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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay. My son was in tears with Rod and Staff last year, first grade. It's all memorization, constant drilling. I'm not sure if that is what he disliked or if it was just the boredom of the program, lack of colorful book. The lessons were really short and easy, so I'm not sure why he complained so much. Anyway, looking to switch to a different math this year for second grade. Hit me with suggestions for those wiggly willy boys!! Is memorization the best way to go for that type of learning style? I'm not sure at this point.
 

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Hands-on stuff, like Miquon, or RightStart. It's what all kids should be doing at that age anyway, regardless of whether they're wiggly or not: start with manipulatives, games and concepts, add drill a year or two down the road if the number-relationships aren't sticking naturally through use. If you have to do drill, do it out a rebounder, or while tossing a ball, or make your own ball-toss drill game with a beach ball and a Sharpie.

Miranda
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hands-on stuff, like Miquon, or RightStart. It's what all kids should be doing at that age anyway, regardless of whether they're wiggly or not: start with manipulatives, games and concepts, add drill a year or two down the road if the number-relationships aren't sticking naturally through use. If you have to do drill, do it out a rebounder, or while tossing a ball, or make your own ball-toss drill game with a beach ball and a Sharpie.

Miranda
Do you know much about right start? I've been leaning towards that program, and remember looking at it last year as well, but when I read the reviews, which it does get great reviews, I do see that it's a very unique program, where they add two digit numbers starting with the tens column rather than the ones. I spent last year teaching him the ones column first, then tens!! Don't want to confuse him, but other than that right start looked good.
 

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I've never used RightStart, because my kids wanted the big picture from the get-go. By the time they were ready for a math curriculum, they were already doing mental math that involved three or four operations, and the idea of relegating them to a year of nothing but addition and waiting two more years to re-introduce multiplication didn't sit well with me, or them.

My impression of RightStart is that it takes certain approaches in the early stages because of their conceptual value: calling 13 "ten-three" just like 43 is called "forty-three" for example. I wasn't aware that it starts with "adding the tens first" but one of the basic properties of addition is its commutativeness. It doesn't matter what order you add things in: three plus four is the same as four plus three. If your child understands that -- and he should! -- then there's nothing inherently wrong in adding the higher place values before the lower ones. He should have the intellectual flexibility to cope with the inevitable differences between one curriculum and another. And really ... when I'm doing mental math I add the tens first. If I have something that costs $33 and something that costs $38, I don't add the 8 and 3 and regroup the 1. When doing that in my head I add thirty bucks to the $33 to get $63 and then I add the final $8 to get the total.

I have pretty strong feelings about math education, but it's my opinion that if a child can't adjust his approach in a logically-valid way, he's probably lacking in his conceptual foundation (or working on something for which he's not developmentally ready), and that's something that is best addressed. Math is not about following recipes to execute procedures the one correct way, it's about using logically valid number sense and combinations of concepts to solve problems. If children are taught that there's just one correct path, then when they hit 4th or 5th grade and they need to start combining concepts in new ways, they'll hit a wall because they feel lost without a recipe for every problem. I know that as parents and teachers we see a certain appeal in having one fail-safe method we can teach our kids. For many kids it's good to start with something like that to build their confidence. But I firmly believe that long-term success with math requires that kids learn this early stuff forwards, backwards, inside out and sideways through exploring and playing with it in multiple ways.

All of which probably explains why Miquon was such a good fit for me, and for my kids ... it is exploration- and discovery-based and often asks questions rather than providing procedures. Many people find it too chaotic though; it does require a big parental commitment to drinking the kool-aid and buying into its non-didactic approach, a real shift of orientation and approach.

Miranda
 

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These are just ideas...not a curriculum per say...

But bedtime math (app or email or website...free) is a good way to generate interest in mathematics. It's a little article, ~ paragraph, about an interesting topic then a question with a follow up. Well, actually it's three questions but its one for each "level" wee ones, big kids, another I think...anywho. It's fun. It's quasi real world math...

Also...I'm learning abn (I don't know what it is in English) but its teaching to do complex math in one's head. It has a montessori feel (but REALLY isn't).
And...have you looked at montessori math? It's more hands on...I adapt it for our purposes.

Lots of people around me use the Fred Math (?)
(It doesn't sound like math to me but around here people love it! Especially those who use Waldorf type models.)

I will look into right start...
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
These are just ideas...not a curriculum per say...

But bedtime math (app or email or website...free) is a good way to generate interest in mathematics. It's a little article, ~ paragraph, about an interesting topic then a question with a follow up. Well, actually it's three questions but its one for each "level" wee ones, big kids, another I think...anywho. It's fun. It's quasi real world math...

Also...I'm learning abn (I don't know what it is in English) but its teaching to do complex math in one's head. It has a montessori feel (but REALLY isn't).
And...have you looked at montessori math? It's more hands on...I adapt it for our purposes.

Lots of people around me use the Fred Math (?)
(It doesn't sound like math to me but around here people love it! Especially those who use Waldorf type models.)

I will look into right start...
Thank you! I will look into those, especially Montessori. I like the hands-on. I think he got bored with the lack of hands-on in our last curriculum.

We use Life of Fred (which I assume is what you mean by Fred math). We love that as a supplement and will continue to use it. It introduces concepts that otherwise wouldn't be introduced at that level in a very interesting fun way!!!:grin:
 
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