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How to decide on kindy math?


KristinaBreece
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I'm trying to prepare a K curriculum for DS to start in the fall. How do you choose a math? I'm not a very mathy person. With history & science, particular curricula just grabbed me. I'm not so sure with choosing a math program. I like the idea of Saxon's spiral method, but maybe the Singapore mastery approach would be better? But if we go Singapore, which materials do you actually need? They offer so much. Earlybird or Essentials? To buy the readers, or not to buy the readers? DH is no help. He supports HS 100%... he just doesn't want to choose the curriculum.

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I think I have read every math thread ever posted on this board! :)

 

After reading all that, I have decided on RightStart Mathematics Level A, with plans to continue to Level B afterward.

 

We are supplementing with Miquon Orange.

 

After we finish RS-A & RS-B, we will probably go to Math Mammoth, because it seems like everyone loves RS for A & B, but the love drops off at Level C.

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Earlybird or Essentials? To buy the readers, or not to buy the readers? .

 

We used Earlybird last year but I have read on this board that Essentials is MUCH better. With Earlybird, we didn't the readers or the teacher's manual - the lessons have "development ideas" at the bottom of the page. Then we moved onto a Singapore Primary Math/Horizons Math combo.

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I tried Earlybird with my oldest and neither of us liked it at all. I'm using Essential Math (EM) with my current 4.5yo and we love it. All you need for EM are the two workbooks. You can find manipulatives around the house (coins, beans, chocolate chips). Cuisenaire Rods always come in handy for us. I'd recommend them if you really want to buy a dedicated manipulative.

 

He's also SLOWLY working his way through Miquon Orange (and Horizons K) but that's only because he's trying to keep up with his very mathy brother and we already had everything on hand. Miquon is my favorite math program.

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ha...maybe because my dd only 2 when she started early bird. She does love all the acttivities....... hemmm ... maybe I should look into EM

 

 

I tried Earlybird with my oldest and neither of us liked it at all. I'm using Essential Math (EM) with my current 4.5yo and we love it. All you need for EM are the two workbooks. You can find manipulatives around the house (coins, beans, chocolate chips). Cuisenaire Rods always come in handy for us. I'd recommend them if you really want to buy a dedicated manipulative.

 

He's also SLOWLY working his way through Miquon Orange (and Horizons K) but that's only because he's trying to keep up with his very mathy brother and we already had everything on hand. Miquon is my favorite math program.

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We started out with Horizons K and honestly I don't know why Sonlight recomends it. For dd, it was really easy and then turned really hard. She was sailing though till we started addition which quickly switched from manipulatives to numbers to double digits. Now we are doing Earlybird K and are liking it ok so far. If I had lots of money I would switch to RightStart (wish I had heard about it earlier), but right now we are sticking with what we have. I'm planning on using MM next year so as long as we get to where we can start with that I will be happy. Math is a seriously hard curriculum to choose.

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I didn't use math curriculum for kindy level with my first three. My little ones and I count blocks, toes, butterflies, and whatever we find in the world around us. Then we compare, stick together, take away, stack up, and knock over.

 

None of them had any problems adjusting to a math book in first grade.

 

My fourth is a precocious one. She's kindy age this year, but mastered kindy level work by 3yo. She's using Rod and Staff's Beginning Arithmetic 1 this year. It gets those basics solid in a gentle fashion. If you use the teaching prompts in the TE it's a very full program that does demonstrate why the math works the way it does.

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I used Earlybird in K, but will probably use Right Start the next time around. Earlybird was only so-so, though Sweetie got a lot out of the "Power Math K- Kindergarten" book that I also bought from Singapore. But I felt like the few months we spent with Right Start in 1st grade gave a much firmer ground to build math concepts on. We're using MEP now, which is also quite good. (Sweetie doesn't like tactile work, so she hated RS... Lil'un seems to be more kinesthetic)

 

Have fun!

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I'm trying to prepare a K curriculum for DS to start in the fall. How do you choose a math? I'm not a very mathy person. With history & science, particular curricula just grabbed me. I'm not so sure with choosing a math program. I like the idea of Saxon's spiral method, but maybe the Singapore mastery approach would be better? But if we go Singapore, which materials do you actually need? They offer so much. Earlybird or Essentials? To buy the readers, or not to buy the readers? DH is no help. He supports HS 100%... he just doesn't want to choose the curriculum.

 

I would go with whatever program you can teach the best. Singapore is a great program (based on all the rave reviews it gets), but so is Saxon. We've used Saxon from the very beginning (we start with 1 in K), and the scripted manuals of K-3 helped give me the confidence to teach math. The lessons in 5/4 and up are written to the student and are very clear, and none of my boys hate math--in fact they all do well with it, even though some are more math-oriented than others.

 

Back to my original point--I've learned over the years that the materials need to be suited to me as the teacher, as much (or even moreso) as the student (especially in the early years). If I'm not confident in my ability to teach something, I either do a lousy job and frustrate us all or I just avoid teaching it at all.

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ha...maybe because my dd only 2 when she started early bird. She does love all the acttivities....... hemmm ... maybe I should look into EM

 

My ds was about 3 when we started it and it was way too easy for him. He isn't the kind to tolerate busy work or activities. It probably didn't help that EB doesn't fit my teaching style, either. We ended up dropping it and I just continued to answer his endless math questions myself until starting Horizons K at 5yo.

 

EM looks more like PM and leads right up to PM 1A but still gentle enough for a 4-5yo. The amount of writing is perfect for my boys (which means it doesn't require much and most of that is circling).

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For K math. Hmmm - my son did Abeka K, Singapore Earlybird K, Saxon K, and some of Miquon.

 

My favorite K books were the Singapore Earlybird - I think that they are colorful, not a lot of writing, and gentle. I like Saxon K for preschool.

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I'm trying to prepare a K curriculum for DS to start in the fall. How do you choose a math? I'm not a very mathy person. With history & science, particular curricula just grabbed me. I'm not so sure with choosing a math program. I like the idea of Saxon's spiral method, but maybe the Singapore mastery approach would be better? But if we go Singapore, which materials do you actually need? They offer so much. Earlybird or Essentials? To buy the readers, or not to buy the readers? DH is no help. He supports HS 100%... he just doesn't want to choose the curriculum.

 

I chose EB because I knew I was going to give SM the old college try (and we have stuck with it). For us, the book was just a bit of "here is a school book. We sit here to do it, it takes less than 10 minutes but you have to pay attention through the whole thing. We will look at the picture, and then you'll answer my questions, etc". I didn't *say* that to him, it was learning by doing. For us, the "real" math was games. Starting with go fish, counting and skip counting with a big bright abacus, walking upstairs while counting and then backing down while counting backwards, calling out the number of birds at the feeder, making a big chart of the number of squirrels we saw each day, practicing our ordinals.

 

The kindy math book just helped me, a person not usually around children, know what *I* needed to teach kiddo.

 

He loved The Numberlies

http://www.amazon.com/Numberlies-Number-Colin-Jacqui-Hawkins/dp/0789453223

and we went over order (and counting the number of things done) in Katie and the Big Snow about 100 times (e.g. FIRST she plowed the downtown, SECOND she plowed....).

5 is a great age for Mathtacular's first DVD.

 

HTH, have fun, don't chew your nails over it. :001_smile:

 

(Forgot to add: We started EB at 4, and were done with both before 5.5 years of age. Then we started wading into 1A, but the pace really picked up in 1st.)

Edited by kalanamak
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I vote for McRuffy Color Math. I've tried Singapore a little and didn't care for it. I never could bring myself to try Saxon. We have tried many, many math curriculums (as well as phonics). McRuffy is colorful, cute, and fun. My dd LOVES it. We are also using their SE Phonics and Science. Check out the samples (about half way down the page of that above link you'll see:

View and print sample lesson plans, worksheets, and the Scope and Sequence). At the bottom of the samples are 10 workbook pages you can print out for your son to try. FYI, if you decide to go with McRuffy...make sure it's the newer Color version. They have an older black and white (and this is what you usually will find for sale)...so make sure you know what you are getting.

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I vote for McRuffy Color Math. I've tried Singapore a little and didn't care for it. I never could bring myself to try Saxon. We have tried many, many math curriculums (as well as phonics). McRuffy is colorful, cute, and fun. My dd LOVES it. We are also using their SE Phonics and Science. Check out the samples (about half way down the page of that above link you'll see:

View and print sample lesson plans, worksheets, and the Scope and Sequence). At the bottom of the samples are 10 workbook pages you can print out for your son to try. FYI, if you decide to go with McRuffy...make sure it's the newer Color version. They have an older black and white (and this is what you usually will find for sale)...so make sure you know what you are getting.

 

Great. I thought I had finally settled on MM, but then I saw this. WOW! I love it!!!!! Why do there have to be so many choices?!?!?!?!?!

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Great. I thought I had finally settled on MM, but then I saw this. WOW! I love it!!!!! Why do there have to be so many choices?!?!?!?!?!

 

Sorry to possibly throw a monkey wrench in your plan. Actually, I have MM too, the entire light blue on cd. I heard such great things about it. But when it comes right down to it...I just don't have the heart to switch her. She loves McRuffy and so do I. I've looked at pages of MM and....I gotta tell ya'...I just don't care for it in comparison. But, that's just me. I'm planning on just sticking with McRuffy until there isn't any more and then maybe going on to Teaching Textbooks at that point. I can't remember....are there sample pages of MM that you can print out to try? Maybe try the MM samples one day and the McRuffy.

 

I know! My problem is going to be that I'm turning into a curriculum junkie. I want it ALL!

 

This is me exactly! It's even worse for me now with my youngest. I know I won't be having any more kids.....and I don't want to miss out on trying everything with her (that's why I ended up buying MM too!). Poor kid! You'd think by now I'd have it all figured out (I pretty much do now)....but then I see something else and get the grass is greener feeling.

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I second the vote for McRuffy Math Color Edition. This math curriculum is a well kept secret for the younger ages. It's the spiral method with lots of fun games, activities, and short lessons. Perfect for the attention span for the 8 and under crowd.;) There website has some great samples.

 

:iagree:So true!

I'd shout about McRuffy from the roof tops if it would help anybody. Since that isn't gonna work I try to recommend it every chance I get. I literally stumbled upon it by accident at Rainbow Resource (they usually carry only the older b&w, btw) and thought I'd see if they had a website. I wish somebody had told me about it before I had already bought something else. But, I loved the samples so much (and dd was like this looking at the samples: :drool5: ) that I went for it anyway and I'm so glad. Now when people ask for phonics, math, or science suggestions you'll probably see me saying "McRuffy!!". You never know when that one person who hasn't heard of it will end up loving it too. :001_wub:

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I think you have to look first at your dc's learning style and then at your teaching style. (But at that age, you may not really know very well your dc's learning style, so be careful not to invest too much.) I used Cathy Duffy's book to choose a K math curriculum. (She tells you what kind of kid and what kind of teacher each program is good for.) We chose Horizons because it was advanced, which was a good fit in that regard. But because the worksheets were not a good fit for my very social dc. We changed this year to CSMP, and that is a much better fit.

 

If you are not a mathy person, you may want to find something that is scripted and tells you exactly what to do.

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I second the vote for McRuffy Math Color Edition. This math curriculum is a well kept secret for the younger ages. It's the spiral method with lots of fun games, activities, and short lessons. Perfect for the attention span for the 8 and under crowd.;) There website has some great samples.

 

Now I'm rethinking Singapore! The samples look wonderful along with all the manipulatives.

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We're going to do McRuffy Color next year in kindergarten. It arrived last week, and I really like the looks of it. Teaching this child is going to be a challenge for me, no matter what curriculum I choose. Her older sister started kindergarten math with the 2nd book of Horizons, and she's been going strong ever since. Horizons has been a good fit for her, but the second child is going to be a whole different ball of wax! :001_smile:

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