Last year, as part of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew (TOS Crew), I had my first introduction to Math Mammoth when I got to review one of their ‘light blue’ series books. The Light Blue series are complete curriculums broken down by year. This time around I have had the opportunity to review their Blue series.
The Blue series is different from the Light Blue series in that it is not a complete curriculum. With the Blue series, you can pick and choose what topics you want your child to learn and is for children in grades 1-6. Some of the topics you can get are addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, measurement, geometry, fractions and decimals, clocks, and money.
We got to review four of the books in the series… Early Geometry, Introduction to Fractions, Multiplication 1, and Measuring 1.
Early Geometry is designed for children in grades 1-3. As you may know if you have read my blog before, we used to not use a specific curriculum. We kind of just flew by the seat of our pants, so-to-speak. And, while that allowed us to learn some really cool things, there are certain topics that somehow got overlooked. Geometry was one of them. Now, don’t get me wrong, my kids (3rd and 5th grade) know what a circle and a square are :) … but to go beyond and know words like, quadrilateral, well… that’s a different story.
My point in telling you all that, is that our family is the perfect example of who might use the Blue series books. People that have kids that are behind only in certain parts of math. The early geometry book is perfect because it is allowing my children to get caught up in a subject they had fallen behind on (due to me, not their ability).
I love the way the book is organized. I printed it all off and put it into a binder. My kids work on this together every day. I like the way the concepts are taught.
Introduction to Fractions is geared towards grades 1-4, with most of the lessons in the 3rd to 4th grade range and only a few lessons for 1st to 2nd grade level. The information is taught using pictures instead of drilling a bunch of fractions rules in the child’s head. And the concepts are taught by topic instead of by grade level, or increasing difficulty.
The way it is taught with pictures is perfect for the visual learner, which it seems like where my kids fall, mostly. They can SEE what 1/2 and 1/4 and so on look like and understand which is bigger and why.
Measuring 1 is for grades 1-3. Again, this is clearly too young for my kids, but measurement is another area where this momma dropped the ball! :/ This book utilizes lots of hands on activities to get the concepts understood. I think this works really well, plus, what kid doesn’t like getting out of the workbook every now and then!? So, your child is actually getting up out of their seat and measuring things! Honestly, I think this is the only way to truly learn measurement, so I’m glad it is set up this way.
Due to the way it is set up, you will need a few things from home to make it work. That being said, it’s all things you probably already have. Things like, measuring cups, measuring tape, rulers, etc..
Multiplication 1 is for grades 2-3. My 5th grader already knows her multiplication tables, but still seems to forget some of them sometimes (but then again, so do some adults, so I guess that’s understandable!). And I haven’t begun teaching multiplication to my 3rd grader yet. So, like the other books in this series, I am having them work the book together. It is a great review for my older child and we all know we learn concepts more concretely when we teach others, so it’s the perfect book for her to ‘teach’ her brother how to multiply.
The book starts out telling the child what multiplication is through different exercises, instead of making the child memorize all the times tables. Now, it does require them to memorize them… just not right off the bat! I like the way it starts off!
I think these blue series books are perfect for getting your child caught up on something they are behind in or is hard for them or if you just want them to have extra practice in a certain topic. You can also make a full curriculum out of it if you choose, but the author suggests you purchase the Light Blue curriculum for that since that is how it is designed.
Information at a glance:
What is it? Math Mammoth Blue Series books. They cover a wide variety of topics and are perfect for supplement another math program, catching up if you are behind, or for extra practice.
For whom? Grades 1-6
How much is it? The prices vary from $2-$7 or you can buy the entire set of 39 books for $95 for a download or $100 for the CD.