Monday, February 22, 2010

TOS Crew Review -- Math Mammoth

Math, math, math. Lots of math options. The challenge is to figure what makes one stand out above the next. When Maria Miller created Math Mammoth she saw a need for curriculum that genuinely teaches the child and that parents could buy at a reasonable price.

Her programs seem to accomplish that. She offers the material in a variety of formats -- complete curriculums by grade, teaching textbooks combined with work sheets by topic, separate worksheets by grade, and separate worksheets by topic (the books of worksheets do not offer explanations or teaching, just problems for student practice or reinforcement).

I appreciated that versatility in choosing what would fit our homeschool needs. Since we already have a complete curriculum that we are pretty happy with, I chose to check out her Green series that offers basic worksheets on various topics.

One book covers Fractions -- everything a student in grades 3-6 would ever need to know about fractions. Everything from recognizing fractions to dividing fractions by fractions. Another covers Ratios, Proportions and Percents, and I also received the book on Statistics (graphs, charts, etc.) Each of these were well done and offered a thorough practice of each of the topics through the grade levels specified (and even beyond in some cases). They even offer some extension exercises to help kids make broader application of the principles learned.

Product: Math Mammoth Green series
Details: An affordable downloadable math curriculum. They offer complete curriculums as well as worksheets for supplementing or reteaching. I reviewed a few of the books from the Green series which offers worksheets and answer keys on various topics. One book will have practice for grades 3-6, typically, covering one topic, like fractions, decimals, multiplication, statistics, etc.
Price: The ebook prices vary depending on length. The shorter one (covering Ratios) is 48 pages and costs $4.50, a longer one (covering Geometry) is 91 pages and costs $9.00.

What we loved . . .

  • Affordable Prices. Since you can pick and choose you don't pay for content you don't need, and each downloadable book is quite affordable, many of them under $5.
  • Perfect Length. Each exercise is just one page long. Perfect length for review, reteaching, or extra practice without the overkill of busy work.
  • Thorough. At the top of each page is a section of starter problems. Even in the series that I reviewed, which was not intended for teaching a new topic, the student gets eased into the activity. The top few problems were great for working through together, and then they could continue on their own, confident that they could complete each type of problem presented on the page.
  • Variety. When a student receives their worksheet, they don't see an endless string of problems. Different formats, various approaches, and often an activity or some word problems to finish the page. These were well designed to help kids master the topic from a variety of angles.
  • Attractive. Each page is quite colorful without being distracting. Pictures and graphs as appropriate. Enough color to be eye catching, but not so much as to detract from the quality content presented.
  • Created by a homeschool mom. She saw parents struggling to teach their kids math and she knew they needed another option. She put her math background to work in a great way.

Some considerations . . .
  • Even little prices add up. If you decide you can use quite a number of their products, it could still get expensive. It is great for picking and choosing.
  • Most economical in ebook. Part of the reason they come so affordably is because they are downloads. You can purchase the print versions, but they will cost you quite a bit more than the prices that I have mentioned (plus shipping). If you prefer having a book in hand this might not be for you. However, the advantage, is that you can print and reprint, and rereprint to your heart's content. For each child, for the child needing to complete a sheet a second time, whatever your reason (within your family), you can make more than one copy from the ebook.

If you would like a chance to check out Math Mammoth for yourself, and see if it might be a good fit for your family, go to their home page and scroll down to the bottom. You will find two options there, one for an email course and the other for a 7 day tour via email. Both of these options will give you a variety of samples and articles that will likely be of help to you in your math endeavors whether you end up choosing Math Mammoth or not.

For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: This math curriculum was provided to me free of charge from Math Mammoth as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and sincere thoughts.


Queen Mom said...

This is what I'm using for my 2nd and 3rd graders, and we've been quite pleased. It helps me stay on track compared to a more parent-designed math program like Ray's (which I still love for the oral/mental drills!). My children have enjoyed it, too.

6intow said...

Queen Mom, thank you for sharing. I have not seen the full curriculum books, so it is good to hear from someone in that realm of the books as well. Glad to hear this has been a good fit for your family!