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Friday, July 8, 2016

Review: Math Lessons For A Living Education Level One

MasterBooks.com has fantastic, creation based books and textbooks to be used in homes and homeschools.  Over the last couple of years they have developed subject sets and full grade sets with lesson plans and worksheets to help better meet the needs of homeschool parents.  Currently they have curriculum sets available for preschool, kindergarten, and 4th-12th grade.  This year I was so excited to see new math curriculum being added!  I could not wait to have an opportunity to review Math Lessons For A Living Education Level 1 by Angela O' Dell.

Math Lessons for a Living Education is a series of books.  Levels 1-4 are available right now, Level Five will be available in the next few weeks and Level 6 will be available next year.  Math Lessons for a Living Education books are consumable.  There is no teacher's guide.  The teacher sits with the child to work through the lessons with them.  There are a teacher's notes throughout the book but most of it is self explanatory. A downloadable answer key is available for each level.  A 36 week suggested schedule to follow is included in the front of the book. Books can be bought as a physical copy ($27.37) or a digital download( $22.19). There are manipulatives included in the back of the book.  Other suggested manipulatives include things that you would readily have available around the house such as buttons, beans, or blocks.

Math Lessons for a Living Education teach math lessons through the life stories of twins, Charlie and Charlotte.  In Level 1, Charlie and Charlotte go to visit their grandparents farm.  Each of the 30 weekly lessons start with a story to be read and all of the lessons relate to the story.  For example: in lesson one Charlie and Charlotte are noticing the numbers around the farm.  In the garden grandpa shows them that the numbers stand for the number of vegetables planted in that row.  The exercises for that week have the children writing numbers and counting things that you would find on a farm. At the end of each week there is a review that has the children writing a letter back home to mom and dad telling them everything they have learned.

Skills in Level 1 include:

Numbers 0-9
Place Values
Patterns of 10
Addition +1
Writing and adding numbers
Vertical Addition
Skip Counting by 2's
Number Families Addition to 10
Counting by 10's
Solving for the unknown
Tally Marks
Counting by 5's
Telling Time
Simple Fractions

Math Level 1 Sample 

Placement Test

Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 1 is the sweetest math book I have ever seen!  It is very visually appealing from the adorable cover to the beautiful color illustrations inside the book.  Math Lessons For a Living Education is so much more then just a math book.  Throughout the book your child will be learning about farms, farm animals, nature, life cycles of insects and frogs, the water cycle, four seasons, cooking, gardening, and more. I absolutely love the concept of teaching math through stories.  But these are not just every day silly stories.  The stories in the book are meaningful, character building stories, teaching children things like manners, respect, and work ethic. It teaches children that math is not an abstract concept that is on paper but part of our everyday lives.  The book is written from a Christian perspective.  I love that you do not need a separate Teacher's Manual or expensive manipulatives to use this curriculum.

Lessons are short and to the point.  Each day's lesson should take less then 30 minutes.  There are not a huge amount of problems for the children to solve.  I think what is included in the book is age appropriate, but I would suggest you check out the scope and sequence and placement tests that are on the website to see exactly where your child should place. Some kindergarteners would be fine using this book even though it is written for 1st grade, but it also could be good for older children that struggle with basic math, numbers and patterns.  The suggested age range is 5-7 years old.

The author, Angela O' Dell has a FAQ page about Math Lessons for a Living Education up on her blog.  You can find those questions and answers here.

I am so impressed with MLFLE that I am switching my 2nd, 4th, and 5th graders over to this curriculum!  After a year of major math burnout and frustration, I think this is exactly what we need!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this curriculum from MasterBooks.com for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  All opinions are my own and I received no further compensation.  I am disclosing this in accordance to the FTC regulations. 

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