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Kindergarten Math With Confidence Review

By the time I learned about Kindergarten Math With Confidence, my middle child was ready for the 1st grade level. We liked the 1st grade Math With Confidence so much, I knew I’d use the kindergarten level for my next kiddo! I’ve gotten so many questions about the kinder level we’re using, I knew it was time to write a kindergarten Math With Confidence Review.

So far we’ve used 3 different kindergarten math curriculums. We’re almost done with Kindergarten Math With Confidence with my 3rd child, we used Good And The Beautiful level k with my oldest (their old version), and Masterbooks Math Lessons For A Living Education with my 2nd child.

I only wish we would have known about Math With Confidence with my oldest! It’s been my favorite of all 3 we’ve tried.

Kindergarten math with confidence student book and instructor's manual on a kitchen table next to tubs of math manipulatives like math cubes, place value blocks, and colorful tangrams.

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If you’re homeschooling a kindergartener, you may want to check out these posts too:

Math With Confidence Series Overview

This math series is still being written by Kate Snow, a former math teacher now homeschool mom. She is the owner of the blog Kate’s Homeschool Math.

Kindergarten Math With Confidence is a colorful, hands on, interactive, parent led math curriculum. By parent led, I mean the majority of our math time is spent using hands on materials.

There’s activities inside each lesson that involve movement, play, practical math, games, and lots of review.

When we do the recommended activities, I’m chatting and playing with my son. It’s one on one time for us and even at 2/3’s the way through the book, my son asks to do his math every day.

It’s also a scripted program so what you say is in bold. You will feel like Kate is there guiding you as a teacher through each lesson!

At the kindergarten level, there’s only one worksheet per lesson.

As in the front page is one lesson, the back page is the next day’s lesson. All the math magic at this level really happens from the teacher’s guide using objects and concrete learning.

Kate says in the beginning page that the worksheets are a compliment to the teacher’s manual and not made to be a stand-alone.

It’s also super affordable (usually around $50 for a year, and less if you reuse the teacher’s manual for other kids).

The Scope and Sequence looks like:

  • Recognizing and counting numbers to 10
  • Shapes
  • Directions and patterns
  • Comparing numbers to 10
  • Addition within 10
  • Learning about 10 and some more
  • Coins
  • Counting to 20, as well as reading and writing to 20
  • Measuring
  • Introduction to subtraction (using take away and take apart methods)
  • Numbers to 100
  • Time (month and days of the week, reading clocks to the hour)
  • Math story recommendations

When will new levels come out each year?

As of 2022, k-2nd grade is available, with a new level set to be released each June. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see how you can get notified of their pilot program for 5th grade in the spring.

What kind of games and hands on activities are in Kindergarten Math With Confidence?

There’s a variety of activities every day NOT in the workbook. It’s kinesthetic, visual, and feels like play.

Many of these activities have happened naturally over time with my other kids outside of any math curriculum. But it’s nice to have them built in as a reminder.

Here’s a few examples:

  • jumping or clapping while you count
  • counting forwards and backwards to 20
  • Simon says to learn left and right
  • using a 10 frame to identify combos of 5 and 10
  • addition war with number cards 1-5 (you each flip 2 cards over and add up your cards, winner is the one with the largest sum)
  • sorting coins
  • making a “store” with some toys and buying them with coins
  • comparing water levels in a cup
  • tangram pattern play
  • making shapes with straws
  • putting pencils in a cup and then taking a few out and recounting
  • creating equations with number cards
  • scavenger hunts in your home looking for colors, shapes, ect.
  • the game memory with number cards
Memory match game laid out on the carpet with a set of 3's showing as part of a kindergarten math lesson.
Laminated cards on a wooden table making a math equation saying 7+3=10.

For the sake of time and the fact that I have 3 other kids at home, I would skip anything that my son seemed to already know, would easily learn through life and natural play.

Remember it’s ok not to do every activity! Here’s some photos of a few activities you’ll see in there.

What math manipulatives do you have to buy?

This program is “inexpensive” because it doesn’t come with any hands on pieces, and technically you can print out and cut out the black and white pages in the back of the teacher’s manual.

However, it would take some serious time to print, cut, and laminate a lot of the “pieces”. I’d rather just keep a jar of coins handy, order colorful tangrams, etc.

Here are a few things I use ALL time for kindergarten, 1st, and even now 2nd grade Math With Confidence. They are:

  • math cubes by Learning Resources (I own these and they double as a great creative toy!) I find it helpful to use two colors when visually showing sets that add up to 10, such as 3 purple cubes and 7 blue cubes.
  • place value counters (we mostly use the singles for level k, but 1st and 2nd use the 10 rods and 100 squares plus the mat so it’s worth buying a set to me) You could hold off on these till 1st grade though, because place value is not taught in Kindergarten Math With Confidence.
  • coins (pennies, nickels, and dimes)
  • tangrams
  • index cards (you’ll make 4 sets of numbers 1-10, and two sets of 11-20)

I’d often skip the random “variety” of household objects like stuffed animals to count, and just get out my yellow counters.

Or one lesson it had me gather a bunch of spoons of different lengths ( I don’t own many) so we just used something else random of different lengths.

You get the idea.

You may find your kindergartener needs more practice tracing numbers

While some things were easy for my 5.5 year old boy (like patterns and symmetry…thank you hours and hours of lego play) he was no where near ready to dive into the first week tracing numbers 1-5.

There’s a black and white tracing page in the back you could copy and reuse. But I used our dinosaur and butterfly number tracing sheet for him which is colorful and has LARGE numbers to begin with. And smaller numbers once the strokes are figured out.

I’ve used this printable with my older kids and it made number tracing fun because they liked “following the dinosaur”.

A kindergarten boy is tracing numbers 1-6 on a laminated sheet using a dry erase marker.

Kindergarten Math With Confidence Encourages Real Life Math

Each week there’s a tip suggesting real life ways to encourage math thinking outside of a lesson. I think this is so cool! It really fits with my desire to let kids learn through play as much and as often as they can.

Examples:

  • Having your child count out 20 pieces of food for a snack.
  • Point out symmetry in nature
  • Point out when you are turning right or left when going on a walk/driving
  • Helping your child write down people’s ages.
  • Telling your child approximate distances you’re driving, ie “The library is about 2 miles away.”
  • Cooking together, ie: “Can you help me measure 1 cup of…”
  • Pointing out real life examples of subtraction like 4 apple slices were on their plate and now there’s only 2, so they must have eaten 2. Or there were 6 bagels in a bag and we ate 3 at breakfast, how many are left?
  • Pairing all the socks and counting by 2 to find how many there are.
  • Putting up a wall calendar and referencing it often

Play is the BEST school for a kindergartener, and one of the major reasons we homeschool. I love having a math curriculum that believes in that same idea, keeps lessons short and fun so that kids can get back to exploring.

Kate Snow wants your kids to see math in daily life, and helps you do that through read aloud book recommendations, and other hands on activities at home.

Having read many of her recommended books (not all) I am so thankful for these as my son asks me to read them and enjoys them SO much! You can find 30 of her book recommendations in Kindergarten Math With Confidence, but she also has those books in this blog post as well.

Math read aloud books for kindergarten including pattern fish, 20 big trucks, zero is the leavecs of the tree, 10, actual size, when a line bends a shape begins, and more!

Negatives about Math With Confidence

1. So many random things you have to gather…you’ll want to put together a math box

One of the biggest complaints I see (and feel the same way about) are all the manipulatives recommended per lesson.

Sure, it’s nice you don’t have to buy a ton, but you do have to gather things prior to calling your kid over or you’ll LOSE your 5 year old’s attention sorting out cards and running to get coins out of your purse.

There’s usually pieces in the warm-up review section, like coins or number cards or stuffed animals. (HINT: I usually skip activities in this section to keep my kiddo’s attention, unless it’s short and easy and doesn’t require fetching much).

Then there’s more pieces for the lesson, like the 10 frame and counters or straws or something like that.

It really helps to have our most common math manipulatives close by, ready to grab. (These stackable plastic containers are from Target! They’ve been perfect!)

Math cubes and tangrams in plastic jars used with Kindergarten Math With Confidence

2. Not very many worksheets

I also found that there weren’t enough worksheets for my worksheet loving boy. Personally, I like fewer worksheets! Because math can be all play at this age!

But my boy wanted more worksheets. He wanted to keep going, sometimes 3-4 pages (a week’s worth) if he was really excited and knew how to do it.

A 5.5 year old boy filling out patterns in his math workbook from kindergarten math with confidence.

I actually had to tell him several times that we couldn’t do any more worksheets for math until we went back and caught up on some of the hands on activities.

Sometimes I’d get lazy and just let him do his worksheets without the hands on stuff (and he was eager to do the next page)…but could see his understanding was falling behind as things got harder.

So I’d usually go back and do the games. And the 10 frame activities. It was common for us to do a week’s worth of worksheets, then go back and do any activities I wanted to include from the teacher’s guide. I know that’s backwards, but it worked for us at times.

Here’s one activity we backtracked to, which was “buying chocolates”. I gave him my order with a number card, and he had to fill the chocolate boxes with “chocolates”. He loved it!

Double 10 frames from Kindergarten math With Confidence with yellow counters used to fill 12 boxes.

3. Scripted makes my voice sound boring

I like scripted things! It gives me confidence to teach. But man does it make me sound boring! I often will try and read a paragraph or concept in my head and explain it in my own words.

So just remember the script is there to help, but you don’t HAVE to read it as is.

Our favorite kindergarten math game we play alongside Math With Confidence (16 math games in one box)

I stumbled on Tiny Polka Dot when beefing up our math gameschooling collection. It’s my kindergartener’s favorite game, and he loves the one on one time with mommy!

It goes seamlessly right alongside Math With Confidence teaching numerals, 10 frames, random dots, and more.

We play a number recognition game, memory match game, adding up to 5 and up to 10 game, and there are more. Below is my video describing how to play and why this is such a solid math game spanning multiple ages.

We also used it with my daughter in 1st grade because there are games listed by age level, so as they get too easy just pick harder games.

What about older kids?

If you’re like me, you’ve got an older kid that can’t use this curriculum because they need an older level not out yet. We have really enjoyed Singapore Primary 2022 with my oldest. We originally switched to Singapore using the US version for 1st grade, but swapped to Primary 2022 version as soon as it came out.

It’s got a different scope and sequence than the other Singapore versions, and is more streamlined and easy to use.

I’ve also written a comparison post for Math With Confidence 1st grade vs Singapore Primary 2022 to show you some of the differences.

Math With Confidence Pilot Program for 5th grade

There’s a pilot program being done each year, and if you’re on her email list then you’ll get notified when she’s accepting applications for that.

Next pilot program will be the 5th grade level. The email for 4th grade pilot testing came out end of April 2022 for those of you wondering!

Kindergarten math with confidence student book on a table with math cubes and tangrams

What are your questions about Kindergarten Math With Confidence?

I’d love to hear your questions in the comments, and hope you’ll take a moment to save this post or share it! Just remember to keep FUN as the main goal of kindergarten math. If they don’t want to do math…either wait or find something that makes it fun!

Much of what they learn here they will learn naturally, but this is a soft introduction to using curriculum, and the play aspect is perfect. Hope you’ll find what you are looking for!