Monday, February 27, 2017

Math is Happy Again

You know how some things just show up at the right time? Right when we admitted our math curriculum wasn't working, we had a chance to review a new one. Last year, math was Madison's favorite subject. It came easy with very little effort. She knew she was doing well, she knew she was "ahead" of where she should be, so she loved it. But this particular curriculum had a lot of spiraling and repetition, and she started to dread it. It wasn't hard, but it was boring. And for us, anything that has been deemed boring is on very shaky ground. Math turned from the treat to the battleground. This is where homeschooling is awesome. A change was necessary, so a change was made. For the past few weeks, Madison has been working through the Light Blue Series Grade 1 curriculum from Math Mammoth.

Affordable Quality Math {Math Mammoth }

It is exactly what we needed.

Math Mammoth curriculum is set up as a mastery curriculum. Although Madison was almost done with the first grade curriculum we'd been working through, I opted not to push her into the second grade, but to truly see if she'd mastered these first grade concepts. Each chapter is focused on one concept (place value, telling time, counting coins, etc) and has worksheets, games, exercises, and everything you need to make sure that the concept is really, truly, understood. Then you can move on and build from there.

I'll be quite candid here. Last year, I really thought I wanted a spiraling curriculum, where we could constantly revisit and review, but honestly, it didn't work for Madison. In the past two years she's shown that she works best with this mastery based learning. If it comes easily, she'll fly through it. If it doesn't, we can slow down and take as long as we need.  I thought there were some chapters we could skip (since we're starting halfway through the year), but beyond the kindergarten review and the single digit addition, Madison had things to work on in every chapter. I had no idea how many holes her previous curriculum had, and places where I thought she was excelling...she wasn't. This curriculum really gave me the confidence to know that once she was done with a chapter, she knew it. Not just enough to get through that day's worksheet, not just enough to get her to the next year. She knew it well enough to "teach" it back to me.

Place value was something with invisible holes in it. I'm glad she's finally getting it!

Oh my, was this just what we needed.

Madison complained about math, out of habit, for a few days, but quickly quieted and worked well once we started. Once she realized how different math was now, she stopped complaining and went back to treating math like a fun part of her daily work.

The other huge plus for me is that this curriculum is affordable. We tried out the digital download, which included the student books, answer keys, worksheet maker, and assessments. A complete first grade curriculum was $37.50. Even with the cost of printing (which I did at our local library to save on ink), the final price was under $50. For the year. Nothing gets me more irritated than when I spend a good chunk of change on a curriculum and still have to print it. Math Mammoth is very affordable.

Math can need manipulatives (another drawback of our previous curriculum was that it needed a lot of very specific manipulatives), but this program is very easy in what you need. Besides a ruler, the only things we needed were

We already had both, which I purchased from Amazon. Both are good quality and will last. We've used some of our base ten blocks and play coins, but they aren't necessary.

This is one of the few products I've reviewed where I am struggling to think of any negatives. I suppose there is a decent amount of printing, but a) the curriculum is inexpensive and the printing doesn't feel as pricey and b) you can do it chapter by chapter and c) if you really hate printing, you can buy printed student books.

It was fun. It was interactive. It was just what we needed right now.

Affordable Quality Math {Math Mammoth }

I reviewed the Light Blue series (which is a full grade level curriculum) for first grade, but there is another series that is concept specific and can be used as a supplement or review (the Blue series). It's worth checking out!

Affordable Quality Math {Math Mammoth Reviews}

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