Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Math Mammoth–A Homeschool Mosaics Review


Math Mammoth offers many different types of math curriculum.   They are available in e-book format (downloadable) which makes it super easy to just print what you need.  Most of them also come in book form. They offer workbooks for every grade, 1-12. 

Math is one of the subjects that when teaching my kids drives me crazy.  They seem to like what we are doing for awhile.  Then, I don’t know if they get bored, lazy or what but they start complaining.  I have switched math curriculum (sometimes back to previous ones) more times than I can count.  I know that this is probably not the best thing to do for my kids, but honestly I get tired of the complaining. 

I guess this is the point I should tell you that if you don’t want to hear the truth, you probably should find another blog to read.  My homeschool experience cannot be wrapped up in a neat little box with a pretty bow.  We are real here.  My kids fight.  There are days we get absolutely nothing done.  Sometimes I feel like I could actually lose my kids in the dirty and clean piles of clothes.  But what we are is real.  We love each other and there is nothing I would rather do than spend my days watching my children’s eyes light up when they learn something new.

So, back to the math. 

I was asked to review Math Mammoth as part of Homeschool Mosaics Review team.    We were able to either pick an entire year’s curriculum as part of the Light Blue Series or smaller downloads of a specific topic as part of the The Blue Series.  Of course I picked the specific topic because remember, my kids never like a curriculum long enough to do an entire year of it.  I received Fractions, Ratios, Geometry and Percents.

This series is very inexpensive at $2.20 – $7.50 each.  These are not small either.  One of the one I received had over 200 pages in it. 

104_2215Bella started with the Fractions unit.  She loves worksheets and never complains about doing them.  She enjoyed this curriculum supplement.  It includes directions and bright colors which she also likes.    She had no problem doing the pages.  Again, I received a download so I printed off the pages weekly.  This was good for me because I am always running out of ink. 

Griffin did the ratios unit.  Griffin is my child who has always been excellent at math.  Now, that doesn’t mean he likes it.  He doesn’t.  He will tell you he hates it.  I am not sure if this is because he has to do things the way I tell him to and he hates that or if he really doesn’t like math.  For the past 10 years I have tried over and over to explain to him that he has to write out his steps when working on math.  Over and over for 10 years he has said, “But Mom, I know the answer without doing that”.  He isn’t lying.  99% of the time he gets the correct answer without ever writing anything down.  He does this for even long division.  It completely drives me crazy.  Why?  Because I can’t grade it if I don’t see the problems.  If he does happen to make a mistake, I have no idea where it was made.  At first I griped and complained until he did it the way I wanted.  Now, I pretty much leave him alone.   Unless he starts missing several of a certain concept, I let him just write the answers.  I figure that is the important part.  Who cares 104_2216if he does it the way I learned?  Who cares if he writes all of his steps down?  Not me.  I’d say if  he can answer it that’s good enough for me.  When he becomes an adult, I don’t think anyone is going to say, Well, write down how you got that answer or you are going to fail. 

So, we did ratios without the steps written down.  At one point he missed a couple on a page and I had him write the steps down.  He can do this.  He just doesn’t have to most of the time to get the answer.   So, after he saw what his mistake was, he went back to just writing the answers.  His writing is horrendous.  So honestly, I get a little more aggravated with that than the fact that the entire problem isn’t there.  You can see why here.  This is the pages he had to show his steps.  All I can say is what a mess.  LOL 

And I have to say that he also is a clown.  If I haven’t looked at his papers for a day or two (sometimes I grade everything at the end of the week) he sometimes throws in an answer or two to see if I’m paying attention.  This week there was a questions on the worksheet that was talking about calculators.   The question went something like there are 1400 calculators, so many are regular and the rest are scientific.  It went on to ask about the ration and percentage of each one.  The final questions was how many scientific calculators were there?  Griffin’s answer. .. ..    A Lot. 

Now, had he put a number I maybe wouldn’t have caught it, lol.   But letters when you aren’t doing algebra are cause for alarm.  When I asked him why he put that, he said, “Mom.  People have one calculator.  Maybe two at the most.  So anymore than that is a lot.”   Hmmm…..  I guess he’s right.    (I did make him put the correct answer.  He immediately said the exact amount is ____  but I think  a lot is a better answer.  I think he will do okay in the real world Winking smile

He still says he hates math.  Yes, he still complains.  But this curriculum at least teaches him how to do the problems with enough examples and directions that I really don’t have to help too much.   You can receive over 300 pages of curriculum by signing up for an e-mail list at the bottom of this page .  This is more than enough to sample Math Mammoth and see if it is right for your family.

I have also used the Light blue series from Math Mammoth in a previous review.  You can read that review here.

Things I like about Math Mammoth:

* PDF versions allow for the student to put the answer directly into the computer.  This is great for kids who do not like writing (and who know the answer automatically.)

* Very affordable.

*Answers provided.  I sometimes give my kids the answer sheets after they are finished and let them grade each others.

* Maria, the writer of the curriculum is one of the nicest vendors I have ever worked with.  She cares about whether you purchase the correct product and is always available to talk personally to each customer.  She is great to work with.

*Placement tests are available so you can see exactly where your student should start.

Things I am not so crazy about:

* Printing in color is kind of expensive.  Black and white would work better for me.

Gosh, I guess that’s it. 

You can check out what my fellow reviewers have to say about the products that they received by going to Homeschool Mosaics.  Each person received the product of their choice so there are a lot of different opinions on a variety of products from Math Mammoth.

Our family gives Math Mammoth

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Smiley guide
1 Smiley - Product not really for our family. Probably wouldn’t buy. This really should probably be a frown face but we hate to be negative.
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2 Smileys - Would maybe buy this product if on sale. Not a great fit for our family.
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3 Smileys - We really liked this product and would probably recommend this to friends and fellow homeschoolers.
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4 – Smileys – Definitely would buy this if the budget would allow. We suggest you check this out to see if it is a fit for your family.
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5 Smileys – Would sell the family pets to get this one (just kidding). A must have for our family and we think you should get it too.
Thank you to  Math Mammoth  and Mosaics Review for the opportunity to try this product. 

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