Topic | struggling with kindy math plan

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  • mama_nickles

    DD is 5.5, and loves reading and writing, but is just not a “mathy” person. I am a retired chemical engineer, and I keep finding myself frustrated that she doesn’t understand things when I explain them. We haven’t used a curriculum. I am trying to do things like the Three R’s book with lots of games. Today we played Chutes and Ladders and she totally couldn’t understand how to figure out which direction to go next (in increasing order). She even tried to go vertically up 10 spaces at a time, though I kept trying to explain it to her. She likes card games like Go Fish. I tried doing some oral word problems with her (ray’s arithmetic) using manipulatives and she is not an auditory learner and totally doesn’t pay attention to the words I am saying! She can do preschool things like patterns, sorting, opposites, and I have her work on puzzles weekly or more. What is the next step? She is pretty good at numeral identification but totally doesn’t understand what the numbers really mean. Do I need to use a curriculum instead? What should my expectations be? My 1st grader just “gets” math really easily so I find myself comparing which I don’t want to do….


    Some of the games in Family Math would help build the math skills you are looking for. Here is a link to Family Math

    Katrina in AK

    I am a Mathy person, and I understand your pain. My eldest (almost 8) still battles me on math.

    One idea I have for seeing numbers ( the abstract symbol representing a quantity) and the concrete amounts: have her work with beads, beans, cubes, whatever, and have her build quantities. (Don’t worry about tying it to the number yet. Just ask her to make a group of two, three, etc. Work your way SLOWLY up to ten or so.). Then, after she gets the quantities, maybe make cards with the Arabic numeral and a dot showing the amount. When she builds her groups, have her match her card with the number group it represents. After she matches them, you can explain what numbers stand for.

    With my eldest, I had to keep lessons SUPER short (5 minutes MAX), and just be encouraging. (SOOO hard for me, to not let my frustration come through.)

    Another idea, to reinforce what she learns above. Write numbers on sheets of paper and lay them on the floor. Have her go find quantities of things to put on the number. “Go find three socks for the three!”

    Hope that helps,



    Curlywhirly-I remember getting Family Math from the library a year or so ago for DS and enjoyed it. I will have to request it again.


    Katrina-That sounds like a good idea.


    I was looking around at Rod and Staff preschool books. I feel like she lacks confidence in math and just doesn’t enjoy it….


    I am a mathy person, and I found myself frustrated when my oldest was 6 and just wasn’t getting what we were doing….  We were doing MEP Year 1 – and MEP is a great program, but he was stuck on a basic concept and I just didn’t know how to help him with it.

    I ended up (when he was turning 8) to RightStart because of that problem – he wouldn’t understand what I was teaching him, and as I always “got” math, I didn’t know how to help.  RightStart made a world of difference.  He started enjoying math, and was understanding.  I honestly think the abacus and learning to visualize numbers on it is inspired.  My oldest 2 have been in it since level B (after using MEP) and are in level D, and my third has done A and is partway through level B.  (And I have to say that she gets it even easier…. )

    I also love that if they are having problems in RightStart that there are math games for various concepts that you can just play instead of doing lessons for a while, instead of having to come up with something for more practice….


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