Saturday, April 02, 2011

In which "Cuisinart rods"* become yesterday's homeschool

Boy, do I feel like a relic.

Today was our local homeschool conference.

I presented a workshop about making the most of a limited homeschool budget. As an example of homeschool resources that are inexpensive and versatile, I mentioned Cuisenaire rods. I didn't bother bringing any to demonstrate with.

Later in the day, a couple who had been in the workshop came up and asked me about the rods I had mentioned. I suggested looking for them at one of the larger booths--a very good, longtime vendor--that I knew carried Miquon Math.

Well, they still have rods in their catalogue, but they didn't even bring any with them today! I said, "I'm guessing maybe Cuisenaire rods aren't such a big seller as they used to be?" Yep.

And to top that off, the virtual online rods formerly at the Arcytech site have also disappeared, along with all the other good Java manipulatives they used to have. So you can't even "pretend play" with them.

Hoo boy. Maybe my next year's workshop should be "things we used to use way back when."

*Clarification:  the people at the conference did not call them Cuisinart rods.  I was just joking about that because I posted a long time ago about the crazy names and spellings I've seen for the rods.


Tzivia said...

Still using rods around here! (though I have mostly given up on doing Miquon cover to cover; we now use it as a supplemental resource, where it can be fun again!)

Mrs. White said...

So funny!! It's amazing how different things are in homeschooling now. I feel like a homeschool grandmother.

Mrs. White

Misty said...

We still use them, though I have to admit they got more time being built into forts, towers, and other structures than math work. But, they have been great to pull out when a kid just can't see that 3 5's is the same as 5 3s, etc.

Misty :-)

Sandy said...

I am a homeschooling dinosaur. When I see what homeschoolers use now and consider what we used when we started...most of what's out there now wasn't even on the market back then. If I'm not talking about the latest, greatest curriculum-of-the-moment people look at me like I have three heads. At least we all still have library cards in common. Mostly.

BookChook said...

As a young teacher, I used cuisenaire rods and I still very much respect them. I think kids can absorb a lot by freeplay with them when young, and they make excellent manipulatives when more formal math starts.

Carol J. Alexander said...

I can't believe it! Cuisenaire rods are a MUST. Maybe you need to carry some around and show them to people and get the word out again.

Annie Kate said...

Oh dear! I'd better save my rods for the grandkids!

We've used them for a dozen years, to play with and to learn from. They are so beautiful, with such pleasing colors, that usiing them brightens my day.

Newer curriculum isn't always better....

Annie Kate,
who reviews both the old and the new

Dawn said...

Had Cuisenaire rods but the Math-U-See rods we got when I briefly flirted with MUS were a much bigger hit and the C. rods have been collecting dust ever since.