Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Not Another Maths Program!

Yes, I have found yet another maths program that I have started using with Nikki.

If we do Little Math it takes all of 2 minutes and he just isn't all that interested in doing JG dot work at the moment. Because of his current temperament I am not giving him Montessori materials - he would just throw them or find a way to destroy them - and after reading some reviews of the later books in this series (and after finding the teacher's book at a real bargain price) I decided to try out Saxon Math level K.

We are now on lesson 7 of 112 and Nikki is really loving it. In fact, I would say as a maths program for 5-6 year olds it is probably too repetitive and boring. The early lessons focus a lot on playing and getting familiar with the materials. It takes almost the first month to get to counting to ten using 1-to-1 correspondence.

We are not following the lesson schedule - so far Nikki has been happy to do a lesson every day rather than the planned 3 lessons a week. It is very repetitive, which I really think he needs at his age, but each lesson builds on the ones before and the material is covered slightly differently each time (eg. counting out 5 bears rather than 5 cubes).

I am actually quite impressed with the topics covered - every day we practice a sequence (right now it is an AB colour pattern) and we're supposed to do a calendar discussion but I skip that as we already have our morning calendar time. In lesson 5 we drew a pictograph of the boys and girls in our family - Nikki is so proud of his 'family graph'.

It looks like every new thing we learn will be re-visited often in later lessons - I can see the word graph in six of the first 24 lesson titles, for example. This should make sure that he gets a thorough understanding, rather than forgetting the topic when it's done and having to re-learn it again later.

We are really enjoying the lessons right now. They are fully planned and scripted. I generally follow the text as a guide rather than simply reading the script, because I want to make sure I am focused on Nikki rather than the book. In all, using the manipulatives to practice our pattern and covering the day's lesson takes around 10-15 minutes. Sometimes it is even less. Most importantly, Nikki loves his maths time. 

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