by Kristen Lauria
Note: I purchased this curriculum myself and have received no compensation for this review.
This is my first ever post for the blog and I wanted to start off by answering a question I get frequently: What’s a great curriculum for teaching math in the elementary years? For my children, it’s been Math Mammoth by Maria Miller.
I stumbled across Math Mammoth when I was looking for a mastery-based program for my own kids. I’d heard of many of the big names in math like Saxon and Singapore, but both of those were spiral-based programs. I could tell from even an early age that my son wouldn’t be interested in small bites and constant repetition. He has an intuitive nature when it comes to math and often knew the concepts before I had an opportunity to teach him.
Math Mammoth is a series of worktexts, which are consumable combination workbook/textbook, that the student both learns the material and practices it all in one. Each year is covered by a book level of the same number (so grade 1 is book 1A/1B) in the Light Blue Series and is split into 2 volumes so that it’s not so overwhelming to the student. The nice part about just one book is that the student learns and practices together and they can flip back to refer to the instruction when they get confused. Another nice part is that absentminded kids (like DS) don’t have 2 books to keep track of.
Both my children have worked through this series, with DS in grade 5 now and DD in grade 4. In the beginning, my DS couldn’t read, so I needed to work through the lesson with him. By second or third grade he was reading well enough he could work through the program relatively independently, only coming to me when he was struggling to understand. My DD progressed about the same and they both now work on their own, only occasionally needing more explanation.
For perspective, DD is most decidedly not a math person and has still had success with this program. The only thing that I think it lacks to some degree is practice for the operations (+ – x ÷, but that is easily outsourced to apps and other programs to practice. The program also comes with links to an online worksheet generator, so if there is a skill that your child needs more practice on, you can always make custom worksheets (with answer keys!) to give your child that extra reinforcement.
I’ve been exceedingly pleased with this program and am disappointed that there’s not a companion curriculum for middle/high school, but I’ve found other great resources to fill that gap that I’ll review in coming weeks.
The Good: Very thorough and includes all topics I would want covered in elementary, examples and instruction teach right to the student, colorful and engaging, inexpensive.
The Bad: Not a ton of review of concepts since it’s mastery based.
Recommended For: All children, including those children who are naturally adept at math and those that struggle.
Website of publisher: https/www.mathmammoth.com/
Please comment below with what elementary math curriculum has worked for you!