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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Math Made Easy

Do I need to remind you about me and math at this point?  Or should it be, Math and I?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

However, this math product was a bit different than the higher math I have been looking at lately, because it is about making math easier for my younger kids.

It is called Math Made Easy.

Nice, sweet, simple, to the point.

And, true.

They have products for the classroom, but, I got to try out something that was created specifically for homeschoolers, Addition Teaching and Learning Made Easy .

The basic premise is sort of brilliant, in my opinion.

Their teaching philosophy is that kids need to memorize the math facts and not count on their fingers (which, I will admit, I sometimes still do).

The first step is to eliminate the easy adding 1's and 0's....then you reduce redundancy because 3+2 is the same as 2+3 every time.

So, once you get those out of the way, that only leaves 36 facts to be learned.  You divide those into 6 weeks, with 6 facts being mastered each week and, "voila" you are done!

This approach presents the facts randomly to encourage actual memorization and not finger counting.

I love this little nugget of a book. 

Just like King Alfred's English, this is a small book, packed with a lot of good information.  TOTALLY different information, but they both surprised me because there such skinny books!  Apparently I am of the mindset that the thicker the book, the better the information!

I didn't know it, but their philosophy has been what I had already been trying to teach my kids with their current curriculum.

Like, the zeros and ones stuff being "no brainer" kind of facts.....or that 4+5 is EXACTLY the same as 5+4.  But, most times I would get a bit of a blank stare back from them.....and they would count it out on their fingers just to make sure I wasn't lying to them.

But, I have been more successful and getting rid of those blank stares, from A-man, at least.  This book is designed for grades 1 through 6, but even though S-girl will only be in Kindergarten this year, but I am going to use this approach with her when we start adding and see what happens.  I suspect there will be a huge difference in the results I usually get.

This book includes flashcards (already printed on card stock!) so you can drill your kids on the facts.  There are little addition games sprinkled throughout as well, so it isn't just jamming the facts into their heads.  They get to have a little fun too!

From a teacher perspective, it is really truth in adverstising, because they honestly couldn't have made math any easier for me to teach either.  The book has it laid out with a total overview of what you should do for a 6 week period....AND, then has it broken down by weekday for you. 

Usually, this is what Rainman and I end up sitting down to do on our own, when we find a good book or curriculum...breaking things down in what we think are the right sized pieces of information for the kids. 

Math Made Easy, already has it done.  I can't tell you how great that is, when I have five kids in 5 different grades.  It may seem like a small thing....but, really, it is a huge thing!

Like I said, I think this approach is brilliant and cannot wait to see how it changes the way S-girl and, eventually, V-girl pick up on their math facts.  You are allowed to make copies for use within your immediate family, so these can be used for more than one kid! This makes the price even better for this little book.

You can get Math Made Easy Addition for $24.95, which includes the lesson plans, pre and post tests, the daily activities, games and flashcards (already on card stock!).

They also have a Math Made Easy Multiplication book for the same price, that I am going to buy, because I love the Addition book so much. 

See what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought about Math Made Easy Addition or Math Made Easy Multiplication.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of Math Made Easy Addition for free, in exchange for an honest review.