Our math books finally arrived. I was casting about for something productive to do yesterday after lunch when I wandered by the front door and saw the box of books out on the porch.
Simon uses Singapore Math. He is a "visual" learner -- he is tremendously concrete in most things -- but he does fine with Singapore. He doesn't seem to need many math visuals to get the basic concepts. Numbers make innate sense to him.
I started Nell on Singapore Math and she hated it. Actually, I'm not sure it she hated Singapore per se, of if she simply hated the fact that I was making her do math. We talked about it and I said I would switch to a different math program.
After doing a bit a research, I decided on Miquon Math, which is very visual and somewhat off the beaten path (just like Nell!). Miquon makes heavy use of Cuisenaire Rods. Nell loves to play with these rods, so I thought the program might be a good fit.
So the books arrived, and after leafing through the first few exercises (called Lab Sheets) and reading the accompanying Lab Sheet Annotations, I called Nell down to talk about even and odd numbers.
She grumped down next to me on the floor and started fidgeting with the rods. I explained to her how each rod color corresponds to a number from 1 to 10. We practiced many different ways of making ten. And then we talked about even and odd numbers from every angle: divisibility, pair-ability, even-plus-even makes even, even-plus-odd makes odd. We used the rods every step of the way. I wrote the answers on the worksheet so Nell didn't feel like she was doing busywork.
After it was all over, Nell said, "That was fun."