I am always on the search for quality curriculum for my children. Last summer I came across Miquon Math and wanted to try it. I have been using book 1 (the orange book) for the first half this school year (Fall 2017) with two of my children and want to share my thoughts on this program. My experience in using the Miquon math program is currently limited to the orange book and the corresponding lab sheet annotations.
Miquon Math is different than any other math program I have tried. In order to use the program, you will need a student worksheet book, a set of cuisenaire rods, and the Miquon Math Lab Sheet Annotations (this last book tells you how to teach the students and use each worksheet). There are 6 Miquon Math student workbooks (orange, red, blue, green, yellow, and purple) covering 1st through 3rd grade. Additional books are available for the instructor including “Notes to Teachers” and “First Grade Diary.” I did not purchase these additional instructor books.
While completing the worksheets, the children use the cuisenaire rods to explore the math concepts and calculate the answers. The process of learning is both visual and kinesthetic, and will likely benefit children who are either visual and/or hands-on learners.
When we first started using cuisenaire rods, I made a color-coded cheat sheet for easy reference for which colored rod represented each number.
Another math adaptation we commonly do is to shorten the assignment. If there are a lot of problems on the page, we may take 2-3 days to complete the worksheet. Additionally, I will help my children by setting out just the cuisenaire rods needed for a particular problem or problem set.
Benefits of Miquon Math
The way the math presented is very visual and hands-on. The worksheets we have completed guide children through math concepts. So far in the first book, we have covered addition, subtraction, and multiplication. I was initially wary of introducing the multiplication concepts in first grade, but the way the information was presented was very visual and clear. My children understood the multiplication concepts being taught. The concepts are also connected to each other. For example, when multiplication is introduced, the worksheets help the child discover that 3 x 4 is really 3 groups of 4 and the same as 4 + 4 + 4. In addition, the way the math is presented has helped my children make incidental progress in learning their addition and subtraction facts.
Limitations of Miquon Math
This program is not necessarily self-explanatory. Although I have found that Miquon Math actually requires minimal prep time, you will need to read the lab sheet annotations to understand how to use the worksheets. You will also need to teach your children the concepts and support them as the complete the worksheets.
Although this program could be used as a main math program, I personally will continue to use it as a supplement to our current math curriculum. I feel like seeing math problems presented in a variety of ways, including frequent exposure to word problems, is a critical component for generalizing math concepts. The first book in Miquon math does not include word problems.
Final Recommendations on Miquon Math
Compared to other math programs, Miquon math is very affordable. The workbooks are available in both print version and in pdf format (from CurrClick.com). I will definitely continue to use Miquon math as a supplement to our core math curriculum (Mammoth math) and do highly recommend Miquon Math to others.
I also highly recommend the cuisenaire rods for use during any math activities as needed. Manipulatives can turn any math program to one that is more visual and kinesthetic. If my children are having difficulty understanding a concept in mammoth math, I will often pull out the cuisenaire rods. CLICK HERE to read about my other must have math manipulatives for the primary grades.
*Fall 2018 UPDATE ON MIQUON MATH
I have now been using Miquon math for a full school year. I have two children who completed the Orange book and are about half way through the Red book. After using Miquon Math for a full year, I still love this program. I like it so much, I went ahead and bought all of the additional books as I know we will use them. The visual representation of math concepts with the cuisenaire rods has really helped my children develop a solid foundation in understanding numbers and how they work.