Sunday, August 12, 2012

Math Made Easy - Addition (Review)

The summer lull... the months that threaten to undo all the learning that has been done.  Admit it - you wonder if your children will remember what they learned the previous year when your homeschool resumes.  Surely, I'm not the only one!!!

My boys wrapped up first grade not long ago, and over the summer break I had great intentions of spending lots of time working with computer games, flashcards, fun activities, etc. to help them retain their math facts especially.  Well, as it usually does, one thing led to another and my great ambitions of fun-schooling through the summer fell by the wayside.  I feared that moving into 2nd grade math we'd have the need to go back and do some remedial work to brush up on facts. 

Thankfully, I had the opportunity as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew to review a Math Made Easy product entitles Addition Teaching and Learning Made Easy.  This short course of study has served as the perfect summer bridge for my boys.  However, I'd like to note that you could absolutely use this curriculum to actually teach your child to add, and at a cost of $24.95 it won't break your budget.  Use this workbook and the accompanying games and flashcards, and your child will master the basics of addition in a mere 6 weeks - all without using fingers!!! 

Fingers have remained a crutch for my boys, so utilizing a program that discouraged this method was a big positive in my book!  How is this done?  Well, the initial step is to eliminate the facts easily learned.  Kids easily learn the facts where 0 or 1 is the addend.  Then, redundancy is alleviated by focusing on the commutative property - whenever certain numbers are together with an addition sign the sum will always be the same (2+3=5 and 3+2=5).  Knowing these facts, only 36 facts remain.  The 36 facts are randomly divided among 6 weeks.  This set-up opposed to the addition table forces children to rely on their memories and not finger-counting. 


I wasn't so sure about the repetitive format in the workbook, but the boys thrived with the routine.  They knew that on Monday they would have a color by fact page, Tuesday a code to crack, Wednesday a puzzle to assemble, Thursday matching activities/sums to find, and on Friday the math problem of the week. 

We also drilled our 6 facts each day using the provided flashcards.  There were games included as well as review quizzes for each week.  The program was extremely simple and easy to manage.  Another plus in our busy summer, it wasn't time consuming for me as the teacher or the boys as students. 


In my opinion, Math Made Easy has a winner in Addition Teaching and Learning Made Easy.  Marketed specifically for 1st-2nd graders, it was appropriate for my boys.  However, if you have a precocious Kindergartner or an older child who struggles with facts, I'd encourage you to investigate this product as well.  Another product to consider if you have children in 3rd-5th grades is Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy.  You can read reviews of both of these products by clicking the button below.  The Crew Members always have such varied and helpful information to share.

Disclaimer:  I was provided Addition Teaching and Learning Made Easy free of charge in exchange for my honest review. 

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