TOS Review Crew: Make it Real Learning (Math Mammoth)

Do your kids whine "Why do I have to learn this?"---especially when doing math? If so, then join along today as I share with you a possible solution! logo_zps1488a12dCompany Information: Math Mammoth is a homeschool math curriculum provider that specializes in affordable, high-quality math worktexts for children grades 1 and up. (Kindergarten parents: you can check out their recommendations for some great activities to prepare your kids for more formal math instruction.) Parents can select a full curriculum (designated by color) or pick and choose by topic if you are looking for reinforcement materials for your children. Products offered on the site can serve children up through high school Calculus!

If you are interested in any of the workbooks, you can sign up for their email list to receive 300 pages worth of samples! (Great for keeping the brain going in the summer!) Company owner, Maria Miller, also sends out a monthly math newsletter full of tips and ideas. Check out the archive for past newsletters or to sign up! Lastly, the blog is also full of great information.

Product Reviewed: For my review, I was given the opportunity to preview some of the Make It Real Learning series, written by Frank Miller. We were given: 

These were downloadable e-books in PDF form and includes 10 activities each. Following each worksheet is a complete answer key with explanations for each of the questions. If it matters to you, the activities correlate with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and Common Core standards.

(The Make It Real Learning series has many other books, from basic arithmetic to Calculus, so take a look on the summary page for a complete listing of titles.)

Price: $4.99 each

Age Range: generally grades 4-10 (see above for specifics).

Parental Preparation: Besides downloading the files and printing up the worksheets we needed, there was very little preparation to do!

How We Used It:

Starting from the beginning, I had Matthew use these as a supplement to his current math program. We completed about 3 activities, one from each book, through the review period. I had him try to attempt the problems on his own, and whatever he could not do, we would do together. (Occasionally, I would need to look at the answer key for help, so even if you are stumped, there is help!)

The one book we had a little trouble with was the one on sets, mainly because we hadn't gotten that far in math. We were able to do about three of the activities in the book before we just couldn't go on anymore.

What We Liked:

  • I am always on the lookout for math programs that not only teach basic facts but help my kids to use what they learn. This series definitely fits the bill! 
  • There was variety in the activities.
  • They were creative and useful ways of integrating math into real life. For example, the Fractions, Percents and Decimals I book included problems on baking, making money and shopping, all things that we do at home!
  • If you do not know how to do the problem, the answer key will help give detailed, step-by-step solutions.
  • Not all math curricula covers every topic, so this was a great way to practice or even introduce new concepts. This helps round out our math study, fills in gaps or strengthens weak areas.
  • I am a fan of e-books when it comes to worksheets, because I know that they can be reused for other children!
  • The price can't be beat! In my opinion, the value far exceeds the cost.

What We Didn't Like:

Nothing! As a mom, I am very pleased with this series and plan to continue incorporating these into Matthew's math program in the year to come. I may need to wait on the Sets book till he gets a little more training on it, but the others are at about the right level.

My sixth grader may not fully appreciate the material now, but I think it did show him that math was not just doing rows of problems, but that it is meant to be a useful tool in life.

Overall Summary:

Even though this review may be a little shorter than the others, I think it is because: 1) it is one where parents have to do very little prep and 2) it is very well done. Add to the fact that the price is right, this product is a win-win-win all the way around!


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