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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Review: Math Lessons for a Living Education:Level 4

A few months ago, I had an opportunity to review Math Lessons for a Living Education: Level 1 from MasterBooks.com.    You can read my review here.   I was so impressed with this math curriculum that I jumped at the chance to review Math Lessons for a Living Education: Level 4 to use with my 4th grader and went ahead and purchased Levels 2 and 5 for my 2nd and 5th graders.

Math Lessons for a Living Education is a series of books.  Levels 1-5 are currently available and Level 6 will be available next year.  The books are consumable and no teacher's guide is necessary. Each week's lessons starts with a story that the teacher reads with the student and then the student and teacher work through the lesson together.  A suggested schedule, manipulatives, and answer key can be found in the book.  Books can be purchased as a physical copy for $27.37 or as a digital download for $22.19.

Math Lessons for a Living Education teaches math through life stories of twins Charlie and Charlotte and their family.  In Book 4, the school year has almost come to an end.  It's time to enjoy a family trip and continue to learn new math concepts through daily adventures. The stories that start each lesson are full of information such as character lessons, history, cooking, Bible, nature, science, and more.  The five daily math worksheets that the student completes relate to what was discussed in the story. Topics covered in Level 4 include:

Review of addition, subtraction, place value, estimation, rounding, multiplication, division, fractions, Roman Numerals, and shapes

Fractions adding and subtracting like denominators
Multiplication with Carrying
Measurement and Geometric Concepts
Steps of Division
Number Grouping
Division with a Remainder
Metric unit of Measure
Mixed Numbers
Equivalent Fractions
Multiplication with Carrying
Writing Decimals and Fractions
Relationship between Decimals, Fractions, and Percents
Charts and Graphs

Placement Test


Last year, math was a nightmare for us.  Every day was full of frustration and tears.  When I saw that MasterBooks.com had added Math Lessons for a living Education to their homeschool curriculum, I was very interested in reviewing it.  I was hoping it would be exactly what we needed, and I was right.

I like the entire concept behind MLFLE.  We use a Charlotte Mason approach in our homeschool and this type of math fits in perfectly with that.  I love the idea of teaching math through stories and real life concepts that children can relate to and see how math is part of our everyday lives. I love that the stories are not just silly stories.  The stories in the book meaningful, character building stories that teach so much more then math.  Many different concepts are woven through the story.  The series of books are written from a Christian perspective and Biblical lessons are included in some of the stories.

The lessons are short and to the point.  Each day's lesson should take less then 30 minutes to complete.  I love that because I feel it is unnecessary and frustrating for children to do lengthy math assignments that take a long time to complete. There is plenty of review built into the lessons. MLFLE is very affordable.  The only thing you have to purchase is the student book.  There is no teacher book and the answer key is included.  Several manipulatives are included in the back.  A few other things are recommended but they are very inexpensive common items that you probably have around the house.

The biggest challenge that we have faced is that this curriculum is VERY different from the math curriculum that we have used for the last several years.  After looking at the scope and sequence of Levels 3 and 4, I determined that Christian should be in Level 4.  But, several things that are supposed to be simply a review are things that we have not yet covered.  After taking the time to sit down and teach these concepts, he has done fine with being able to answer the questions.  But I urge you, especially if you are switching math programs to take a look at the scope and sequence of the levels to find the level that would best fit your child.  The author's recommendation for Level 4 is for grade 4, ages 8-10, or those who have completed the first 3 levels.

We have completed 6 weeks of math and so far there has been no frustration or tears from either of us!  I have been very impressed with Math Lessons for a Living Education!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to the FTC regulations.
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