Tuesday, November 15, 2011
TOS Review: Math Mammoth
Math. It is one of those subjects we all have to teach but we as homeschoolers (at least I do) struggle with choosing and sticking to a curriculum that is just the right fit for our family or even just a particular student. I was excited to have an opportunity to choose one of the many available products from Math Mammoth to use and review. I was not in love with the curriculum that I was using for my second grader, so I chose the Light Blue Series, Grade 2.
Marie Miller, the author of Math Mammoth, wanted to create products that would teach Math so both the students and teachers would really understand what was going on. The curriculum does not have a separate scripted teacher's manual. Instead, the "teaching" portion is contained in the workbook making it possible for the student to self teach, and requiring very little preparation from the teacher.
Math Mammoth recognizes that Math is a case of "one size fits all" and offers a variety of different products for you to choose from including:
Light Blue Series-full curriculum for grades 1-6
Blue Series- worktexts by topic for grades 1-6 (7)
Golden Series-worksheets by grade grades 3-8
Green Series-worksheets by topic grades 3-7
Make it Real Learning Workbooks-in depth activities taken from real life grades 3-12
States by the Numbers Workbooks-one workbook for each state grades 3-6
Math Mammoth offers a 7 day virtual tour giving you time to digest the information on the website and even ask the Maria which product would be best for your child. During the tour you will receive a package of 300 worksheets and sample pages, 7 emails (one per day) answering FAQ's about Math Mammoth, and Math Mammoth Math newsletters.
Math Mammoth strives to offer their products at affordable prices. Products are available as both download or print versions. Prices will vary depending on the product with workbooks ranging from $2-$7 a piece for the electronic versions and the electronic versions of the full curriculum being priced around $34 for the electronic versions.
We are loving Math Mammoth! One of the very first things I noticed about Math Mammoth is that it is very straight forward with no distractions on the page. That is a big deal if you have a child (like mine) who is distracted by a lot of pictures or bright colors on pages. I had to do no advance preparation. I printed off the pages, went over the teaching part, and we worked on the problems. Although it is written so it is possible for some children to self teach, my so is not a good reader and I need to sit with him to explain the problems to him. I was a little worried at first because some of the areas in the "review" section for 2nd grade were not things we had covered yet, but my second grader picked up on it very quickly and we have moved on with no problems. I like the way Math is taught with Math Mammoth, very understandable for student and the teacher, and does not keep doing the same problems over and over again. You have the ability to go in and make more worksheets on a specific topic if your student needs more practice. With the Light Blue Series, it is a full curriculum with cumulative reviews, tests,and an answer key (haven't had to use it yet thank goodness), so there isn't anything else I have to buy. She does recommend having an abacus (optional though I do plan on getting one) and a few common household items (rulers, measuring cup, alarm clock) to help teach the lessons. The most important thing is that Alex and I both love it!
I did not think at first that I would like using a download for Math (even though print books are available we were given a download for review.) I am a bit of a scrooge when it comes to using printer ink and though a print version would be better. But, the license for the download version says that a teacher can print for as many of their own students as necessary. I didn't find that they used a ton of ink (although some of it is in color) and I wouldn't have to buy it again for the younger students in my house. I found it very easy to print it out, punch holes in it, and slip it in a notebook.
You may be interested to know that the chapter on money (chapter 5) is included in five currencies: US, Canadian, British, European, and Australian money. You will automatically get all five versions when you buy the Grade 2 Complete Curriculum or the 2-A part.
One thing to keep in mind is that Math Mammoth is more of a mastery based curriculum rather than a spiral step by step curriculum. Math Mammoth focuses on studying in depth a few major topics at one time. There are not a lot of review problems from previous topics. If your child needs extra review you can use the worksheet generator to use for review.
To see what other crew members have to say click here.
I received a complimentary download of the Light Blue Series Grade 2 for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.