Actually that title is a bit of a misnomer -- we really have two math curriculum that we pull from. Mostly, though, I would describe our style as a Living Math approach. We read math readers, play games, do activities and try to pull the math from our daily life. We are not following a set scope and sequence and frankly it is working out just fine. In fact, math is often our most anticipated subject of the day. Here is some of what we are using and how it is working for us.
Miquon is the newest addition to our math line up, and we are loving it. This is the method we have been using most lately. Each day we have been having a brief lesson with the rods -- any topic that has recently caught our interest or a review from the previous day. Then after a few minutes of discussion and oral work Olivia chooses a page from the Miquon Orange or Red book for us to work. Some days she needs very little help with her page. Other days, like recently when she chose beginning multiplication, I had to get her started. I demonstrate how to use the rods to work the problems, and she is off from there. We jump from topic to topic with her choosing the sheets that look the most interesting to her.
Another program that we own is Math On the Level. I have not jumped into this meaty program quite as much as I had hoped. My objective in buying it was to give me some guidelines for teach math from a living approach -- to provide my framework. The problem is, it is a daunting curriculum with numerous manuals. Right now I am using it as a reference when needed, but expect to pull from it more as we move past the topics covered by Miquon. Since MOTL covers material through pre-algebra we have a long time to use this one. To this point we have not used the MOTL Five-A-Day review approach, but I plan on implementing that some time next school year.
Right Start card games. We often use these to practice and cement topics. They provide a different approach to many topics and they are fun! Games like "Go to the Dump" -- a Go Fish-type game where players try to combine cards to make ten and Next Even or Odd make practicing skills less tedious than a workbook page might.
|Bugs from our reading of Best Bug Parade. We made them and then compared their sizes in various ways.|
Math readers. We love a good picture book, even when the topic is math. I use the list of readers at the Living Math website to help me choose stories about every thing from perimeter to sorting and making patterns. The kids love them, and we often use a reader to introduce a new topic.
Math game and activity books like Games for Math or those from Scholastic. These books provide a wealth of fun, hands-on ways to explore numbers and math. My kids especially enjoy ones like Munchie Math: Dozens of Skill-Building Math Activities That Use Edible Manipulatives to Meet the NCTM Standards that include food. Math with M&Ms is often requested here.
Of course doing math in this fashion takes quite a bit more work than simply handing a child a workbook, DVD, or computer program and telling them to go at it. There is nothing wrong with that, but as a former math-phobe I wanted to be proactive in making sure that math is something that is enjoyed and understood here in our home. I want the kids to be mathematical thinkers and not simply able to recite rote facts or plug numbers into the correct algorithm.
So far it is working for us. Olivia actually knows quite a few of her math facts and has a good understanding of addition, subtraction, and multiplication. In addition she has been exposed to place value to the 100s, time, money, geometry, and fractions. I can see some holes in her learning, but I have no doubt that those will be filled as we continue to cycle through and practice various topics. Periodically I will take stock of her knowledge and compare it to a grade-level S&S and create some units to fill those gaps. For now, we I am proud to say we have never shed a tear over math class, and I intend to keep it that way.
Check out all the other great math and science posts with the Virtual Curriculum Fair this week. Math Lapbooks---Virtual Curriculum Fair Week 2 Angie Wright @ Petra School
Virtual Curriculum Fair Week Two: Discover Patterns, Mathematics, Logic and Some Science by Leah @ The Courtney Six Homeschool
Our Choices For Math by Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool
A Magnificent Math Manipulative by Letha Paulk @ justpitchingmytent
Our Math Choices - Virtual Curriculum Fair by Tristan @ Our Busy Homeschool
Math Literature?!?! by Christine @ Crunchy Country Catholic
Learning Math at My House by Jessica @ Modest Mama
Math Using Hamburger Paper by Debbie @ Debbie's Digest
Math Facts or Fun? Why Not Both! by Beth @ Ozark Ramblings
Heart of Dakota- The Fine Details- Part 2 Science by Lynn @ Ladybug Chronicles
Learning Math Block by Block by Laura O in AK @ Day by Day in Our World
Plugging Along with Math by Cindy Horton @ Fenced in Family
What's Working and What's Not: Math Edition by Leann @ Montessori Tidbits
Math Anyone? by Cindy @ For One Another Ahh, Math. by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun
Flying Without a Parachute: Math with no Curriculum by Pam @ Everyday Snapshots
Math in Our Homeschool by Christine T @ Our Homeschool Reviews
Math, Math, and More Math by Dawn Chandler @ tractors & tire swings
Thinking Mathematically- How I Choose Math Curriculum by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset Discovering Patterns: Math, Logic, and Some Science by Christa Darr @ Fairfield Corner Academy