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Math Made Easy {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

August 11, 2012

Math Made Easy Multiplication

My children are smart kids.  But.  For some reason, we are still working on multiplication tables.  I can remember as a third grader myself my mother quizzing me over my multiplication facts as she curled my hair.  Uhhhgg!  Here at our house we’ve tried gimmicks and drills and music and you name it!  (Now I can see this from a mother’s viewpoint and it’s not much prettier.)  That is why I was excited to be selected for this review.

I used Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy with both my third and fifth graders.  For the fifth grader it was a review but there were still weak areas that needed work and for the third grader, this was mostly new stuff.

Math Made Easy was created by Glenda Brown James.  For the review I received the 72 page multiplication workbook that is recommended for 3rd and 4th graders.  Inside were lesson plans, pre and post tests, multiplication tables, activity sheets, games, flashcards, and reviews.  

The premise is “a new way to teach an old subject”.  Instead of memorizing all the 3’s, then 4’s, then 5’s, etc., this multiplication program encourages kids to apply a simple rule to the 0’s, 1’s, 10’s, and 11’s and then see what facts they have left to learn.  It also uses the commutative property of multiplication (5×2 is the same as 2×5) to weed through duplicate problems.  At the end, or rather the beginning, you only have to learn 36 multiplication facts.  Those 36 facts are broken down into 6 weeks.  Essentially, with this program, it only takes your child six weeks to learn their multiplication tables!

Likes:

  • The games in the back of the book offered good practice.
  • The weekly selection of facts to be learned was in a random order.  I have not ever tried to teach my kids their multiplication facts out of order but this seemed to work.  For example, on week two, the problems were:  9×3, 8×8, 7×4, 2×3, 4×5, and 5×9.  So random!
  • Each Friday the kids put together a picture puzzle by cutting and pasting the answer over the problem.  (See picture below.)  Then they could color their demystified picture.  My 3rd grader LOVED this and hung the pictures in his bedroom.
  • The worksheet drills seemed like they would be boring to me – doing the same basic thing every Monday, but the kids really enjoyed them.  Both the older and the younger thought this was good practice and didn’t seem discouraged by the weekly repetition.
  • The copyright allows copies to be made for your immediate family so you can easily use this program with multiple siblings.

Friday worksheet

Dislikes:

  • There were not answers printed on the back of the flashcards.  Thought that was strange.  The flashcards were organized by the week they would be learned (which was nice) but on the back instead of the answer there was just the same problem flipped around.  For example, 7×3 and on the back would be 3×7.  I see the commutative property at work here, but it also meant that the kids couldn’t practice on their own because they were never sure of the final answer.
  • There were no directions to go with the Native American lady game in the back of the book.  You can improvise, but the other games had specific instructions on how they were to be used.
  • Not sure it’s worth the whole $24.95.  If they had a sale or if the games were more put together and ready to use, I’d be more inclined to purchase this for my family.

My opinion?  Good program – though a little pricey.  This program could easily be used as a supplement to your current math program or you could take a break from your program and just drill this for 6 weeks if your kids are stuck on the multiplication tables.  The Math Made Easy program has a complimentary addition program (which some of my crew mates reviewed) for children in the 1st and 2nd grade.  Both the Homeschool Edition Multiplication Made Easy and the Homeschool Edition Addition Made Easy programs are available for $24.95 each.

Photobucket

DISCLAIMER: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a complimentary copy of Math Made Easy Multiplication for the purpose of completing this review. All the opinions expressed here are my own and are offered honestly in exchange for the product. The receipt of the product in no way influenced my honest assessment.
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