If you are looking for a math curriculum or supplement for next school year, I might have something good for you. Math Mammoth is a worktext series for different grade levels. The program was developed by a Finnish mathematician, Taina Maria Miller, who has taught school, tutored homeschoolers, and homeschooled herself. During that experience her heart was touched by the fact that many homeschoolers struggle teaching math because they didn’t have a good background. I understand this completely since I am learning disabled with math being my biggest weakness.
Although many parents think teaching elementary math is easy, Mrs. Miller states that math often becomes rule memorizing without the whys. Children do not learn to think. They only use the rule to solve the problems for the day. I can relate to that. My own education was based on that rule memorization, and my struggles only became worse along with my self-esteem as I got into higher math. Mrs. Miller’s worktexts teach math thoroughly explaining the whys and allows children to discover the principles themselves creating mathematical thinkers along the way.
The worktexts are self-teaching, so they are perfect for homeschoolers. With the explanations in the text, a separate teacher manual is not needed. This simplifies the entire process for the family. The series include quizzes and tests with the answer keys for each. In addition, the author provides internet resources which include some really great math interactive activities for the concepts covered. All of the packages are affordable for grades 1-8 covering all concepts.
Affordability is something the author has striven for with her products. Some are even electronic downloads with prices for each worktext as little as $2.00-$5.50. Several packages are available. The Blue Series which is 28 self-teaching worktexts covering everything from addition to decimals to geometry in a downloadable package for $70.00 or $75.00 for a cd. A math and language software package, Soft-Pak for Windows XP and Vista, is also included with that package for free. Mrs. Miller’s website also has a separate worksheets collections available for grades 3 through 7 and additionally, Algebra I. These are great for regular school teachers to use for homework, and homeschoolers will find them useful as supplements to any math curriculum they are using. These sheets are far better than mechanical worksheets created by a script with problems emphasizing understanding of concepts and practicing computation. You can also sign up for teaching emails on her site where you will receive 280 free worksheets, 7 math teaching articles, emails discussing her books, and the Homeschool Math Newsletter for free.
From all of this information, I think you can see that Mrs. Miller seems to genuinely care about the teaching of math and not just making money. Her program really works with so many children. Two of mine are using her products now and are excelling for the first time despite their learning challenges. The students say they can now think about the ways to do a problem without just trying to remember a rule that fits. These two now beam when they see its math time instead of groaning. That alone makes me feel better as their teacher, too.
Check out Math Mammoth at www.mathmammoth.com for more information.