Tag Archive Kindergarten

ByAngie

Review: TouchMath Kindergarten Curriculum

Until recently, we had not used a formal curriculum for math. Sure, we did math, but it was a compilation of basic skills, free worksheets that I had found online, games, flash cards, manipulatives, art, and workbooks that I had put together. So, when we were offered the chance to review the Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum from  TouchMath  right at the beginning of our Kindergarten year, (We began in January.) I was relieved. Not that I don’t know Kindergarten math, mind you, (Though some might say I don’t. 😉 ) I just felt it was time to begin using some “real” curricula and to be honest, when it came to math, I wasn’t sure where to turn.

I usually get excited for curriculum shopping. However, I wasn’t really liking what I saw in the math department. Up pops this opportunity, and what do you know? It was an answer to prayer.

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TouchMath uses a very tactile approach by utilizing TouchPoints. With this approach, every number has points. Each point has a value of one and is assigned a place on the number. When counting the numbers, the child touches the points and says them aloud, adding up the value of the numeral. The “year” is broken up into units (A-D) and then into 6 modules. The manual is probably the best one I’ve ever seen, actually walking you through each and every step of the worksheets/activities by telling you when to let the child work alone and when to guide them. Forms for monitoring progress or to take notes on what to go back and review more of are also included, along with detailed explanations of what your child should be doing and is expected to know before beginning the module and after.

If you have a child that needs to learn kinesthetically or has sensory issues, this might be something you really want to look into. Tommy has to literally exhaust every one of his 5 senses some days when it comes to math. (Okay, maybe not ALL of them. If I could have him eat the numbers to taste them, and it would work, I would. He’s just a typical 5 year old boy who doesn’t understand the point of all this number talk. On good days, he catches on almost too fast! Oh, I’m rambling… Sorry…)

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For our review, we were also given TouchShapes, TouchMath Tutor Software, and 3-D Numerals. These items are NOT required, and the curriculum standing alone is still good. However, I found that by combining all of these resources together with the core curriculum, that is based on common core state standards, Tommy was able to touch, say, and hear what he was learning.  Sometimes just moving a TouchShape to a different place on the worksheet or hearing the bear on the software explain a concept to him, he was able to grasp what he was trying to understand. The 3-D Numerals I would highly recommend should you choose to go with this program, though, as they are really what helped Tommy “get it” more than anything. (And while we were not given TouchMath to review for our preschool aged son, Johnny Ben, who is Autistic, I want to mention something: After watching his older brother do his lessons, Johnny Ben walked over to the table in the homeschool room and began touching the TouchPoints on the 3-D Numerals and saying the numbers. (He is mostly non-verbal.) Color me happy!)

The lessons are to last about 2 1/2 times your child’s age, so since Tommy just turned 5 this last week we focused on 10-12 minutes of lessons 4-5 days a week. Some days this meant we only got through 1 (a few times less) worksheet or activity. Other days it meant we did 3 worksheets or he flew through the lessons on the software. In the beginning this worried me, but after a few weeks I realized it was working out for him when he was counting to 100 at a family dinner with my parents and showing such confidence about it. At this point in time he is learning subtraction and is just going with the flow.

A quick example of Tommy using the software.

A quick example of Tommy using the software.

The TouchMath Kindergarten Homeschool curriculum is available as a download from TouchMath.com. Now, this is another really cool thing I like about this company. You don’t have to buy the entire year at once. If you want to, you can, but if you would like to you can buy only one unit at a time. The cost of each unit individually is $59.95, and if you purchase all 4 units at once the price is $199.95. The optional add-ons that our family was given to review were:

  • TouchShapes – $30.00
  • 3-D Numerals (That also comes with a fun CD-Rom loaded with worksheets. Tommy LOVED these worksheets!) – $79.00
  • TouchMath Tutor Kindergarten Software – $99.00
  • (There are also other items available for sale that supplement this curriculum on their website. These are just the items we were given to review.)

All in all, I give TouchMath a good rating. Teaching math to some kids is just flat out hard. Especially a child who could care less about it. It got my son’s attention and has him learning things he needs to know. A+!

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Want to know more? Feel free to click here to see other reviews, including those of families who were given different grade levels. Thanks for stopping by!

 

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ByEmily

Back To School Week: And She’s Off!

Well, it’s official. My oldest has started kindergarten. I took it better than I thought I would, but I’m still not very excited. :/ Naomi absolutely loves school and learning, and thoroughly enjoyed preschool. She’s the type that wants to do homework. She’s been ready for kindergarten since preschool ended.

I wasn’t this emotional during preschool, but preschool wasn’t all day everyday. AND as Naomi is starting kindergarten, Adah is also going to be starting preschool. This mommy needs prayer!! It was one thing to have one child in school, but now that both will be going (even though Adah’s is only half a day), I’m trying to keep my emotional wreck in check. Adah keeps telling me, “Mommy, when school is over and you pick us up, you’ll still get to see us.” Remind me to remind her of that when she has kids. :p

Naomi did a great job on her first day yesterday, but my heart about broke this morning when I dropped her off (second day). Mommy and Daddy got to walk her in on day one, but not on day two. As I started to pull forward from the drop off, I noticed her pause before she turned to go in. She had this look on her face that said, “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, Mom!” and I could tell she was starting to cry. It was so hard for me to leave her in the care of the school/staff. Instead I wanted to run to her and scoop her up in my arms and take her back home with me, but I couldn’t. However, I am blessed to have her in a school system with wonderful staff/teachers that called to let me know she got into class fine and was having a great day. I know it’s going to be a wonderful year and she’s going to love kindergarten, but I’m still struggling with handing her over.

That being said, I’m praying for all of you parents/guardians out there who are dealing with these same emotional feelings. Especially you stay at home parents that are used to having your kids around most of the time. You’ll have to pray for me, too!

Even though things are changing, one thing will definitely stay the same- I’m going to keep my girls enrolled in “Mommy School.” Despite the fact that I don’t have a teaching degree, I’m still their most important teacher. At least I can find a little comfort in that!

ByEmily

Hiding Him In Little Hearts ~ Communion & Last Supper (Lesson Plans Included!)

*This isn’t exactly about a memory verse that I taught my girls, but is more about the lesson plan I came up with to teach them about communion. I didn’t have them memorize the scriptures used in the lesson, just used them to get the message across.

Even though my children are still young, I felt I needed to start now in teaching them about communion. At our church, we try to partake in communion at least once a month, sometimes more when our Pastor feels led for us to do so. On one occasion several months ago, as we were getting ready to have communion, my oldest daughter, Naomi, wanted to do communion with us. Naomi is 4 1/2, but she thinks she’s at least 12. 🙂 Her dad and I talked it over and we decided that we wanted to go ahead and teach her about communion. We wanted her to know what it means and why we do it, so that she could understand and have part in it.

A lesson plan for The Last Supper and Communion at Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven

Photo Credit: Martin BOULANGER

I did a little bit of research, but for the most part, I created a lesson plan that I believed fit Naomi’s level of comprehension (preschool/kindergarten). Through the lesson, we taught her the importance of communion and that it is a very serious event. Although it’s a kid-friendly lesson, it still shows the significance of what communion is all about. If you’d like to check out my lesson plan, you can find it here.

I also found a coloring sheet online at sermons4kids.com and printed it off for Naomi to color after the lesson. You can find it here.

Once we completed the lesson, we prayed together and held communion as a family. Now when it’s time for communion at church, Naomi is allowed to join us because she has an understanding of what is going on. Through the lesson, she realized it’s more than just grape juice and communion bread. It’s more serious than that.

How about you, Moms and Dads? Do you realize the seriousness of communion? Or has it become just grape juice and bread to you? Maybe we could use a refresher course on the importance of communion ourselves…It’s really all about how much love our Savior has for us. And that love is a LOT.