Thursday, November 17, 2011

Math Mammoth – Make It Real Learning(TOS Review)


It seems I am perpetually looking  for math help for my girls.  We have a curriculum that we like, but they always seem to need a little extra practice.  Okay, sometimes they need a lot of extra practice.

Math Mammoth to the rescue.  We have several of their workbook series and they have been really helpful.  (Well, they were until I somehow lost the downloads from my iPad - guess I should find those links!)

But this review is about a different product.  When Math Mammoth was announced as one of the products up for review by the TOS Homeschool Review crew, I was excited to find the Make it Real Learning workbooks.  These workbooks focus on answering the question “WHEN AM I EVER GOING TO USE THIS?” – a familiar inquiry heard occasionally by those of us who teach math to our children!


None of the answers we provide to that question seem to appease our children if they’re struggling to understand a concept.   The Make It Real Learning workbooks each provide examples of a concept’s use as an answer to the question.  Each workbook has a mathematical theme so that you can find materials on the appropriate level for your students.  The available themes are:

Arithmetic I - for grades 3-6
Fractions, Percents, and Decimals I - for grades 4-8
Fractions, Percents, and Decimals II - for grades 6-11
Sets, Probability, and Statistics I - for grades 6-10
Linear Functions I - for algebra 1 and algebra 2
Linear Functions II - for algebra 1 and algebra 2
Quadratic Functions I - for algebra 1 and algebra 2/precalculus
Exponential and Logarithmic Functions I - for algebra 2/precalculus
Periodic and Piecewise Functions I - for algebra 2/precalculus
Polynomial, Power, Logistic, & Rational Functions I - for algebra 2/precalculus
Calculus I - for grade 12

Click on each of the links for more info on that particular workbook, and an option to download a sample.

The workbooks contain problems and questions based on real-life situations – something you might encounter in everyday life. Each activity-lesson in the book contains several questions about the situation, and the questions/problems become increasingly in-depth.  Written by an experienced math teacher (Frank Wilson), the problems are matched to the learning objectives of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).  They are available as .pdf downloads and are $4.99 each, or you can purchase the set of 11 titles listed above for $39.99.

Also offered in the Make it Real Learning series are States by the Numbers workbooks, which contain problems based on data from the Census Bureau's 2008 Statistical Abstract of the United States.  Students will also learn and practice place values, rounding, estimation, fractions and percentages.  There is a workbook for each state, and each one includes basic instruction and 80 practice problems. The problems can be used on grades 3-7; probably the best fit is for grades 4-6.  A .pdf download is $2.99 – a bargain! 

We received five workbooks to use for this review - Arithmetic I, Fractions, Percents, and Decimals I, Fractions, Percents, and Decimals II, Sets, Probability, and Statistics I, and States by the Numbers (Texas). 

Since we’re having a bit of trouble with fractions, I chose to focus on Fractions, Percents, and Decimals I and States by the Numbers (Texas) (which also contains a fractions section). 

States by the Numbers

To say the girls were thrilled when I told them we’d be working on fractions would be…ahem…an exaggeration.  We started with some of the simple rounding and place value problems in the States workbook.  The more problems we worked on, the more interested they became – so by the time we got to the fractions section they didn’t want to stop whenever it was time to stop.  I think the format of the problems intimidated them at first, but the more we worked, they gained confidence.

When we started the Fractions book, they were hooked right away because of the problem topics – cooking!  They were thrilled to find the very first problem was about baking a cake.   I made the mistake of not having baking supplies on hand, or they would have loved it even more. 

With the States book, they saw the practicality and application of math problems in real life.  With the Fractions book, they saw the fun of math problems in real life.


Maria Miller, author of the Math Mammoth curriculum (and provider of the Make it Real Learning workbooks), is a dream homeschooling vendor.  She truly cares that you get the right curriculum, and that it fits your child’s needs.  Maria is wiling to help via e-mail or phone.  I love personal service!

The workbooks are “fillable” – the student can fill it in on the computer, using the typewriter and drawing tools in Acrobat Reader version 9 or greater.

The “What’s the big idea?” pages – we like narration, and this was a way for the girls to “narrate” back to me what they had learned.

The explanations of the solutions of the problems in the Make it Real Learning  workbooks are great!


I wish the answers to the “Try It” problems in the States by the Numbers workbook weren’t at the bottom of each page.  I’d like to be able to give the pages to the girls to work on, but having the solution so readily accessible is too tempting!


The Make it Real Learning workbooks have pages with the problems, then pages with the problems and the solutions following directly afterward – so don’t just hand the workbook  to your kids!


Read about Maria Miller, the creator of Math Mammoth, HERE.

Check  out Maria’s blog HERE.

Download free math worksheets HERE and HERE, together with an opportunity to sign up for teaching e-mails and virtual e-mail tour.

Check out samples of the Make it real Learning workbooks HERE and a sample of the States by the Numbers workbooks HERE.

Check out FAQ about Math Mammoth HERE.

Math Mammoth has a YouTube channel HERE.

Review the information for parents HERE.

Be sure to check out the other math offerings!


You can contact Math Mammoth via email HERE.


We really enjoyed these workbooks.  I think the girls were surprised how much fun they had working word problems! 


To see other reviews of this product, click HERE and look for the linky tools list at the bottom of the post. For giveaways, other product reviews and other fun things, follow the 2011-2012 TOS Homeschool Crew blog at:


**Disclaimer: As part of the 2011-2012 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received downloads of the five workbooks referenced in this review at no cost in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased (and not necessarily positive) review. No other compensation was received.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great product! Baking is my go-to method for teaching fractions too :)