For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Math Mammoth - TOS Review

Our latest review product in our homeschool has been Math Mammoth.

Math Mammoth offers an array of Math curriculum for the homeschool community:

  • Blue Series: Complete Curriculum
  • Light Blue Series: Books by Topics
  • Green Series: Worksheets by topics
  • Yellow Series: Worksheets by grades
  • Make It Real Learning: Real-Life Math

Having reviewed the Blue Series in the past I decided to give a try to the Green Series this time. I figured I needed to have the boys practice some of the concepts we had been working on lately, so it would fit quite nicely in our schedule.

These workbooks are collections of worksheets, each focusing on a topic and spanning several grade levels. The topics covered, each in a separate books, are:

Measuring (grades 3-6)
Multiplication & Division (grades 3-6)
Numbers & Operations (grades 3-6)
Fractions (grades 3-6)
Decimals (grades 3-7)
Integers (grades 6-7)
Ratio, Proportion & Percent (grades 6-8)
Statistics (grades 3-7)

I chose to try Multiplication & Division ($7.50), Decimals  ($5.00), and Fractions ($6.75) because I felt that these topics needed reinforcement, and since the workbook covered a wide grade range, that I would be able to push them a bit more.

How did it work?

First off I would say that I found it difficult to use these in our homeschool. I know for a fact that it was because of the lack of any kind of teaching within the book. They do contain from time to time a sample example of what you are supposed to do, but no direction as to how the concept works. Now, don't fret away, this does not necessarily have to be a problem, since these worksheets are supposed to be used as a supplement or as extra practice.

The other problem I had was that because Math Mammoth has a very particular way of teaching Math (heavy on concepts, mental math and knowing your Math Facts - math is not taught mechanically),  sometimes it is hard for a child who has not been taught that way, or who has difficulties with it, to do the worksheets.

That said, I had a very different experience which each of my boys. My oldest (grade 4) had minimal issues using these worksheets. We went through pages on several of the topics and they helped him cement some facts and concepts, and go further in others, namely multiples and factors. The worksheets that contained the topics that challenged him were  the ones for which we most missed the teaching (at least summary or something). Some pages tended to have a lot of work and he did not like that, but as a whole he enjoyed them and from my point of view, it was beneficial.

My youngest  (grade 2/3) on the other hand was half and half. Mind you I have difficulties teaching him anything, as one day he seems to get it, the other day he does something really weird. So, with him, some worksheets went well, some others were a disaster and i am talking within the same concept practice.

I personally loves the way Maria teaches Math. She shows the connections between the different math concepts and encourages mental math as well as solving problems. But, what I have noticed is that her method does not suit every child. That said, this particular series can still be used in any homeschool, but if it does not work for your particular child's learning style, you will have to pick and choose which worksheets to have them do.

I find that these would work better in conjunction with her Light Blue Series which focus is on teaching the concepts.

To sum up:
  • Thorough curriculum: each topic book covers the essentials concepts.
  • Affordable (less than $10 / book)
  • Good length: the worksheets focused on a particular concept over 1-2 pages of exercices
  • Very adaptable
  • Available as downloads, so you can use it as many times as you want, and only print what you need.
For more information you can find sample pages, table of contents, assessments and package deals at the Math Mammoth website.


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