Math and Logic in Early Elementary and Preschool {virtual curriculum fair 2017}

Virtual Curriculum Fair {Discovering Patterns: Mathematics, Logic, and Science}

Math & Logic in the Elementary Years {VCF 2017}
In our homeschool we haven’t made way to the heavier logics and “math-y” sciences yet. My oldest is in Kindergarten, working on a first grade level, so that is as far into the math as we have made it.

That being said, here are my homeschool thoughts, and our methods, regarding math.

Logic in the Early Grades

Logic is can be an abstract topic as students get older and reach a different level in their cognitive development. However, young children do not yet think abstractly- their minds are usually at a very concrete level, and this is where we begin, our foundation, for learning.

Logic for a young child may look like:

  • mazes
  • developmental appropriate puzzles
  • using a puzzle/maze toy like a Perplexus or Perplexus Jr.
  • shape sorting
  • color matching
  • playing memory
  • matching tools to their hardware, balls to their equipment, holidays to their “symbols,” seasons to their scenes, etc.
  • ABC sudoku
  • analogies (we like to start our morning with these, sometimes)
  • crossword puzzles

Most “toys” labeled STEM are logic and math, educational, and great for the ages they are labeled. But you do need to be careful; companies have caught on that parents and grandparents want to buy “STEM” toys and will label just about anything as such.

Logic can be fun-if you know how your child learns best, you can use that to make logic more interesting. For instance, using sports, a construction theme, dolls, books, legos, etc.

You don’t need fancy toys or curriculum to get your child’s brain thinking logically!

Our Math Curriculum

I couldn’t very well write a post about math without mentioning our math curriculum.

We use Saxon Math. Right now my daughter is doing Math 1, we have done the K book but in my honest opinion, first grade is more like K and K is unnecessary with this curriculum. There are so many great curricula out there, and I am not sure we will use Saxon for ever- I don’t know what their future levels look like (middle-high school). There are video and internet based curricula, self teaching, etc. I haven’t explored those thus far.

In the future, when I am schooling 4 children, I can definitely see us switching to a more computer or self-teaching curriculum. One goal of homeschool is becoming an independent students, after all.

But for now, the teacher in me is satisfied with what we are doing.

Saxon uses lots of great hands on learning tools/manipulatives (unifix cubes, patterning blocks, base ten blocks, judy clock, real money, etc) that make it more fun. This means my 4 year old can tag along with my 6 year old’s math, while the 2 year old plays with extra manipulatives at the table!

Montessori Math in our Home

I am a Montessori and Waldorf education lover at heart; my girlfriends and I (each with degrees in education) dream(ed) of opening our own Montessori school one day. But I don’t use Montessori or Waldorf 100% in our home.

I do implement in Waldorf style math in our home through using our great outdoors as manipulatives- rocks, leaves, sticks, water, etc- all have been used to study number sense, density, texture, & cause and effect.

We use cusinaire rods, counting beads, bears, geometric solids, & wooden blocks for a Montessori-style math lesson. This is basically letting them explore and learn, logically, without a lot of direction from me. I may prompt with questions but they are in charge of the lesson, using the materials given. As they get older and learn about things like vector projection and angles, my job as a teaching mom will become harder. Luckily there are lots of amazing maths resources and websites online!

Please visit my fellow homeschool bloggers who are talking about Discovering Patterns: Math and the Mathematical Sciences this week:

Finding Our Math Equilibrium: Our Plan for 11th, 7th, 5th, and 2nd Grades + Free Printables! by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Math Resources and Programs for All Ages by Amanda H @ Hopkins Homeschool

Math (doesn’t) Stink! by Jennifer King @A Peace of Mind

When Math is NOT Your Thing by Michele@Family, Faith and Fridays

Math U See and All the Supplements by Laura H @ Four Little Penguins

Discovering Patterns in Our World: STEM Studies by Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

Junior High Math by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life

Science & Math for Struggling Learners by Yvie @ Gypsy Road

Maths: a subject in progress by Sarah @ Delivering Grace

Taking Mathematics out of the Textbook by Dana Hanley @ Roscommon Acre

Maths for a Very Maths-y Boy by Lizzy @ Peaches At Home

Practical Math by Annette @ A Net in Time

One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

Math, How I Loathe Thee by Shecki @ Greatly Blessed

Math and Logic in Early Elementary and Preschool {virtual curriculum fair 2017} by Meghan W @ Quiet In The Chaos

Low Stress High School Science and Math by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Are these toys or manipulatives? This is math? by HillaryM @ Walking Fruitfully

When You Don’t Have a Math Plan by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Clear Horizons by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

A Few Thoughts on Teacher Math by Kristen @ Sunrise to Sunset

Check out the home of the Virtual Curriculum Fair HERE– thank you for hosting us!

VCF Week 3 {2017}

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  1. Brittney says:

    I haven’t used Saxon, but we still enjoy manipulatives. They are great for visual and kinesthetic learners, and yes . . . are great to help keep the little ones busy during math!

  2. Lori says:

    Boy do I wish I could figure out how to use manipulatives for the higher math, as well. That is definitely how my girls learn best!

  3. Susan says:

    If you enjoy exploratory math and manipulatives, you might like Miquon for the early grades. It takes a very different approach from Saxon.

  4. Michele@Familyfaithandfridays says:

    After 18 years of homeschooling four kids, I still recommend Saxon for the lower grades! The repetition is great and the manips hold their attention. We switch over to Teaching Textbooks about 4th or 5th grade.

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