I have gathered a number of math manipulatives for our homeschool. In fact, I’ve already downsized this by selling some of the preschool items that we have already outgrown. My children are currently in K and Grade 2 as of this writing. So the tools that you will find in this list are befitting for their grade levels. However, this is not a comprehensive list at all. There are other tools in our arsenal that are not included in this kit, such as the Math U See integer blocks, Numicon shapes, and the other bulkier kind. But for the sake of those who have been asking me on Instagram, this post is a compilation of what manipulatives we currently keep in our math tool kit and where to get them. Perhaps I can write about the why next time.
You don’t need all these materials. As I always say, it really depends on the homeschool philosophy or curriculum you follow. My second grader is going through Math U See Beta at the moment, while my Kindergarten student is learning through Kindergarten Math With Confidence. Both of these curricula use a lot of manipulatives to begin with, so I’m quite comfortable using these to aid our learning. We use these concrete materials to help explain some of the abstract mathematical concepts in our lessons. And before you say that the use of tools or manipulatives aren’t related to classical education, I encourage you to read Quintilian.
Please know that this is not a sponsored post. I have purchased all of the materials that I have mentioned here. I also do not get anything by writing about and linking to any of the shops/pages listed in this post. Also, I’ve purchased some of these materials on Shopee Philippines many moons ago, so I cannot find the exact link. But a quick search using keywords on the site/app will display a number of results at different price points.
Math Tool Kit
First off, the kit! I’ve been searching for this photo box organizer everywhere. As the name suggests, it is used for organizing photographs. The plastic container stores 16 smaller boxes which can normally fit 4″ x 6″ photos. This organizer is either too pricey to ship from the US or I was just not ready to commit to buying a full-priced container. Until some recommendations finally popped up on my Shopee feed. It is normally priced between P1,200 to P1,500. So when I spotted an imperfect stock sold at P800 or P850, I quickly purchased one to try. And I absolutely love it! I used to store our manipulatives in smaller-sized containers. But this organizer gathers them all (well, almost) in one place, which enables me to carry it around when needed.
In order to help me find what’s in these boxes, I’ve also printed out some transparent labels using my old Dymo LetraTag Label Maker and stuck them on the smaller boxes to help identify which manipulatives are what. I recommend this over the Niimbot printer for quick and easy labeling. The Dymo doesn’t need a bluetooth connection or an app to design or print. It can do so all in one nifty handheld machine.