Last week my 4 yo was begging to start school. So, I obliged and we are doing the orange book of Miquon Math. It seems totally appropriate for my 4 yo to work in this book at his leisure. Many of the activities are similar to Montessori work. Miquon is known for its use of cuisinaire rods to help kids play with numbers and see what they are doing in math. My son thinks its great fun and was surprised by how much he already knew. I am not really teaching him much, just letting him enjoy playing with numbers.
My older son is in the blue book. He is enjoying playing around with the multiplication tables and skip counting. This goes will with the CC memorization of skip counting. He is not interested in using the rods at all and I can tell that he sees what he is doing in his head. We still do this in combination with Math Mammoth (on sale this month). Miquon covers a lot of areas (here is the scope and sequence) but it doesn't have practice problems the way that you see in other programs. My oldest feels like they are games to play and likes the challenge. Some area he does need to practice more so that's why we use both programs.
Last week Mr. Kern talked about how some subjects must be learned in a certain order (like math) but sometimes kids don't do well with that order. Instead they enjoy skipping around and challenging themselves, trying things different ways, etc. He talked about how he is like this in Latin. This was very freeing for me. So last week I told my oldest that I felt that he could do most of the math in the books we are using and he can pick what he wants to do. We have to complete all of the subject areas in the books but he can mix it up a bit if he wants to. He was very excited. I also told him that when he started a new concept he could try one problem and then he needed to show it to me to make sure he was on the right track. This put more spark into his day.
I am also thinking about at least playing the National Number Knockout Game with him. They are gearing up for the first annual competition this year. It is a good game to help kids use all of the basic functions of math and practice them quickly.