Homeschool Math Curriculum
Miquon Math is one of the best tools to teach younger students how to think mathematically. Miquon teaches all four arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) beginning the first year, and even introduces algebraic notation, geometry, and diagram-reading in the first book.
The program emphasizes mathematical patterns and relationships rather than pre-set formulas and methods. It uses Cuisenaire® Rods* and a unique graphic layout to help children discover mathematical patterns and relationships with just a bit of guidance from their teachers as necessary.
Parents often choose Miquon as a fun supplement, though some use it as the main math program in the early elementary years. These homeschool math books cover all the standard subjects and more. When students finish the last book in the series, most students are well-prepared for the 4th- or 5th year books in other programs.
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Learn more about Miquon Math, the advantages and disadvantages of the program, and what makes it unique.
What level of Miquon Math is right for your student?
As the publishers note, it is probably the only math program on the market that uses all four arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) beginning in the first half of "first grade" (Orange book). It also introduces algebraic notation, geometry, and diagram-reading in the first book.
Whether you use it as your core math or a supplement, Miquon math workbooks are useful in tandem with any other.
Because of its unique approach, Miquon Math can be used effectively by advanced and gifted learners as well as those with learning challenges.
Learners vary in the amount of time they need to spend 1) practicing a task or concept using manipulatives; 2) talking about what they are doing and what they understand; 3) receiving assistance to remember the possibilities for solving a set of problems or to recognize what methods may be most appropriate for a given task; and, 4) reviewing different topic areas.
That which is this program's strength — its discovery-oriented approach to learning — can also be its greatest weakness for some students and parents, especially those who believe that to become educated means to memorize certain data or to master certain mathematics formulae. Miquon Math seeks, as a fundamental commitment, to train your child to look for alternative solutions, to "think outside the box," to discover what is not immediately obvious.
Miquon requires curiosity, flexibility, and openness to investigation. If your children prefer to be given the facts, the discovery-oriented approach may not be appealing.
Miquon Math's approach can help some children to truly understand math in a way that they wouldn't otherwise, but, as noted, it has its limitations. Besides the emotional limitation for some students (who could not care less to understand the subject), please note, too, that Miquon usually requires more time from the parent than competitive programs. The publisher recommends that parents and children work together as a team to share ideas and discoveries.
One teacher's manual (the Annotated Lab Notes) covers all six workbooks from first through third grade. Though one can usually figure out how to do something with most of the pages in the workbooks, the Lab Notes contain specific, helpful instructions, suggestions, and anecdotes for using each and every page in the workbooks. The Lab Notes' contributions go way beyond the obvious.
Overall, Miquon Math is an inspiring and inexpensive — but very profitable — program.
Due to the difficulty of starting Miquon Math in midstream, the publishers — and we — urge you, if you are just beginning the program and have a child in second or third grade, to start with the books from the grade before (see their item numbers; books beginning with "1" are generally for first grade; "2" for second grade; etc.)
Finally, please note that Miquon doesn't cover long division.
View the scope and sequence for Miquon Math's Pimary Mathematics programs.
*Cuisenaire Rods are rectangular plastic rods that vary from one unit (a cube) to ten units in length. Each length comes in a specific color (the one-unit length is always white; the two-unit length, red; etc.). By manipulating the Rods, children are able to "see," in a neutral, physical form, what happens on the theoretical level when they add, subtract, multiply and divide. For instance, if we place the red rod (2) and the purple rod (4) end-to-end, we find they are equal in length to the dark green rod (6): we SEE that 2+4=6.