It’s turning out to be an interesting school year, with the opportunity to review products for the Homeschool Review Crew! When Math Mammoth came up, after studying the available products, I decided to request a couple of titles from their Blue Series. I chose Subtraction 1 and New Zealand Money. I was especially happy for the money unit; the curriculum I’ve put all my children through and have no plans of switching away from uses American money. One thing I appreciated about this review is that these are digital downloads, which means I’ll be able to use them over and over as needed.
Mr. Sweetie has been working through these two books. I printed them, except for the answers at the back of each one, and had someone drill holes through the edge, then sewed them together. I put both books together, back-to-back, with one upside-down to the other. That has worked well. Since the last week of January, or so, I’ve been having him do a lesson in one of the books each day, alternating between them.
I chose the Subtraction 1 unit because Mr. Sweetie was having trouble last year with subtraction and I thought he could do with some reinforcement. I liked how this book started out very basic, defining what subtraction is and showing it with crossed-out pictures. The next lesson showed counting down on a number line to subtract, and then several lessons showed the relationship between addition and subtraction. There is a lot of drawing circles or shapes, then crossing out, and there is lots of illustrations with simple little pictures. I like all the story problems, which help math relate to the real world. Mr. Sweetie is about halfway through this book now, and I’ll have him continue working on a page or two most days, along with his regular math. It gives him some real good practice.
I also had Mr. Sweetie do the New Zealand Money unit. He knew the values of our money, but putting it together and praticing it was very good for him. One thing that was fun was counting out real coins to illustrate an amount on his page! He had the option of using real money or drawing it in the box, so we did it the easy way. Coins worth less than a dollar were introduced first, and then the dollar and 2-dollar coins, followed later by $5 and $10 notes. There are a lot of story problems, and exercises with making change. The most recent lesson we did had a picture of a number of coins, and he was to pretend to be buying certain things, then figuring out how much he had left. That was quite challenging, so we did the lesson over several days. I’m going to put this book aside for now, though, since we seem to have reached a point where he is having a hard time. The next lesson covers rounding when getting change at a shop, and I’m not sure he’ll be able to handle that yet.
I liked the way Math Mammoth is set up, and thought it was very thorough and good at getting the concepts across. If I wasn’t so happy with what we’ve been using for 12 years already, I would be tempted to switch. As it is, if I need something for extra reinforcement, I might well look to see whether there is a booklet about the specific topic we need. I’m also thrilled to have a resource to practice using our country’s money! One criticism of it, though, is that the picture of the 20c coin is wrong. The picture in the book shows the old 20c coin, which is no longer in use. Believe me, my children studied all the other pictures carefully to make sure they showed the new $5 and $10 notes! (They do!) Other than that, though, I was impressed with it.
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