Math - Is it enough?

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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Re: Q about the math in Kindergarten?

Unread post by MuzzaBunny »

DD adores the rods. It's one of her favorite parts of school. :) Also, we were gifted with a K level, Math Mastermind set. She just loves that and claps her little hands when I pull it out. It's quite like the Cuisenaire book and I think it's truly helping her with spacial and critical thinking. I don't know how old my set is because it was used, but I googled and ebay has some. Just in case you're interested.
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Kindergarten Math

Unread post by alisoncooks »

jenmar30 wrote:Is anyone supplementing math in Kindergarten? My husband and I are not math people and want our daughter to get a good start in math. Any advice or is MFW math enough to start out with?
NC (*my state*) has their Standard Course of Study available to view online, with a list of objectives that all K'ers are taught for each subject. (I *assume* other states also do so.) That way you can see if the "requirements" of your state for math are covered (or you can at least see what other kids are *supposedly* learning in public Kindergarten).
NC requires:
~number recognition/writing to 30 (covered during calendar time)
~concepts of measurement (incl. calendar & comparing 2 objects w/ general terms)
~geometry (identify/build/draw triangles, rectangles, and circles; identify/build spheres and cubes), as well as directional/positional words (under/over/beside) -- things you may already be doing or will do in lessons
~collect/display data (covered with a weather chart during morning calendar or from one of the lessons)
~simple patterns & sorting objects (also covered in the teacher manual during calendar time)

So, you can see that many of these are covered in the MFWK calendar time, as described in the manual.

That said, ;) I wanted to take our calendar time a step further (making it portable b/c we travel a I have no wall-space in our kitchen, where we'll be schooling). We'll be doing a Calendar Binder (which I found from a link in an older thread).

Married to DH since 2000, with 2 sweet girls (2006 & 2008).
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Re: Kindergarten Math

Unread post by gratitude »

Math was my favorite subject in school! LOL! College too!

MFWK math, I have found, to be more than enough. I used Horizon K math books with my oldest for K. Then I used MFWK math with my second ds for K. I find it very interesting that my second son seems to have a better grasp on foundational math / life skills math. He is doing super now in MFW1 math, and I can see how what he did in K is building on itself and is naturally expanding. In fact, I liked what he was learning in MFWK math so much that I had my first son do K math with him last year even though he had already started Singapore. I think it helped him fill in some of the foundational hands on understanding that he was missing. I think just as highly of MFW1 math, from what I have seen so far with my second son; this is my first time through the math part of MFW1. So far I have thought so much of it that I am having my oldest join in on some of it too with his Singapore, to continue building that hands on foundational math thinking that he missed doing Horizon K workbooks. Singapore, by the way, is also fabulous.

Last edited by gratitude on Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Kindergarten Math

Unread post by cbollin »

Math and Science nerd family here:

The math is plenty for Kindergarten level goals and meet and exceed many standards that are realistic. Also, with the mfw author's international teaching experiences where math gets higher grades than in US testing, be confident :)
It will really set a foundation that is needed. It's one of those hidden gems of MFW - kind of like when you mix veggies in your homemade sauce.

The daily math routines will have plenty of critical thinking skills with patterns, place value, counting, skip countings, early addition/subtraction.
In the daily activities section, we get lots of "good stuff" to carry over with science skills in math: graphs, charts, more/less,
In the deluxe package, there is optional workbook (C. Rods alphabet book is actually a math and critical thinking skills book).

Once the student has finished the 100 days and place value chart, new ways of using those skills are "added" to the program. Those will be seen in the activities section with the coin cup, (around the K kangaroo lessons). Then around unit 21 (if memory serves?) there is a suggestion to get a simple addition and subtraction workbook at K level. That would be something like you'd see at store like Target, or Walmart or even a book store. K grade level math workbook to use for supplement. cheap. even some of those dry erase books are fine.

I would supplement with that to begin.

The only other kind of supplement would be in natural settings of math with natural word problems and natural uses of math: cooking, setting the table, sorting the laundry (categories, and counting in pairs of socks)...... how many more forks do we need? we have 5 people, and only 2 forks.

Other math goals and skills (clocks, time, etc) will be found in the literature selection in Kindy such as in the I I insect unit with Grouchy Ladybug.
jenmar30 wrote:Thanks for your advice.. I don't know why I am struggling with this so much. I get caught up in worrying about my daughter being behind other kids(whatever that means) I think I will just stick with MFW math for now and add in some mathwork books later on.
because you're a good mom who wants to make sure you aren't missing something. (((hugs))) good job

Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Kindergarten Math

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

cbollin wrote:In the deluxe package, there is optional workbook (C. Rods alphabet book is actually a math and critical thinking skills book).
I remember watching my dd use that book and it hit me like a tone of bricks (or a ton of cuisenaire rods) how much logic she was using to complete the page. And I realized, "This is MATH!"
Then around unit 21 (if memory serves?) there is a suggestion to get a simple addition and subtraction workbook at K level. That would be something like you'd see at store like Target, or Walmart or even a book store.
We did that, but dd went overboard and did way too many pages at once. I slowed her down to only doing a little each day and she got a much better grasp of why 2+2=4. Use the rods as manipulatives along with that; "you have 2 blocks, if you add 2 more blocks, how many blocks are there?" Having touchy-feely visible stuff is so good. Even now, at the grocery store I will tell my 9yo dd, "Tomorrow when I go to the market, I can get a bag of 6 peppers for $5.99. These peppers are $1.49 apiece. What do you think we should do?" Tangible things like that work so much better for my dd, anyway. Those sorting socks and setting the table ideas really, really work.
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Re: Kindergarten Math

Unread post by Yodergoat »

I am not the math person... I even think I have mild discalculia. But my husband (thankfully!) is a math guy... I wear his old "math club" T-shirt from high school often. He really sees all that math stuff. With Gail it is hard to tell. She has known her letters and has been writing them well since age 3, has a startling vocabulary, thinks very logically about things... but only just recently can count to ten reliably. Will she need more math? Is she going to be like me? I was wringing my hands about it.

I was thinking that MFWK might not have enough math for a while, even though I read in so many reviews that MFW K's math was enough. I was all ready to order an additional math program. Then I was reading in some "how to homeschool" type books about how first year homeschoolers almost always buy too much curriculum, and I saw myself in that. &)

So I never ordered anything else. It was a challenge for me not to do so! Especially since Gail loves workbooks... I mean devours them! (I believe she enjoys the feeling of completing something in small portions.) Will she think we're really having school if she doesn't have a math workbook?

I am not planning at all on adding a math program. But if the afore-mentioned lack of worksheets becomes an issue, I might pick up some of those cheap workbooks from the store, or print something off the computer when she gets that desire for more worksheets. To be honest, I always liked them, too, or at least I enjoyed the good feeling that came with "filling something out and being done with it." Dare I say I liked some busywork, and I think Gail does also? Oh, what would Charlotte Mason say? ;)

But now that I have the teacher's manual in my hands and have looked into it some, I see that it is enough on its own. So much math is built into it just because it promotes "living" and learning!
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
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Re: Kindergarten Math

Unread post by gratitude »

Yodergoat wrote: Then I was reading in some "how to homeschool" type books about how first year homeschoolers almost always buy too much curriculum, and I saw myself in that. &)

So I never ordered anything else.
Oh, that was me. &) I never knew it was common for new home schoolers. I did so fall into that trap. My DH, I, and our pocket book are very glad that I came out of that trap and followed God's leading to doing MFW as a solo curriculum venture. As I posted earlier, the math really is enough. It starts laying the foundation to 'think' mathmatically and then that thinking is followed up by Singapore. I was so impressed by Singapore because some of the type of thinking required in advanced mathematics (ie. Calculus and beyond) is introduced in the primary grades.
Last edited by gratitude on Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kindergarten Math

Unread post by MelissaB »

We weren't sure if MFW K would be thorough enough in Kindergarten math, so we did 3 math curriculums last year (That's right, three!). We did MFW, Math-U-See, and an Abeka K, all of which are great curriculums. By the end of the year, it was clear: MFW K math can stand alone. While our daughter could do the other curriculums, we could tell she retained what she was learning using MFW the best: counting by tens, counting money, adding, subtracting - It's all there.

In fact, after a stressful year of doing all those math curriculums last year, we're doing MFK 1st grade math this year - exclusively. :-)
Hope that helps -
Melissa B.
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

Math...why is it so weak in MFW-K and 1st?

Unread post by cbollin »

lisabee wrote:We are in the home stretch to our Kindergarten program...crazy to think we are almost finished with our first year of homeschooling! So much fun! I'm very glad that we decided upon MFW-K to cut our teeth on homeschooling...

I think the only con I can see is that it is almost EMPTY of math. Learning the numbers--how to count to that number...that is soooooooo basic! My son already knew how to do that so the math of MFW-K is empty! I've been fortunate to have various workbooks that have helped and he's very proud of his worksheets of +0 and +1 and -0 and -1. He's CLEARLY capable of it. He enjoys it!

I asked my girlfriend (using MFW-1st) her opinion...she loves the program...EXCEPT for it's lacking in math.

This is a bit frustrating because I considered using MFW-1st grade...but if the math is lacking, then I might as well just buy a full math curriculum!

I am wondering why the math programs are so weak in Kindergarten and 1st grade?

Or maybe...I have an expectation that he should be doing more then he really needs to be...

But, then the joy of homeschooling is that if the child is READY for more, you give it to maybe he just is at a higher level for math then MFW expects from a Kindergartner or 1st grader...?

Any opinions/advice/tips would be welcome!
maybe my point of confusion on your friends perspective is with this:
does she have the manual with the "yellow page" grid for teaching the math program?
if she doesn't have that in her manual, that could be influencing the perspective.....

This is my opinion and my observations on this topic over many years of homeschooling. I think if you went to a book store and got some Kindy level workbook approach you'd find all of the same stuff in MFW Kindy math but MFW does it without worksheets. My oldest used MUS - same stuff in that program that's in MFW K. So I learned to chill about it. I know I was scared about it all when I started homeschooling. But then I learned that doing worksheets doesn't mean advanced in math.

So, no, I do not think it is weak. Well, ok let me rephrase that. MFW K math covers the same math goals that MUS does in their Kindy program. Pretty much the same stuff in other programs. so if those programs aren't weak, then neither is MFW. I think it is just so gentle that it doesn't seem like enough because of lack of worksheets. ;) There are a lot of concept building activities going on and building on place value is a big part of MFW K.

Are you ok if I ask out loud if you are doing everything in the Kindy program in the math section? It could be the case that perhaps you have overlooked. blush blush....

Are you doing the place value, or just "counting"? They are 2 different skills.
In those daily 100 Chart activities, are you remembering to do the place value and intro to addition and subtraction by 1's (oh, that intro to addition and subtraction is with the "what number did we write yesterday... and today and tomorrow". blush, you mean that was teaching them to add and subtract in such easy and natural ways? you mean it was building foundation for the age? but but but in Singapore aren't they doing "more"? LOL LOL LOL)

The place value - are you bundling the straws? and are you moving them around? Go to a kindy classroom - you will see that in a good classroom.

Are you doing the patterns on the calendar? Teaching patterns and predicting them -- are you doing that?

Are you doing the charts and graphs in the activities?

did you start the coin cup yet?

What about the measuring activities in those things? Are you just doing it for them, or letting the child do it?

There is an easy to miss section in the math is because there isn't a daily reminder for it. But, MFW encourages us to "reinforce these math skills in everyday situations". How is that part working for you? Do you need to say "oh yeah.... I'm getting ready to cook, so call the kids in and have them slice in halves and quarters and "divide" the crackers equally on the snack plates?

Are you worried that there are no worksheets/workbooks? It does tell us around unit 21 to go get a cheap workbook if you need that while doing addition and subtraction. I usually pick those up at the dollar bin at places like target.

But, if you went to a store and got a Kindy level workbook - you'd find the goals in those workbooks to be on the same level and scope as MFW. It's just MFW K doesn't have a "workbook" for concepts. There are the math pages in the worksheets. But not "do your workbook, do your workbook, you can't eat until you do your workbook".

Now...I strongly disagree with you about 1st grade program. Why do you claim it is weak?
More than likely it is a lot for your child, but I strongly caution you not to rush ahead in worksheets or rote memory. I alluded to Singapore Math a little ways back in this answer. They don't rush ahead like we do and yet they have very strong math overall. I like how someone said it once "we start at age 4 only to get behind by age 7."

The math in first grade is not lacking anything that I can see.
For the workbook loving child, MFW sells a 1st/2nd grade workbook.
for the child who learns concepts by literature - there is an extensive "book basket" list for math concepts.
There are games to do with them.

Have you seen the math in first or??? Why does your "friend" say it lacks math? I've very confused. I usually understand when new homeschoolers are concerned on the math in K because it's not workbook based. But 1st grade?

a bit more with the goals listed and all of that. advice? I'd encourage you if you are going to do MFW 1st, go ahead and do the math in the program. If your child is truly advanced and needs more, give it one semester as written. Then, consider placement test in Singapore Math for next semester. But , I think with the fun approach, and the strong parts of the program in math,... no need to rush it.

I did find the scope and sequence in math in 1st grade. This is what is covered. Yes, some topics will be repeated from Kindy level -- that is very common even in textbook programs.

Math. Topics covered include:
counting, reading and writing numbers to 100,
understanding greater than/less to 100.
Count by 2’s 5’s, 10’s.
Count backwards from 20 to 0
Ordinal numbers (1st-10th)

Addition and Subtraction facts to 18.
Add 3 numbers to 18.
Addition and subtraction two digit numbers without regrouping.
Understand add/subtract both horizontally and vertically

Place value of 2 digit numbers.
Expanded notation.
Money: value of penny nickel dime and quarter, begin to count money.
Time: hour and half hour.
Calendar: days of the week, months and current date.
Number patterns and other patterns.
Simple word problems.
Charts, graphs, and tallies.

All of it is done in a hands on informal way and there is an additional workbook for supplementary learning. That book, The Compete Book of Math, bills itself as a 1st and 2nd grade math workbook

Basically, all of those goals are done with the following topics/sequence. You go through it in the first semester, then repeat it again with more worksheets, and do it again.. (i.e more practice and more rote and all of that)

Numbers/counting topics
Place Values
2 and 3 digit addition/subtraction
and fractions.

In the first grade program, math is taught from daily routines in math (it's all spelled out what to do), plus literature, plus games, plus workbook, encouragement of learning math facts.

It's got it all. And the current manuals have it with this grid on the topics and daily planner for it. Tells you which math game is good for the topic. Then you find that game in the games section of the manual. The literature books are with the topics.

and I"m going to log off now... b/c it's unfair of me to type this much. It's just that I really have experienced a very full math in this program.

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Re: Math...why is it so weak in MFW-K and 1st?

Unread post by Joyhomeschool »

I think Cbolin is right.. But I also choose to start Math U SEe in K. I feel like MFW K math is great, but I like to get them adjusted to a math program. MFW K math really inforces "living math" which is GREAT! And MORE than enough to teach Math in the early years.
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2

Re: Math...why is it so weak in MFW-K and 1st?

Unread post by cbollin »

and I forgot something...

Another item in the deluxe is for Math and critical thinking skills: the Pattern Animals and Wooden Blocks. It's all about the math, science skills, critical thinking. 20 different style of critical thinking worksheets to apply over 26 animals. Lots in there. It's not just "put the blocks on the patterns". not like that... That book is scheduled once a week on "exploration day".

on the hand, like Vicki said --- if you prefer another program for math... that's doable. you'd just skip all of the yellow pages in 1st.

back to kitchen math for me..... youngest is making pancakes. I love her approach to subtracting fractions. LOL LOL LOL..... oops that's too much milk in the measuring cup. so she drinks it down. LOL LOL....

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Re: Math...why is it so weak in MFW-K and 1st?

Unread post by lisabee »

Thanks for all the advice/tips and opinions thus far!

Perhaps many of us just starting with Kindergarten "math" forget that they are more about learning concepts then numbers!

Yes, we are doing the "how many is 100" we count by 5's, 10's...guess what comes next, what we did the day before. We do our number cups (3 cups!) and talk about why we move stuff from ones to 10's to hundreds. We have a calendar and we do patterns (which he has down pat! I can ask him to do me an AB, ABC, AAB, ABB, ect and he can get it right every time). We measure--he uses the measuring tape or string. We've learned the difference between inches/feet/yards. Can put things in size order and use the proper terms (big bigger biggest, ect). We do fractions (apples, crackers, ect) when making meals. We make charts and graphs even when they aren't part of the lesson. He knows how to read graphs and how to graph things. We just started the coin cup with Kk but he already has a bank and trades us out for silver change all the this is just more of the same.

As for worksheets, he likes to do them! So if he likes to do it, then I let him do it! We play math games with dice, we use the Cuisenaire Rods and Workbook.

Now that I type all that out, perhaps my ideas of "weak" are misplaced...I guess when assessed, he measures right where he should be--maybe a bit higher...

Thanks for pulling my attention to these things that can be easily over looked...when you do them daily I guess you forget about WHAT you are actually teaching, KWIM?

I have asked my friend to scan me a page of what a "typical" math day looks like from the MFW-1st grade so I can get a better idea...perhaps she too is "missing" an idea of what a 1st grader really just needs to know...
Lisa M.
Mom to two fabulous farm-fresh boys
Little Britches (5 1/2)
Baby Britches (1)
My Blog about Homeschooling and Life on the Farm: Farm Fresh Adventures
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Re: Math...why is it so weak in MFW-K and 1st?

Unread post by DaniWestRN »

I don't necessarily feel the math is weak in either K or 1st for all the reasons Crystal gave. What I think is that for some teachers it is difficult to remember everything and for some students they don't get things even when you do it the way MFW says. I've tried to follow the instructions for both grades but I feel like we miss stuff all the time and there are really holes in my 1st graders knowledge. But one issue maybe that she struggles with math and I am one of those people that just understands. Anyway, I think after we finish the first cycle of the yellow sheets I am starting a separate curriculum because that is what we need.
Danielle, Mommy to DD#1- 3rd/ECC, DS#1 -2nd/ECC, DD#2- K, DS#2- pre-K, and DD#3- learning to toddle

Re: Math...why is it so weak in MFW-K and 1st?

Unread post by cbollin »

DaniWestRN wrote:I feel like we miss stuff all the time and there are really holes in my 1st graders knowledge. But one issue maybe that she struggles with math and I am one of those people that just understands. Anyway, I think after we finish the first cycle of the yellow sheets I am starting a separate curriculum because that is what we need.
Please do use what works. switch if that's better. please.

in the case it might help....What "holes" are you trying to help your child to fill?
Is it lack of understanding concepts, or is it something like drill of facts? or not enough in being able to read a clock? or use money? or add mentally (don't worry about that one though)? It might be a teaching technique to learn how to convey the information no matter what curriculum is used for the scope and sequence. Is it looking for ways to teach it in master instead of spiral, or spiral instead of mastery or whatever the terms are?

but the reason I'm asking that is to help you as you think through the myriad of options out there...... not trying to put you on the spot or anything. I just sometimes like to brain storm teaching methods and such if it might help someone to know what's better for them.
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Re: Math...why is it so weak in MFW-K and 1st?

Unread post by MelissaM »

I feel like the math in MFW 1 is so full - really thorough, a LOT of material and concepts covered - that I struggle to get it all in every day. I would give it a chance - you can always buy a math curriculum if you feel you need one later.

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Re: Math...why is it so weak in MFW-K and 1st?

Unread post by gratitude »

I really should read ALL of the replies before posting; especially Crystals. From the little I did read of Crystals long post to you she is right on. Her first line said it all. MFW K and MFW1 math are what is taught in K and 1st grade math; it is just done without work sheets. If you look at a scope and sequence for grade 1 you will find counting by 2, 5, & 10. Adding single digits, etc. All of that is in MFW1. I just did a practice test with my ds8 for the Iowa Basic yesterday. He is in 2nd grade, but the practice test went up through early 3rd grade. We were both very surprised by how basic and simple the math was. 12 - 8 = ?, 2 + 3 = ?. Testing to see if 2nd graders know math. Well those type of problems are in MFW 1st grade math.

Now all of that said. I felt the same way. So I will tell you what I have done. I do use Singapore math 1A/1B with MFW1. I also am trying to add in the hands on math because I think it has tremendous value. I don't think I need to use Singapore math with MFW1, but I want to. So it is what we do. We did it the first time, and I am doing it the second time. Is the MFW1 manual and program still worth it? Of course. Yes, yes, and yes!!! The math pages are a small section in the front. The rest is the real program to me: Bible, Bible History, Proverb copy work, phonics, science, and more Bible. The Singapore books cost $10 a piece, so they are easy to add on to MFW1. Unnecessary, but they fit into long term plans of ours.

I have to say though to give MFW math the credit it deserves. I did Horizon K math for my oldest for Kindergarten and then he started Singapore 1A with MFW1 for 1st. I did MFWK math with my second son for Kindergarten, and started Singapore 1A for first. My second son was just as prepared, if not more prepared, for Singapore 1A then my oldest.

The hardest part about MFW for me has been the fact it seems so easy, simple, deceptively simple. I can walk away and think we haven't done anything, or worry if they are learning. Then the fruit comes, and I realize they have learned far more than they ever do from the more laborious work that we could be doing.

If this post completely doesn't fit in with the previous ones my apologies since I only read the original post. MFWK & 1 math, as I am sure was pointed out beautifully above, would be just fine alone.
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