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Tracy

Starting Miquon with a mathy 5yo

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I just bought all the Miquon materials for my almost 5yo ds. He can already count and recognize numbers up to 100. He can do addition problems from the worksheets. He can do the subtraction problems if I translate them into a word problem. He asks about multiplication all the time but is not quite ready to do it himself. He has been asking about how big the numbers go on the number line and is frustrated that there is no concrete answer.

 

While I am trying to wrap my brain around Miquon, I have been letting ds play with the c-rods and do whatever he wants with the worksheets. He is still learning to write, but I am finding that he already knows a lot in the orange book. I know I can jump in wherever we want, but I also see that he is going to need to be familiar with the c-rods for a lot of the activities, which he is not yet.

 

So my first question is whether we should take some time to get familiar with the c-rods, or whether just jumping into the activities will be enough to get familiar with them?

 

My next question is, How do you decide what to do next? I see that Miquon is largely child-led, but I know that my ds isn't familiar with a lot of the topics and will only be interested once I show it to him.

 

Thanks!

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I would start from the beginning, even if it's stuff he knows. Starting from the beginning helps him get used to the way the rods will be used, and it helps you get used to the way the curriculum is put together. It's fine to rush through and do 20 pages now when you may only be able to do 1 page later. Also, Miquon is mastery-based rather than spiral-based. You'll do one topic at a time, so some topics may be easier and/or take up more space on a page (like pictures or fractions), and you'll be able to do several pages per day. Other topics are mostly just numbers and will have more problems per page, or they'll be brand new topics and will take time to explain. Do only one page on those days.

 

The thing about Miquon is that you need to keep it fun. If you're pushing, it's not going to work. Just let him play with it (from page 1) and see how far he gets. Encourage him to try to figure things out on his own before asking you to explain.

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Check out educationunboxed.com for vids on how to work with the c rods. IMO, Miquon is ther perfect beginning math program. We do some rod familiarization first. Mostly I want to make sure the child can build a staircase pretty easily. We make pictures, rod trains, etc. I've never had to explicitly point out any numerical values. My older two instinctively got it. My oldest zipped through orange and red, only slowing some on the fraction work. And she LOVED doing it. My new 5yo is just starting orange. I love that it makes math do concrete and easily attainable at these young ages!

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I love Miquon. I know it isn't the way the program designed to be used, but what worked for us was to be pretty loose about it. We started with the first book, but decided fairly quickly to move on to the next book. We let the child take the lead in choosing what he wanted to work on. I know that doesn't work for every kid, but for our child was very curious about math it was a good fit (and he's a math major now so I guess it worked).

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We dove right into the Orange book with my first (very mathy) and he picked up the meanings of the rods almost immediately. Now all my younger kids know about the rods from the eldest so I never spend any formal time just on the meaning of the rods before starting with the Orange book. Likely, your child will pick up the relations of the rods within a few pages of Miquon.

 

We do love the education unboxed videos. They are a great fit with Miquon.

 

Eta: I do heavily guide my kids through certain sections of Miquon. My eldest, after guiding him through a few pages, starting to catch on quickly and can dive in by himself - at least in grasping concepts. (Keeping the kid on task is another problem.) My next one needs more explicit instruction. I still prefer to use Miquon sheets and the rods and then provide more explicit explanations myself than switch to a program that is naturally more explicit. Miquon gives me, as the teacher, so much flexibility and creative inspiration.

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