Sunday, February 21, 2010

TOS Crew: Math Mammoth

We have certainly been blessed in supplementing our math curriculum this year through the Crew, and this next program that we were allowed to try is something I'm excited to write about.  Maria Miller sent us part of her Math Mammoth series.
Maria used to teach math, but has since turned her skills to staying home with her children and homeschooling, as well as writing math curriculum and books.With a master's degree in mathematics (with teacher educational studies), as well as minors in physics and statistics, Maria is an expert in the field of mathematics, and she really enjoys being able to help homeschooling families get the most learning out of math, as it's sometimes a subject that these families struggle with.  Math Mammoth is aimed at helping the student not just memorize a set of rules but to help him to understand why he is doing what he is doing in math.
We received the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series, Grade 1-A and 1-B, along with a few supplemental materials.  This curriculum is a complete curriculum with worktexts, answer keys, tests, cumulative reviews, and a worksheet maker.  If you buy this program as the downloadable form, you also get the Soft-Pak, which contains activities for math, language arts, and testing.  Here is what the Light Blue Series aims to teach your child:
  • Addition Within 0-10
  • Subtraction Within 0-10
  • Addition and Subtraction Facts
  • Place Value Within 0-100
  • Clock
  • Shapes and Measuring
  • Adding and Subtracting Within 0-100
  • Coins
Each chapter starts out with an Introduction for the teacher to look over; it contains explanations for the teacher, to help her/him in teaching the student the particular topics covered in that chapter.  I love that there is no separate teacher's book that you have to buy with this program; teacher's books can be such an outrageous amount of money when it comes to homeschooling, but with this program, the teacher helps are included in the worktext by way of the Introductions and also little blue boxes throughout the texts.  If your student is more independent, he can read the little blue boxes on his own.  With each chapter also come games and internet resources.  These internet resources include links to free online games that will help further your child's understanding and mastery of the concepts learned.  Maria breaks up each chapter, as well, by pages for the lessons, so that you can easily figure out how much you need to do in a day or week.  

The worktexts include colorful pictures for visual illustrations, helping the child to grasp concepts without a ton of manipulatives needed.  I also am thrilled about this part  because manipulatives can cost the homeschooling parent.  The basic manipulatives you might need for this 1st grade program are an abacus, an alarm clock, and a ruler.  The text also includes word problems; this text is somewhat like the program we're using right now, in that it focuses on the mental aspect of math, helping the child to understand why he's doing what he's doing.  Maria believes that math should be enjoyable and understandable, not so redundant, as it is in a lot of math programs today with pages and pages of review.  There is review involved in this curriculum, but there is also freedom to move on, once you feel your child has really learned the material.   

Math Mammoth can be used as a sole curriculum or as a supplement, which is how we are using it, since we already had a math program in place.  I love the freedom that comes with this curriculum, meaning that if the child grasps a concept, we can go to the next thing; if he needs more time, then we have the resources we need to keep trudging through.  The worksheets and even the worktexts provide great review for Jacob's addition and subtraction facts.  It's also something that we can turn to, if he isn't "getting" a particular concept, to see if the explanations and visual illustrations in this curriculum will help the light bulb to come on.  

You can purchase the full downloadable first grade curriculum from Math Mammoth for $29.70, or you can buy each worktext individually for $15.50, with supportive materials priced at $14.  Printed versions are available, as well.  This is completely affordable, in my opinion, as it can be used over and over for multiple students.  I highly recommend Math Mammoth.

To read more reviews, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.

(I was provided the 1A & 1B curriclum, free of charge, by Math Mammoth, in association with the TOS Homeschool Crew.) 


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