We don’t use Math Mammoth as our primary math curriculum, however we have made extensive use of several sets as supplemental material. We already owned the Light Blue series Grade 3 Complete and Grade 5 Complete and the Sampler Download when Math Mammoth came available for review. I thought this would be a good time to target some specific areas where my children struggle. We chose to review four books from the Math Mammoth Blue Series: Add and Subtract 2A ($4.50), U.S. Money ($3.25), Decimals 2 ($4.25), and The Four Operations ($6.00).
The really neat thing about the Math Mammoth Blue series is that you get targeted practice. Each book focuses on a specific area and covers it in detail. Since we are using the books as a supplement this format works out great. We don’t have to hunt around to find the pages that we need – we just work our way directly through the text.
In our case, we are using Math Mammoth Add and Subtract 2 as summer school for a couple of my children still struggling with basic math facts. One of the first things we noticed was that Math Mammoth Blue comes at each problem differently then our regular curriculum. In other words, the same material is covered from a different angle. This frustrated Anna at first because she was reading it for herself and just didn’t understand the explanation given within the framework of her prior knowledge. It made me very happy because it has given Anna and Caleb both a different way of looking at certain math problems. For instance, one of the early pages focused on the concept of “just one more” where the doubles chart (2+2, 3+3, 4+4) is memorized and then children are taught to think of htese: 2+3, 3+4, etc, as “just one more.” It took Anna a bit of time to work through this concept but once she understood what was meant, her math fact speed for those problems improved.
The U.S. Money text is actually functioning as a stand-alone course for us (instead of a supplement or review). Our regular math curriculum spends very little time on practice with money so this text is the first thorough text we have worked through. Caleb has been very excited to learn money math! One thing pointed out on the Math Mammoth Blue Series webpage is that these books are not really organized by grade, rather by topic. Much of the U.S. Money book was too advanced for Caleb (first grade) but that didn’t stop him from learning his coins and the beginning pages! This is the most thorough money workbook I have seen and I love the fact that she uses real pictures of money throughout the whole text instead of switching eventually to numbers only.
Decimals 2 and The Four Operations which I chose for my bigger kids were a little more tricky for us to integrate. Turns out neither child needed to review the material in The Four Operations – it was less advanced then I thought. Even though it did say 5th and 6th grade I had misinterpreted the description. I am excited to have the book on hand for Anna and Caleb as they advance though! The book is a concise review of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with a few baby steps into algebra thrown in. It also covered powers and exponents and graphing functions but again as early introductions. Decimals 2 was sraightforward and more appropriate as review for both of them since decimals is what they have studied all year. Neither Clara nor Jonathan wanted to use the book, but both benefited.
Did I mention already that the Math Mammoth books come as electronic downloads or pre-printed? This is one subject I love to have as an ebook – it makes it so simple to print exactly what you need and yet I will have no trouble saving this for my younger kids on my computer where it does not take up shelf space.
My Bottom Line: I continue to think that Math Mammoth is one of the best sources of supplemental math material. We learn our material from new angles, get extra practice in areas of struggle, and the prices are wonderful. Even though I have not used Math Mammoth as our primary math curriculum many of the members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew will be discussing the curriculum from that perspective so be sure and click the banner below to read more reviews.