him in the curriculum box. He doesn't just want to learn math - he wants to apply it and use it. He doesn't want to build the rectangle described in the lesson with 12 tiles - he wants to build a bigger one with border patterns, or make the tiles into a city of different kinds of shapes, etc. I'm confident he knows what a rectangle is, so does it really matter if we follow the rules? I've seen him do amazing things with math - but none of them have been in the book. Its almost as if he needs a real life application to show what is in his head - does that make any sense? What would you do with a kid like this? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

JennW in SoCal Posted January 5, 2011 Share Posted January 5, 2011 Years ago I met a woman at a homeschool convention who was a math professor, and she basically unschooled math. It was amazing to me, as I had such horrible math instruction from pre-algebra on, but she could make the anything in day to day life a mathematical lesson. There's lots of resources for playing with math. Family Math is a book chock-full of math games, with pages you can copy for doing hundreds charts, and games involving real money and dice and a deck of cards. There are oodles of math games out there and probably some fun things on-line that weren't available when my kids were little, lo those many years ago. You can read math books, too, like all the Anno's books and Sir Cumference and other similar titles. Theonni Pappas has some fun books for kids about numbers and unusual math properties. Marilyn Burns has published many books about teaching math. Books like The Number Devil and Phantom Tollbooth are also terrific (though perhaps for an older age.) My youngest especially loved his pattern blocks, but later on hated with a passion using any manipulative to learn a concept. I used all the above as much as I used a math curriculum (Miquon) when my boys were little. And I used one of the tricks from Montessori, and that was to hand the kids a measuring tape (one of the sewing kinds, not those from the hardware store that rewind with lethal force!!) and they went around the house, or at the store, measuring anything everything. It is all to get comfortable with sizes, shapes, and numbers in general. So heavens no. You don't need a math curriculum at the K-1 stage. Use all those additional resources (most of those books should be at your library) just help come up with ideas for other natural ways to make math a part of life. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

naturegirl7 Posted January 5, 2011 Share Posted January 5, 2011 We do better with informal, living math too. DS will do stuff like Singapore and Math Mammoth - but it is slow and tedious compared to the living math. He does really like and enjoy MM though. It is his favorite of all the math programs we have tried. But we do lots of living math. Math games are a huge hit here - dice games, dominoes, C.Rods and MUS math blocks, card games like Math War and Dino Duel. Board games, shopping math, kitchen math, baking math. He LOVES it and "gets it" so easily and quickly. No blank stares and "i don't know"s Yesterday *HE* came to me with a clementine to show me that it had 10 segments and started doing all sorts of math equations with it. 5 segments + 5 segments = 10. Eat one, now it is 4+ 5, that's 9! etc. We'd eat and add and subtract our way thru the clementine and then he'd run to get another one. For over an hour he did this! It only stopped cuz I was worried about the amount of citrus he was eating and his sensitive tummy and I cut off the clementine supply. Real life math is so the way to go for him. I just add in the MM stuff to reinforce the math concepts and build his tolerance of formal math. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

NanceXToo Posted January 5, 2011 Share Posted January 5, 2011 That's more than many K'ers know. Some K programs won't introduce that much at all (such as Oak Meadow, which is my choice of curriculum). So yes I believe it is fine to just "play" with math without using any further formal curriculum for a K'er! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Guest Cindie2dds Posted January 5, 2011 Share Posted January 5, 2011 We played with c-rods, magnetics numbers, beans, jewels, pattern blocks, tons of things. It solidified her understanding of the practicals before the abstract "figures" were introduced. Oak Meadow had the child pour liquid, cut fruit, use beans, etc., to "see" volumes, parts and amounts. Have fun! :) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Mallory Posted January 5, 2011 Share Posted January 5, 2011 Check out this thread! http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=214799&highlight=math+lab Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

mcconnellboys Posted January 5, 2011 Share Posted January 5, 2011 My younger son did Montessori for pre-K through K. I absolutely love the way they approach math and think that it really benefits children greatly! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Guest Posted January 5, 2011 Share Posted January 5, 2011 (edited) Due primarily to dysgraphia issues, dd did informal, games-based and hands-on math for years. Some resources we used: Peggy Kaye's Games For Math Family Math Math Explorer ThinkFun spatial strategy games Dino Math (this was a bit later) Sir Cumference books Penny books by Loreen Leedy: Measuring Penny, Mapping Penny's World, and It's Probably Penny Anno books pattern blocks Math Through Literature and many Math Replacement Units from Marilyn Burns: http://www.mathsolutions.com Hands-On Equations (around 3rd-4th grade) The Librarian Who Measured the Earth Build It! Festival from http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/GEMS Also see Kitchen Table Math by Andrew Wright (it wasn't available when dd was younger, but it looks interesting). I did make sure we did math pretty well every single solitary day, scheduling it as I would have if we were doing a formal program. Dd was interested in math as a young child and each thing we read or game we played spurred her on with new ideas of her own. Marilyn Burns was the most wonderful resource. In 7th grade dd used a nonconventional problem-solving textbook, Crossing the River With Dogs. In 8th grade she was did honors Algebra at a private school for a term, where she got an A. She came home and finished the algebra book on her own; she's doing geometry on her own entirely this year. So yes, it's eminently possible, and I miss those years when math was really fun and full of discovery. Edited January 5, 2011 by Guest Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

ChandlerMom Posted January 5, 2011 Share Posted January 5, 2011 Is it really possible to just "play" with math enough to learn early math concepts? Such as without a curriculum? Math is making me crazy right now. Ds does not like RS or the abacus, although he will do the work when pressed. It doesn't seem like the techniques or re-grouping stick in his head as his go-to strategy for solving problems though. He does know addition/subtraction up to 10, place value, how to tell time & money. As demonstrated this morning, he definitely understands the commutative property. What else does a K/1st grader need to know? If he understands and can use these concepts, can we just play around with math for awhile? I ask because ds just seems wired differently and I hate to place him in the curriculum box. He doesn't just want to learn math - he wants to apply it and use it. He doesn't want to build the rectangle described in the lesson with 12 tiles - he wants to build a bigger one with border patterns, or make the tiles into a city of different kinds of shapes, etc. I'm confident he knows what a rectangle is, so does it really matter if we follow the rules? I've seen him do amazing things with math - but none of them have been in the book. Its almost as if he needs a real life application to show what is in his head - does that make any sense? What would you do with a kid like this? Math is much, much more than arithmetic! Preschoolers spend the majority of their play time doing math -- sorting, comparing, counting. We're loving MM, but IMO any curriculum should be viewed as a suggested trail map -- a tool to see where you are, where you are going, and places to visit -- NOT as compulsive. Enjoy the scenic ride! Follow the bunny trails, build the bigger rectangles. Learning takes all forms and keeping math fun is one of the best ways to help your dc succeed in math in the future. Math is a universal and what looks like "playing" with math is an important part of developing his own internal understanding of how things work. That will help him build a solid foundation as he moves into the abstract over the next few years. There's no rush. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

FairProspects Posted January 5, 2011 Author Share Posted January 5, 2011 Hmm. Well, I have Games for Math and I just put Family Math for Young Children on hold at the library. I've been drooling over Kitchen Table Math and Math in Literature for awhile now. I started thinking about this because I bought the Frog Math guide from GEMs and it was so excellent as I was planning it out, that I knew they must be onto something! Doesn't it take a ton of prep time to teach this way? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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