Friday, January 6, 2012

Miquon Journey

It had taken some time to start Miquon and I talked about it here. It's been 3 years now since. In the begenning, I intended to follow the typical suggested schedule starting at age 4 doing as many pages as to complete a book in six months.

I was already doing a typical but really thick Kindergarten Math Addition book which I talked about here with him so I continued with that and introduced Miquon Orange after he was 5. I don't know if my son wasn't ready or I gave up too soon.

Anyway, after starting, I did a few pages from the Orange book and by the time we got to the middle, I started feeling that DS was trying to avoid math.  Since he had really enjoyed it in the beginning, this was a concern. I totally stopped using the Miquon book and started with the  Addition-1 book from Math Mammoth Blue series. This was easy for him since he had done a thick book already for Addition. Anyway, this got him back. I gradually introduced the Cuisinaire rods too but just used them for building stairs and few free games. I reminded him that the books that go with them. This got him back on track :).

Well, we started again, this time when he was a few months short of his sixth birthday. He flew past the sheets and enjoyed them. He also understood the Math Concepts and was happy to have graduated into the net book- The Red Book. We moved steadily through the Red book but we used a variety this time. we also did Subtraction -1 from Math Mammoth having completed Addition-1. This was a good mix. We did a page each from the two books 4 days a week and he breezed through both the books.

On a sidenote, the most useful method I have found, for teaching Subtraction has been :  Spending a LOT o time on Addition until the child is thorough with his Additiion facts for numbers uptil 10. Then the whole concept of Subtraction becomes easy.- through the missing addend method.
Doing the opposite however, has been found to have lead to the child not understanding subtraction and developing a hate or fear of it leading later on to a fear of Math.

Anyway, thus we continued with Miquon along with Math Mammoth and have loved it.
We completed Miquon last year and have just a few books remaing from Math Mammoth Blue series. Since we are already loads of Living Math this year, we are planning to continuing doing so along with some Key To.../ Fred Math together after this.

What we have liked about Miquon:
It is thorough.
It provides a good understanding of numbers and how they relate to each other especially using the colorful Cuisinaire rods, essential to the program, are very helpful in teaching this concept.
Very advanced concepts are introduced at an early stage but are comprehendable by the child.
They learn how Math works.eg. They work problems to solve square number by working with figures of squares.
Children make up their own math problems and thus solidify their understanding.

What someone might not like:
It is non-conventional.
This means the teacher/ parent might not be used to the method and could find it confusing.- The Teacher's Manual(Lab Sheet Annotations) are a must-have and the First Grade diary are really helpful to overcome this.
It does not follow a set grade level.
It is dificult to decide what program to use after this series is completed. -though the KeyTo.. series is pretty good and on the same lines.

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