Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Keeping Ahead of the Game with Math Mammoth

I always hear that kids who excel in Math tend to do so in Science, and kids who excel English/Language Arts do so in Social Studies. I did well in all subject areas when I was growing up - not perfect, but I kept my parents pleased which in turn kept me sheltered and fed. That being said, I had my favorites. I LOVE (and notice that this is present tense because I still do!) Math! Love, love, love, love it.... I think I may be one of the few people that I know that does, but I do. There is something so rewarding about putting the work into a Math problem and then finding out that you got the answer right. On that same note, Math is pretty black and white in that your answer is either right or wrong, and the kicker is.... you can prove it! When my son brings home Math homework I get excited and secretly hope that there is something he is unsure of so that I can help him with it. Most of the time he understands it, but sometimes I think he knows how much I love it so he lets me help him - bless his heart. He too has a loving relationship with Math, and that makes me proud. Sometimes when kids get discouraged early in the game in a certain subject area, it has detrimental consequences throughout the remainder of their schooling. I think we notice this most when they scream out of frustration: "I hate (insert hated subject here)".

You can imagine my excitement when I saw my name on the Mosaic Reviews reviewer list for the Math Mammoth materials! Math Mammoth is a company that provides a wide range of Mathematics related materials and curriculum for grades 1-12. The entire collection consists of:

  • The Light Blue Series - This is the series that I received in the 3rd Grade Level. It contains 2 downloadable workbooks and the answer keys. These hold the entire curriculum for that particular grade level (grades 1-6), and my favorite part, they align with the Common Core Standards. The full set for this series only costs $34 (note that you can purchase each workbook separately as well as the supplemental materials).
  • The Blue Series - This collection resembles the traditional textbook in that it explain how to do the material, followed by worksheets to practice. Because "practice makes perfect" these are great for the times when you want to sharpen a certain technique or find a "math niche" that your child truly enjoys. Each workbook covers a couple of concepts relevant for grades 1-7, and costs between $2 and $7. 
  • Worksheet Collections (Golden Series)- These, surprise, surprise, are a collection of worksheets that cover specific topics and materials relevant for grades 3-8. These run in price from $6.25-$8.75, where you have the option of buying printed or hard copy versions of it for a little extra.
  • Review Workbooks - These are review books that cover an entire grade level. The materials cover grades 1-5. These cost $5.50 per download, or $10 for a printed copy.

The first thing that I fell in love with was the math assessment test available right on the main webpage. This way, you can ensure that you are buying something that is useful with the child(ren) you will be using it with. Luckily, the materials are very affordable if you bypass this little test, but for those of us who like to get our money's worth, it's there! Additionally, you can access some great free worksheets right from the website to get started.

The Light Blue series honestly requires minimal instruction or help from me (even though I sit like a vulture ready to prey waiting for my opportunity), and it uses concepts that build off of one another making it progress in a logical manner. Sometimes my son comes home from school and they have jumped topics completely. One day we are adding and subtracting with 2-3 places, and the next thing you know, we are working on fractions? What is that? No wonder they lose interest, become discouraged, don't "get" Math. One day they have something mastered and their self-esteem is high to the sky, the next day they are slapped with "back to square one". Either way, I have found that these workbooks truly flow smoothly through the material.

What I enjoy most about the Light Blue Workbooks is the fact that my son can practice Math at home, or while on Summer vacation to keep himself ahead of the game. I know he feels more confident in his work at school when he walks in there knowing the material, and being familiar with the concepts. We downloaded these workbooks before school had even started this year, so we began the school year prepared in Math! As a parent, or at least in my experience, I love seeing Math tests and materials (or any tests/assessments honestly) come home that we have already covered. Perhaps it is my OCD-like tendencies, or my competitive nature, but that makes me feel like I am taking a major role in my son's learning, and not just being the "helper" when he is home. I guess it makes me feel like I am doing my part.

My son is also excited about the Math Mammoth workbooks we have. He enjoys being able to sit at the computer and do his Math. Speaking of which, I wish I would have copied them and had them bound - It would be great to practice on the go as well! He also loves the little Puzzle Corners that they have throughout the text. They provide a little break-up between the material, and they are fun! I wanted to add a picture to give an example of them (although I am a trustworthy individual), however, in true laptop power cord fashion, my laptop's power cord decided that being one month old was old enough, and he/she had experienced all he/she wanted to, and died. Therefore, my Math Mammoth workbooks, and answer keys are currently unavailable to us until I worm my way over to Amazon and purchase my third power cord in 2 months. Yay! When I do that, I will come back and add my screenshot of the Puzzle Corners because they are cute!

My son and I give the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series Grade 3 Workbooks 10 out of 10 stars: 

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To learn more about Math Mammoth, be sure to check out their website here

Check out the other amazing reviews here!

Disclosure: I received these products for free for review purposes through Mosaic Reviews. That being said, I would never recommend products or services that I do not deem beneficial to my readers.