There are so many homeschool math programs on the market these days. It’s always fun to review a new one and we were recently given that opportunity. My Joyanna (6) has been working through the Light Blue Series Grade 1 curriculum from Math Mammoth. Though she has been working her addition facts for a while we found the beginning part of the book (A) to be the best place for her to start. The first grade text focuses on four areas. They cover addition and subtraction, understanding whole numbers and place value up to 100, measuring, and geometric shapes. Some other topics that are covered include things like telling time and counting money.
This full curriculum came to us as download. There are two student workbooks (A and B). They separate things like answer keys and tests into their own download files. There is also a worksheet maker that allows youto make extra practice sheets if you need to.
Math Mammoth is available for grades first through seventh (the Light Blue Series). The 7th grade level is a pre-algebra program. The also have an international version of their program all done in metric. You can order the curriculum as a download, on CD, or in print. This is what is considered to be a mastery program. Every grade level containes 8-10 chapters and two student workbooks (A and B).
How We Used the Program
Joyanna used this program 3-5 days a week for the length of the review period. She generally completed one worksheet a day and we were usually done in under ten minutes. We started within chapter one, which focuses on addition. She hasn’t had any subtraction experience yet so this made the most sense to me. As usually happens when we explore a new math curriculum we hit upon topics we haven’t covered before. It seems every curriculum follows a different sort of scope and sequence. This time she was introduced to the concept of “greater than” and “less than” with those little < and > symbols. The curriculum did a decent job of helping me explain it to her and she was off and running and completing the page very quickly.
A big plus to this program is the variety of ways they use to cover a topic. With addition alone children are adding groups of objects (like animals or apples), drawing dots on dice like pictures, experimenting with number lines, adding numbers forwards and backwards (ie 1+4 and then 4+1), drawing pictures, finding the missing part of the sum (ie. whats _+2=4). It really keeps the little brains hopping and interested because you never know what you’ll find next.
The worksheets are colorful and full yet well organized and uncluttered… a good balance that can be hard to achieve. While there is no teacher’s guide there is an introduction to each chapter with some notes for you, the teacher. The text within the worksheets does a great job of explaining concepts. A great reader might even be able to read the lessons themselves. A user’s guide is included in the download files and it can give you all you may need to get started. It also includes an FAQ about many typical questions like…. is this aligned with state standards, can I take this to staples to be copied.
If you have questions about how this curriculum compares to many other well known homeschooling math curricula they provide a great break down on this page.
Overall we are pretty pleased with the program. It is very thorough and easy to follow. You can move at whatever pace is comfortable for your child. Generally it was pretty enjoyable for my kiddo. If you are looking for a new math curriculum this could certainly fit the bill.
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