My Pals Are Here! – Maths

Following up on my earlier, excited, post here is a first look at the new maths books.

I gave Miss Oh Waily the choice of which set to begin with, and naturally she chose the red set (it’s the closest colour to pink, after all).  So we have started off with My Pals Are Here! Maths.

Miss Oh's Choice

Sorry about the photo.  I should have thought about the red on red beforehand.  Anyway, another attraction for Miss Oh were the cute characters inside.  Her favourite (unsurprisingly) being Koogol – that’d be the fuzzy pink one on the right hand side.

Cute characters

Last Monday we started out on our new maths adventure and so far it is going fairly well.  Miss Oh isn’t keen on structured, sit-down (sit still) learning but she is coping with it for the most part.  I’ve been keeping it short – one chapter or section at a time – as seems sensible.

Here’s the contents page for the pupil’s book for you to get an idea of what they cover.  We are pretty much at the end of the Number Bonds chapter after 10 days. (A total of 5 sessions – today’s being shortened due to Miss Oh being a little under the weather.)
Pupil book contents

Next up is the first contents page of the workbook that accompanies the pupil’s book.  It’s all fairly straightforward and there are notes and identifiers (as though you actually need them) to tell you which part of the workbook corresponds to the pupil’s book.
Practice contents

Finally, here are a couple of pages in the workbook relating to counting 1 to 10.
Practice example

We’re currently breezing our way through these exercises with very little difficulty.  At the moment we are really learning how to read and follow instructions, as well as understand how exercise books are set out more than anything else.

Admittedly, if you haven’t been teaching anything to your children in the maths area you will not be whizzing through a section a day (or every second day).  You will be needing to work on the basics of counting, number identification (both numeral and written) and similar.   And, frankly, until very recently I would not have thought to teach number bonds.  Having read about Singapore Maths I decided to add those in to our semi-regular maths/writing/Classical Education session a while back though so Miss Oh Waily is familiar with them.

You will most probably need to supplement the exercise and pupil’s book with more exercises of a similar nature.  We’ve done a lot of number bonds in the past so the ones we are currently doing in the book are very straightforward.  There are many free resources on the internet to help you do this, plus there are the old stand-bys of your own word processor and some simple images.

If, like me, you find that there might be areas that aren’t well understood (number patterns in a graphic form) then this set of books will show it up and you can find other resources to help cover them until you are satisfied that your little person has got it.

The only other issue with the books is the fact that they have the connector blocks (see the image on the front page) as a method of teaching the concepts, along with a nifty number balance scale.  In our home we’ve used some simple manipulatives (wooden ladybugs) and small, square, lego blocks as alternatives.  There’s not much I can do to replicate the number balance scale, but it doesn’t seem to have thrown Miss Oh so unless it becomes more important later we won’t need to figure out an alternative.

So far so good is my assessment of this set.  Miss Oh even likes to colour in her workbook pictures so it keeps it closer to being ‘fun’ rather than ‘work’ most of the time.

What do you use to teach maths?  How have you found it?  (Or, how does your local school teach maths?  And does it work for your little person?)


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