It’s Here! New Biblical Math Curriculum – Plus Video and Upcoming Events

curriculumIt’s still hard for me to grasp the reality that it’s actually done. Writing this math curriculum has been an amazing journey, fraught with unexpected delays (such as a concussion that left me unable to work much on it for more than a year) and challenges. Yet as I look back, I see God’s provision each step along the way.

11071007_10206679672255310_7616273997605696522_nThank you, dear readers, for being a part of that provision—for your prayers and your encouragement. I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me. (And please don’t stop praying! I’m still working on Year 2…which is due to come out late this year/early next.)

We decided to extend our pre-order pricing for a little longer, so you can still grab the curriculum at a reduced price you’d like a copy.

Also, I’ll be speaking at a couple of upcoming conventions and would love to see you there (I’ll be at the Master Books booth).

Here are the details:

Virginia – HEAV’s Virginia Homeschool Convention
June 11-13, 2015

Arizona – AFHE Home Education Convention
July 10-11, 2015

As you begin planning for next fall’s school year, don’t let the thought of math scare you. Math is a way of describing God’s creation—it’s a testimony to His faithfulness, wisdom, and greatness. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this short video I made a couple years ago for a quick reminder of how math can be seen from a biblical worldview. This version includes an ending I recently added that offers a quick overview of the curriculum too.

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Mammoth Math Curriculum – And Free Worksheet Generators

Math Mammoth Review

Note: Please see these general guidelines and thoughts to help you as you choose math curriculum. Please also see our review policy disclosure, which is to comply with FTC regulations and explains our review policy.

I recently had the opportunity to review the Mammoth Math curriculum–a unique curriculum with lots of options (you can purchase it by grade or by concept, and it comes as either a download, physical CD, or printed material). Its flexibility could make it a good fit for those looking for a way to review or teach a specific concept or for a flexible textbook approach.

Whether you’re looking for a curriculum or not, you may want to check out the wide variety of free worksheet generators Mammoth Math/HomeschoolMath.net offers. The generators cover concepts ranging from the typical (such as addition and fractions) to the more unusual (such as foreign currencies and scientific notation)–and they’re all quite customizable. The ones on foreign currencies especially might be a fun supplement to use alongside learning about different countries. You could even cut out the coins from the worksheets, making them into pretend money, and then set up an imaginary store and buy things in the foreign currency. Make it even more challenging by looking up the exchange rate and estimating the cost in U.S. dollars!

The site also offers a downloadable sample of the curriculum that includes a generous amount of materials (more than 300 pages) when you sign up for their newsletter or their “Math Mammoth Tour” (an e-mail a day for seven days on the curriculum).

I’ve put my entire review below. If you’ve used the product, please feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment!

Disclosure: I requested and received a free copy of this product to review. See my review policy here.

Math Mammoth ReviewReview of  Math Mammoth

Publisher: Math Mammoth (written by Maria Miller)
Grade Level(s):
Curriculum series covers grades 1-6; worksheet series covers grades 3-8.
Price:
$32/grade for the complete curriculum as a download; downloads on individual topics are available for less than $7 each; worksheets only (no teaching text) and discounted bundle packages are also available. Print versions are available (prices vary) through LuLu.
Where to Obtain:
www.mathmammoth.com

Math Mammoth offers both a complete curriculum series for grades 1-6 (their Light Blue Series) and the same basic material arranged by concept (their Blue Series) for those looking for a workbook on a specific concept as opposed to an entire grade. They also have just worksheets without concept presentations for grades 3-8 available, although these Golden and Green series would be more suitable for tutors or classroom teachers than for homeschoolers.

The material is available in either a digital format (either downloadable or on a CD) or a printed format. The digital format cuts down on the initial cost, although you will need to print out the worksheets yourself.

This curriculum is designed to be extremely flexible—the author, a math teacher and homeschool mother from Finland, encourages users to use the books as a “framework,” spending as little or as much time as needed rather than focusing on finishing the entire book. In her “User Guide,” she explains that while some pages are filled with drill problems, parents only need to assign the number the child needs—even if that is only one half or two thirds of the total ones given (a suggestion I heartily echo, no matter what curriculum you use).

Each chapter covers a concept and includes an overview for the parents, a list of related online resources, and presentations and worksheets for the students. The author has also created online worksheet generators (see www.homeschoolmath.net/worksheets) parents can use to generate additional worksheets if needed (although there are an ample number of worksheets in the books themselves).

As far as content goes, I appreciate how the curriculum tries to explain concepts with understanding and brings in practical word problems or examples. The program also uses a lot of pictures to help students connect abstract numbers with real-life objects. I did not notice examples of math in science, historical information, or any mentions of the Lord. The program includes a lot of game suggestions and links as supplements. Parents will want to selectively use the links and supplement the material with more science and history examples, as well as bring in the biblical perspective. The program also contains a lot of problems for each concept, and I definitely would echo the author’s reminder to only use what you need.

I see the program’s greatest strength as an inexpensive way to review or teach a specific concept. For example, if your child is struggling with fractions, you could purchase the fractions material from the Blue Series and work through some of the pages. I know a mother who is using it that way and really liking it. Since the material comes as a download, you only need to print out what you need. It could also be a good fit for those looking for a flexible textbook approach.

Free Digitized 1800 and 1900 Math Books

Several months ago, I felt like I’d hit a goldmine when I first discovered Google has digitized and made available for FREE numerous math books from the 1800s and 1900s, including some of my favorite ones I’d found in old collections. Written back before math was viewed as an intellectual pursuit, many of these old books team with practical word problems!

While they’re not for everyone, as the older English wording and time-period illustrations might confuse some children, these historic math books can be quite helpful! If you’re not sure how to show your child how a concept serves as a useful tool, try looking at some of the word problems offered in one of these books. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend reading through all the presentations, as they’re not easy reads, but many of the word problems are gems! A good place to start is the Table of Contents–the books are also searchable if you want to narrow in on a specific concept.

Below are links to a few of Google’s extensive collection. If you search for these books’ authors, you’ll find other books by them as well (you may want to limit your search to “Full view only” to see all those available on the site in their entirety).

Ray’s New Practical Arithmetic
Adam’s New Arithmetic
Stoddard’s Rudiments of Arithmetic

Practical Arithmetic (upper elementary/high school)

Reminder: Request Week – Next week is request week, so please leave a comment with what you’d like us to discuss!

A New Year, a New Look, a New Schedule…and a New Book!

It has been more than a year since I’ve posted anything–ouch! I think it’s high time for a long-overdo update : ).

Revealing Arithmetic: A Practical Guide to Teaching Math BiblicallyFirst of all, Revealing Arithmetic: Math Concepts from a Biblical Worldview, is finished! The final book ended up being a more-than-200-full-sized page manual offering ideas and inspiration for teaching basic arithmetic (counting through exponents) from a biblical worldview. I can’t tell you how excited and grateful I felt when it went off to the printer…it’s been a long, but blessed journey. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement along the way! If you’d like to learn more about the book or purchase a copy, it’s now in our online store!

Now that Revealing Arithmetic is finished, it’s my intent to focus more on this blog. I would really like to make it a place where we can explore God’s hand in math together. You may have noticed the blog has a new look and feel–and I’m hoping to add new content to it regularly.

My plan is to post at least once a week, according to the following “tentative” monthly schedule.

  • Week 1: Specific Concept – Information, ideas, or musings about a specific math concept (concepts will vary each month).
  • Week 2: A Concept’s History or Applications – An exploration of a portion of math’s history or one of its many applications.
  • Week 3: Resources – A resource link or review.
  • Week 4: Requests – Topic will vary based on requests and feedback received. (This is your chance to tell me what you’d like to see us discuss!)

As I try to begin/resume this blog, know that your comments (feedback, ideas, sharing, questions, etc.) will help keep me going : ) I look forward to learning and growing with you!

Math Articles and Tips

A few weeks ago, someone shared a link to www.mathworksheetscenter.com in a comment and I wanted to pass it along to you all, as some of the free articles there looked quite helpful. The articles are located at http://www.mathworksheetscenter.com/mathtips.

I especially liked many of the high school articles, as they gave some practical ideas on math’s applications. You could use each suggestion as a launching pad to have your student explore further.

The site also offers thousands of worksheets for a small membership fee. The lessons on the worksheets basically just explain the concept by offering an example problem worked out. A search online reveals other sites with free worksheets; however, if you’re looking for a wide variety of worksheets and don’t want to hunt all around to find them, the membership might be worth it for you. Be sure to view one of the worksheets first to see if the general quality/layout would work for you.

My prayers are with you all as you gear up for a new year of school. May each day be blessed with a deeper appreciation for God’s faithfulness and power.

In Him,

Katherine