Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mosaic Reviews: Math Mammoth


Math curriculum is one of those things that home schoolers are proud to proclaim their preferred choice.    We identify ourselves by our chosen curriculum, "We use Saxon!",  "Teaching Textbooks is the best!",   "We love Math U See!"  and the list goes on...  Personally, we have used Saxon for years.  I have tried other curriculum, but have found my children need the constant repetition or they forget how to work certain types of problems.  Math has been a struggle for my kids at different times along our journey.  With all that being said,  I was still quite interested when I heard we had the chance to review Math Mammoth.  I knew there were some areas my 6th grader could definitely use some additional practice.

I choose 4 levels of the Blue Series to download and review:  The Four Operations, Geometry 2, Decimals 2 and Measuring 1.

About Math Mammoth:  

"Math Mammoth books concentrate on conceptual understanding and are strong in mental math. The directions in the worktexts are written directly to the student, and are often self-teaching, thus requiring little preparation and involvement from the teacher."  (quote from Math Mammoth website)

Blue Series:  Grades 1-7
Instructional and practice problems
Organized topically

Light Blue Series:  Grades 1-6
Self- instruction

Golden Series: Grades 3-8
Organized by grades
No instruction- practice problems only

Green Series:  Grades 3-7
Organized by topics
No instruction- practice problems only

Make it Real Learning Series: Grades 3-12
Math problems taken from real life situations

How we used this program:

I printed out lessons and put them in our own 3 ring folder for Daniel.  This became his math "textbook" while we reviewed the program.  I also came across a skill that Tera was struggling with and printed out a specific lesson for her to practice. 

What we like:

  • Flexibility- This program is a full complete curriculum in and of itself, but can also be used as a supplemental resource.  That is how we intend to use it.  I like that we could mix and match books to tailor make our own math curriculum. 
  • Affordability- Math Mammoth is easy on the budget with their wide variety of purchasing options.  You can purchase by the individual book topics ($2-$7 per download) or complete grade levels for under $40.  If your curriculum budget is slim, you could even buy the downloads as needed. 
  • Variety- I have never seen a program with so many options of custom building your own curriculum.  You can buy a complete curriculum (Light Blue series), books by topics (Blue Series- Decimals, Geometry, Fractions, etc.), worksheets by grade level (Gold series), review worksheets by grade and topic and real life math. 
  • Nice format-  The pages are formatted with color coded boxes.  The instructional part is always in a blue box, puzzles in a pink box, etc.  They also use boxes to group together similar problems.  This really helps break up the page for visual learners. I really liked the graph paper format used to help with division and multiplication problems. 
  • Self- teaching- This program similar to Saxon is designed to be self-teaching. 

What we struggle with:
  • In the review process, I underestimated how my son would adjust in switching up curriculums for a while.  He finds his rhythm in a curriculum over time and adapts very well.  I chose books from the Blue Series that I knew he struggled with, so we could hone skills.  It turned out that constantly working on problems that he already was struggling with was a bit frustrating for him.  I still feel like our month or so was still successful.  He went back to his regular curriculum and has been making fewer computation mistakes.

Overall, this is a math program that I'm going to use as needed while we'll still stick with our Saxon curriculum as our main curriculum.  I would recommend that if you are looking for a new program to supplement or a complete program, give Math Mammoth a try.  There are several ways to try out this program before you actually purchase, check out the links below for some great freebies to give you a feel for the program.  

Cool free stuff:

Placement Tests
Free samples
Math Mammoth Email Tour:  This is so cool!  If you are confused about all the offerings, the company will take you on a free virtual tour through email.  You receive a packet of over 300 worksheets and emails every day for a week discussing different aspects of the program.

Where to purchase:

Math Mammoth is available as a download at Currclick or the Kagi Store; as a CD (by grade level) at Kagi or Rainbow Resource; or as printed copies available through or through Rainbow Resource at a higher price than the downloads, but you have the convenience of not having to print them yourself.    


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