Monday, November 23, 2009

Family Math

This summer my mom sent us a copy of Family Math, probably to alleviate my fears that S was not counting "properly" due to some sort of negligence on my part. When we tried the first "beginner" exercise in August it was a bit of a bust b/c we were still having a lot of trouble counting in sequence. I still don't quite understand why S had such trouble getting numbers in order, (letters did not seem to present the same difficulty) but seemingly overnight (maybe over a few days at most) she just "got it" even though we had pretty much stopped practicing or stressing about it at all, and now she can go past 10 (up to 17 I think now?) out of the blue. I had no idea she knew numbers in the teens! Anyway, during the summer we tried a couple of times to do "school" (S was antsy for school even then b/c some friends had been talking about pre-school and we visited one just to see) and opted for the "counting beans into an egg carton" activity, which did not go well. S got frustrated (I  got frustrated!) trying to count out beans and place them in the proper (labeled) cups in an egg carton. So we left it for a few months, and I just dug the book back out to flip through and see if there was anything more promising for us to try.

I am pleased with a few ideas for "beginners" and plan to implement them as we go along, but most of the book is geared toward older kids. A couple of things intended for more advanced levels actually may be interesting for us to try in a simplified way, I am pondering some ideas. (Venn diagrams for sorting shapes and colors?) We will for sure be using some of the handy graph paper with varying size grids to play with shape blocks and measuring areas/length. I was already planning on some activities with measuring/area using cuisenaire rods or pattern blocks and other objects, but this will add another dimension.

I also really like their suggestion of "Number Guess" which entails choosing a number between 1 and 10 (for beginners, choose a larger range for more advanced kids) and have them guess the number based on clues in your responses. ("too large/too small") You can print out a number line to help cement the concept of larger vs. smaller and number sequence, even use markers/objects to show areas that have been ruled out and narrow the field down.

Another activity that holds a lot of promise is the Animal Crossing game, though I think it will be even more fun to make our own board and movable "hazards" that Sophia and Maggie can both color in and help design, and maybe hunt down appropriate "tokens" in their bin of animals and other toys. This could be made more or less complicated as desired by expanding the board and adding extra hazards and maybe even areas that can be crossed if you choose but will require extra turns to do so, etc...I'll make a post with pictures whenever we get around to doing this one. (as well as a version of NIM with toothpicks...lots of logic games!)

No comments:

Post a Comment