Math is my least favorite subject to teach! I think it is because I really struggled in math growing up. I managed decent grades, but always had to work much harder at it than any other subject. So, it is hard for me to ever get excited about a math curriculum. I was thankful, though, when I was offered a free copy of Dimensions Math PK-5 from Singapore Math to try with my son. Having a chance to try a new curriculum, especially in a subject where I often don’t know which to try, was a great blessing. So I agreed to try out this Pre-K curriculum in exchange for an honest review.
Not the Singapore I Remember
I remember when my older children were much younger and I was once again shopping for a math curriculum, (It seemed like a never ending job! I just couldn’t find what I wanted and they needed) a friend recommended Singapore. I ordered a worktext book but it felt overwhelming and was just black and white. Perhaps I didn’t order what I was supposed to but, I never actually used that book.
This math series is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!! It is bright and inviting with vivid colors and inviting designs. I was immediately pleased and felt eager to try it out. I also felt that the math curriculum was very age appropriate. I have seen some, and read review of even more, that expected far too much of very young children. We are Charlotte Mason inspired homeschoolers, so I tend to choose curriculum with a more gentle approach that has realistic expectations instead of overwhelming requirements.
Perfect for a First Time Math Student
There are those who want children doing algrebra and geometry by five years old. I am not one of those people. Younger grades are for laying a strong foundation of skills and facts. Dimensions Math does a fine job in this department. Problem solving is still addressed and lessons are not just fluff; however they are aimed at what a young child should and can do! This is a major selling point for me. I have given up on several other math curriculums simply because I felt they expected far more than my children could reasonably product and led to far too much frustration.
That said, this level would be best completed in a co-op setting. There are many games and interactive teaching suggestions in the Teacher’s Guide however they do not work well with just one child. The parent can play along, as Singapore suggests, however it puts the child at a disadvantage and loses some of the thrill.
All the Colors of the Rainbow
This is an inviting, colorful, and age appropriate curriculum that relies heavily on coloring in shapes to teach concepts. I love coloring!! I would have really enjoyed this curriculum. My younger son, however, is still working on his fine motor skills, so it became a bti frustrating for him. We were doing a short lesson every day a few times per week, until he became overwhelmed with the constant coloring and no longer wanted to do the lessons.
He had been thoroughly enjoying it and appreciated having his own school work. So, we did take a break and begin doing just the text or just the workbook. I honestly think that the workbook is more than enough. The text can be good for extra practice, or an overly enthusiastic learner who desires more. It just was too much for us. That is the beauty of homeschooling, you can use the same curriculum as 100 other people and do it in a way that serves you best.
I do recommend this curriculum for anyone looking for a structured, but gentle approach to early math. As I said above, it would be perfect for a co-op setting and I may consider adding a pre-K math group to our co-op next year using this curriculum.
How do you teach math to your youngest students?
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