Math by Mastery
Math Mammoth Light Blue CD Review
There are several ways to learn and teach math when you homeschool. You can do math by mastery, integration math, etc. Most of our homeschool journey thus far has been using a math that is integration in nature. It takes a new concept and teaches it, plus integrates everything they’re learned up to that point. This means that your child is doing a new concept plus several old concepts in each lesson. Math by mastery is giving them a new concept and having them do several of that type of problem until they have mastered it. Simple.
For some reason, maybe because it was such a simple approach, I never used any type of math by mastery until now. We recently received a CD in the mail. This was not a music CD though, oh no. This was a Math CD!! You’re not likely to believe all the excitement my kids showed when we took this out of the package. It was like they couldn’t wait to do school! And in fact, they couldn’t wait!
What could cause such a response? Math Mammoth. Math Mammoth is a mastery based math program(math by mastery). We received the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series CD. This CD contains all that you’ll need to teach math for grades one through seven(1-7). Each grade contains two workbooks, books A and B. It’s all downloadable. You can download it from the CD onto your computer and have your child do it right there or you can print it off and put them in a binder for your child to use at their desk or table.
I have also found that my child who is five and is in the second book of kindergarten math from another company is able to do the beginning grade one(1) math with ease. They do mention on their website that you should have your child take at least one placement test before starting Math Mammoth as they can be a harder curriculum than others. I did have my older children take the placement tests. Most were placed in the same grade they had been working on but others who do struggle with math went down a grade. I’m hope that the math by mastery technique is going to really improve their math understanding.
Math Mammoth is aligned and goes above and beyond the Common Core Standards. I don’t look at those and they don’t mean anything to my homeschool, but I did want to share that for those who follow their guidelines.
Math Mammoth and the Large Family
The Math Mammoth Light Blue Series CD is a large homeschooling families dream. Or at least a long hoped for dream of this mom who has ten children! I’ve dreamt of being able to not spend so much on supplies to homeschool my brood and this is it for math! One CD to homeschool all my children through the 7th grade. Plus, it only costs $180.00 through the Educents website RIGHT NOW to purchase it.
Let’s do some math. Ten children times seven years of math each equals seventy total grades to teach(I might have just exploded my own head). $180.00 divided by 70 grades. That’s only $2.57 per grade per child! You can’t buy workbooks for that price. Trust me. I’ve been buying them. Less than $3 for all that I need. Of course, if I print off materials I’m also going to have to add in paper and ink and printer wear and tear, but you get the picture!
Right now I’m homeschooling the older eight of these kids with Math Mammoth. I’ll talk briefly about each child, their age, and where they are in Math Mammoth plus what they enjoy or dislike about the program. I do have some children who are considered special needs due to Reactive Attachment Disorder(RAD), ADD, ADHD, Dsylexia, and general delays both physical and mental.
For the kids views! I have two who are done with 4th grade math in a different curriculum. By the placement test they had mastered most of the 4th grade but we decided to start with 4th grade Math Mammoth. We started at the beginning which meant they could whiz through it and then slow down when they get to a concept they don’t know. Pretty sure they’ll be in the next grade sometime this fall. Their ages are 11(girl) and 9(boy). My son within a few weeks already is in the second book. He loves math and really loves doing it on the computer.
Doing math on the computer is fun. Or at least that is what my children tell me. Both of the above kids love doing their school on the computer and they can do it independently of me which is a plus in my book. So while one of them is doing math the other can be working on a different subject at the table and then they switch. They each of course think they need their own computers. Which brings me to the fact that you can use Math Mammoth on multiple computers.
Even More Kids Views
Next I have an 11 year old girl who is delayed. She just finished 1st grade math. I decided to start her in the second grade level to see how she would do. So far she’s doing really well but does not do well doing it on the computer. This brings out another great point that I like about Math Mammoth. I can print! So, I printed off the first book for her and she is working through that with her pencil. She’s happier and learning which makes me happy.
On down the line I have a 9 year old girl who I started in 3rd grade math. This was a bit much for her as she is also delayed and has some learning problems. I backed her down to 2nd grade math(love the flexibility) and she’s doing much better. Some of her work she does on the computer and then we print off extra papers for her to use if there is something she’s struggling with.
These extra papers come from the Soft-Pak math software that also comes as part of the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series CD. There are six programs on this part of the CD and you do have to download and install it. With Soft-Pak you get Math Maker, Math Master, Math User, True/False Math Challenger, Language Arts Master, and List Maker.
I love being able to make my own worksheets focusing on what area that child is struggling in. I have not explored all the add ons with the Soft-Pak but what I have used I love. It’s great for the parent and helps enhance the learning experience for the student.
Lastly I have three students doing the 1st grade level of Math Mammoth. They are two 8 year old boys and one 5 year old girl. My six year old girl is not ready for this level of math yet. All of these three students have finished or are close to having finished the kindergarten level in another math program. They are each moving at different paces and loving getting to use the computer for their math.
I do have one issue with this program . . . . I don’t have enough computers!! We only have one computer currently for our family and my husband also has to use it for his self employed business. We’re looking into getting a few more computers or possibly some tablets. This will make doing math much easier for us as more than one can do it at the same time and I won’t have any negatives about using it!
I can whole heartedly recommend Math Mammoth and math by mastery to all other homeschool families. Particularly those who are going to be homeschooling more than one child and would like to save themselves money. Do I think this will work for everyone? No I do not. In fact, I may even have some kids who would do better with a different math, but I can endorse this math program as being one that my kids enjoy and do well with.