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Friday, November 11, 2011

Product Review: Math Mammoth

Math Mammoth offers affordable, yet quality math worktexts and workbooks for grades 1-8, available as both downloads and printed books. These 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.

Created by homeschooling mom Maria Miller, Math Mammoth offers a full array of curriculum choices to meet all your math needs. The Parent Section of the website offers a 'walk-though' of the products to help you choose which item is best for your child. You can order complete or partial curriculum based on the basics like addition & subtraction, multiplication & division, place value, or fractions (just to name a few). In addition to these common math topics, you will also find resources dealing with statistics, ratios, and a series of materials called Make it Real Learning. It was this particular program that caught my eye, and Mrs. Miller personally helped me choose the right program for James.

Why I was so interested in the Make it Real Learning program is that it asked the question that I thought about in almost every class during college: When am I going to use this in the real world? Although the texts in this series aren't written by Maria Miller, she fully endorses these books and carries them on her website. Each book in the Make It Real Learning Series deals with real life situations using an introduced concept such as Arithmetic, Fractions, Linear Functions, and even Calculus.

I received Arithmetic 1 from Math Mammoth. I was really excited because it took real world information such as popular toy interests, geographic information, and personal finance to create math worksheets that used this information in a realistic way. For example, one of the problem sets uses fruit snacks as the example and has the student find averages of the different colors inside five different bags. Even my sheltered homeschooled kids know what a fruit snack is. Having a commonly known variable made the problems interesting and engaged James more than if the problem had been something like, "Find the averages of these numbers..."

I found this text to be an important supplement to our current math curriculum. I like to offer James a few exercises in "real math" per week, and although I usually just make these problems up, it was really nice to have whole book of thoughtfully prepared ones for him to work through. Making the book even more appealing was the awesome price sticker: only $4.99 for an instant download. With the download you can print it off at home, or do as I did and email it a local copy place. I had it printed and bound in a nice spiral spine with plastic covers for under $10. Permission is granted fully to the purchasing teacher to make as many copies as necessary to use with your students.

What did my product tester think?
I like how it taught things that you would need to know when you grow up, but I didn't really like all the information before the problems.

Interested in learning more about Math Mammoth? Head on over to the website and have a look around Check out the comprehensive placement test to see what materials would benefit your child. There are lots of freebies to download so that you can get a free for the programs without committing financially. You can also access videos, FAQS, and testimonials from the website.
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Review group, I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review on this blog. I received no other compensation.

1 comment:

Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break said...

cool! I am planning on getting some of the Make it Real books along the way.

Fellow TOS Crew Member checking out the rest of the reviews!