Mar 042009
 
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I loved math as a child.  I especially enjoyed all the higher maths including Calculus.  I think that one of the reasons that I enjoyed math, was that I understood it.  I remember thinking how odd some of my friends’ math study methods were. They spent a lot of time trying to memorize how to do different types of problems. I found that when the concept is understood, there is no need to memorize a bunch of formulas for solving problems.  (Not that there is never a need for memorizing in math, just that with understanding, the amount memorizing is greatly reduced.)

When I set out on my homeschool journey, the primary thing I looked for in a math program was that it taught math in such a way that it was understood, not simply memorized.  Math Mammoth was not yet written when I started, but I believe that I share the same goals as Maria Miller, the author of the Math Mammoth books.

Maria says,

“My aim with the books is to help parents and teachers teach math so our children and students can really understand what is going on. I’ve strived to explain the concepts so that both the teacher and the student can “get it” by reading the explanations in the books. In essence, the books become self-teaching.”

With 4 children now, I appreciate the goal of self-teaching in math as well.  My goal is to serve as a tutor to help with concepts that my children are struggling with, but I would someday like to reach a point where my children are independent learners.

Math Mammoth offers 4 different series of math books: Blue, Lightblue, Golden, and Green.  The Blue series is for grades 1-5 and offers explanations and problems arranged by topic. The Lightblue series is  for grades 1-4, but is arranged by grade level.  The Lightblue series is a complete math curriculum including 2 worktexts, tests, answer key, and work sheet maker. The Golden series includes problems only only for grades 3-8 and is organized by grade, while the Green series includes the same problems but is organized by topic.

I received the First grade curriculum from the Lightblue series. The timing was excellent, because my first grade son was just ready to begin working in a first grade math curriculum. The text includes clear explanations and examples.  The worksheets included enough practice to thorougly learn the concept.  I did not find the material to be either too fast or too slow for my son.  I did have him do only 1 page per day most of the time. That pace would not be quite fast enough to complete both books within a 180 days school year. (There are 203 lesson pages included in 1A and 1B combined.)  One thing that was a small problem for him was the size of the blanks.  His writing is still quite large, and he had some difficulty fitting the numbers in the blanks.

As you can see from the following sample page, there is a definite emphasis on understanding math facts. This page helps students begin to think about addition from a different perspective.  It is a good transition to subtraction as well.

math mammoth

All the 1A sample pages can be found at this link. This page has a thorough summary of Math Mammoth Lightblue series.

Another benefit to using Math Mammoth is its low cost.  Each grade level of the Lightblue series is only $29.70 for a downloaded e-book!  There are additional costs incurred with printing the materials, but the e-book makes this a NON-CONSUMABLE math program.  You can legally print the worktext for all your students.  The whole Lightblue series is available to download for only $89.  That’s 4 years of math. If you are teaching multiple students that can come to only….Well, you do the math.

The other series are very useful as supplements to any other math curriculum.  They are also offered at very low prices.  Some of the topics from Blue series are available for as low as $2 for a downloaded copy.

To summarize, I found Math Mammoth to be a math curriculum that would be ideal for a homeschool family who wants:

  • Students to have an understanding of mathematics
  • A text that teaches to the students
  • A low-cost math curriculum

To order Math Mammoth, select the desired series on the Math Mammoth home page, then follow the links to order from Kagi, their main reseller.  Some series of Math Mammoth are also available at Currclick.com.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Math Mammoth in order to complete this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

 

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