Mastering Mathematics

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susieinms

  • Reviewed on Saturday, January 11, 2014
  • Grades Used: 2nd-3rd (so far)
  • Dates used: 2012-2014
I have to say that I think Mastering Mathematics is my favorite math (and we have used some good ones.) Some reasons it is my favorite:

~~The use of games to drive home those facts.
~~The use of a dry erase clear sheet which allows a child to re-use a page if necessary, pass it on to siblings or give it away ( NO WASTE). A whole family can use 1 set.
~~The ability to speed up or slow down according to the child's abilities.
~~One concept taught at a time so that the child is not confused by continual inclusion of new concepts before the previous one is mastered.
~~The pages are not cluttered and lessons not overwhelming with tons of work.
~~The teachers manual includes 6 small guides with suggestions for making math living and 6 small answer keys--place color coordinated tabs on the side and this is very easy to use.
~~The use of self checking fact wheels
~~Manipulatives all included
~~Very economical considering you have 6 years of math and it can be used for all of your children.
~~While teaching the facts is a major goal, the author realizes that not every child will have this ability. Because of this Les teaches tricks that help the child to figure with his/her God-given free and always present calculator : fingers. These are some of the best tricks I have seen yet.
~~A real bonus in my opinion would be the lessons that get the child in the Word to see a math problem. For example comparing the size of Noah's Ark to Solomon's Temple, or finding out how many more small shields of gold Solomon had than large shields.

There has been some concern about the lack of guidance for teaching time and money. This is true that there are not a lot of lessons here, but I really do like the way the guide advises. For example it gives instructions on how to make a simple sun dial and practice telling time with it. Or have student record the time s/he starts and stops an assignment to see how long it too. Adding a simple $2 clock from the school supply section of Walmart or making one from card stock is simple and fun. More fun than a boat load of worksheets, making it a very effective tool.

For money you find suggestions of things like using sales ads to find prices and let the child figure up the total needed for his/her list. Count back change.

There are so many great ways suggested to make make real and living.

I am very, very impressed with the quality. This is not a shinny curriculum. There are no pretty pictures or glossy pages. It is simple and not distracting. It is effective because it doesn't assume your child will move at a predetermined pace, and it provides lot of hands on activities that make math real for the child and not just numbers on a page.

raysn

  • Reviewed on Sunday, January 31, 2010
  • Grades Used: 1st through 7th
  • Dates used: 2001 to the present
I tried many math programs. I even tried to write my own program for first grade. I am so glad that we finally decided to try Les Farmer's program, Mastering Mathematics!

She knows how to reach challenged children. She managed to create a program that can do that very thing without boring the advanced students, though! That means that I can use on program for all my kids! Another poster thought the eacher's manual to be long. Maybe it is, but consider that one manual teaches grades 1-6 and can be made to work for so many different children. The divisions in the manual are clearly marked so that a parent can skip to the section that pertains to them. The only thing is that you might want to add tabs.
Ms. Farmer includes wonderful word problems, many of which have biblical content. My children used different methods for learning concepts like time and money. One used the extra manipulatives in the program and real money or real clocks. Another used only real-life learning. The others used cheap WalMart workbooks. Yup, that was it. I am not sure why other posters thought that was a big deal. This program is excellent at solidifying math facts in a child's head without crushing him in the process. If I have to add a cheap WalMart workbook about coins or give my child an allowance, I don't mind. They can add and multiply the coins and the minutes on the clock quickly because MM did such a good job teaching them the basics.
My older chidlren went on to prealgebra after completing Mastering Mathematics. Even my most challenged child says he loves math. I must give the credit to God and the work He did on my son through this program. Other programs only frustrated him. Oh, by the way, we are still using the same manipulatives for the younger children and we never bothered to laminate them. In fact, my neighbor loved them so much that she borrowed some of them for her public-schooled son who wasn't "getting it" with simple flash cards. He loved the fact wheels the most. He was not as gentle with them and she left them on the floor of her van for a month. They still are sturdy and do the job.
Pros:
1) One manual is all you need for elementary math.
2) All the answer pages are included in the teacher manual.
3) The card stock manuipulatives are very durable and lots of fun.
4) The workbook pages are only printed on one side to reduce distraction and allow extra room for the student to work out his problems
5) There are simple diagrams instead of pictures with no purpose,
6) Motivation is built into the program so that a child may move ahead sooner if he has mastered a concept.
7) Pretests are at the beginning of each workbok so that the child can skip sections he has mastered or move onto the next workbook.

Cons:
1) You may feel the need to supplement with workbooks for certain concepts.
2) You will need to grade the workbook pages right after they are completed so that you know if the child can move on past the review or if he needs more work on that concept.
3) You will need to put together the cardstock manipulatives for each level.
Three of our children and grduated from MM and we will continue until the last two have finished. It works well for all children without frustrating them. I really do love Mastering Mathematics!

kristiekingston

  • Reviewed on Friday, August 17, 2007
  • Grades Used: 4th
  • Dates used: 2006-2007
Mastery Mathematics is a great program but it's very different. It's a wonderful product for the home school, however it's not a drill program or a program that is meant for "grades." I started age 7 with the multiplication book. We completed most and started the Division book. This year I will start my 5 year old on the Attacking Addition book. My 7 year old master the concepts of multiplying anything and we are working dividing anything.
It truely is a program about mastery of concepts, immediate application of that and moving on. The idea is it teaches everything you need to know to master each concept. This program uses games and a simple workbook for each thing. It breaks it into baby bites, just a few facts at a time but introduces new concepts until they know how to MULTIPLY ANYTHING even if they don't know all their math facts yet. It is kind of self taught. The games are the practise, there is not much work and hardly any busy work or drill.
There are 6 workbooks. Attacking Addition/ Subtraction/ Multiplying/ Dividing / Fractions / Perfecting the Point.
There is a teacher manual that is necessary. The games could be considered the drilling but you will eventually need other programs in my eyes or you forget.
I am glad I bought the program. It was worth the money. Here are my pros/cons list.
Pro- teaches mastery of each concept with cool games and basic workbooks-
Pro- teaches facts in baby bites and you can go slow or fast
Pro- teaches one concept at a time but you decide when to stop or if to change to another book
Pro-The Games Alone..simple as simple and games work
Pro- great with multiple kids/they can master and play games together
Pro- when they learn multiplication within in weeks they will know how to muliply ANYTHING because the master concepts are taught in a way that is easy to understand and one bite at a time

Con- child will forget the things they are not constantly reviewing so this is probably a supplement or if it's your master program then you would need a supplement workbook to review other concepts- if you are doing multiplication for months you may forget things about subtracting/addition without review

Con- takes forever to put together all the games and laminate etc...
Con- the teachers manual is useful but requires quite a bit of reading..

OVER ALL IT'S A GREAT PROGRAM FOR MASTERING CONCEPTS..Highly recommended for teaching and playing games.... You pick the speed and the games alone are wonderful to use as drill.... However, I feel you'd need a supplement since you have to review what you learned every year and it dosn't last that long- Cool way to teach my girls math.

afptl

  • Reviewed on Wednesday, May 17, 2006
  • Grades Used: Grade 4
  • Dates used: 2006
My son has trouble with school. He was labeled dyslexic tendencies at the end of 2nd grade in a private school. We have homeschooled him for 3rd and 4th grades. I used Bob Jones Math with him for 3rd grade, but when we hit multiplication, we hit a brick wall. He got so lost with BJU since for him it did not allow enough time to get the concept through. In searching for an answer, I found Mastering Mathematics.
I really like Mastering Mathematics! It has been a blessing! He would "melt down" and cry over the math. Now he is learning, and not overwhelmed. He doesn't fight me with the math anymore. I like the part of how you study the concept (multiplication) all the way through, and you get it! We are still in the Multiplication book, and plan on using the rest of the series. I liked how it works all angles of the multiplication with just the facts they have learned. It helps them to learn their times tables better. I also supplement with Calculadder CD rom sheets I run off my computer. I do this because he does not do well with flashcards for math facts and he does not like computer games. That way I can coordinate the facts he is learning with a little more practice.
I have a 2nd grade son who I am planning on putting in the addition book next year. He doesn't seem to have the addition with borrowing/carrying down pat, and that is so essential we are switching for this reason.
I like the workbook approach as there is no copying of problems which is a problem here. I am very pleased with Master Mathematics and am going to look at the other products they have on their website at www.masterypublications.com
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