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# Let's Talk Math. - Page 3

This one looks fantastic!
Some HS families I knew online were raving about it, but my children are a bit too young for it.
I watched a couple of their sample lessons + looked through the materials, and it looks like something I may want to buy

### Math as Play

My son Jason (now 25) unschooled from the beginning (we were lucky to discover John Holt's books early on).

Jason always loved playing with numbers. Although he was "late" in some areas such as walking and reading, he had a huge vocabulary by 18 months, understood the concept of infinity at 2, and taught himself squares and square roots at 3 . But in spite of all this, I still worried about not using a curriculum, especially for math.

When he was 7, he asked for a math book as his special holiday gift that year (we had read John Holt's glowing review of Harold Jacobs' book Mathematics: A Human Endeavor, in Growing Without Schooling). I thought "I must be doing something right" if a 7-year-old wants a math book for Christmas!

The book proved to be as wonderful as John Holt had said, and we both enjoyed it a lot. But a couple of months later, I noticed that Jason hadn't looked at it for a while. I decided to offer to go over a chapter per week with him. Fortunately, I was extra busy that day and didn't get around to asking him about this. That evening, here comes Jason, book in hand, saying "Let's play math." I got chills, thinking, "Whew, that was a close one." Had I made my offer, he probably would have accepted it, and even learned from it, but where would the concept of math as play have gone?

Now at 25, he can do just about anything mathematical in his head, unlike me. I can do math, having memorized formulas, but always on paper, and I often don't understand the concepts involved. Jason can not only do the math easily but really understands the whole process. If he happens to need a new mathematical tool, he can easily learn it. He needed to know about sines and cosines when he converted paintings from my illustrator into graphics for my publisher, for my children's book A Gift for Baby. He learned it quickly and easily from the Internet. I could only look back and remember how much time I spent memorizing calculus formulas, with no idea what was going on, and with no real-world application.

Jason has learned everything through play, and has the same love of learning he was born with. I feel so indebted to John Holt. But my best teacher has always been my son. For parents who went to school, unschooling can be a challenge but it is also our best opportunity to learn to trust our children's natural love of learning.

Jan
Not an entire curriculum, but everyone middle grades and older should have this "Illustrated Dictionary of Math". My dd is 9 and we are just starting to use some of it. I'm amazed at all the stuff I've forgotten or never learned in school when it comes to math. Ugh....

### My Pals are Here and early bird math (Singapore Math)

2. What level/age is your child? Did that influence your decision to use this particular program (or not to use another?)
5 1/2 and 3 (nearly 4), so First grade and K4

3. What sort of learning style does your child have? Are we talking about a mathematically-oriented child? A visual learner? Kinesthetic? (A brief description will help other parents who may have a similar type of child to make this decision.)
5 year old is visual with some kinesthetic leanings, 3 year old is very kinesthetic

4.Uses manipulatives and games. VERY suited to home educators in its approach. Work is incremental, but increments are not too tiny,and the aproach spirals. It is also very colorful and more "fun" in its appraoch than saxon or even the"regular" Singapore Math.

5. We went on personal reccomendations to narrow the field, narrowed it some more by reading various reviews, then looked u sample pages and had the children use the sample pages we printed out. This is the one they loved.

6. What do you like/dislike about the program?

I like the spiralling aproach, the not too small increments, the bright colours, and the mutisensory apprach. I also like the solid math behind it; not some unproven method or faddy.

7. Will you/would you continue at different levels, or do you think that another program might be better suited to your child as s/he progresses?
Yes
Why? Solid academically, not dumbed down, yet designed so that time can be taken if needed by providing extra practice books for review if needed, and child engaging. I also love the CD that goes with the programme, Rainbow Rock, and the games the childrenplay with it. The programme touches on all styles of learning, to really help engage just about any child, and making math fun for mine. I also like that the price of the curriculum is excellent value as we are on a budget.
WE LOVE My Pals are Here as well!!
My daughter could never understand math before -- now she is just soaring!
LOL, do you also get the upsetness if you tell the her today is Saturday and we are not doing MPH? LOL She cried one day until we packed the MPH for a weekend at her Grandma's. She LOVES it!
You all got me curious enough to Google "My Pals are Here math" - sounds fascinating! - but I couldn't find an ad-like page anywhere that actually pictured it - do any of you have a link to a website that has actual pictures or descriptions? - Lillian
Thanks!

I took a look, but I'm trying to figure out what they like so much in these books that's different from others. From just looking there, they seemed to be the same as other colorful primary math books I've seen, but with cuter pictures. Is it the pictures? Oh - wait - I clicked on the section 2 part and found the activity pages. I see why they could be fun for those who enjoy workbooks. I don't think my son would have liked them at all, but I can see where a little girl who likes writing in workbooks could have fun with them. I probably would have liked them when I was little.

<<Section 1 - Sample pages from Course books>>
Section 2 - Sample pages from Practice books>>

- Lillian
Actually, the drawings are the only things DD HATES about those books - she can't stand The Furries, so she draws angrily all over them After book 3B there will be no more furries I think

The other books the children tried did not explain the process well at all! They briefly said what it was supposed to happen and then the book threw hundreds of drills at them! They did not actually try to expalin the process!

What you actually can't see in those samples is the gradual and interesting way the explanations happen. These are also the FIRST math books that explain WHY things are how they are. My children HATE to memorize and to be told it is so because it is - that' what they experienced in the other books. Also, MPH have fun games and hands on activities suggested after every handful of pages.

It has really been a life saver for us and I am so happy my daughter actually enjoys Math now!
Quote:
 Originally Posted by polihaupt What you actually can't see in those samples is the gradual and interesting way the explanations happen. These are also the FIRST math books that explain WHY things are how they are.
Ah! Thanks - that explains a lot. I guess they should show one of those progressions in their samples. I did wonder what was in between the samples they showed. Lillian

### Everyday Math?

I teach at an independent school now where my two kids go and will be homeschooling them next year. I've always liked the math program they use at their school - Everyday Math. It really works on the concepts behind math and approaches problems from a variety of different strategies, especially hands on or at least visual. It also has a web site with games. I'd like to continue with that program for them - has anyone else used it? I checked out the web site and am not sure how much this will cost, but even after teaching for many years, I feel I need a "program" for math and find this one to have a depth that many other math programs I've seen lack.
We used Everyday Mathematics (the University of Chicago Mathematics Project). You'll need:

(1) the student materials package (journal I and II, student reference book, template) from the publisher--call to order);

(2) teacher manual (usually two volumes; with proof of homeschooling, available from the publisher; Academic Book Services (used books) often has copies for much less \$); and

(3) manipulatives from teacher stores, web stores (after you get your materials you can check what you need for your level; we most often used base ten blocks, pattern blocks and a deck of playing cards).

You'll have to modify sometimes because it's aimed at a class. Also, it's not scripted. After I spent time with the materials, planning was no problem.

It is hands-on and emphasizes understanding. The games in the student reference book and teacher materials are very good. We generally did a game and one lesson a day. The teacher materials offer pacing suggestions.

This is a good series for one who understands math, is not intimidated by the idea that there are different ways to approach math, and wants to spend time with their child doing math (as opposed to plopping the child with a workbook!).

The downside is administrative: it requires more planning than programs aimed at homeschoolers and explanatory text is in the separate student reference book, rather than right in the journal (workbook). The upside is that it's not watered-down math, scripted and rote, like so many of those programs.
Thanks HilMama - I taught EM for 3rd grade, but wasn't sure how it would translate to home . . . math is not my teaching strength so I need some structure but I also don't want to be scripted. I feel ready to teach writing workshop, reading, and a project-approached science/social studies w/o a program - but we'll see. I have confidence in the classroom with twenty or so of other people's children but find that I am lacking it with my own - how strange is that? I am trying to let go of any kind of comparisons and expectations and will approach this with an open heart and mind.

Thanks for the insights and tips - I'll start gathering!

### favorite math games, manipulatives, & other tips

I just have to post a link here to this really great MDC thread, otherwise it will end up lost in the shuffle... Lots of really great suggestions and links!

unschoolers and relaxed ones..list your favorite math games/manipulatives...

- Lillian

### Mammoth Math?

http://www.mathmammoth.com/packages.php

Has anyone here tried this?
Anyone familiar with BuildingBlocks Math? I met with the one of the key developers and was really impressed but the cost is pretty high.

### Math U See Gamma

What level/age is your child? Did that influence your decision to use this particular program (or not to use another?)

My oldest is 8, going into 3rd grade. This was one program that went along with styles we had used before.

What sort of learning style does your child have? Are we talking about a mathematically-oriented child? A visual learner? Kinesthetic? (A brief description will help other parents who may have a similar type of child to make this decision.)
He is a very kinesthetic learner. The hands on + visual approach helps him immensely (we watch the dvd together. He liked math before, now it's one of his favorite subjects.

Describe your math program: does it use a lot of manipulatives? Rely on visual indicators? Is it compatible with other programs? Does it require a great deal of parental preparation/intervention/active guidance? Do you think that the program is suited to home educators, or is there a heavy focus on busy work and classroom managment? What about repetition, is there enough? Too much?

It uses blocks, mainly, but also goes along with other items we use. I made a checkerboard with beads the year before that corresponds to the colors used for the blocks/place values in MUS. I'm not sure about how compatible it is with other programs, but it seems to work well with the Montessori principles already in our home. I don't prepare a whole lot - I watch the video, we watch it together, and then as soon as he feels he is proficient, there's two tests: written and teaching. If he can teach me the material, then I know he knows it. We don't do a whole lot of repetition. There's 6 pages per lesson, 3 covering only the new material and 3 review. I don't think we've done all six yet. It's only as much repetition as needed.

Why did you decide to use this particular program? Was it to suit your individual child, or because it was recommended by a book/another homeschooler/a post here?

I had heard about it on a Montessori board I was on, but it took a while longer for me to order the demo disc. It seemed to fit in with his learning style the best out of all the other programs we looked at/used.

What do you like/dislike about the program?

I love how visual it is. It's brought in new approaches to how I learned math and new ways of looking at things.
I think so far, the only thing I dislike is how long the gentleman on the dvd can talk. My 8yo hates that the book is pink. Half his books this year seem to be pink or reddish colored. He's trying to move up to Delta (yellow) by Dec.

Will you/would you continue at different levels, or do you think that another program might be better suited to your child as s/he progresses? Why?

We will probably continue with this as long as he's homeschooling. The set up is fantastic and I can still incorporate our other learning tools into it. I especially like the fact that there is a practical math course at the end of the high school levels for everyday skills - balancing a checkbook, getting the best price for your money, etc. Obviously skills that can be taught without the book, but I like having it all in one place so I don't feel like we missed anything.

### MEP math

2. What level/age is your child? Did that influence your decision to use this particular program (or not to use another?)

My daughter is 9 and is at different levels for different subjects. That didn't really have much to do with what program I wanted to use.

3. What sort of learning style does your child have? Are we talking about a mathematically-oriented child? A visual learner? Kinesthetic? (A brief description will help other parents who may have a similar type of child to make this decision.)

For math, she seems to be a bit more kinesthetic.

4. Describe your math program: does it use a lot of manipulatives? Rely on visual indicators? Is it compatible with other programs? Does it require a great deal of parental preparation/intervention/active guidance? Do you think that the program is suited to home educators, or is there a heavy focus on busy work and classroom managment? What about repetition, is there enough? Too much?

This program does use some manipulatives. It's a free program that you download and the downloads include some copy masters and other items used to help with lessons. It's a program that's geared for classroom use, but can be adapted for homeschooling fairly easily. It's a program used in the UK.

Stylistically, it's a lot like Miquon and would be a GREAT program to use when a child has finished Miquon. We used Miquon, Singapore, Rod and Staff and Making Math Meaningful and Miquon was my daughter's favorite by a long shot. MEP is enough like Miquon in the sense that it requires a great deal of problem solving and logical thought and discovery. I think if you used MEP, you'd not need to do any additional logic/problem solving programs until the upper levels (high school, maybe)

MEP does require parental involvement. There's really no "do this page and let me know when you're done" sort of assignments. It's very interactive between the parent and child. Despite it being geared toward the classrooom, I've not found that it's full of boring busywork. It is spiral (as opposed to mastery-based) so concepts are revisited periodically.

5. Why did you decide to use this particular program? Was it to suit your individual child, or because it was recommended by a book/another homeschooler/a post here?

Both. I was looking in vain for something similar in approach to Miquon and was not happy with what I was finding. R&S bored my daughter to tears, Singapore wasn't much better (although I think it's an excellent program, just didn't work for my dd), MMM drove her crazy. When we started MEP, she said, "Oh, it's like doing puzzles every day!" Also, a friend found it and started using it with her dd's and suggested it for my dd.

6. What do you like/dislike about the program?

I like that it's a math program she embraces and enjoys, and I like how it teaches mathematical thinking, not just rote memorization of facts. The "why" of the concept is presented and for my dd, is far more engaging than traditional basal math programs. And, it's free!

Despite being free to download, you do have to print it up, and that can get costly in the long run. Since it's used in the UK, the money and measuring concepts are not American, but if you just tell the child that it's dollars and not pounds, it's not an issue. And, kids should know the metric system, anyway.

7. Will you/would you continue at different levels, or do you think that another program might be better suited to your child as s/he progresses? Why?

We've not used this very long, but I'm hoping it's our math answer. I hope we can keep up with this and that it's effective as well as interesting to dd.

http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/projects/mep/default.htm
Does anyone know of a musical prek-grade 1 math program? I've seen the CDs with multiplication/division facts and so forth, but I'm looking for something for my 4 yo who will learn ANYTHING set to music, and is expressing an interest in beginning math. She likes the Math Circus DVD from Leap Frog, but I haven't found anything that goes further for her.
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