Review of Math Mammoth: Make it Real and States By the Numbers

I will confess that math has never been my favorite subject. And we have changed math programs several times because it is difficult for me to find one to fit for my children also. I’ve heard of Math Mammoth frequently in the homeschool world but hadn’t tried any of their resources until recently.

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Math Mammoth has complete curricula for grades 1-6 and supplementary curricula for grades 1-12. I was able to try three of the supplementary workbooks- two from the Make It Real series and one from States by the Numbers.

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I received Arithmetic 1 for grades 3-6. It comes as a PDF download and sells for $4.99.
Fractions, Decimals and Percents 1 is for grades 4-8 and comes as a PDF download for $4.99.
States by the Numbers is available for all 50 states (I chose South Carolina) and is for grades 3-7 but is described as a best fit for grades 4-6. It is a PDF download and sells for $2.99 per book or $19.99 for all 50 states.

I began by using the States by the Numbers for my rising 3rd and 4th graders. Rachel is a young rising 3rd grader, but I thought that by doing the problems with them, it would be successful.

The book uses facts and data from the state to create word problems that must be solved using various math skills. In the first lesson, we encountered some population statistics and worked with place value.

Right away I had some problems with the worksheets. These booklets are part of the Make It Real series which are designed to make math meaningful by presenting real life problems that use math. These questions about population were not something that a 3rd or 4th grader could relate to at all. My girls didn’t even understand the questions. I had to totally work out the problem with them in great detail, and even then I don’t think they really knew what we were doing.

The difficulty of the problems was also an issue. When we first began with the rounding problems, there were some very large numbers to work with. I don’t know many 3rd and 4th graders (the lower level of the recommended range) who could work with place value in such large numbers. And later, when the problems moved to other topics- such as estimation- processes were used that my older kids (rising 8th and 9th grade) wouldn’t have even known how to use.

I gave my older kids (rising 8th and 9th graders) the worksheets from Arithmetic 1 and Fractions, Decimals, and Percents 1. These were presented as being for grades 3-6 and 4-8 respectively.

Again, I saw immediately that many of the topics used weren’t very relevant. The first lesson in Arithmetic 1 used the population of Australia to deal with place value. I’m not sure that many 3-6 graders would understand much about the population of Australia.

The difficulty of problems was also an issue again. Lesson 2 had students working with negative integers. My older kids were able to answer these independently. But my younger crew (who are really in the specified age range) wouldn’t have had a clue. There was one lesson in the Arithmetic 1 book I think my younger girls would have understood. It was about working with money. They would have needed help grasping the questions though.

The activities in Fractions, Percents, and Decimals 1 seemed the closest to being age appropriate. My older kids could work them with few problems. But, my rising 4th grader (supposedly in the age range) would not have even begun to understand most of it.

I liked the idea of these supplements. The price seemed good. I liked the PDF downloads that allowed me to print the worksheets I wanted and the number I wanted. I liked the concept of real world math.

Unfortunately they didn’t turn out to be a good fit for us.

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You can read what other Review Crew members thought about this and other Math Mammoth programs by clicking below.


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