*Everything you need to know about First Grade Math with Confidence. Includes an overview of what your child will learn, a downloadable sample, answers to frequently asked questions, and buying information. *

In this article, you’ll find all the **information specific to** **First Grade Math with Confidence**:

- How the program and lessons are organized
- What your child will learn
- What you’ll need
- Placement advice
- Where to buy the books

For information about the **series** as a whole (or information on **other grade levels**), please see this article: Overview of Math with Confidence Homeschool Math Curriculum.

Wishing you all the best in your teaching! Happy First Grade Math!

#### What’s the program’s format?

First Grade Math with Confidence is a complete first-grade math program with two volumes: an Instructor Guide and a Student Workbook.

- The
**Instructor Guide**is the core of the program, with conversational and hands-on activities and games that teach the key skills and concepts. - The
**Student Workbook**provides 2 quick workbook pages each day. The front side provides practice with new materials. The back reviews previously-learned material.

First Grade Math with Confidence has **32 weeks of lessons, with 4 required core lessons and 1 optional enrichment lesson per week**. This gives you the flexibility to take one day off per week for field trips or errands without worrying that you’re falling behind. (See below for more on the optional enrichment lessons.) And, you can take the occasional Grandma’s-visiting/broken-dishwasher/everyone-has-pinkeye week off, and you’ll still be able to finish the program in a typical academic year.

#### What’s a typical lesson look like?

The lessons are short and simple. Most of the pilot families said they take about **20**** minutes **from start to finish. You’ll spend about 10-15 minutes teaching the lesson, and then your child will take 5-10 minutes to complete the workbook pages.

Each lesson includes 3 parts:

**Warm-up: Counting, Memory Work, and Review**. Each lesson begins with a short warm-up to practice counting, memory work, and key skills. Warming up like this also helps build your child’s confidence and starts the lesson on a positive note.**Hands-on teaching**. Next, you’ll teach your child a new concept or skill with hands-on, conversational activities. For example, you might play “Cookie Store” to practice grouping by 10s, play a math card game, or estimate and measure the length of objects around the house.**Workbook**. Last, your child will complete 2 short workbook pages. On the front side, he’ll practice the new concept that you taught him in the hands-on activity. On the back, he’ll review previously-learned skills.

#### What will my child learn?

First Grade Math with Confidence is a **full-year, comprehensive curriculum** that covers everything your child needs to learn in first grade. She’ll learn to:

- Read, write, and compare numbers to 100
- Understand place-value in numbers to 100
- Master addition subtraction facts to 20
- Solve addition and subtraction word problems with numbers to 20
- Use place-value strategies to mentally add and subtract one- and two-digit numbers
- Identify, describe, and categorize shapes
- Divide shapes into halves and fourths
- Create and interpret tally charts and bar graphs
- Estimate and measure length
- Tell time to the half hour
- Count combinations of paper bills or coins

#### What materials will I need?

I’ve kept the materials list as **simple and budget-friendly** as possible: counters, pattern blocks, coins, play money, index cards, playing cards, dice, a clock with hands, a ruler, paper and pencils. (The pilot testers also recommended a binder with plastic page protectors for storing blackline masters and game boards.) If you don’t already own pattern blocks, you can find them online for about $15. Besides these, you’ll also sometimes use household items like stuffed animals, small toys, or crayons.

#### How are picture books incorporated?

Each week includes an optional enrichment lesson with a picture book and real-life math application activity. These are **completely optional**, and you can include as many or as few as you want over the course of the year. Some families do these on the fifth day of the week, some incorporate them into their Morning Time or read-aloud time, and some families just skip them entirely.

Keep in mind **you don’t have to drive yourself crazy tracking down every book**. It’s perfectly fine to just grab a few math picture books from your library and read those instead if your library doesn’t have many of these titles.

#### Is my child ready to start *First Grade Math with Confidence*?

Most children are ready to start First Grade Math with Confidence when they are 6 years old. Your child is ready if she can:

**Count to at least 10**(preferably higher).**Write the numbers from 1 to 10**. (It’s fine if they’re crooked or she sometimes reverses them.)**Identify basic shapes**, such as circle, triangle, and square.**Solve simple addition or subtraction word problems**by acting them out with concrete objects.

If you have more questions about placement, check out this article for more advice and answers to frequently asked questions:

#### Can I download a sample?

You bet! You’ll find the full **introduction, scope and sequence, and materials list, plus a variety of lessons** from across the year so that you get a good sense of the program as a whole. Make sure to download both files so that you can see both the scripted Instructor Guide and full-color Student Workbook.

#### Will there be other grades? Is Math with Confidence a full series?

**Yes! **See this article for the release dates and more information on other grades.

#### Where can I buy *First Grade Math with Confidence*?

**Print copies** of *First Grade Math with Confidence *are available at Amazon, Well-Trained Mind Press, and other major homeschool booksellers.

**Digital copies **(PDFs) are available only from Well-Trained Mind Press. For the Instructor Guide, the pdf version will work fine as long as you don’t mind reading off of a screen. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to print out some of the blackline masters in the Helpful Resources section at the back.

For the Student Workbook, I recommend the print version if at all possible. Color is an important part of the workbook—and color ink can be expensive!—so you’ll likely find it more cost-effective in in the long run.

Yay! I am so excited for First Grade MWC!!!

I am SO impressed with the way my daughter is manipulating numbers and the short lessons are a GODSEND to us. I am super stoked that we were in kinder when your curriculum came out and I can’t wait to use you all the way through. Please keep going through middle school and highschool! lol!

So glad you’ve enjoyed the kindergarten level so much, Elizabeth! Happy Math!

Have you seen Apologia grade 1 math? I am wondering how you think it compares to MWC 1st grade?

Hi Megan, I haven’t had a chance to take a close look at it yet, so I’m not able to say (other than the secular vs. religious difference.)

Happy Math!

Kate

Hi Kate,

This looks super interesting! I am trying to decide between this and right start B for my 5 year old (will be 6 over the summer). Kiddo is easily bored if it is something he already knows but also tends to forget math facts (and need to go back to counting fingers/objects) and also forgets math content if it isn’t reviewed frequently. How would you compare this program to right start B? I am looking for a program that gives a solid foundation while keeping math fun. Thanks so much for all the content on your website!

Marie

Hi Marie,

Sounds like MWC could be a good option for your kiddo! There’s daily review, along with a wide variety of fun activities to help kids develop a positive attitude toward math. Here’s the main similarities and differences between the programs.

Main similarities between Math with Confidence and RightStart

-Both are rigorous, comprehensive, and hands-on.

-Both focus on developing strong number sense, with lots of work on subitizing and number relationships.

-Both aim to help children learn both the “how” and “why” of math.

Main differences between Math with Confidence and RightStart

-MwC organizes new teaching into topical units, with spiral review. RS introduces new concepts in a spiral fashion.

-MwC uses mostly household items for manipulatives rather than a specialized set.

-MwC has colorful and more engaging workbook pages. The first grade pages have new lesson practice on the front and review on the back every day.

-MwC includes more notes to help parents build their knowledge of teaching math.

-MwC doesn’t go as far with place-value and multi-digit addition in first grade (Kids learn place-value with the numbers to 100 and begin doing some mental math, but I save the algorithm for written addition until second grade.)

-MwC provides more context and connections to children’s real-life experiences with numbers.

-MwC includes a weekly optional enrichment lesson with a picture book suggestion and application activity.

-Price.

Hope that helps you make a decision! Happy Math!

Kate

thanks so much! this was so helpful! It sounds like math with confidence and maybe some supplemental right start abacus work might be a good fit.

Thanks for asking! I had the exact same question for a Grade 1 student coming up. I was also wondering if we start MWC at Grade 1 then decide we want switch to Right Start or Singapore, would that work with the material covered in MWC?

Also wondering how MWC compares you right start in terms of time spent on each day’s lesson (I have a toddler and baby as well)?

Thank you for your feedback!

Hi Kay,

Most pilot families have found that the lessons take less time than RightStart. You can certainly switch from MWC to a different program. First Grade MWC covers mostly the same content as Singapore 1A and 1B, so you wouldn’t have any trouble switching to Singapore at that point. RightStart is a little trickier, because of it’s unique scope and sequence. You’d probably need to take a close look at what’s covered in first grade (or talk to their customer service) about how to cover the couple of skills not included in MWC.

Happy Math!

Kate

Hmm…..I’m wondering something. I can’t just switch to MWC because my child is finishing first grade math right now (Rod & Staff). I’ve already decided to not do the first part of R & S grade 2 because it looks very easy. However there are some things in MWC grade one that he hasn’t learned. I wonder if I buy the workbook and use that as a supplement to R & S staff grade two. R & S 1 only does math facts up to 10. I really wish there was a way to use MWC grade 2 next year!!! It looks like a good fit for my son.

Hi Cecilia,

Sorry that the production schedule doesn’t work out for your son! I wouldn’t recommend just buying the workbook, as most of the fun (and hands-on learning) occurs through activities in the Instructor Guide. If anything, I’d actually recommend getting the Instructor Guide rather than the workbook and working through some of the topics that your son didn’t see in Rod and Staff.

Another option for adding some more fun and practice would be to use Addition Facts That Stick to cover the rest of the addition facts. You could use it separately or alongside Rod and Staff to help your son master those trickier facts.

Happy Math!

Kate

Thank you for this great summary! I am wondering if 1st grade (and later on up the grades) will cover the same stuff (games, strategies, etc) as Facts that Stick? I understand that Facts is just the facts (and my 6 yo is doing great with them!), but if we were doing MWC, would you still recommend Facts, or is Facts redundant? Thank you!

Hi Katie,

I’ve included thorough fact instruction in MWC, so no need to do both programs. The only exception I can think of is that some families may want to do Facts That Stick as a summer review to increase fluency and automaticity. But most kids won’t need this–the fact instruction within MWC is plenty for most kids.

Happy Math!

Kate

Hi Kate – MWC 1st grade sounds like a great program that may be a perfect fit for my 6.5 year old. I just have two questions… 1) is this program fully secular? and 2) do you suggest within the curriculum, or elsewhere on your site, online programs or apps that might complement MWC? I want to do hands-on math with my son, and I also work from home and need him to work independently sometimes, so having some online work as well is necessary.

He’s been doing the Khan Kids app and it looks like that program’s style matches up nicely with the sample student workbook pages I looked at. Do you think it will work for him to do MWC with me as well as doing Khan Kids? The topics wouldn’t line up exactly, but I think it just adds to the spiral aspect of both. What do you think? Is there something else you’d recommend? Thank you!

Hi Heather,

1) Yes, the program is fully secular.

2) I don’t include recommendations for online programs within the book, since the curriculum is complete on its own. But, it’s perfectly fine to use Khan or another program as a way to provide more practice and reinforcement. You may just find when you get to some lessons that he already learned the skill online and you can move on.

Happy Math!

Kate

Hi Kate! I have your Addition Facts that Stick book, and tried it with my six year old first grade daughter this past year, but we only made it through the first 2-3 weeks as facts just were not sticking. We were doing The Good and the Beautiful math level 1, and it seemed that by the end of grade 1/level 1 having a great knowledge of these facts is needed. Math just doesn’t come easy for her, though, so she only has her doubles facts down at this point. Would the Grade 1 MWC be too simple for her to help with solidifying the math facts? She is 7 years old now/second grade. My son is 5 and I think he is ready for the Grade 1 as well, as math comes very natural to him and he already has a strong number sense and meets all the minimum requirements. I was originally going to start both on the same level of RS A but now I am liking the simplicity of this. I just wonder what would benefit my daughter most as she needs to strengthen number sense and mental math. Sorry for such a rambling comment!

Hi Kara,

If your daughter is having a lot of trouble with the sums less than 10, I would definitely not go on to a second grade program. Like you said, most second grade programs assume fluency with those facts, and it could lead to a lot of frustration to keep plowing forward. Grade 1 MWC provides lots of integrated practice with the facts, so they would give her more strategies and a longer time frame to master them. My only concern is that the other units might be too easy if she has already mastered first grade skills like counting money, measuring in inches, or place-value to 100. I’d suggest taking a look at the sample and table of contents to see. Then, if you decide to use it, you can whizz through or skip topics she already knows and focus on the ones that she needs more practice with.

Happy Math!

Kate

Is there a particular practice clock you recommend? I’m starting to gather the materials for our math kit and all the teaching clocks I’m finding have the minute numbers written in instead of just the tick marks. Maybe that doesn’t matter as much as I think it does, but I am imagining my son will have a hard time using a “regular” clock that doesn’t have the minutes (or 5 minutes) marked out for him if he learns on a clock that does have them written in for him! Thanks 🙂

Hi Christine,

I’m with you on not having the minutes printed on the clock! Not an issue for first graders learning to tell the time to the hour and half hour, but it can become a problem later. For my teaching, I’ve always used a clock like this inexpensive one from Amazon, and then I just used a Sharpie to black out the minute numbers.

Happy Math!

Kate

What a simple solution! Thank you, Kate 🙂

Update for anyone else looking! I found a clock without all the minutes numbered! This one might be a little baby-ish for some kids, but my son loves it 🙂 https://www.amazon.com/Baisoo-Educational-Wooden-Toys-Montessori/dp/B093C1W261

If you had to start your kids with math programs again would you start them with Right Start as you did before, or your MWC program?

Assuming time required/cost of program was not a factor.

Hi Lori,

We had a great experience with RS. But, I would definitely have started them with Math with Confidence, because I think they would have loved the more playful approach.

Happy Math!

Kate

Thank you. I appreciate the playful MWC approach for the kindergarten program – I’m using it right now and was debating whether it was enough. I think consistency in math practice is the key for it to be enough (as stated in your recent email thread)… we are working through summer but we aren’t consistent right now.

Hi Kate!

We are in week #2 of 1st grade and I wanted to offer a quick tip for any other families who’ve already done the Kindergarten level… As I was looking things over before we started, I was wondering if we really needed to start over making all the new index cards when (at least in the beginning lessons) we already had so many of them already made from last year. Well, I decided we SHOULD start over since they are an integrated part of the new lessons and I *almost* chucked last year’s pile into the recycling bin, BUT then it occurred to me they could be salvaged! If anyone else has a toddler or preschooler tagging along, let them use last year’s cards to “do math” alongside their big brother or sister. I have an index card box for each of them now — one with this year’s “real” cards and one with last year’s for the toddler. Everyday I end up with a mess of cards, counters, and coins from little sister, but it’s definitely helping our 2 year old feel more included and she wreaks *slightly* less havoc while we do our lessons with the 1st grader! 🙂

P.S. I also make copies of any Blackline masters we are using so the toddler gets her own — and hopefully we can get through most of the lesson without her swiping the one we need to work with!

What a great idea, Christine! Anything that helps keep toddlers occupied is a win–and definitely worth a little mess!

Happy Math!

Kate

Hello! We are loving Kinder MWC currently. In considering what to use for first grade I read Cathy Duffey review which says “The coverage of topics lags slightly behind that of the Common Core State Standards for math which would, for example, have children add numbers up to 100.” I’m not sure how much weight to give this difference since we plan to homeschool for many years but also I don’t want my kids to be “behind” at the end of elementary. Do the later grades “catch up” to the state standards? Or is it a difference in philosophy that you can help me see why you chose this way with MWC? I am loving MWC Kinder so I loved your philosophy so far!

Hi Cindy,

MWC isn’t aligned with the common core, but like most homeschool math programs, it meets or exceeds most of the CC standards. This is true of addition and subtraction as well. Children learn many strategies for mentally adding and subtracting numbers to 100 in First Grade MWC, and then they will learn to use the standard algorithms (or “stack math” approach) in second grade. This is the same progression that’s followed in the common core standards, so Cathy Duffy is mistaken about the program being behind these standards.

There are other topics where First Grade MWC differs from the common core standards. (For example, CC standards would have kids solve addition and subtraction equations with missing numbers in all positions–I’ve found this to be way too abstract and frustrating for most first graders, so I only include simple missing addend problems in first grade.) But in general, MWC is a middle-of-the-road program and roughly aligned with public school grade levels for math. Kids who finish the program will be fully on grade level with what they’ve covered and be well-prepared to tackle middle school math.

Thanks, and happy math!

Kate

Thank you so much for clarifying and adding your perspective! We will stick with MWC!!

Hi Kate,

I was watching a video by a teacher mom who said another math program lacked number bonds and that they are critical in 1st grade math. Does Grade 1 MWC include number bonds?

Thank you,

Ashley

Hi Ashley,

It sure does! Number bonds are the addition/subtraction relationships between numbers. (For example, that 7 and 5 can be put together to make 12, or that one way to split 12 is into 7 and 5.) I don’t call them number bonds specifically in MWC, but your child practices number bonds every time you use the Part-Total mat to reason about the relationships between parts and a total.

Happy Math!

Kate

Hi Kate,

Do you offer a downloadable version of the Blackline Masters for 1st Grade MWC? We have the print versions of the book and workbook. Instead of trying to hold the book open to scan the Blackline Masters (I can never get them to come out straight or to be shadow-free), I would much prefer to print them out from a nice copy.

Many thanks.

Hi Alison,

Nice, clean blackline masters definitely make everything nicer. Yes, if you scroll down on this page, you’ll find a link to download them.

Happy Math!

Kate

Thank you!

Hi Kate!

I know you have praised Singapore curriculum in the past. Can you briefly explain the differences between MWC and Singapore?

Thank you!

Great question, Emily! Here are the main differences between Singapore Math and Math with Confidence.

-Both programs use manipulatives to help children understand math concretely, but MwC situations these manipulatives more in real-life contexts. This helps children bring their life knowledge to their math learning. In the younger levels, some instruction is even set up as “pretend activities” (like playing store, or playing restaurant) so that children benefit from the extra concreteness that context provides.

-MwC is more fun and playful, and less dry, with lots of pretending, games, and movement.

-MwC provides ongoing spiral review so that children don’t forget what they’ve learned. In kindergarten, this takes the form of a short review activity at the beginning of each lesson. In first grade and beyond, children do a little oral review and then part of their daily workbook page is review.

-MwC provides detailed, scripted lessons so parents can just open the book and start reading on busy days. The new Singapore program provides this, but other versions don’t.

-MwC provides more notes and support to help parents grow as teachers (when they have time to read them!)

-MwC spends more time on helping students master the math facts. Singapore Math introduces the facts, but parents need to plan to spend time reviewing and consolidating them.

-MwC covers roughly the same material as Singapore in kindergarten and first grade, but it will move more slowly from second grade onward. Children will be well-prepared for pre-algebra by the time they complete MWC through sixth grade.

Thank you, this is very helpful!

Hi Kate.

I used Kindergarten MwC last year with my five- now six-year-old son and enjoyed it, although much of it seemed too easy for him. I switched to the new Singapore Primary Math 2020 edition because several friends had recommended it and I want to give my son a strong foundation in thinking mathematically. We’ve almost made it through 1A, but it’s been a struggle many times. My son often finds the lessons too long, he doesn’t like making and drawing all the models or being asked so many questions. He wants to do more games and activities, but I feel like we don’t have time for extras because the lessons take so much time. Also, I find it time-consuming and overwhelming to navigate all the question prompts and sometimes repeated or conflicting instruction in the HIG. What are your thoughts on switching to 1st Grade MwC for the second semester? Or is there another Singapore version that might work better for us? I dread trying to push through another semester of our current curriculum.

Thanks!

Dianne

Hi Dianne,

I don’t think you’d have any trouble switching to MWC. The two programs cover very similar ground in the first grade level. If your son knows the addition and subtraction facts up to 10 already (like 4 +5 or 9 – 3), I’d suggest starting with Unit 5. (You’ll likely whiz through it very quickly, but it lays an important foundation for place-value.) If he doesn’t have the addition and subtraction facts to 10 down pretty well, back up to the very beginning and make sure he has those foundations solid.

I hope that your second semester is more fun, and much less of a slog! Happy Math!

Kate

Hi Kate

I did MWC with my daughter in Kinder, she loved it and so did I. We switched to Singapore Primary for first, which she liked until she didn’t lol. We miss the fun and games in math. My question is, in your professional opinion, should I switch back to MWC first grade mid year, or wait for second grade to come out?

Hi Brit,

I don’t think you’d have any trouble switching to MWC, and I don’t see much advantage to slogging through Singapore if you’re planning to switch back to MWC at the end of the year. The two programs cover very similar ground in the first grade level, so you’ll end up covering similar skills either way. If your daughter knows the addition and subtraction facts up to 10 already (like 4 +5 or 9 – 3), I’d suggest starting with MWC Unit 5. (You’ll likely whiz through it very quickly, but it lays an important foundation for place-value.) If she doesn’t have the addition and subtraction facts to 10 down pretty well, back up to the very beginning and make sure she has those foundations solid.

Wishing you more fun and games in the next semester! Happy Math!

Kate

I want to quickly say your math curriculum is perfect for us!! I will try to leave a more detailed review when we finish up K this year. Loving it and I see you have plans through 6 th grade. Could you please share what you will recommend after 6th grade?

So glad that it’s a good fit for your family, Elizabeth! I don’t have specific curriculum recommendations for after sixth grade yet, but my goal is that students will be prepared to go straight into pre-algebra after finishing the series. I’ll have more detailed transition guidance once we get there….I just have to write another half-million words first! 🙂

Happy Math!

Kate

Hey. Kate!!!

We are currently doing Good and the Beautiful K. I feel as a mom it is very overwhelming and way too many bullets needing to be done in one lesson. My child does great with manipulates and enjoys them sometimes takes it as play but he is a kinesthetic learner.

What would you say is the difference with MWC?

Hi Vanessa,

Great question! Here are the main similarities and differences I see between the programs (looking at them overall, not just the kindergarten level):

Similarities Between The Good and the Beautiful and Math with Confidence-Both programs use hands-on materials.

-Both are full-color and attractive.

-Both use familiar, real-life contexts for many of the activities.

-Both include daily review.

Differences Between The Good and The Beautiful and Math with Confidence-TGTB is a spiral program, so each day has a different focus and skips from topic to topic. MWC is a mastery-oriented program, so you stick with one main topic in each unit.

-MWC has many more games integrated into the lessons than TGTB.

-MWC includes more concrete, hands-on instruction before moving to abstract numbers on a page.

-TGTB is a more procedural program, while MWC focuses more on conceptual understanding. For example, in first grade, TGTB teaches kids to subtract 10 from 2-digit numbers by lining up the numbers vertically and subtracting the digits in the tens-place, without any hands-on demonstration. MWC teaches the same skill, but uses bags of 10 counters to model the problems so that children understand thoroughly why this works.

-MWC emphasizes building number sense more than TGTB. For example, TGTB includes a couple lessons on subitizing (recognizing quantities by sight) in first grade, but doesn’t integrate that skill with addition and subtraction instruction. MWC integrates subitizing in nearly every addition and subtraction lesson.

-MWC spends much more time on helping kids master the math facts.

-In general, TGTB goes for a “wide but shallow” approach, while MWC goes for “narrow but deep.” TGTB covers many more topics per year than MWC. For example, in first grade, TGTB covers time to 5-minutes, 3-D shapes, and counting by 100s. First Grade MWC includes time, geometry, and counting, but it doesn’t go as far with these topics. Instead, it spends much more time on place-value, addition, and subtraction.

Happy Math!

Kate

Kate – I am supplementing my daughter’s K-1 math with Math with Confidence (1st grade). We are on week three. I love the format – how the book advances skills in small sturdy steps, includes a variety of modalities, and approaches number concepts from multiple directions (decomposing, grouping, counting, counting in increments, linking to practical like money and measurement), and above all that it is fun and engaging for my daughter!

I’ll provide some more specific comments as we progress. One thing I was surprised is that she grasped tally cards effortlessly but struggles a bit with coins. I discovered she doesn’t see the hatched set of 5 lines in the tally as a “group” she just counts the lines individually. Struggling a bit to get the concept of grouping across in week three. She learned how to count using nickels in pennies by always starting at 5 and counting the pennies. I worry a little though that she’s working around the goals of the lesson by coming up with alternative strategies, but I think she’ll eventually get it.

Best, and thanks for writing such a wonderful book!

Thanks so much for taking the time to reach out and let me know how it’s going, David! So glad you’re enjoying it so far. It’s pretty common for children to struggle more with the coins than tallies or counters, so don’t let it worry you at all. Her strategy for making sense of the coins will help her eventually grasp the idea that 1 thing can stand for 5 things, so I’d predict she’ll gradually drop it as this as her brain matures a little more.

Happy Math!

Kate

Hi Kate! We are at the Unit 9 Checkpoint trying to figure out if my son is ready to move on to the harder subtraction facts unit. We have been reviewing the addition facts since they are required to move on. The stumbling block seems to be that he breezes through when the facts are isolated (just the +9s, just the +8s, etc.) but struggles once the facts are mixed up. The suggested review activities mostly are ones that focus on specific sets of addition facts (+8s, +9s etc.) We’ve been doing War with just the 5-9 cards, but he’s still having trouble with facts he has no issue with when they are practiced in isolation. He also breezes through when we use the double ten frame to visualize the facts using the strategies that have been taught over the past few weeks (make 10, look for the leftovers, etc.) but has a harder time doing them mentally in the suggested 3 seconds or less. Any tips or posts on your site you could point me toward to work on specifically mastering mixed addition facts? If it helps at all, he almost always gets all the problems right on the review pages in the workbook, but I don’t always know what strategy he is using when he works on those (could even be some counting, which is not ideal!) Thanks 🙂

Hi Christine,

That’s very normal for kids to have more difficulty once the facts are mixed up, so definitely don’t worry about it! It will come with time. Since he can confidently find answers when the facts are isolated, I’d suggest moving on to the subtraction facts. Looking at the addition facts “backwards” will give him even more practice with them and may even help solidify them.

Happy Math!

Kate

Thanks so much for your reply, Kate! That makes me feel better about moving on sooner instead of waiting too much longer. 🙂

Hi Kate, my daughter just finished level 1 of Math Mammoth. Looking at the scope and sequence, do they seem similar in a way that she’d be on track to switch to MWC next year for 2nd grade?

Yes, both programs cover similar content in first grade. She’s be at the perfect place to transition to Second Grade MWC.

Happy Math!

Kate

Hi, we are currently using Kindergarten MWC and have loved it! However, I have considered switching to Math Mammoth for 1st grade as I like how it teaches some concepts. Can you do a compare/contrast of these 2 curriculum. I know they are both great programs, just need help choosing which is best for us!

Thanks so much!

Great question, Jazmin! I don’t think I’ve done a side-by-side comparison between Math with Confidence and Math Mammoth yet, so here it is:

Similarities between Math Mammoth and Math with Confidence-Both programs focus on developing conceptual understanding and strong number sense.

-Both programs are “middle-of-the-road” in terms of difficulty.

-Both programs take a mastery approach. Children focus on one set of related skills for one unit before moving on to the next one.

Differences between Math Mammoth and Math with Confidence-Math with Confidence has lots of hands-on activities and games, while Math Mammoth is all workbook-based.

-Math with Confidence includes review in every lesson. (In kindergarten, this occurs in the warm-up activity. In first grade and beyond, students complete 1 review workbook page each day.) Math Mammoth includes a chapter review and cumulative review at the end of each unit, but not daily.

-Math with Confidence provides much more guidance for parents, such as notes, checkpoints, and math background. Math Mammoth includes an overview at the beginning of each unit, but no other guidance along the way.

-Math with Confidence provides scripted, conversational lessons to guide parents. Math Mammoth includes all instruction in the workbook. Depending on how involved parents are in teaching MM, the MWC lessons may take more parent-led teaching time. For most kids, having their parent involved leads to better proficiency and understanding, but it does take more time from the parent.

-Math with Confidence includes picture book recommendations and enrichment activities. Math Mammoth includes websites and apps for extra practice.

I am considering MwC and Good and Beautiful for the upcoming year. Can you give me an idea of the differences and similarities? I’ve never used either, but we are ready for something more fun and interesting. Thank you!

Hi Kate, I’ve just purchased 3 math facts that stick books. Addition, subtraction and multiplication for my 8 and 5 year olds.

Then I’ve just learned you have a curriculum.

What do you think?

Do the game books alongside Singapore like I was planning ? Or would they go well with your curriculum? I don’t really want to double up on the same thing.

Hi Polly,

Singapore doesn’t include enough practice with the math facts for most kids, so Facts That Stick is a great supplement for any of the Singapore programs. Math with Confidence (my program) includes lots of math fact practice, so children generally don’t need to use the Facts That Stick books alongside MWC.

My advice is to decide which program you’d rather stick with in the long run–Singapore or MWC–and then go with that. If you scroll up to Emily’s comment, you’ll find a comparison of the two programs to help you decide.

Happy Math!

Kate

Hi Kate,

I am wondering if you have a recommendation for what curriculum to go with after completing all of MWC.

Thanks!!

Hi Jocelyn,

My goal is that kids will be prepared to go into any of the main homeschool pre-algebra/seventh grade programs once they complete MWC. I’ll be sure to share some recommendations once we reach that point.

Happy Math!

Kate

Are the blackline masters available to print from somewhere? I do not want to tear them out if possible.

Yes, they’re available at my publisher’s website. You’ll find them all here.

Happy Math!

Kate

This curriculum looks amazing and one that I’d enjoy teaching and my son would enjoying learning. The only thing I’m not seeing is any assessments/testing for each unit.

Hi Joc,

There are no formal assessments in kindergarten, first, or second grade. Instead, the unit checkpoint at the end of each unit gives you the run-down on where most students should be at the end of the unit and provides advice on whether or not your child is ready to move on to the next unit. Starting in third grade, there will be a “Unit Wrap-up” that you can use to assess your child’s progress.

Happy Math1

Kate

We have made it to Week 27 and really like the program so far. We hit a little “roadblock” when decomposing numbers up to 20 for subtraction past the ten. 14-8 for example. Step one to take away 4 from 10 and then figure out how many more to subtract is very taxing on his working memory and leads to frustration. Working memory specifically is not yet at grade level) I decided to stop and deep dive into decomposing numbers under 10 again for a while and focus more on part/part/whole. His addition facts are pretty solid already but using this to his advantage for subtraction hasn’t translated yet. Wondering whether you have encountered this with any piloting families and whether you have any recommendations specifically for kids who have working memory challenges.

Hi Anja,

Subtraction with the numbers in the teens is often very challenging for first graders, so don’t be worried or discouraged. If you take a look at the checkpoint on page 431, you’ll see that this unit is only meant to introduce the subtraction strategies, and that your son isn’t expected to fully master them at this point. I’d suggest letting him use the ten-frame and counters as much as he needs as he completes the unit. He’ll see these facts again next year in second grade, and he’ll work on mastery then.

If you’re on Facebook, I’d also recommend joining the MWC Community group there. The moms in the group have lots of great practical advice for times when you hit bumps in the road like this.

Happy Math!

Kate

Hello, I am new to homeschooling. Is there a list or link to all the supplies needed for 1st grade? I want to be prepared.

Yes, you’ll find it in the sample (link above, about halfway up). The instructions for making your math kit are in the Introduction.

Happy Math!

Kate

My child is entering Grade 2 for the upcoming school year. I will be homeschooling. I feel that he would really benefit from going through the Grade 1 curriculum however, as I feel like he doesn’t solid mastery foundation of what’s covered in the Grade 1 curriculum and the Grade 2 is way too advanced for him (I watched both of your flip-through videos on Youtube).

I am learning more about how his brain works and how he has trouble conceptualizing in his head, and needs to learn through hands-on activities. My suspicion is that he doesn’t learn like most kids do and probably hasn’t been getting the extra support he needs in the classroom, so I think he would benefit from going through the Grade 1 curriculum, maybe even starting this summer.

Wondering if you can comment?

Also, I have another child who is going into Grade 5. He’s never struggled academically and has picked up math quite easily (though he’s starting to say it’s boring, eeks!). I was looking at Singapore Math for him because I hear it’s a great curriculum… but now I’m thinking Math with Confidence might appeal to his playful nature! When will that be available? Thank you!

Hi Debbie,

Based on what you say, I’d definitely recommend putting your younger son in Grade 1. Kids do best when they are working at a level that’s not too hard and not too easy, and you won’t regret giving him a solid foundation in addition, subtraction, and place value.

I’m afraid Fifth Grade MWC won’t be available until June 2025, so you’ll need to find something else for your fifth grader.

Happy Math!

Kate

Hi Kate,

I saw on a Youtube Channel that there is a pilot program available for the upcoming curriculums. Is it still open for us to join?

Thank you!

Debbie

I’m piloting fifth grade in the 2023-2024 school year, and I’m afraid registration is already full.

We made it through week 25 MWC K. My child seems to have good number sense. Do you recommend finishing K before moving on?

Hi Janeea, you should be fine moving on to First Grade MWC at that point.

Hope you have a great year, and happy math!

Kate

Hi Kate, how does this curriculum compare with Masterbooks math?

Hi Erica,

MWC and Masterbooks share the same goal of helping kids appreciate and understand math in real life contexts. Other than that, the two programs are very different. MWC is much more in-depth and mathematical, with much more focus on developing kids’ number sense and conceptual understanding. It also provides more practice and review than Masterbooks.

Hope that helps, and happy math!

Kate

P.S. If you take a look at my article on choosing curriculum, you can see my short review of Masterbooks. It’s just about the only program that I recommend parents avoid.

Kate,

I have 3 kids and we have used Singapore Primary (older) for the last 5 years. I have supplemented with your Math Facts that Stick books and that has worked well for my older two. My thirdborn is struggling with addition facts even with having spent multiple weeks covering the same facts in the AFtS. I’m considering starting over with MwC 1st grade for him in Jan (he’s 6, ADHD.) Is the content distinctive enough he won’t find it repetitive to AFtS? He can already do most of the “bonus” tasks – time, money, etc. and is familiar with number bonds and how to add and subtract, he just lacks fluency and speed for the facts (taking 5-10+ sec on most of them.) Is MtC a good fit? He definitely prefers the games of AFtS over Singapore.

Hi Christine,

Quite a few of the games are the same in First Grade MWC and AFTS, but the overall presentation is a lot different. I think you’d be wise to go through the first grade program to give him a little more time to get these important basics down. You’ll want to condense or skip any of the lessons that are too easy for him (especially the review lessons in Unit 1), and I’d expect you’d be able to finish it before the end of the school year.

Happy Math!

Kate

Hey Kate-

I am really interested in your program. What standards or state standards did you base your lessons on?

Thank you for the time and dedication you took in to creating this program!

Hi Carrie, MWC isn’t based on a specific set of standards. My goal is that kids who come into MWC from a public school (or who end homeschooling and enter public school) will be roughly on grade level. Like most homeschool math programs, it generally meets or exceeds the Common Core standards for each grade level, but it isn’t defined by them. The broad CC standards are generally pretty traditional and time-tested (i.e., learn the multiplication facts in third grade), and so I’ve mostly sought to match those broad themes. I’ve used more discretion when it comes to specific standards, especially those that move abstract concepts down to too-young a grade level. (For example, there’s a lot of focus on solving equations like ___ – 6 = 9 in the first grade CC standards. For most kids, this is very frustrating and not developmentally-appropriate at this age, so I save this kind of abstraction for later.)

Happy Math!

Kate

I am currently using MWC K with my kindergarten child. He is loving it and doing very well with it. My only thing is as an extremely busy mom of 5 kids I am feeling like it might be a little too intensive for myself during this busy season of life. Do you have any recommendations on a math program that is similar to yours but not as teacher heavy with prep work?

A couple I’ve seen are The Good and The Beautiful, Abeka, or BJU.

Do you know anything about these programs?

Hi Vera, I have links to all my reviews of other programs in this article–just scroll down about halfway. However, I’ll warn you that most high-quality kindergarten math programs require a similar amount of parent involvement, since hands-on activities are so important to understanding math. If you’re not a member of the MWC Facebook group, I’d highly recommend it. The moms there offer a lot of support to each other and have great ideas on how to make the program work for busy moms of many.

Happy Math!

Kate

Thank you for sharing this information!

I don’t think I was clear in what I was meaning. I understand there is high teacher involvement at this age but what I meant was the running around gathering supplies and setting up for the activities is difficult most days. So I didn’t know if there is a program that is just as good as yours but more open and go for the teacher…?

Your program only goes to 6th grade so if a child needs extra practice before pre algebra what do you recommend for that?

In Math With Confidence is the child taught number words and how to write them?

Spelling words is more of an English skill than math skill, so I don’t include it.

Makes sense.

Does it at least teach them what the numbers would look like?

Sometimes word problems use number words not numerals.

It’s not an explicit part of the curriculum, as kids learn that best as part of their reading instruction.

Makes sense.

Thank you so much for taking your time to respond!

Hello, could you please explain if the grade One book meets the California state standards for Math?

Hi Katrina,

MWC covers roughly the same material as the main California first grade standards. There are one or two sub-standards that it waits until later to address, specifically solving problems like 8 – ___ = 5. I’ve found that most first graders aren’t developmentally ready to handle those, so I wait to include those until later in the program.

Happy Math!

Kate

I just finished the Kindergarten Math with Confidence with my son, and I am so in love with it. I love the scripted lessons and all the math games. I love that the materials are simple and usually readily available in our home. I love that the lessons are meant to be accomplished within a short amount of time, and I liked that there was both a mastery and spiral approach so that we spent a good amount of time on each concept but got to review it frequently. My goal was that my son learn to love math, and I think we accomplished that this year!

So glad to hear it, Christa! Thanks for taking the time to let me know, and happy math!

Hi Kate- My daughter just finished Simply Good & Beautiful Math K! Then I discovered MWC. Should I start her over at level K and do like a 8 week power through level K? or do you think shes okay to start at level 1 MWC?

Hi Kristin,

She’ll be completely fine starting with First Grade MWC. The programs starts off slow with some review and introduction to a few MWC-specific concepts, so she should be able to jump right in.

Happy Math!

Kate

My almost 6 year old son just started Kindergarten. For what it’s worth, the placement exam for Mathseeds put him at a 1st grade level.

From looking at the kindergarten scope and sequence and prerequisites for 1st, I think he knows almost everything taught in kindergarten. The only things he doesn’t know well are place value, time, money, and how to write the numbers independently. Do you recommend starting at 1st or moving quickly through Kindergarten? Thanks!!

Hi Mallory, he sounds like he’s ready! I’d just make sure to add a little number writing practice to his school days, either as a quick warm-up for math or when he works on handwriting. It’s fine to scribe for him during the first couple of weeks of First Grade MWC while he’s working on his handwriting fluency, too.

Happy Math!

Kate

Hi Kate,

Thank you SO much for your quick reply! I am beyond grateful for MWC and super excited to get started . 🙂