We have used Saxon Math beginning in first grade. For pre-school and K, we play math games, write numbers, practice counting, and sometimes the younger children participate in the older kids math activities, such as shapes, money counting, etc.
I will admit, we did not like it at first, with my oldest child, but she was not reading much and it reading the problems intimidated her. She could do the math fine, but words and the amount of worksheets made it a bit hard at first.
What Works for Us: K-3
- I pull out two weeks worth of worksheets at a time and put them in their math notebooks.
- I write on the back of the fact sheets or on blank paper, any notes from the teachers book for me to go over and anything from the meeting book I want to address for that day
- Instead of using the meeting book regularly, we all make a calendar at the first of the month and we mark holidays or birthdays. They place them in their notebook or hang them up near their desks. I have found that making monthly calendars starting at age 4, teaches writing numbers and counting easy to learn. This is one of the main things we do for preK and K math.
- We do NOT do everything that it says to do every day. Instead, we do calendar at least once monthly, we skip count one day, work with clocks one day, work with money a different day. We spend more time on areas where they need practice, but we don’t find it necessary to skip count everything every day or pull out manipulatives every day. It’s too much!
- I put away my teacher’s book and rarely have to pull it out on a day to day basis. Again, it is too much if I’m pulling out manuals for each kid every day, while having a baby at the hip. I’ve been able to simplify the process and we waste less time during the school day that way.
- Sometimes a lesson may require 3-4 workbook pages. Depending on the assignment and on my student, that might be too overwhelming, so we can break up a lesson into two days if need be.
Now we love Saxon Math and are making good progress. This is actually the only book work curriculum we use, but with math it makes since to use a formal program with the scope and sequence laid out, and Saxon is best at the methodology of building on itself and reviewing earlier concepts constantly.
For math, we also learn our CC facts and have watched the MathTacular videos by Sonlight. Often, the younger children participate with the younger students, learning to count money, skip count, etc before they are even in first grade, building their confidence when they really begin math.