Using Math Mammoth this fall? Here are five simple tips that will help you use the program well.
1. Print it all out now (before it’s a busy morning in October and you’re out of paper.)
If you bought Math Mammoth on CD or as a download, make sure to print it out well before you need it. Nothing gets a homeschool morning off to a rough start like a paper jam or running out of ink.
2. The FAQ and chapter introductions have a lot of helpful information.
Math Mammoth is set up as a worktext written directly to the student. But, you still need to know what your child is studying, monitor progress, and be prepared to help with more difficult topics. (And if you have a younger child, plan to spend a little time each day in direct teaching.)
To prepare to use Math Mammoth, make sure to read the Math Mammoth FAQ (especially questions 8-22). It will help you understand Math Mammoth’s approach to review, drill, word problems, and manipulatives. Also read the first chapter introduction in your child’s book. It will give you an overview of the chapter and explain how the concepts build on each other so that you can teach effectively.
3. Don’t be intimidated by the long lists of resources—but know that they’re there if you need them.
Each chapter also includes a list of extra resources in case your child needs extra practice or review with a topic. The list looks overwhelming, but remember that you don’t need to do all (or any) of the extra activities unless needed. Maria Miller also offers an amazing (and free!) worksheet generator if you need more straightforward practice for a topic.
4. A blank piece of paper can make the pages less busy for kids who get overloaded.
Some kids (and moms!) find Math Mammoth pages a bit cluttered and feel overwhelmed by the amount on the page. Simply cover part of the page with blank paper or post-it notes to reduce the amount of visual distraction and help your kids focus.
5. Buying a 100-bead abacus (especially for first grade) is well worth it.
The author of Math Mammoth recommends using a 100-bead abacus with the early grades–and I heartily agree. The abacus helps kids develop a deep understanding of numbers and place value. Even better, it does so with a minimum of loose parts to store (or for your toddler to hide under the couch). You can read about the advantages of an abacus and watch videos about how to use it here.