Math - *How is it taught in MFW-1

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Math - *How is it taught in MFW-1

Unread post by Poohbee » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:18 pm

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:25 pm
The math curriculum, using The Complete Book of Math, offers a great deal of variety. You work a week on measurement, a week on time, a week on money, 4 weeks on addition and subtraction, etc. You go through all of the "typical" 1st grade math topics once and then you go through them again at a higher level. The MFW 1st TM and The Complete Book of Math offer wonderful ideas for hands-on activities, math-related children's literature, and The CBoM has great skill-building worksheets, when needed.

That's only the math! There is so much more to MFW 1st! I think you and your ds will really like it!

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a few first grade questions

Unread post by mgardenh » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:36 am

Mississippi Jenni wrote:How exactly are math facts taught? I know you need to get them to understand that one plus one equals two, but how do you get it from counting to adding. Am I making any sense? Also, is there plenty of review built in with math and phonics? Are there drills in math facts?
I have done first. First does a quick review of letters and the sounds they make and then into phonics. There are games and thing to play as review. The lessons build on themselves so in a since you review every day. Your child needs to be able to read cvc words. After a few weeks they will start reading a bible that Marie has written for first grade (not a bible like NIV).

As far as math is concerned 1st grade is learning how to add and the concept behind it. If you use MFW recommendations you will start math facts. It is not scheduled in (unless that has changed since I've used it). But you can use any math program you want so it depends on the program. As far as math facts being scheduled I have only seen it so far in ECC. I've done 1st, adventures, and now ECC. So in Adventures we just practiced our math facts as a daily routine for school. And you will have it scheduled 4 of 5 days in ECC.

Hope this helps. I'm sure others will chime in,
DH to Laurel
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Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR


Re: a few first grade questions

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:36 am


in terms of a check box on a grid or daily math plans, MFW 1st grade does not have a check box of "do 5-10 minutes of drills today". It would be neat to see that on the sections where addition/subtraction is the main topic focus in math those weeks. Addition and subtraction isn't the only math concept in 1st.

Math facts are taught in 1st with hands on activities with less emphasis on rote memory being the key goal. It is listed in 1st grade manual to try to learn specific math facts with addition and subtraction. A list of an order to work on them is given as well. It also mentions that some kids need to continue to work on this in other grades too. Very concrete methods are encouraged.

MFW 1st covers a lot of math beyond math facts. MFW 1st covers a lot of math topics.

MFW recognizes the stronger importance of concepts in math and hands on learning activities as a foundation for math in upper grades. Additionally, MFW encourages using literature to help solidify concepts.

If you want to do "drills" with facts, you'll have to add that in these days as the math Facts windows that MFW use to have in the program aren't made any longer.

How do you get them to go from counting to adding?
Well, lots of ways to do that. Many ideas are included in picture form with the Complete Book of Math. You also get number line ideas. In general, they have to learn what adding means and that you can start with one of the others and add more, instead of having to start with one all the time. But all of this is taught from very concrete, hands on style that is needed at this age. I think with my kids it was a gradual process of learning what it means to add, then the repetition of specific facts began to sink in. I wasn't in a contest to get them to know them all or sing them all.

yeah, plenty of review. simple to do at home games are included in Appendix. mark the vowels. new lessons include review from previous days lessons. the reading is done systematically so that sentences include words and sounds learned.


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Re: a few first grade questions

Unread post by tiffany » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:05 pm

Just wanted to make sure you know that 1st grade does include a comprehensive math program. I wasn't sure if that was clear from the other posters. With 1st grade math and Singapore in later years, you will need to use separate math drills. There are many to choose from. I wasn't aware the Math Windows weren't available anymore. There are many handheld electronic types of drills. Quarter Mile math is a popular computer drill. That is what we use. Of course there are always flashcards. I know there are many games as well that help with math facts. There are a lot of options available.

This year is our 2nd time through the first grade program. With the previous child, we only used part of the math portion and used workbooks primarily. However, I am planning this time around to use the program as written pretty much. There is a lot of room to customize it to your child and the time you have available. I will probably teach him some basic facts with math games and maybe start up Quarter Mile with him after Christmas.

I'm not positive, but I think the 1st grade portion of the website gives a lot of detail about the math at that level, if you are needing more details.
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Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
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Did you use a different math for 1st grade?

Unread post by gratitude » Tue May 03, 2011 7:53 pm

melissamomof3girls wrote:I've tried to use it twice now and just haven't been a fan.Did you use a different math for 1st grade?

Or I will just have to force myself to do the hands-on games next time :~ 8[] I do need to force myself too because I am not a games or hands-on person. lol
We used Horizon K for the first half of MFW Grade 1 and SIngapore 1A for the second half of MFW Grade 1. It worked out fine for my oldest. Although, after going this route, like the idea of more hands on math for my second. Thus, I am planning on trying the MFW Grade 1 math this time around with him.

far above rubies
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Re: Did you use a different math for 1st grade?

Unread post by far above rubies » Tue May 03, 2011 10:10 pm

We did use a different math for those grades and now I regret it.

I wish MFW still had their CD "Hands on Kindergarten and First Grade" available. I've listened to it twice and both times was like, "Aha! I get it now!" I wish I'd heard the reasoning behind it all years ago when we first started with MFW.

Saying all of that, switching them to a more traditional math certainly didn't hurt them at all, but I do wish I'd stuck with the original suggestions.

And that's why I decided to do just that for our upcoming year! I figure we can always re-evaluate after the first semester. :)
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

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1st grade-

Unread post by asheslawson » Sun May 08, 2011 3:30 pm

I was home sick today (yuck - caught a bad chest cold)...but I snuggled up with my manual & a cup of coffee...I am VERY IMPRESSED with the math skills & teaching tools just from the teachers manual alone - even if I had not purchased the complete book of math. I have used a few of the ideas on my own in the past (especially the real life math). But I never would have come up with so many great ideas. I am really excited now about how much she will learn from this...and how much fun I think she will have doing it. I know she is going to love if I print the "checks" for her cafe & store - her brother and her love to play store - and she loves making centerpieces and serving dinner - so I know she will love taking everyone's order and creating ticket to show them their meal charges. I'm really looking forward to this summer. What an amazing job on using practical items & creating a great math curriculum. (I also loved the idea of counting the beans & when we reach 10 - gluing them on the craft stick.) Fun stuff...I am so glad I found MFW when I first began homeschooling!
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD

Julie in MN
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Math in MFW first grade

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:52 pm

mhs2dd wrote:We are considering ordering MFW first grade. How is the math taught and scheduled at this level? I understand the math is described as "hands on" which is just what we want.
Well, I'm going to challenge myself to answer this question. I haven't taught a 1st grader myself, but I have helped at conventions a lot and had to learn about MFW-1st there. And I just have a natural interest in early learning, have tutored a long time, etc.

Math in MFW-1st is contained in the "yellow" section of the manual, which is a grid that goes through each day of your 1st grade year. The grid will remind you to do things that have been explained earlier in the manual. These things include:

- calendar activities
- number of the day & 100 chart, with six steps of activities with the number, from hands-on to written
- math topic to focus on for 5 days in a row (place value, time, etc.)
- literature ideas specifically related to the current math topic
- optional pages in the Complete Book of Math related to the current math topic (these include both hands-on game pages as well as workbook-type pages)
- optional pattern blocks for exploration day
- activities for including math in daily life
- extra game & activity ideas explained in the manual
- an outline for math facts exploration and then a plan for memorization of the facts up to 18

Does that help?

P.S. The "topics" I mentioned several times above can be found all listed out in the 1st Grade Ideas forum, if you scroll down to "Book/Activity Ideas for Math." Each of those topics is cycled through twice during the year, for review and deeper exploration.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
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Re: Math in MFW first grade

Unread post by gratitude » Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:54 pm

Julie gave a great over view of MFW 1 math! I just thought I would add a few examples to it.
Julie in MN wrote:- calendar activities
Look at the calendar on the wall. Look at the date for today, the date yesterday, the date tomorrow, last month, this month, next month.
- number of the day & 100 chart, with six steps of activities with the number, from hands-on to written
write the number of the day (for example 10) on the 100 chart. Count by 2's (I do even & odd), 5's, and 10's to the number of the day. One less than the number of the day is ___. One more than the number of the day is _____. Count backwards. Use the number on the placement sheet. 0 + 10 = 10, 10 + 1 = 11, 10 - 1 = 9. Have the child bring the number of the day in objects (for example, 10 objects). Put another penny in the penny cup. If it is day 10 exchange the nickel and 5 pennies for a dime. Put a bean in the bean cup. If day 10 glue the 10 beans on a stick for a stick of 10.
- math topic to focus on for 5 days in a row (place value, time, etc.)
- literature ideas specifically related to the current math topic
listed in the appendix
- optional pages in the Complete Book of Math related to the current math topic (these include both hands-on game pages as well as workbook-type pages)
the hands on activities in this book are great. So is the rest.
- optional pattern blocks for exploration day
All of my children love these. They build with the geometric shapes, do designs, and use the pattern animal sheets to do the animal puzzle. Great problem solving building.
- activities for including math in daily life
Sheets to copy to play store & restuarant
- extra game & activity ideas explained in the manual
- an outline for math facts exploration and then a plan for memorization of the facts up to 18
The way it is scheduled is as follows:
M, T, Th, Fri. - calendar, 100 chart, number of the day, placement value sheets.
Wed - animal pattern/ geometric shapes.
Weekly suggestions - 1st priority: hands on activities & games, 2nd priority: listed pages in deluxe math book, 3rd priority: literature books in the appendix.

mhs2dd wrote:Thanks Julie and Carin. You have been very helpful.

I wasn't going to order the Complete Book of Math but maybe I should to get it for the full benefit of the program?
I do like the hands on activities in it. They are ideas that I would not thought of, and my kids love the ideas. It is for my ds6, but the 8 & 4 jump in as well because it is just plain fun. It also is really teaching a lot through the fun. It is written for grades 1 - 2. We haven't reached the part where it has actual work book pages yet. So far it just adds and ties in perfectly with the concepts of how MFW1 is teaching basic math: through seeing & doing.

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Re: Math in MFW first grade

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:57 am

mhs2dd wrote:I wasn't going to order the Complete Book of Math but maybe I should to get it for the full benefit of the program?
You don't "need" CBoM to get a full math program. It's nice to have for those of us that are worksheet moms, so we can give our dc a page or two each day and think, "ah, that's awesome - they're doing math." :-) LOL! (I wish that weren't so true . . . )
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Math in MFW 1st - Encouragement

Unread post by Poohbee » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:02 am

I posted this on another thread questioning whether MFW K and 1st are too easy, but I wanted to post it here on the main board, too, to provide some encouragement in using the math as it is written in MFW 1st.

I LOVE the math in MFW 1st! Now, I'm speaking about the older edition, but my understanding is that Learning God's Story is much the same, with maybe a few more math worksheets added in the student sheets.

The things I love about math in MFW 1st are the math literature books and the hands-on activities. There are so many math-related children's literature books available on the market today. Marie has listed a bunch of them in the appendix of the TM. Often, once you start a formal math program, you don't take time for those math lit. books. Math becomes more about getting the workbook done. However, there is so much value in the math literature books and in the hands-on activities! The TM and the Complete Book of Math have many wonderful suggestions for hands-on activities.

So, the way I scheduled math for my kids in 1st...for example, in a particular week we might read a math lit. book as an introduction to the topic on Monday, do a hands-on activity on Tuesday, do a page from Complete Book of Math on Wednesday, read another lit. book on Thursday, and do an activity from the Pattern Blocks activity book on Friday. On the days we read a lit. book, that was math for the day. On the days we did a hands-on activity, that was math for that day. Kids don't always need to do workbook pages or worksheets to show that they are learning their math.

So, don't overlook the perfectly age-appropriate, wonderfully gentle-but-effective hands-on and literature-rich methods in 1st grade math!

By the way, we did MFW 1st math as written, and then my dds both moved into Singapore 1A in 2nd grade. My oldest just completed Singapore 5B and is ready to move into Saxon 8/7 for 7th grade. The math in K and 1st work well to prepare your kids to start Singapore in 2nd. Take advantage of the time in K and 1st to put off a formal math program for more natural, hands-on learning in math.
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Re: Math in MFW 1st

Unread post by MelissaB » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:06 am

Jen, that is exactly how I felt about MFW math, before and after. Like you, I thought it looked too "fun" and too easy. We learned, too, that the very effective hands-on lessons gave our daughter a strong foundation, especially in counting money and place value(!), in a way that textbook learning alone could not.

Well said. :-)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
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Re: Math in MFW 1st

Unread post by lea_lpz » Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:15 pm

I love the math, too! We just are finishing up week 4.
We are really enjoying the math lit. books, the hands on math activities, and we like the Complete Book of Math. The activity ideas are great and the worksheets are engaging.

In mfw k, I did worry that the math was too light and I needed more direction as far as doing every day math, although we always did the math activities in units that had the and really liked the math worksheets, but we did opt to get a k math workbook. It was ok at first but eventually my dd got frusterated with the math concepts as we progressed. The more advanced topics needed more explanation then provided in the math work book and I was surprisingly stumped at how to explain the concepts to her.

Now seeing mfw 1st math, I feel like it all makes sense. Looking through the sequence of math concepts covered and seeing how all the concepts use hands on math and math lit. to reinforce what is being taught I can see how much this will give a solid fondation. I actually would have held off on the k workbook, because I feel confident all the concepts I would hope to be firmly grasped by the end of 1st.

I am really impressed with how thorough, gentle and fun this approach is!
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Question about Math in 1st grade - 1st edition

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:28 pm

mshanson3121 wrote:What's the difference in the math between the 1st and 2nd edition? Does the first edition have daily activities scheduled? Or is it just a generic list of things, and you pick and choose what you do each day? Is there any difference in the scope/sequence in the 1st/2nd edition?
The scope and sequence is pretty much the same. I can't think of a difference off hand and I've look pretty closely. I have both editions. ;)

The big difference is that the math in the 2nd edition is much more scheduled out for you and specific. I find the directions and instructions to be much better. I know with the 1st edition, I really felt I lacked guidance. I knew where Marie wanted me to go, but not how to get there and I got lost. In the 2nd edition, Marie does a much better job of giving you both the goals and the road map to achieve them. Hopefully that makes sense.

If you feel confident that you can get from point A to point B in math with more generalized instructions than you would be fine with the math in the 1st edition. If you are like me and need/want a lot of explicit instructions and hand holding, then the 2nd edition is what you would want.

If you are deciding between the two, there are other differences too. Also, keep in mind they are not going to make the student sheets for the 1st edition after Dec 2014.

Hope that helps!
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