Math manipulatives do not have to break the bank. In fact, one could use beans as counters. But it’s so nice to have blocks, tiles, teddy bears, cubes, interconnecting cubes and other such math visual aids.
Recently, I realized my first grader was a little overwhelmed by first grade. Not terribly so, not to tears, but just enough to cause behavioral issues. Children misbehave when they are either bored or overwhelmed. This first grader was overwhelmed by some of the abstract concepts and bored by some easier ones.
Although I believe school should be made attractive to children, I am not the kind of homeschooling mom who believes in entertaining the children in order to make them learn. We use songs to memorize concepts up to a point. Learning is hard work and it prepares the children for the hard work they will have to put forth as adults. So I don’t make things “easy and fun” too much. But I pay attention to their frustration level. Continue reading