I've been pretty happy with our math curriculum. After we made some changes pretty early on, I've felt like we were pretty much on track with math. I had never even heard of Touch Math. But after having the opportunity to review Touch Math, I wish I had known about this all along.
I had the opportunity to review homeschool curricula from Touch Math. Touch Math offers homeschool products for Pre-K to 2nd Grade. I reviewed the Second Grade Touch Math program. The main part of the program that we received for review was a set of downloads that included instructions, activity sheets for the kids, and assessments. We also received quite a few manipulatives and a Tutor Math CD.
There are four unit downloads that make up the entire grade's curriculum. Each download sells for $59.95 or all four sell for $199.95. These were HUGE downloads packed with information. They took a while to download on my older computer. We received 3 packs of flip cards for each unit. These cards are used to review addition facts, subtraction facts, time, money, measurements, etc. These flip cards packs are $19.00 each and can all be purchased separately. We received the Touch Math Tutor CD which sells for $99. We received the Student Number cards used to teach students the way to visualize the numbers using the Touch Math process. These sell for $24 for a set of 10. And we received the Touch Numerals with Base 10 which sells for $99.
The manipulatives for this program are considered optional. I did find some of them to be very helpful as I will point out when I share how we used Touch Math.
I began using the program with Ashlyne and Rachel who are in 3rd and 2nd grade. Right away I noticed that the Touch Math way of teaching addition and subtraction as a part, part, whole process filled a large gap I had been noticing in the conceptual grasp of both girls. Often they can answer simple problems with a missing number (such as 4 + ___=6) but are stumped by harder problems such as (5__ + 20 = 75). It seemed as if they just didn't "get" the concept of the whole and the parts.
The Touch Math program recommends spending 2 and 1/2 times the age of your child in minutes each day working on math. This meant I would spend 17-20 minutes for Ashlyne and Rachel. The downloads include teacher guide material that is easy to read and follow. The student worksheets are printable from the download. Some of the sheets are designed to be done together, and some of the sheets are to be done independently.
I tried to send the files to my Kindle, so that I could read them easily, but they were too large to send. I would have liked a way to read the file without having to pull them up on my computer each time. Printing everything would not have been practical for me because of the cost of paper and ink, but I suppose you could have done that. Instead, I printed the actual worksheets for the girls to use, and I pulled up the lesson on my computer each day for me to read and follow.
The lessons are very planned for the teacher. They include exactly what to say and what to do. I don't always like something this laid out, but it was nice to know just what to do. There is some prereading for the teacher at the beginning. It seemed like quite a bit to go through at first, but reading this really did give me a good idea of how to use the materials. At the beginning of each unit, there is a detailed description of each module that is covered in that unit. There are student activity sheets for every module and a test at the end of each module.
As we began the first lessons, I was very pleased with how well the girls responded to the Touch Math way of presenting the information conceptually. I liked the way that we worked through some sheets together, and then they had practice independently. The guide was very easy to follow. And my girls immediately began to have a better grasp of the relation between addition and subtraction (the focus of our first unit).
The Touch Numerals were a very valuable manipulative. Being able to manipulate the counting dots on the numbers was extremely helpful. And even though we've often worked with Base 10 blocks, these Base 10 trays and the way they were used were a better visual than anything I've used before.
I didn't use the Flip Cards as much, but I would definitely use them as we continued on through the units. Having them as a review tool is helpful. The Math Tutor CD was also useful as a review tool, but we didn't like it very much. The girls thought it rather childish when they played it, and the activities were very much just drill and not game-like.
Summary: I really loved the Touch Math program. I wish I had found this program when my children were just beginning kindergarten. I think the way material was presented was very good for my girls. I intend to continue using it with them through this school year and possibly into the summer in order to strengthen their grasp of some of these math concepts before they head into 3rd and 4th grade math.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with
the FTC Regulations.
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