Spotlight on a new favorite Miquon Math

Did you ever find a curriculum that fit so perfectly you wondered how you ever did without it? We sure have! Recently we have found several curricula that we find to be such a perfect fit. I know how much researching and debating can go into choosing the right teaching materials for your children so I thought I would share some of the great things we now use with our family and how we use them.

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The first curriculum I have to share with you is Miquon Math. Unfortunately it took until the third child to find this gem, but we love it and it is the perfect fit for Moose!

Why do we love Miquon so much?

-It is a hands-on approach to mental math that is perfect for young children.

-Kids can “see” math when they use the Cuisenaire Rods with Miquon.

-There is very minimal writing involved, which again, makes it a good fit for young learners.

-It can be taught in several different ways: either in order, or by topic.

-It is just plain fun!

Growing up, I was taught math using the typical textbook approach. Teaching math this way was a challenge for me at first, but now I see how much Moose is really understanding numbers, I wouldn’t have it any other way. He is learning concepts like multiplication at the age of 5.20140203-184637.jpg

How do we use Miquon?

Since we have all six of the workbooks, I choose to cut the binding and put them all in a binder together. The topics of the workbooks are separated by letters (A is counting, B is odd-even, etc.). Each workbook consists of different pages for the different topics. So the orange book covers some of the pages in addition, but then there are others that are more difficult in the other books. 20140203-184645.jpg

I found some binder tab dividers with the letters already on them so I put all of the workbook pages for all of the workbooks together in one big binder. I used some crayons to make a mark on the top corner of each page so I could easily see which workbook it came from. We don’t do much writing with Miquon, but if we do need to write some number is just use a page protector with the side cut and a dry erase marker.

Since Moose is only 5 I let him decide how much math he wants to do each day. We usually do about 1 worksheet, but some days he wants to do 3 or 4. Now we are working on getting Little Bear used to the Cuisenaire Rods as he plays with this Alphabet Book. I haven’t used Miquon with the two older kids…yet. I think it may be in their future though, at least for Aurora.

What materials are needed for Miquon? 

-Of course, you are going to need the workbooks. Even if your children are older, I would suggest you start them at the beginning and just work quickly through the early levels. That will give them a chance to get a good feel for the Cuisenaire Rods and it will give you some time to get used to teaching with them.

-I have both the Lab Sheet Annotations and the First-Grade Diary. I have read through the First-Grade Diary a bit, but really the Lab Sheet Annotations are essential. I couldn’t do the workbook lessons without these notes.

-You will definitely need some Cuisenaire Rods. In our house, we can never have enough. I think we have 3 or 4 sets by now! There are both wooden and plastic rods. We have some of both and I prefer the wooden because the edges aren’t rounded a bit like they are with the plastic ones. But either one works… it really just comes down to a personal preference.

-If you are new to Cuisenaire Rods and mental math, I highly recommend you check out an awesome website called Education Unboxed. There are so many great videos on how to teach mental math using the rods. They have been very helpful to me when I reach an area that I don’t quite get.

There you have our first selection of our New Favorites! There are so many different math curricula out there and I am so glad we found one that works for our children. Have you ever used Miquon? What is your favorite math program?