A Mastery-Based Elementary Math Option for Frugal Families
I've come to learn that every child learns differently. My youngest has challenged me to research alternative approaches to subjects than I used with her siblings. Math is one of those subjects. When I ran across Math Mammoth, I was interested in the mastery-based approach and the affordable price tag.
I've spent most of my homeschooling career teaching spiraling math curricula, so I was curious to get my hands on a mastery-based math curriculum that targeted elementary aged kids. I've heard friends speak highly of Math Mammoth, and when it came up to review, I jumped at the chance to get a peek.
Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of Mammoth Math for free and I was compensated for my time for this review. All my opinions are my own.
Mastery-Based Curriculum on a Budget
Since I'm more familiar with a spiraling math program, I was interested to see something different. A mastery-based curriculum takes one concept and dives deep into the idea to build mastery of a concept before introducing another idea. This gives the student time to contemplate an idea and soak it in.
Math Mammoth provides downloadable elementary math curricula that covers 1st through 7th grade. You can download one of the PDF complete curriculum series for just $37 per grade. From there you can print in color if you like, or black and white. You can also purchase printed workbooks for a few dollars more.
The Light Blue series is a complete grade level curriculum. Math Mammoth also offers the Blue series which focuses on specific math concepts in which you might need a little extra practice.
Benefits of Math Mammoth
So I hope you're really curious about the benefits of Math Mammoth. Here's what I think is excellent about the curriculum:
- A strong focus on mental math
- Emphasizing mastery of math vocabulary
- Interactive activities to apply concepts
- Text and workbook all in one
- Roomy worksheets for showing work where needed
- Built in grids for lining up place value
- Emphasis on logic and problem solving
If Your Child Struggles With Math
The cons to this program have more to do with your child's math struggles than the curriculum itself. If your child struggles with math consider some of the following:
- Take it slow. Don't expect your student to complete an entire section at once. Some of the sections in Math Mammoth can be lengthy, so just set a timer for an agreed upon time and close the book when the timer goes off. Try again tomorrow!
- Utilize online resources to build confidence. At the front of the books, she lists tons of great games, worksheet-generators, and websites to enhance your math experience.
- Plan to sit and do math with your child. No curriculum will solve a struggling math student's troubles. They need a tutor to guide them through. Assist them until their understanding catches up, and eventually they might become self-teachers. Be patient with the process.
- Mark out the grade identifiers. There is nothing more frustrating to a struggling student than constantly being reminded that they are "behind." They need the freedom to learn at their own pace, and not be concerned about the grade level.
- Educate yourself. Math may not be your thing, but if your student is struggling, take some time to learn how to better explain the concepts. Sign up for Maria's newsletter for helpful math tips, and a free e-book.
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Have you used Math Mammoth? What are your thoughts?
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.
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