Primarily written by Adrienne, a homeschooling mother of seven, ages 10 and under. She chronicles life, laughs, struggles, and lessons learned as she raises a larger-than-most sized family and tries to figure out what she's doing day by day.

With occasional posts, Alexandra, Adrienne's older sister, writes of her ranch life in Nevada and raising four sons, ages 5 and under. Life is never dull and her boys have given her some pretty awesome stories to tell.

Stick around awhile, and you're sure to laugh, nod, smile, be encouraged, and see what life is like with a big (little) family.


TOS Review: Math Mammoth

Liberty and Eden have been trying out Math Mammoth for the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew lately. We got to use three different worksheet sets, all from the Make it Real Learning series: Arithmetic I for grades 3-6, Arithmetic II for grades 4-7, and States by the Numbers – South Dakota for grades 3-7.

Not a complete curriculum by itself (although Math Mammoth has that too), these are extra worksheets for applying concepts and strengthening problem solving abilities. Using census data, store fliers, and the like, Math Mammoth has created real life problems. With product is a better price per ounce? Buy two small ones or one large? How many people live in South Dakota? (Answer: Not many!)

I chose South Dakota because it’s my home state. It was pretty fun to read about, and my girls enjoyed reading of their birthplace as well. After the first day of sitting with the girls and taking turns answering questions about place value and putting words to the numbers, I set them off by themselves. I loved the fact that I didn’t have to print these out. I’m cheap like that. The girls loved that they got to use the computer – that made it way more fun than handing them a stack of papers. Eden (age 8 and just having finished 3rd grade) especially enjoyed these worksheets – she actually asked to use them! From the girl who groans through math, these were amazingly right up her alley. When it came to applying what she already knows, she had a great time. I’m thinking we might need to change our approach to math for her.

Math Mammoth teaches common core standards. If that is what I think it is, it’s what the uproar lately is about regarding public school curriculum that will, most likely, filter down into our homeschools if it’s not stopped. I have to admit, I cringed when I read “common core” on their website. Upon consideration, though, I wonder if something along these lines, if worse comes to worse, won’t be crucial to being able to pass the tests that it would seem are in the making. I don’t know. What I do know, though, is that I love the math in real life concept. We learn and learn and learn, but applying it – that’s when it becomes real to us. I’ve often said common sense isn’t common – it has to be taught. Using the things we learn in books to figure out things in life helps teach that, in my experience.

Reading bar graphs and sharing among friends, averages, fractions, and working with money – and the fact that owing money really means you have less than zero, and therefore a negative number – were all things studied in Arithmetic I. Arithmetic II covers unit cost, large numbers, possible numbers, (How many ways can you change the same digits and come up with different numbers?) budgets, foreign currency, and more.

Arithmetic I is available here for $4.99 as a PDF download. Arithmetic II is available here for $4.99 as a PDF download. Both have 46 pages with 10 activities. States by the Numbers are PDF downloads and are available for $2.99 per state of $19.99 for all 50 states here. Each of the States by the Numbers have 38 pages with 80 activities. All three of the files we used have the typewriting tool enabled to allow the student to work directly at the computer, or they can be printed out.

Read more reviews from the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew on this and other math helps from Math Mammoth at the Review Crew blog.

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