# Teaching Math with Manipulatives

*Math-U-See is our newest sponsor! *

Little Miss just turned five, and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to start kindergarten with her. Little girls are just a completely different beast than little boys- after her brothers, I am so excited to have a student who likes seat work, and can color within the lines and pay attention for a couple minutes. She’s so eager to please and eager to learn. I am sure this year is going to be an exciting and joyful one for the both of us!

I obsessed over choosing her homeschool curriculum- because she is so different from the boys, I really wanted to take the time to consider her learning style and find a program that would be a good fit for the both of us. I finally settled on Math-U-See for her math program and stopped by their booth at the homeschool convention to chat with them more about the program.

*Little Miss and her new Primer book! I was stoked to learn that Math-U-See offers a military discount! I got the digital pack for the teachers materials since we’ll be moving very soon and I wasn’t going to have access to a DVD player. So far, I’m impressed with the online access! *

I have used Math-U-See with my older kids, but never from the get-go with Primer. We’ve gone to Math-U-See when we needed it- I knew I could trust it to teach concepts that needed more practice. It was especially helpful with teaching math facts and helping the boys instantly recall their numbers.

Math-U-See is special because it takes complex concepts, and simplifies them with manipulatives that kids can see and touch. I really feel that Little Miss needs this- she’s a bright little girl, but memorizing isn’t her strong suit. She’s a toucher and a feeler and a mover and shaker. She needs to be able to dig into her lessons.

Our first lesson with Math-U-See was a total hit. We’ve just barely started the program- right now, she’s working on number recognition and is practicing counting from zero to nine. She’s exploring the manipulatives and getting a feel for the numbers.

Math-U-See manipulatives are neat because, on one side, the bars have squares to show individual ones that make up the whole- a nine bar has nine ones. The opposite side has nine hollow squares, which will come in handy when she starts learning subtraction.

For now, she’s counting with the ones squares. We’re practicing lining them up against the bars to see what two and three and four ones look like together. For the very first lesson, she practiced counting the pieces, and then selected the number from the number line. For a kiddo who hasn’t had any formal math instruction (other than kitchen table math, and singing and counting with me) she took to her workbook like a champ!

She’s also playing with the manipulatives, building shapes and exploring the pieces. Today, she built a frame around one of the hundreds blocks, and when it came time to place the last piece, she counted the missing squares and knew exactly which block she needed to fill the space. It was a small thing, but it was an indication to me that she is internalizing what the manipulatives stand for.

In Primer, she isn’t expected to master all the concepts. At this point, the idea is to expose her to the manipulatives and how math works. I’m excited to see her learn and grow with the program- and I am looking forward to sharing our experience with you! Manipulatives can be such a powerful thing, and I am looking forward to seeing how they work with a child who is brand new to the world of math!

## Win Math-U-See for your homeschool!

Math-U-See is one of our newest sponsors, and I am *thrilled* to have them on board. To kick things off, they’ve offered one Math-U-See level to an OPC reader. You can enter the giveaway by using the widget below!

Don’t want to wait to start your math instruction? Order now and get free shipping from Math-U-See!

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Math-U-See Zeta is still on our purchase wish list for this year. It would be a blessing if we won it. Thank you for the opportunity to win it.

Alpha.

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My oldest kids need to do Algebra this year.

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Gamma! Thanks for the opportunity 🙂

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Zeta is what i’d get

I SO wish we had started using MUS when my older daughter started school! For about four years we struggled through free and nearly free math curriculum because we thought MUS was too expensive. We paid dearly for the free stuff, though, in tears and frustration. She’s now working on Pre-Algebra, but I has taken quite a bit of teaching, admonishing, and discipling to help her overcome her math fear and loathing.

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gamma please

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Geometry.

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Gamma

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We searched for the right curriculum for my oldest for awhile until we found MUS. The other 2 are much different learners and they did well with MUS as well.

Alpha

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Primer

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8/17 gamma

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Epsilon level!

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Beta

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Delta

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Awesome program! Would love to win a set! ?

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Zeta

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Alpha

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Beta

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Gamma

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Delta

Thank you for the chance to win!

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I WOULD CHOOSE BETA FOR MY SON…

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Delta

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Gamma

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Gamma