Do any of your kids struggle with math? (Do you?)
I’ve tried so many approaches to teaching my oldest son math, and truthfully, we’ve struggled for many years. Enter the Learn Math Fast System, which I received this summer and am so excited to tell you about.
This system is quite unlike any other math curriculum I’ve used before. It currently consists of five volumes, which cover beginning mathematics through Algebra I. (Volume VI will cover Algebra II and is scheduled for release in the future.)
Designed to teach math concepts and facts quickly, Learn Math Fast starts out very simply. In lesson one, numbers that total no more than five are added and subtracted. These early lessons use a hands-on approach by using pennies to demonstrate and reinforce the concept and then to practice the math facts.
Once the child is comfortable with the concept and has practiced the related math problems, he works on a couple worksheets to further reinforce the facts. The worksheets can easily be used over several days by working only part of the problems each time.
How long a child spends on each lesson will depend on his unique progress, of course. My 11-year-old moved through many of the lessons in only one day, while my 8-year-old did better if he spent 4-5 days on each lesson.
Before moving on to a new lesson, the child completes a 30-second quiz by answering the problems orally. This is to gauge how well he’s memorized the math facts and to encourage him to work on answering the problems quickly. (Each 30-second quiz has 20 problems, and after several lessons a 1-minute test with ~40 problems is completed.)
We’ve had mixed results with these timed tests. They really stressed my 8-year-old so I dropped them pretty quickly with him. My 11-year-old, on the other hand, has seemed very motivated by the challenge. He has never been particularly quick with answering math problems, even very simple ones, but he has worked hard to master the 30-second and 1-minute challenges. It’s great to see him spurred on to improving his math skills and speed!
The author of Learn Math Fast recommends that all students begin with Volume I since establishing mastery in the basics is a vital foundation for higher math. However, we all know that sometimes older students who are struggling feel “stupid” if they’re asked to start back at the beginning. The Learn Math Fast website offers a placement test to help parents gauge their children’s current abilities before starting the program.
According to the placement test, my oldest son could have started with Volume II, but I chose to have him start with Volume I . . . just to be sure. (As you may have guessed with Volume V covering Algebra, the volume numbers don’t correspond to grade levels in any way.)
Throughout all five volumes, the lessons in the Learn Math Fast System can be completed independently – especially by older students. I usually work on the lessons along with my younger son, though he does the hands-on practice (with the pennies) and the worksheets by himself. After explaining the methodology behind the program to him, my older son now works on the lessons by himself. When he’s ready, I listen to his answers for the timed quizzes/tests.
The worksheets, quizzes, and tests can be copied at home or printed via the website. A purchaser is allowed to copy or print as many pages as they need for their own family, which means that the books can be used for every student in a family. A big money saver!
All in all, I’m very pleased with the Learn Math Fast System. Each lesson builds on the ones that came before, and topics are presented in a logical, sequential manner. I appreciate the way its set up to teach directly to the student – that frees up my time to teach my younger sons.
In the two months that we’ve been using the program, I’ve seen both my 11- and 8-year-olds progress in their skills and in how quickly they can solve equations. I’m excited to see how they continue to improve as we move further through the lessons.
Cindy and her husband, Jon, live in beautiful West Virginia with their three sons – Nick, age 11, James, age 8, and Robert, age 4. They homeschool with a relaxed, eclectic style and enjoy reading great books together as a family, geocaching, and visiting historic and scenic places. Along with teaching Sunday School, knitting, and baking, Cindy loves geography and is the author of Expedition Earth: My Passport to the World. Visit her blog at Fenced in Family.
Learn Math Fast Giveaway
Would you like to win Volumes I-V of the Learn Math Fast System? We’ve got one set to give away this week – enter in the Rafflecopter widget below!