Category Archives: Learning Math
10 Steps/Tip to Jump Start Your Child’s Early Education.
So you want to teach your child to read, count, etc. Here are 10 tips to help you on your way.
1) Read Glenn Doman’s books “How To Teach Your Baby to Read” and “How to Multiply Your Baby’s Intelligence.”
Glenn Doman has several books out there and feel free to read all of them. However I found they could be very repetitive. So if you’re a busy parent who doesn’t have too much extra time, I feel you will get the most bang for your buck with these two.
How to Teach Your Baby To Read, will give you different steps on how to teach your little one to read. Reading is the most important program to work on in my opinion, because if a child can read, the can teach themselves where else they want to learn.
2) Join the BrillKids forum.
Sometimes it can be lonely when you’re trying to teach your young child and the people around you are not very supportive. You start hearing things like, “Let them just be a kid!” “Stop pressuring them…” Then you start to doubt yourself. Visit my post for the 4 Reasons WHY You Should Teach Your Baby To Read, then go join the BrillKids forum and start connecting with like minded parents.
3) Read Little Miss: a father, his daughter & rocket science. Nathan Meikle, has documented his journey teaching his daughter how to read. It is awesome to read a first hand account of what they did and how his daughter reacted.
4) Don’t try and do everything at once. Pick one or two things you want to teach your child and start working on them. Remember 10-15mins a day is better than not doing it at all.
Start with one program and do it at a set time. I find mealtimes are a good time for lessons. Especially Breakfast and Lunch. Also bedtime is another good time to sneak in a lesson.
As tempting as it is to start all sorts of great program at once, contain yourself! You will burn out and your child with feel bombarded. Start by adding things one or two at a time. Allow your child to get use to them and allow them to become part of your routine before you add another thing. This way you can watch to see how your child reacts to that one program to make sure its the right one for your child.
5) Children learn to be readers in the laps of their parents. Spend a few mins a day reading with your child.
Look up reading list online and put a bunch of books on hold at your local library. Hit up the local thrift store and garage sales to find affordable new books for your child and you to read together.
Make sure you are not just teaching them how to read words, but spending time enjoying books together. If your child learns that reading is a fun thing to do, they will want you to teach them how to read.
You can also find fun age appropriate books on topics you might be working on. Like counting, shapes, manners, etc.
6) Utilize smartphone apps and/or tablets.
Now while I don’t think that tablets will replace books anytime soon, using apps to help teach a concept is super motivating for most children and super easy for a parent to use. Check out my post: Teaching My Toddler: What Apps Are We Using.
7)Youtube is full of good quality materials. Plus its FREE.
8) Utilize otherwise wasted time during the day to learn.
Educational songs in the car.
Read in the car while waiting for daycare to open.
So a quick 1 min round of flashcards at diaper changes, in and out of the carseat, etc…
Counting how many cheerios on their plate.
9) Start early
It is never too early to read to your baby, sing them the ABC songs, and talk to them about everything. Check out my post: Can I Teach My Newborn, Infant or Toddler Basic Kindergarten Skills? YES YOU CAN!
10) Avoid spending too much time planning. Spend that time with your child learning.
Its easy to get caught up researching, preparing and creating beautiful materials for your child to learn with. But if that is going to eat up your time, or you never finish it, or your child uses it for a day or two and masters it, is that time really well spent? Your child doesn’t care if the edges are cut perfect on your flashcards, or if they are on the back of old cereal boxes, special pretty paper. So don’t waste time or money on that.
What tips do you think are helpful that I may have missed?
TouchMath with Toddlers~~ Vlog
I’ve blogged about this in the past, but for my visual readers, I decided to vlog about how I use TouchMath with my 2.5year old son.
Honestly when it comes to math programs, TouchMath helped my oldest son sooooo much. He hated math, but after using there program, he is now in school doing VERY well in math. He loves it.
Full disclosure: I did receive a discount when I purchased these items in exchange for an honest review. But please know this did not sway me. This review is 100% honest.
Teach your Toddler with TouchMath
TouchMath is an awesome, hands on way to teach children Pre-K(4 years old) to 3rd grade math in a way they can truly understand. It can also be used for older children who do not have a good grasp on math as a remedial. Its also great for students with special needs.
I used this program with my oldest Wes when he was 5 years old. We started with the kindergarten program and worked our way up to the Upper Grades. It is honestly a quality program. We had tried several other math program, and before we found TouchMath we both shed a lot of tears.
So then my Little Z came along and he loved numbers and letters right from infancy. Z learned to count, skip count, and understand some basic math concepts before he even turned two. I bought him a Giant Abacus, we did some apps on the iPad. But over the last few months I have been scratching my head. Ok, its great he can do all this early math, this is what kids usually start learning in preschool or kindergarten. Z is only 2, and when I look at the Preschool World Book Typical Course of Study he has most of those math skills masters. Then went I look at the Kindergarten level, he has many of those mastered, and many he is starting to learn.
So what do I do? Obviously he loves numbers, counts and plays math apps at his own free will. I feel like I should be gently exposing him to more math to help him learn the rest of the kindergarten concepts. Problem is there are no really curriculums designed for situations like this.
Then I thought, “Could I modify TouchMath in a way Z could learn?” So I contacted them, told them about my son, and my idea and we got the ball rolling on another TouchMath Review.
I picked TouchMath because it is so user friendly. It requires very little modification of the actual material, more so a modification of my teaching technique.
I decided that Z’s math knowledge was mostly beyond that of TouchMath’s Pre-K program. Plus if there was anything we may of missed, I felt the Kindergarten Curriculum would easily be able to fill in those gaps.
So I purchased:
Unit A: Counting, Adding, and Subtracting Within 5
Unit B: Adding and Subtracting Within 9
Unit C: Understanding Numbers 1–20
(I already owned Unit D from a previous review)
3D Numerals (as pictured to the left)
The first thing I started doing over the last few weeks was introducing Z to the 3D Numerals. We would sit down with the box and go through at least 5 of them. I take his hand and guided him to touch the Touchpoints as we count.
Make sure you count them in the right order. They have a proper pattern to follow to ensure Touchpoints are not missed, especially when your counting the larger numbers. As well all the worksheets and the CD roms also follow that pattern too. So its just easier to teach them the right away now, instead of trying to reteach them later.
The next thing I did what print out the Vocabulary list. I took 8.5″x11″ cardstock, cut them into threes and created flashcards.
If you’ve been reading me for a while you will know that I use a modified Glenn Doman reading program (along with other programs) to teach my babies, toddlers and preschoolers to read. Why not teach them to read the vocabulary words so when they hear the word during a lesson another brain connection will be made. Plus not only are you teaching your little one math, but your mixing in a bit of reading lessons too.
Then I created a new section in our Learning Binder for TouchMath.
Our Learning Binder is a binder that we keep several of our lessons all in one place. We sit down with it once a day and flip through. Once a week I retire some of the pages and replace them with fresh new materials.
So for our TouchMath sheets, I flip through and talk about how I would work out the problem. I take his hand and use it to point to each thing I am talking about.
Right now you have to remember, this is ALL ABOUT INPUT! If your child pipes up and offers to share what he or she has learned, great! If they stop sharing, you take over and keep talking. Do not pressure them to keep telling you what they know. They will not share voluntarily again if they feel they are under pressure. Remember they are still little, this is suppose to be gentle.
Right now I’m keeping it super simple. But when your working with little children, less is more.
As Z gets older, I will start:
– introducing dry-erase markers
– will teach how to place the TouchPoints with this product
– and eventually start just handing him a worksheet to complete on his own.
Does your baby, toddler, or preschooler like counting, sorting, adding, or anything math related? If so share what you and your little ones like to do to learn math skills in the comments.
Disclaimer: Full disclosure, while I did purchase this curriculum, TouchMath did provide me with a discount, in exchange for my honest review of the items.
Back to Afterschool
|Believe it or not his printing is actually improving because he has to
each problem out by hand instead of just filling in the answer.
Since the end of June, he has completed 41% of the grade 4 math curriculum on Dreambox. As for Saxon 5/4(designed for advance 4th graders or average 5th graders) he is 21% completed.
Overall I believe this little extra bit of learning is great for my son. He does better when kept busy. He also does piano once a week year round, and is starting swimming and Zumba once a week as well for the school year. He was so proud of himself yesterday when he came home and told me, his teacher gave him math problems using letters(adding missing addends) and knew how to do it right away without being told how.
I love empowering my children with education. Do you afterschool your children? If so how do you do it?
Can I Teach My Newborn, Infant or Toddler Basic Kindergarten Skills? YES YOU CAN!
Babies are smart! Newborns, Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers, learn faster and easier than you and I.
What can you do to help your little ones learn right from birth??
#1 Sing to them!
Yes I said sing to them. Sounds so simple, but it really is! But don’t feel you need to stick to the basic Row Row your Boat or Mary Had a Little Lamb. Of course use these fun songs and what ever song your Mom or Dad sung to you as a baby. But lets get creative! Sing the ABCs, count to 100, count backwards from 100, skip count by 2s, 5s, 10s, days of the week, months of the year, etc.
By doing this you are bonding with your child, comforting them, loving them and educating them. My now when Baby Z was an infant, he hated car rides. Our whole family would sing to him, “The A says ahhh, the A says Ahh. Every letter makes a sound, the A says Ahh!” and so forth throughout the whole alphabet. This helped calm him, but it also helped him learning the letter sounds (phonics) at a really early age.
#2 Label EVERYTHING
Little Reader, MemoFlix and Wink to Learn English helped expose Baby Z to so many words. But you don’t need to buy DVDs or computer programs to do this if you don’t want to. (Though it does help a lot.) Label your house and do little home tours pointing to all the words as you walk by with your baby.
When your out with your baby talk about what’s happening. “Oh look! Its starting to rain. Do you feel the drops on your head?’
This is where I might get some grief. Yes there is a place for flashcards in an infant, toddler and preschoolers life. My boys LOVE flashcards. But its because I do not drill them with the flashcards. I show them to Zakari the same way as I would show him a book.
A few books with looking into at the library or Amazon would be:
How to Teach Your Baby to Read (The Gentle Revolution Series)
How Smart Is Your Baby?: Develop and Nurture Your Newborn’s Full Potential (The Gentle Revolution Series)
These are good reads too, but I would focus on reading the first two listed. Then read these if you have time.
How to Teach Your Baby Math (The Gentle Revolution Series)
How to Give Your Baby Encyclopedic Knowledge (The Gentle Revolution Series)
Now it should be noted that Doman’s method is a lot of work. I did not follow Doman’s method to the tee. I did make many flashcards. I also used multimedia, little Little Reader, DVDs, etc.
There is also no need to make the flashcards as large as Doman recommends. Yes bigger is better, but I found 8×11 works well too.
You can teach your baby to read, count, know basic kindergarten knowledge in toddlerhood. I know this from experience! The best part is they love it! Children are little sponges, and the younger they are the easier they learn. Why not teach them to read when they are able to do so with less effort at one or two instead of waiting till they are 6 or 7 years old.
Oh but I know what some are thinking. Monique just let them be babies. Tiger mom! Why rush them to grow up? Let them be kids!
My reply to this is, why hold back our children? My two year old loves to read. He gets excited at the grocery store when he can read the words on the wall. He reads what’s in his fruit pouches first to see what flavour he is about to eat. I have by no means forced him to learn. I just enriched his environment. Carefully selected only highly educational programs to expose him to during screen time. Used car time, waiting rooms, potty time, and bedtime to expose him to good quality apps or books with large words.
What did this do? It helped my son who is now 27 months be able to:
- read any 3 letter word he is presented
- know all his colors
- know all his shapes, including shapes like octagon, oval and 3D shapes like cylinder.
- know all his basic farm and zoo animals and their sounds
- knows all his letters and letter sounds. Even is starting to figure out letters like c and g have two sounds.
- know how to read more words then I’m able to keep track of. (we were in the hundreds not including 3 letter words a while back, my guess is we are now in the 1000s)
- understands phonics and can sound out new words he has never seen
- Counts to 20 by ones forwards and backwards(has gone higher but usually only goes to 20 because he loses interest
- Counts to 100 by 10s and 5s
- Counts to 30 by 2s
- knows his days of the week and months of the year
- and much much more
Preventing the Summer Slide with Dreambox
This summer has been one of our most structured summers when it comes to doing school with Wes. One program I did purchase this year to use was Dreambox Learning.
My long term readers may remember me doing a review on Dreambox Learning back in 2010, you can read it HERE if you’d like to see what I thought about it back then. The site has changed BIG time since then though. For example, back then it was geared towards K-3. Now it is designed for ages K-7! Also students can work through this program on their iPads.
I’m not sure if its that Wes is now more mature now, or the site has improved a lot, but he is doing AMAZING with this program. Before I thought of it as a supplement. Honestly at the end of June when I opened this account I thought “Oh we’ll just use it for the summer then I will cancel the account.” Nope, I am going to purchase a year subscription and use it along side Saxon math.
Math is something Wes is really strong in, however I’m not 100% comfortable with how Math is taught in our schools. I know they use the Manitoba curriculum, and I have read though it. But to me it seems like a lot is left at the discretion of the teacher. Each teacher could be pulling methods from different curriculums to meet the Manitoba Curriculum standard, and the teacher the next year could pull from other curriculums. And with the Common Core influence from the US leaking into Canada, I want my son to handle on Math. So I’m using Dreambox to reinforce and accelerate what he is learning in the school system. Then I am using Saxon math in help him get a good grip on old fashion paper and pencil math.
The combination seems to be doing him wonders. We have two and a half weeks left of summer here in Canada, and Wes has completed 36% of the grade 4 curriculum. I know this will give him a good leg up in school come September. This was done by spending 45mins 3-4 times a week.
I totally recommend Dreambox Learning to anyone interesting in helping their child catch up, or get ahead in math.
While I’m not being compensated directly by Dreambox for this review, if you would like a free month trial, leave your email in the comments box and I will send you one from my account. This will allow me to possibly earn free months for Wes to us this program.
Touch Math Upper Grade Workbook Review
Touch Math For Supplemental Teachings at Home
Even though Wes is in public school, there are a few subjects I just cannot leave in the hands of the public school system. I think even though your child is in school you should still play an active part in their education. Especially when it comes to math. Even though your child has a wonderful teacher(like my son does) there is no way they can individualize their curriculum based on their needs with 20+ children in class. There is a curriculum that must be followed and with a timeline to meet. While some children grasp the concept after one assignment, another child may need several. So I have decided to support both my son and his teacher and afterschool him.
Afterschooling is when a child attended school outside the home, but the received supplemental teachings at home, in the evenings, weekends and holidays.
Why We Love Touch Math
When I was homeschooling my son we struggled to find a math program that didn’t end up with him in tears. I’m telling you I bought several, but TouchMath was what broke the ice for Wes. He just blossomed when he was finally taught the strategies in a way he could understand.
Here are some of my past TouchMath reviews if you’d like to check them out:
Touch Math Review and Giveaway(Giveaway closed)
Touch Math First Grade Software
Upper Grade Workbooks on Addition and Subtraction
Today I am reviewing The Upper Grade Workbooks on Addition and Subtraction . The workbook consists of 56 pages of student activity sheets that features scaffolding problems that help the student work to mastery. Each workbook also includes a answer key for easy correcting for busy parents.
Wes was super excited when he heard these books were coming in the mail. When he got home and found the package in the mail box he was so pumped he actually sat down and completed 15 pages in one sitting. TouchMath has always been a very inviting to him, and is honestly one if his favorite math programs too,
I loved the fact that the scaffolding method helped Wes realize that if he could add and subtract single digits, double digits were not that hard. Then when adding hundreds and thousands were introduced he was able to smoothly transition.
The writing in the books are clean, crisp and free of distraction, while still child friendly. While the downloadable pages you can purchase from TouchMath, I like the ready workbook that requires no planning. After I correct my son’s work and any corrections are made, I circle the page numbers of the pages I want him to do the next day and put it away. The following day when asked to do his TouchMath, he opens his book and knows which pages to do. Sometime he will even circle the number of an extra page or two when he feels like he’s on a roll and completes those too.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!! When Little Z is ready for workbooks, we will be starting with kindergarten level workbooks for sure. Hopefully they will have a Preschool level workbooks by then. TouchMath has been a total blessing for my family. The skills he has learned over the years using this program can easily be transferred to other math programs he is using at school. And at $10 a workbook they are VERY affordable.
Touch Math is Now Homeschool Friendly
One thing about TouchMath back when I first discovered them what it was not easily accessible for homeschooling parents due to the cost. Back then it was designed for the classroom. But over the last few years they have created products like this and others. They are smaller, and designed to be used by parents and one or two children. Touch Math really take suggestions from parents and educators seriously. They want to know how the children who are using their program are doing.
Disclaimer: I received these workbook in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not compensated in any other way.
Jones Genuises Vs TouchMath
Two Programs I decided to Try
TouchMath(TM) describes themselves as:
Our award-winning, step-by-step approach covers: Counting • Addition • Subtraction • Place Value • Multiplication • Division • Time • Money • Fractions • Story Problems • Shapes • Sizes • Pre-algebra”
Jones Geniuses(JG) describes their program as:
Not What I Expected
Tears, Tears & More Tears
On The Hunt Again For The Perfect Math Program
Amazing Customer Service
“According to our records, you have purchased and registered our TouchMath Tutor Kindergarten Software. We will soon begin production on an updated version, and because you are users of the current product, we want to give you the opportunity to help with the process!
Please take a moment to complete a very brief survey and give us your feedback. By sharing your thoughts, you will receive a FREE copy of the updated software when it’s released later this year!
The survey will close on January 21, 2011.”
How To Make Jones Geniuses Work For Younger Children
TouchMath For The Win
What to Learn About Doman International?
Click HERE to fill out a quick form and a representative from Doman International will contact you to set a FREE 30-minute consultation.
Disclaimer: This page may include affiliate links. I appreciate it when my readers use them as it provides me a little compensation and no extra cost to you.
What My Child is Reading. Books by Stuart J. Murphy
I’m always looking for good, fun and educational books for my son. Recently I have had the chance to review a few books written by Stuart J. Murphy. His MathStart series has 63 books and has sold over 4 million book. I can see why!
“Math is about far more than numbers. Math is about being able to make comparisons (estimation, percentage, measurement), understand spatial relationships (directions, opposites, symmetry, geometric shapes, mapping) and calculate time (sequencing, time lines, calendars).
Many of the MathStart stories involve Science and Social Studies subjects. Earth Day — Hooray! (Place Value), for example, teaches about the Environment, while Dave’s Down-to-Earth Rock Shop (Classifying) is filled with information on Geology. The Grizzly Gazette (Percentages) is a lesson on democracy. Seaweed Soup (Matching Sets) is a tale about sharing and kindness. And Lemonade for Sale (Graphing) and Sluggers’ Car Wash (Making Change) are both stories on entrepreneurship and economics.
Math skills are Life skills. We use them every day in every way.”
I had the chance to review the follow MathStart books. I was so lucky because both of them presented Math concepts to my son that we were working on, making them more fun to learn.
Leaping Lizards (MathStart 1)–
To put on “The Fifty Leaping Lizards Show!,” you need fifty star-struck leaping lizards. Where will they all come from? The first five are found lounging in bunk beds, but the next five arrive in theatrical style, riding unicycles and juggling. The next five are speed-demons in race-cars, followed by five more in a hot-air balloon. Colorful graphics keeps track of the count, first by showing how counting by 5s works, and then showing how counting by 10s is related: Kids can easily see how each group of 10 lizards divides into two groups of 5. Will there be enough lizards by show time? Counting by 5s and 10s is an important skill that helps children master multiplication facts, tell time, and count money.
My son and I were able to practice his skip counting by fives. He loved it. They also work on counting by tens, and even though his has this skill mastered he did not mind the review at all,
Give Me Half! (MathStart 2)
I’m really excited to get a few more of these books for my son.
When a little boy tries to eat a whole pizza without sharing half with his sister, it’s not pretty. Of course, she isn’t too keen on sharing her juice or cupcakes. With a little adult prodding, however, they soon learn the benefits of sharing and split everything in half, including clean-up chores. Recognizing that half means one of two equal parts leads to understanding fractions.
This book got my son’s attention. I found recently that he loves to read about children being naughty. I mean what kid doesn’t. This book was a great early introduction to fractions.
Another thing worth mentioning is that at the end of each book there are a few activities that an adult and child can do together to help reinforce what was taught in the book.
Stuart J. Murphy also has a new series “I See I Learn”.
I had the chance to read “Percy Plays It Safe” with my son.
Percy Plays It Safe (Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn) (Stuart J. Murphy’s I See I Learn Series)
Once again this book was a hit for my son because the main character was acting very naughty. However Stuart J. Murphy was able to show his readers through natural conquences why it is important to play it safe and follow the rules at the park. At the end of this book there is a page called “A Closer Look”. Here you can ask your child these questions and have a conversation that will help your child understand how this could relate the their own life.