One of the things I love about Miquon is the way it emphasizes patterns. It used to be, when I'd look at our Kindergarten materials, I would see the emphasis on patterns, and I couldn't understand why. Something related to counting? I had no idea. At the time, I viewed math as being pretty arbitrary: a whole lot of formulas, largely unrelated to each other, which must be memorized and recalled exactly perfectly, or the problem will be wrong. I was completely mystified by the strange people who gave every evidence of actually enjoying that sort of thing.
I was missing a HUGE piece of the puzzle: patterns.
Miquon is great for patterns. Today, for instance, we had a couple sets of problems like this:
5 + 5 + 5
3 x 5
4 + 5 + 6
Hero declared them easy, and had them done in no time. But then came the search for patterns: he had to make up a set of his own, following the same pattern as the sets he'd been given. Maybe this wasn't so easy after all. So I helped him, and set up the rods for one of the problems.
3 + 3 + 3
3 x 3
2 + 3 + 4
Hey! Look at that! Now the relationship is much easier to locate: he moved one white rod from the four to the two, and suddenly had a problem just like the first two.
Rods are so cool. I didn't learn using them (I have no idea what we did to learn this stuff: I can't remember.), and it's fascinating to see what they are teaching me.
And those strange people that like math? I'm one of them, now.