Mastering Math – Going up a Grade Level

I’m going to introduce you to two Math programs we use, the only two. The two that has helped my kids progress quicker than I thought they would.

Around here, we don’t grade. We work until Mastery. Which is one reason why I love Khan Academy. Here is another post I did about Khan.

They make sure your kids know what they’re doing before moving them forward.

They test them through a Mastery Challenge each day.

They give real life examples.

Our kids are able to work at their own pace, whether that’s fast or slow.

There are videos explaining how problems are done, if you need them.

I could keep listing reason why I (we) love Khan, but I’ll spare you the giant blog post.

So I’m going to brag a little bit about my kids… I mean I am a parent, a proud parent, and I want to share with you what has helped my (just turned) 8 year old son.

Turner has always been good at Math, but Khan has helped him progress a little quicker.

Last week, he finished K-2. Mastered it. Turner just started 2nd grade (in July).

2014-09-25

Another thing about Khan, during Mastery Challenges, they sometimes put upper level problems, you can do those or click ‘I have not learned that yet.’ That is how he is already at 40% completed with 3rd grade right now.

2014-09-25At his pace, he’s pretty confident he will be finished with 3rd grade before he is even in 3rd grade.

Another Math curriculum that I want to mention, because I really feel like it’s a major reason why he and my daughter are advancing and understanding harder problems sooner is Miquon Math. Read about why we love it here.

One thing it doesn’t have though is word problems. That’s why Khan is a nice balance.

At first, Miquon is a little hard to understand and get the hang of, but we absolutely love it now. They introduce concepts such as Multiplying and Division by the end of book 1, and the end of book 2 introduces factoring. (both 1st grade level)

Here is a photo of Turner being introduced to factoring last week, end of Miquon Red Book.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Now I’m not trying to get my kids to college by 12 or anything, but I do want them to be challenged and have fun with Math.

We see no reason to hold them back. If they are ready for bigger things, we are ready to help them.

If my kids need 1st grade writing and 3rd grade Math, that’s fine with me. I’ll do it. I’ll help them.

I’ll make sure they are not behind, but I will not close any doors incase they want to move forward.

Working year round has so many benefits, and I can see that clearly when I look at how far our kids progress and retain information.

Learning is a marathon that never truly ends. I want my kids to pace themselves, and enjoy the steps along the way.

Advertisements

Awesome game to play for Math Review

The kids give this game 2 thumbs up!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

My mom actually has a blog where she gives away things all the time, check it out and follow her on FB, she has over 6000 followers!  She received this game to review, so she passed it to us and we got to have some fun 🙂

#1     The box is fun and we were excited to try it out!  It’s a game from The Young Scientists Club

#2     There are 2 different game versions to choose from, they are pretty similar though.

#3     You are asked to print out math facts from the website. I did this, and we used them the 1st time, but the 2nd time we played, I ditched them and used a wipe-off board instead. It was easier, because the kids could work out the problem. I just made up each persons question on their turn.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

#4     Players must answer a math question correctly to move one space ahead, first player to the volcano wins and gets to dump their baking soda in the vinegar….  but everyone gets to enjoy the fun 🙂  I also fill it back up and let each kid dump theirs in the volcano.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

#5     Since you can change the difficulty level for each child, anyone of any age level and math level can play this game. We had a 4 year old as our youngest player and an 8 year old as our oldest player.  All players had fun.

I would recommend this game to any family.  It can get messy, but that’s part of the fun. It’s not something we would play all the time, but I can see us breaking out this game 2-3 times a month.

Khan Academy is so cool

Our kids have 2 Math programs they use: Miquon and Khan.  I wrote an earlier post on why we love Miquon and today I wanted to share the coolest of Khan.

Our kids spend 3-5 days a week on Khan, they do all the Mastery Challenges for that day (this is where they can move up to Mastery in each category and it challenges what they know).  Once they complete those (usually 2-3 challenges), they do 1-2 practice categories.  That’s it then they log off 🙂

What the Dashboard looks like:

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 8.23.30 AM

Here are detailed reports of what they have been working on:

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 8.21.50 AM

I love how Khan emails me each week with a mini overview of what they have been doing.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 8.16.40 AM

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 8.16.18 AM

You get points each time you complete a set of problems, my kids LOVE seeing their points go up. You also get Badges based on a number of different things, so it’s fun to see what ones they have gotten.

I would HIGHLY recommend Khan Academy for anyone, from Kindergarten to college.  It works great, and is like a personal tutor with videos and a forum.

Enjoy!

We [love] Miquon Math

Before I started homeschooling, I, like many of you, read countless blogs and reviews for a plethora of Math programs.  It was a lot of information to go through, but I finally settled on Miquon.

It seems to be a lesser-used curriculum, I’m not sure why, because it works great!

The program consists of 6 books for 1st-3rd grade. They also sell a First Grade Diary (you don’t need this), a manual (you do need this), and rods for hands-on learning.

With the rods they are able to introduce multiplication, division and fractions more easily for little ones to understand. I just love how it pushes them in a gentle way that they understand. 

On a side note: I went through and marked each rod with the number they represent on the ends, it was such a HUGE help! 

There are 6 books in the program. <—– Check out what each book covers.

1st grade:  Orange and Red    |     2nd grade:  Blue and Green                                                     3rd grade:  Yellow and Purple

My kids do Miquon each morning for 15 minutes.  We set a timer and they work at their own pace. It seems like it takes about 1-3 months to go through an entire book, depending on how fast your child works and if they need extra help.

Lilly is finishing up her Kindergarten year with the Orange book. She should get through the first 4 books by the end of next year. Which would put her working a grade ahead.

Turner should be finished with all 6 books by the end of his 2nd grade year (next summer).  That would put him a year ahead also. He is in the Red book now.

Afterward Miquon I plan on using Beast Academy or Teaching Textbooks.

Miquon is unique and different, with a hands on approach. I really enjoy doing the books with my kids and helping them along the way. There are little games in the books too, and the kids just love them.

I highly recommend Miquon to homeschoolers that want to have their kids working a grade level ahead and for a unique, hands-on approach.

****Both kids also use Khan Academy 3-4 times a week for 15-30 minutes at a time.