Miquon and Cuisenaire Love

After using a hodgepodge of half a dozen things for math this year, Mushroom has settled into a regimen of mostly Miquon with the other resources, including Singapore Challenging Word Problems, Math Mammoth, MEP, and Right Start games, taking a clear supporting role.  After dallying for so long to find his stride and taking some diversions for other topics, he’s just now starting Miquon Green, which is essentially the second half the second grade curriculum.  But no worries.  I’d rather go slow and feel like he gets it than rush ahead.

I feel like I’ve really hit the Miquon stride with him.  It’s so very different from the mastery approach I take with BalletBoy’s Math Mammoth.  Instead of covering a topic from head to toe, not releasing until a child can recite it in their sleep, Miquon gives you little pieces of the puzzle in digestible chunks.  A child doesn’t have to master multiplication by fractions.  Instead, Miquon allows them to become confident with the easiest problems first.  I can really see the ways in which this ought to help Mushroom down the line see his way to solving math problems with mental math and common sense instead of by pulling out paper and pencil to do a complicated algorithm (or, heavens forbid, a calculator).

I’ve also found a good balance of really using the Annotations to build supporting activities for the lab sheets using the Cuisenaire rods and a white board.

Speaking of those terrific C-rods, a poster on the Well-Trained Mind Forum has created an invaluable set of user friendly videos about how to use the rods to teach, well, nearly everything.  Whether you’re a Miquon user or just Cuisenaire curious, please go check it out here at Education Unboxed on Vimeo.  It’s an amazing free resource, one of those things that makes me feel like the homeschool community is so generous and cool.  Here, this one on square numbers sums up what’s so nifty about using C-rods and Miquon with kids to teach concepts used reserved for older kids:

2 thoughts on “Miquon and Cuisenaire Love

  1. Remembering you recommended them, I picked up a set of Cuisinaire rods for $5 at a consignment a month ago. Looking forward to seeing the videos, though I think it’ll be a while before we get into squares.

  2. We use RightStart Math at home, and we really like it. However, it seems that now in level C, they require to do the ‘practice sheets’ way toooo much. My son loves his RS math lesson but when he sees the practice sheets are coming, he’s not that willing to do them anymore. I do think it’s a bit of an overkill to do a practice sheet over and over again, so I just got Miquon to replace those sheets (we’ll keep RS as the core) and spice it up a bit for him. So far, we’ve only done one lesson in the blue book and it went really well. I was skimming through the exercises and I think he will like them well. I do like the approach. Thank you for sharing the video, it’ll come in very handy! :-)

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