I have been using a neuro-developmental program with my 11-year-old daughter who struggles with learning disabilities. Having been very happy with this multi-sensory approach to learning, I was eager to check out Math N' More by Jan Bedell.
Math N' More is a neuro-developmental approach to early learning that includes activities for many aspects of development. It was developed by a combination of experts--including parents, special education teachers, and neuro-developmentalists. This excellent step-by-step preschool program would work well for a child of normal abilities as well as a child who needs more repetition. The neuro-developmental approach uses well-researched principles to achieve maximum learning with minimum time invested. With this method you learn to work with all the senses to help the young child be developmentally ready for more advanced learning.
Level 1 has a number of different components, but I found it very simple to implement. First, I looked through the teacher instructions and activity sheets. The instructions are very thorough; they explain the reasoning behind the activities and how to implement them. Next, I put in the instructional DVD and found it helpful for the few activities I was unfamiliar with. I was left with no questions about how to get started. The author gives families the right to copy the pages, or she suggests putting the current page into a plastic sheet protector (something reusable that can be written on and then wiped off) to save on copying costs.
I sat down with my 4-year old and my 6-year-old to work through the activities, and they both were very interested in them. It is recommended that you do 1-3 sheets per day but finish before the child has lost interest. A typical sheet might include counting objects, counting on fingers, doing a sequencing activity, tracing or circling numbers, or doing some sort of physical activity (such as crawling) for brain development. Level 1 includes many activities for kindergarten readiness. No letters are introduced, but skills such as tracing, shapes, patterns, similarities, and sequencing are important for language development. Level 1 also includes a counting CD, number flash cards, a number tracing CD (for printable copies), number word flash cards, shape flash cards, and linking cubes.
Level 2 continues from where Level 1 left off. It includes instruction in simple addition and subtraction as well as basic circle math, a tool that has really helped my daughter make strides in math.
Although I traditionally am not a big believer in early academics, having a child with learning difficulties has made me very aware that young children need developmental activities to ready them for learning. The preschool years are precious times for preparing the mind and body for learning, and it is just as important to spend time nurturing these young ones as our school age-children. Math N' More is an easily implemented yet developmentally rich program that capitalizes on the rapid development of the preschool brain. And it also gives us busy mothers some short activities that can help our preschoolers see they too are deserving of our time and attention.