I recently switched my dd6 over to Math U See Alpha and so far we are REALLY liking it.
I’m thinking ahead a little bit as to whether or not it would be worthwhile to start my ds in Primer for his K year, or just skip it until he is ready to start into Alpha. It looks like there is a lot of overlap between the two – Primer just taking some of the introductory concepts for Alpha a lot more slowly. Part of me wonders if we could just skip Primer, and spend time playing around with the blocks, decimal street, etc during his K year without actually buying the Primer books. On the other hand, I do like the idea of having something all laid out for me to do with him, as I don’t really have a lot of time to piece things like that together for myself. He also really likes to be involved in our school time, and I think he would like having his own math book.
So, thoughts? Is it worth the money to buy the Primer books for a K-er who likes to be included in school time?
I think it’s a great intro to math. With my oldest who was 6 when we started homeschooling, I just started him in Alpha and it was fine. But this past year, my 5 yo wanted to start math and he loved Primer. I’m going to use it with my 3rd son this next year. Honestly, even though my oldest did fine starting with Alpha, I kinda wished we’d started with Primer. It’s sets a great foundation for MUS. So, yes, to me it’s worth it.cedargirlParticipant
I say yes, doing the Primer with my K’s was always a great base to build on. We enjoyed it together!amama5Participant
I have had two kids just start with Alpha, even though I had the Primer teacher’s manual and DVD (no workbook) and we did fine. When I had glanced at it before, I just thought it seemed pretty advanced for a kindergartner, and so much repeat, I thought my kids would be bored with it when they got to alpha. I’m looking at trying it though for my 5 and 4 yr old this summer when we start our new year, since my other daughter won’t be quite finished with alpha. So I guess my thoughts are that you could skip it and just do games with the manipulatives (race to 100 is great), or we also love Muggins math games for the little ones.BookwormParticipant
I did not use Primer. I began Alpha in the first grade. I decided to play math games in kindergarten instead of using a formal book program. Cheaper. 🙂 And we weren’t terribly “schoolish” in kindergarten, we mostly played outside and read books.artcmomto3Participant
I started the Primer with DD when she was 4. We took a very laid back approach, doing it when she was interested. She went to Christian school for kindergarten, but she was still enjoying the Primer, even asking to do math when she was on break or over the weekends. She was actually learning more from it than the Saxon math they were doing at school.
She had a little left from the Primer when we started homeschooling for 1st grade. When we started Alpha I had her test out on the repeated lessons and we moved on. She is now almost finished with Alpha.
DS has recently started the Primer. He asks to do math with his sister, but since he is only in preschool, like with his sister, I just let him do it when he asks for it.
So, is the Primer worth it? For us it is. My kids love math and enjoy the blocks. But if you decide to not go through the Primer your child is going to be fine starting in Alpha in 1st grade.MistyParticipant
I just wanted to add my point.
I have 7 children and my 4 yr old last year wanted to do math! I would love to sit and play games and such as it sounds so great. But I know me and I need something set and ready to go. Also, I knew that his older brothers could also help if needed.
So is it worth it I think is dependent upon your wants and needs. I filled both for my child. WE also have taken it very slow. For in MN he will not start K till next year because of his birthday. But we are almost done with Primer this year. So I think it was a very good choice for us.MamaSnowParticipant
Thanks ladies. Appreciate your insights. Will have to give it a think, and take another look at our budget. I think it will come down to being something ‘nice’ if we can fit it in, but not necessary. I just played games and such with my dd during her K year, but she was my only student at the time, so I had more time to invest in getting things organized for her to do. Now with adding in another child to our school routine and the fact that we are walking through some major transitions in our family this year and next makes the idea of something laid out for me really appealing…
For those of you who have done the Primer workbook with a 4yo – how much actual writing was involved, or was it more coloring/stuff that could be done orally with the blocks? The sample lesson online looked like more coloring, but hard to know if that is typical of the whole book. I suspect ds may be mentally ready to start something like this sooner than K as we are already playing around a little with matching amounts and numerals and he is picking it all up super fast…but not sure how much writing he is ready for. That would be another consideration too (since I wouldn’t want to pay for a workbook that he couldn’t use….)
There is some circling of numbers at the beginning, tracing numbers, and practicing writing numbers. For both of my children when they were not quite ready to write the numbers independently in the early lessons I let them use scrapbooking stickers of numbers.MistyParticipant
Toward the middle to end it is writing numbers I either wrote it and had them trace my number or just wrote it with them.StaceyParticipant
I have read some great reviews on math-u-see and sent off for a dvd demo. We are using Simply Charlotte Mason for reading, writing and Nature study. We using Horizon Math book K. Books and I bought a set of manipulative blocks from a Homeschool resell group to try out. We use a melissa and doug time clock for teaching time as well as a scholastic magnetic time clock, scholastic piggy bank magnetic board for math, a math pocket board and flashcards. She also does some figures on the chalk board. She hates the Horizon book and I’ve gotten down to doing just 1-2 work sheet pages per week. She loves the manipulatives and the math board and others but dreads the book work. Should I just continue doing what I’m doing and skip the Horizon math, then order the Alpha in the fall? Or should I go ahead and order it to finish the K year out? (The primer)
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