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!
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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?
I am having so much trouble with math. For my son, who is in 4th grade it’s been fairly easy. He has done Fred, Khan Academy and now CTC Math and gas done ok with all except for some frustration when he couldn’t get some things and needed a little time. However, my daughter is a different story. I have used Ray’s Arithmetic with her then switched to Fred and Khan Academy with her. She has also done CTC Math. I was trying to figure out with her why she wasn’t understanding anything, only to find out she has no number sense. We have been over and over numbers and a number chart, but she can’t seem to understand the pattern in numbers or even remember what the number 13 is. I’m not sure where to go for her. I feel like I have moved my son around trying to keep them in the same program. But I’m thinking maybe it’s not the program. Not sure what to do. Can you help?
I think that the modeling that SingaporeMath and Common Core have is really helpful for helping students with number sense. I use lots of methods with my students and homeschoolers.
Here are 4 things you may want to start with:
1. skip counting forwards and backwards (2, 4, 6, …what number is next?)
2. bubble diagrams
3. manipulatives (matching up blocks to make 10)
4. bar modeling
One thing we noticed that was holding our kids back is that they try to count in their head. Once they got past that part, they really grew. But every now and then, they try to do it again, so we go back to the drills to help them get to the answers faster.
I realize that this is an older post, but this was a really good question. So, I hope that maybe these steps will help someone out!
You might look into right start math. 😉
I know this is 4 years old, but it still seemed worth replying too. I’m no pro, but try looking up dyscalculia. It’s literally a learning disability that some children have that affects their number sense. There are teaching methods out there that can help this. Think lots of manipulatives and activities that might normally be associated with younger kids. Number sense is critical to learning higher level math. You may want to look into resources in your area for kids with learning disabilities too. You don’t always have to be in public school to take advantage of services for children. Blessings and hope things are going well with your daughter.
I switched early last fall because I could see lots of learning gaps. The common core my grandson had been “taught” didn’t work. I love how Math Mammoth does different ways to learn. It has been great!
We will continue to use it for years to come!
I loved reading your thoughts. My 4th grader started Horizons last year (our first year at home). We made it about 6 weeks and we both hated math. The spiral approach was killing us both. We switched to Math Mammoth and it was wonderful! My First grader loves math and was doing fine with Horizons. She finished the year early and jumped into Math Mammoth 2nd grade. I’m telling you, it’s made math so much more fun at our house! Since we were trying it out, I had just ordered the pre-printed manuals. I was worried having it all digital would be overwhelming to know what to print. Do you find it easy to navigate.
Valerie, I’m sorry it took me so long to answer your comment! Thanks for your patience! 🙂
The spiral approach of Horizons…oh yes, it about made me a crazy woman. I know it works really well for many families, but it was not a good fit for us!
I do find the digital version of Math Mammoth easy to navigate and print. You can print the whole unit, of course, of you can just print a chapter at the time. And it’s easy to figure out which pages constitute a chapter.
Plus, the digital version has all of the helpful websites that focus on specific skills for that chapter and the concepts covered. (Does the print version have that? I’m not sure…) That has been very helpful for us.
I print the worktexts on draft mode in color and then print the Teacher’s manual in draft on black and white. This method has been wonderful for us!
Last week I realized I couldn’t go on anymore with Right Start Math (we are one-third through Level B)… I liken RS’s approach as “spiral math on steroids.” It was driving me unbelievably batty, even though there are certainly some extremely strong aspects to the program. In desperation, I ordered MM 1A to hopefully fill in some glaring gaps for my 2nd grade daughter — who is actually quite strong in math, but I wanted to focus on review and mastery. We started in today, mostly review, and she loved it — so did I! I have been thinking I would mostly use MM as a transition tool for the remainder of my daughter’s 2nd grade year, to focus on mastery while we pick and choose what remains from RS Level B. My initial thought was to eventually switch to Singapore for 3rd grade; however, I am so pleased with the layout, approach and content of MM that I am wondering if it would suffice as a core math curricula as we continue into 3rd grade next year? You obviously switched from Singapore TO Math Mammoth and love it. My guess is that you would highly recommend MM as a core math curricula? I have so many hands-on manipulatives which came with our RS math kit, so it would be simple for me to use those with MM. Do you feel that MM is truly able to stand on its own as the sole math curricula? (I assume so, from your post). 🙂 The simplicity of it (the “bare bones” quality) seems almost too good to be true, yet the content so far impresses me very much. I would appreciate your insights — and please take your time. I know you are a busy mama. Thank you for the post!
Hey Debbie! Oh I totally think it’s solid enough to be a stand alone program. I, too, have lots of hands-on manipulatives, and I can easily incorporate them into the curriculum. Zero issues there.
I will say that I probably would have stuck with Singapore (until 5Bish) if I only had one or two kiddos to teach, or if I could just clone myself or have more time. I truly love Singapore and the type of critical thinking it teaches. It’s just too teacher-intensive for me at the moment.
But I love MM as a very close second. It has a large amount of critical thinking concepts, multiple ways to solve problems, etc. And the simplicity? You just can’t beat it.
So yes, I feel very confident using MM as a stand alone curriculum, and I feel like math is solidly being learned with it.
Hope that helped! Feel free to ask questions, as I’m happy to answer if I’m able!
For MM 1 how many pages per day do you do?
I try to cover the whole section for the lesson each day. We usually don’t do all of the problems, depending upon what the topic is. I often “save” a row or a section in the lesson to go back and have her complete later as review.
Hope that helps! Feel free to ask questions if you have them. 🙂
This is an old post, but I wanted to thank you for it. I am homeschooling for the first time this year, a 1st grader and 5th grader. I have been using Singapore math and while there are aspects I like, I am having a very hard time teaching it. I am going to look into Mammoth Math based on this blog post. So again, thank you!
Hey Stephanie! There are so many math programs on the market for homeschoolers that it can be overwhelming. I definitely feel like the teaching help for mom is much easier with MM since it’s right there on the page. But in all honesty, I haven’t looked at Singapore in years, so they might have revised their teaching helps.
Regardless, MM is a great fit for many families. And they often have sales, which is always appreciated! 🙂
Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. Best wishes as you teach your young ones! ❤
Hi! I found your “why we switched from Singapore” post on google which led me to this one. Both were so helpful for me!! I lovvvvve Singapore math, but I now have 3 kids ages 6-9 so it’s getting harder to teach math every day, especially with none of it becoming independent any time soon for my oldest daughter. The next kiddo will be kindergarten next year too 🤪
Anyway this post was great timing. It’s been hard for me to let go of Singapore because I love the method/ rigor/ philosophy/ conceptual understanding but I’m only one human.
All these years later, do you feel like switching to MM stuck & worked well for your family & prepped your kids well for upper level math? 🙂