Monday, February 16, 2009

Review: Math Mammoth

Hello, I'm Denise and I'm a math reject. There. I feel much better.

Math was never one of my strengths back in school. Instead of actually learning anything beyond Pre-Algebra, I'd simply copy the answers from the back of the book (while hoping the teacher wouldn't notice but they always would because I'd totally flunk the tests but pass everything else--duh!).

I admit it. I was a big ol' cheater.

Now that I'm a homeschooling momma, I have to face my mathematical deficiencies head-on. It's my job to teach my children how to accurately use and retain mathematical knowledge, so they don't carry that heavy torch of rejectism (I think I just made that up?), into their future.

And with the help of Math Mammoth's handy worktexts, I'll be able to do just that. Hooray!

Math Mammoth provides several series of downloadable worktexts that are great for all levels.
  • There's the Light Blue Series, which provides an entire year's worth of curriculum for grades 1-5
  • The Blue Series is organized by topic (not necessarily grade level) but is appropriate for grades 1-5
  • The Golden Series are worksheets organized by grades 3-8
  • The Green Series is like the Blue series in that it's organized by topic, but more for students in the 3rd-8th grade.

Confused as to what product your child needs? No problem. Simply administer the handy placement test prior to ordering, or ask the Math Mammoth staff for assistance. These folks are friendly, personable and very eager to help you get the most out of your experience with their products. My interactions with Maria Miller, owner and author, were flawless.

For the purpose of this review, I was given a copy of grades 2-4 of the Light Blue series.

What immediately impressed me was the fact that these are all in E-book format. I love the beauty of non-consumable products; they make it so easy to stretch your curriculum budget, especially when you have more than one child. Products are available individually as pdf download, on CD, or in printed format. You can save even more by ordering a Package Deal. (See website for more details.)

The text itself was well-organized, with a detailed introduction to each chapter. Included in the introductions are links to various math related websites boasting games, puzzles and drills. These websites can be used in a variety of ways, from providing added reinforcement to serving as a mid-lesson "recess".

With the way Math Mammoth is designed, with one topic flowing naturally into the next, it eliminates learning gaps that sometimes occur with other less-structured programs. Concepts are gone over 'n over, so the child attains mastery before moving on. (Something I could've used more of back in my day! Ahem.)

The final "woohoo" factor with Math Mammoth is it's extreme economical value. The individual texts range in price from $3-5, and the full year (Light Blue) costs just $27.

Let me say that again. Twenty-seven dollars for a full year's worth of math, that you can re-use with your younger children. Woooohoooo!

The only minor issue we had with Math Mammoth was the way the text and problems are laid out. It's very different from what we've used in the past, so it kind of threw Ethan, Abby and Sierra off a bit. Even I had to stop and re-read the Answer Key once or twice (ahem) to figure some things out. But after a few weeks, we all adjusted and were fine. (Whew!)

If you're in the market for a very thorough, detailed math curriculum check out Math While you're there, take a moment to sign up for Maria Miller's free 7-day Math Teaching Tutorial, Monthly Newsletter, and 280 free worksheets as a special bonus! (Oh, how I loooove freebies!)

Our family gives Math Mammoth two woolly thumbs up! (Sorry, couldn't resist.) ;o)

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