Sunday, July 8, 2012

Curriculum Review Math Mammoth

Let me start my saying I love the Math Mammoth program. It's easy to use. It's cheap. And I've learned math that I didn't know how to do before. Overall I'm happy with this program and plan on sticking with it. No it's not fancy, no it doesn't have someone else teach the lesson, no it's without it's struggle but it's pluses far outweigh the negatives.

Math Mammoth is a mastery sort of spiral program. What I mean by that is you master a topic but within learning that topic you get a small review of what you've learned previously. This becomes more apparent as you go through more than one year. You will see the spiral more as you move through the grades.

It teaches using the mental math approach. Sort of a Singapore approach but a little different.  Much of the teaching is how to break numbers down, round to the nearest 10, then subtract, etc. So, it is not just rote learning.

It's a simple approach to the page. Not a lot of color or unnecessary pictures. Yes there are a lot of problems per page but the student isn't expected to do every single problem. We start a new topic doing all of the problems for about 8 problems. Enough that I know my child gets it well. If he gets it we go to do doing every third problem. If he gets it but needs a bit more practice every second problem. If he really needs practice we do every other one or all of them. It's very adaptive to your child.

It's divided into sections so you can start basically where you want. If you don't want to do measuring in the middle move it to the front or the end. Want to start on multiplication sooner move it to the front of the pile. 

Story problems. I dreaded them as a child. I feared them as something I would need to teach my kids. I no longer fear them. Her story problems are complicated at times but easy to figure out if you have the math part down. 

I love that she includes links to internet pages with games to practice the things you are learning. If your kids are like mine they love to play computer games and she provides games that are fun yet teach them math without them realizing they are doing math. On their website is an online worksheet maker if you need more practice in areas.

The cost. Without a sale, which she does several times a year, it's $34 for a year. However if you have more than one child and you buy the download that means your paying $34 for all your kids for one year of math. A bargain. She also offers just workbooks (again available as a download) so if you just want some practice those are available. 

I have not received anything for this review. This is just my love for the program.

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