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  1. #1
    mikeys_mom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Default Ideas for encouraging DS's math skills

    DS is 5.5yo and seems to have a good grasp of math concepts. He can easily add numbers from 1-10 in his head and recently figured out that 50+50= 100 beause it is basically the same as 5+5=10, etc... Last night DH was discussing something with him and they were doing some easy multiplication (2's and 10's) and DS was enjoying that. He also loves patterns.

    He is going into grade 1 next year and his K teacher has some concerns about his ability to sit still for any length of time. At the moment in K, she allows him to move around in the classroom because he is not disruptive and says he listens and retains pretty much everything she says. She suggested that over the summer we work with him on sitting and either writing or doing workbooks, or something that will require him to sit and concentrate so he can get used to sitting at a desk.

    Since he enjoys math, I was thinking that would be a good place to start because if he is interested in something there is more of a chance that he will follow through. Any suggestions for a math workbook or activity ideas I can do with him?
    DS - 10
    DD - 8
    Twin Girls - 6

  2. #2
    brittone2 is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    We use Kumon workbooks for things like telling time. I have a Kumon book for counting money (which when you are counting nickels, etc. reinforces counting by 5s, etc. as well) and a few others that we use less often. We use Singapore Math fairly loosely and Miquon on occasion.

    I would be hesitant though to do too much math with a workbook (personally...JMO) if he enjoys it that much as I'd be afraid of killing his enjoyment of it. If you go the workbook route I'd try to make sure you give him plenty of time to explore it in more exciting ways...manipulatives (abacus, base 10 set, cuisinaire rods, geoboard, etc.), kinesthetic experiences like tossing a beanbag back and forth while counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, etc.
    Mama to DS-2004
    DD-2006
    and a new addition-ds born march 2010

  3. #3
    jenmcadams is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by brittone2 View Post
    We use Kumon workbooks for things like telling time. I have a Kumon book for counting money (which when you are counting nickels, etc. reinforces counting by 5s, etc. as well) and a few others that we use less often. We use Singapore Math fairly loosely and Miquon on occasion.
    We also have used Kumon books for telling time and money and we also use the Singapore books in the summer

    Both my kids used to love a site called Rainforest Maths (based out of New Zealand I think). It used to be free, but now you have to pay for a site called Mathletics to get access to it. I actually like mathletics and think it would be great for a kiddo who likes math...I think it costs around $50 for an annual subscription.

    Finally, as far as writing goes, our Pre-K and K teachers really encourage us to have the kids write letters (the best they can). We're planning to have the kids write letters to relatives this summer...
    Mom to a DD (8/02) and a DS (6/05)

  4. #4
    egoldber's Avatar
    egoldber is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    We also like the Kumon workbooks and the Singapore curriculum. I think the key is to keep things fun and light. If he tends to bounce out of his seat when bored or distracted, I would actually be cautious about introducing the math concepts before he sees them in class.

    If you want to build his tolerance for seat work, then I might actually work on more fine motor kinds of things, cutting, glueing, simple handwriting and tracing, mazes, etc.
    Beth, mom to older DD (8/01) and younger DD (10/06) and always missing Leah (4/22 - 5/1/05)

  5. #5
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    We use the Kumon workbooks and Singapore Math as well to supplement what DS learns in school. The Kumon books seem to provide good practice for him, and the Singapore Math curriculum does a great job of explaining basic math concepts, even more than DS' math textbook and materials from school.

  6. #6
    mikeys_mom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenmcadams View Post
    Finally, as far as writing goes, our Pre-K and K teachers really encourage us to have the kids write letters (the best they can). We're planning to have the kids write letters to relatives this summer...
    We try to have him write letters during the year, but he really has very little patience for handwriting. Plus, his cousins and grandparents often email him so his first choice is always email over handwriting. It's getting better, but he frustrates easily. His teacher told us that he will likely have OT for handwriting next year. She specifically did not put him in this year because she feels that he has a real love for school and learning and doesn't want to "spoil" that interest at this point. His writing is not that bad that it can't wait. He has a late Sept b-day and our cut-off for school is Dec 31st, so he is one of the youngest in the class.

    Maybe over the summer I will tell him that my parents are at their cottage and don't have email.

    Quote Originally Posted by egoldber View Post
    I think the key is to keep things fun and light. If he tends to bounce out of his seat when bored or distracted, I would actually be cautious about introducing the math concepts before he sees them in class.

    If you want to build his tolerance for seat work, then I might actually work on more fine motor kinds of things, cutting, glueing, simple handwriting and tracing, mazes, etc.
    Yes, I for sure need to keep it fun, or it becomes a struggle and that defeats the purpose. We have been doing some fine motor skills activities but I don't always have all the supplies together and then he starts to jump around collecting stuff from all over the house. Maybe I will look into some sort of organizer for all his supplies to keep him seated longer.

    I for sure do not want to push him ahead with math before they cover it in school. He is just constantly asking us for math type problems to solve that it is getting hard to hold him back from exploring some concepts. I will have to look into the workbooks suggested. I think a combination of all the activities could be good for him. Now, I just have to find the time to sit down with him and work without the distractions of his 3 younger sisters. That's the real challenge!
    DS - 10
    DD - 8
    Twin Girls - 6

  7. #7
    egoldber's Avatar
    egoldber is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Kumon has a lot of OT/handwriting oriented workbooks: tracing, mazes, cutting, even their "crafts" book is really cutting and gluing practice. I'm not so into the crafty art supplies and my older DD loved these books.
    Beth, mom to older DD (8/01) and younger DD (10/06) and always missing Leah (4/22 - 5/1/05)

  8. #8
    mikeys_mom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Good to know. Thanks for the suggestions.
    DS - 10
    DD - 8
    Twin Girls - 6

  9. #9
    egoldber's Avatar
    egoldber is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    As another thought, there are several series of workbooks aimed at getting kids "ready for K" or bridging from preschool to K. In the summer, bookstores tend to have big displays of these. My older DD loves these things too. They are a blend of various activities: reading readiness, math, phonics, sicence, etc. Even if it's material he already knows, he may just find it fun to do and the writing would be good practice.

    ETA: These are the ones I was thinking of: http://www.schoolzone.com/

    Also, dot to dot books are good for fine motor practice.
    Beth, mom to older DD (8/01) and younger DD (10/06) and always missing Leah (4/22 - 5/1/05)

  10. #10
    baileygirl is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    I don't have one for my kids (too young), but if they were older I would consider getting them a FlashMaster. You can see reviews for it on amazon.com.

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