Several months ago, I wrote a post on why we switched from Singapore Math to Math Mammoth. Don’t get me wrong: I love Singapore Math and what it has to offer.
You can read the previous post and see what our issues were and why I needed something different in our homeschool.
Sadly, that post left you hanging if you wanted to know why I chose Math Mammoth and how it’s working for us. I never got the chance to write the follow-up!
I’m so sorry about that! It’s very frustrating to find only half of the information you need, especially when it comes to curriculum choices.
As we head into the Homeschool Choosing Season, where we’re trying to plan for next year, I hope this post will be helpful if you’re deciding on a math curriculum for your elementary children!
Why I Chose Math Mammoth for Our Homeschool
As you can read in the previous post, there were various reasons I needed to switch our homeschool from Singapore Math to a different curriculum. After months of research, I finally settled on Math Mammoth for several reasons.
— Math Mammoth is less teacher-intensive than Singapore Math. I wish that wasn’t my number one reason for loving Math Mammoth, but if I’m being honest, it certainly tops my list.
There’s only so many hours in my day, and I have to spend them wisely. This is especially true now that the new baby is here. If I can choose a math curriculum that helps my children be wildly successful in math, while not eating as much of my time, then I’m all for it!
Of course I’m still spending time teaching my 9 and 7 year olds, however, the layout of the curriculum makes it less time-intensive for me.
— The “textbook” portion and the practice problems are all contained in one worktext. There isn’t an opportunity to lose multiple books. (We have a habit of losing math books…)
— Because the actual math instruction is listed on the same pages as the practice problems, my 11-year-old son can be mostly independent with this curriculum. He comes to see me when he has questions, and I check his work daily. Right now, this is the perfect scenario for us!
— I go over the math concepts with my 2nd and 4th grade girls as they are presented in the worktext. Because the instruction is contained on those pages, it’s easy for them to go back and review what I’ve just taught. We all need review from time to time, and Math Mammoth makes that independent and simple.
— The curriculum presents multiple ways to approach a concept. As my daddy taught me, there are multiple ways to logically approach a math problem.
With a typical math concept, the curriculum provides an approach and then gives ample practice problems based on the first approach. Then another way of thinking about the problem is presented, followed by practice problems using that particular method.
I always go over each type of approach with my children, and we each share which method we prefer and why. By having that quick discussion, it gives my children an opportunity to analyze what method they’re more drawn to and why. As their teacher/mother, it helps me get a peek at how their little brains work.
— Visual models of concepts are used throughout the series for all grade levels. For my visual learners, this is a must! Those models are especially helpful with word problems, and grasping harder concepts.
— The focus on mental math is a priority. I want my children to easily be able to manipulate numbers mentally, and to understand how and why numbers relate to every day real life. Math Mammoth exceeds my expectations with mental math concepts!
— Math Mammoth is only as spiral as you want it to be. I mentioned that some of my children need a more spiral approach, and some thrive with mastery. Because Math Mammoth has a selection of extra practice worksheets you can print, it’s easy to customize review for each child.
— At the beginning of each chapter, there are a plethora of websites to practice the concepts presented in the chapters. While these are wonderful for use during the chapter, they are also helpful for review later, if needed.
— The pages aren’t too cluttered. A couple of my children need uncluttered pages to be successful with their work, and the layout of Math Mammoth seems to be just right for them.
— I can print only the pages we will need. Because the entire year comes as a digital download, you can print chapter by chapter or the whole year at once. We use HP Instant Ink (love it!), so it’s been helpful to only print pages as I need them.
Also, I only wanted to print the first chapter for each child as we were getting started. If Math Mammoth ended up not being a good fit, there was no harm done since I had not printed the whole year’s worth of material.
How I Chose the Correct Grade Level for Math Mammoth
Math Mammoth makes it easy to figure out which level you should start with your child by providing an online placement test.
If you are unsure of the results, you can even email the author of the curriculum if you need further direction. Details are on the page that is linked.
In addition to the online placement test itself, you’ll find guidelines for those tests and how to interpret the results. An example is included if you scroll down the page, including a FAQ section.
To place my own children, I used this method in addition to the placement test:
→ I lined up the scope and sequence of the book we were on in Singapore Math and the correlating book in Math Mammoth. I put a check mark beside concepts in Math Mammoth that I knew the child could successfully complete.
→ I evaluated which concepts needed introduction or significant review.
For my 11 year old who completed half of Singapore Math 6B, I chose Math Mammoth 6A.
For my 9 year old who completed through half of Singapore Math 3B, I chose Math Mammoth 3A.
For my 7 year old who completed through half of Singapore Math 1B, I chose Math Mammoth 1A.
Were my 9 and 7 year olds concerned that they had gone “backwards” in their math work? No. I didn’t make an issue of it at all, so they didn’t either. 😉
I would much rather my children have a solid foundation in math and not be in the worktext that correlates with their school grade, than to have enormous gaps in mathematical concepts. Having huge gaps now will only add to huge gaps later.
Really, the number on the worktext is just that – a number. It’s not an indication of their ability or desire to learn.
So I just let that go. 😉
The Transition from Singapore Math to Math Mammoth
The transition between these two programs has been nothing but smooth sailing.
With my older two, I downloaded several of the samples and let them take a look at the layout of the curriculum. As they get older, I want them to have more input in what I choose for them.
They both instantly loved it!
My 11 year old was delighted by the fact that he could mostly work on his math independently, and my 9 year old liked the layout of the pages. She also liked that the curriculum provided multiple ways to think about a particular concept.
We started Math Mammoth at the end of our school year last year, so we didn’t have a clean break as we would if we had started at the beginning of the year. But honestly, I can’t see that made any difference at all.
We ended Singapore Math on a Friday, I printed what we needed over the weekend, and we started Math Mammoth on Monday.
All three of my older children jumped right in that Monday morning with both feet, excited about their new worktexts!
And honestly, we haven’t looked back.
My three olders are excelling at math, regardless of whether they are “math kids” or not. Because I can customize their curriculum more easily, I can help them succeed.
And that’s probably my favorite aspect of this curriculum!
Have you switched curriculum lately? Are you pleased with the result?