Thursday, March 5, 2009

Math Mammoth

Update: Free Sample of the Blue Series Clock Worktext this week only: HERE

Have you ever wished you could find a good math curriculum that focused just on clocks or geometry or money? Have you ever wished you could just erase the whole page and have the child try again when you had THOUGHT they understood what you were asking them to do? Math Mammoth does exactly that! And for a very good price too!

Math Mammoth worktexts (blue and light blue) and workbooks (green and orange) are downloadable math programs. You then print the worksheets (and text style explanations) you want from your computer. They are packaged a variety of ways, so you only have to pay for what you need. They are also non-consumable in that you can print them off again for another child or for extra practice.

The Blue series are topical worktexts for grades 1-5 that range in price from $2 to $5. Each book covers one topic for one grade. These would be perfect if you have a student needing practice with time or money. They are a great supplement for other math programs or a stand alone introduction to a topic.

The light blue series books are a complete yearly curriculum for grades 1-5. They come in 2 parts A & B for each grade and cost about $14 per part. This is the program we tried. We used 2A with Tyler. One thing I really liked was that this program does not "spiral" but is organized by topics. While some topics have to be presented in order because they build on each other, others like time and money don't and can be presented anytime.

When Tyler is presented with new material there are times that it doesn't seem to stick and both he and I get frustrated. I've found that if I move onto a new topic and give the first time to "simmer" in his mind, it often clicks easily when I come back to it a couple weeks later. Many math programs won't allow this because future lessons have review problems covering exactly what they child was struggling with. Another thing I really liked was the list of internet resources at the beginning of each topic. It directed me to free resources and suitable games and activities online. The sites were all kid friendly and safe. Tyler loved bouncing a ball along a number line to land on and squish flies. Even Jeanisha who is 3 caught onto the concept of a number line with this game and enjoyed it.

The Math Mammoth books come in 2 additional formats, green and golden, which are geared for grade 3-Algebra 1. These are simply a collection of worksheets, arranged either topically (green) or grade level (golden). These would be perfect for tutoring or for extra practice.

The only cons I could see with Math Mammoth were the printing costs and the possibility of lost pages (it's easier for my kids to lose one worksheet than a whole book). One other possible challenge is figuring out which series is best for your child because the books can be "packaged" several different ways, but the author, Maria Miller is very approachable and willing to help!

I recommend going to the website and requesting the 280 free worksheets at the bottom of the page. These will give you a good idea of what the curriculum entails!

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