Thanksgiving contest winners - 2

It's time to publish the winners for category 1 of Math Mammoth Thanksgiving contest. I got a lot of very nice testimonials, and in fact I'm still going through them.

Some of the stories of how people have used Math Mammoth were actually quite touching. In one case, it seems Math Mammoth saved the entire homeschool (see the first winning entry below)! In others, my books have made a big difference.

So without further ta-doo let's announce some winners!

1st Prize: $50 credit to get Math Mammoth books

There are two winners.

1. Coleen Posey

Excerpt from her entry:
"I do not exaggerate when I tell you that we were on the verge of giving up on homeschooling and putting our kiddo in school because math was ruining our entire day.

That was not what I wanted to do, so back into "research mode" I went. Enter Math Mammoth. I don't even remember how I stumbled onto the website, but I soon realized it looked like exactly what we needed. What attracted me the most was the clear, concise, to the point explinations and pictures that seemed to explain the comcepts in a way that I (and all of those other programs) just couldn't seem to communicate. I was also thrilled by the no frills layout. There were no cardstock puppets, colored bears, or snap cubes to drag out every day (and fish out of the baby's mouth after math class). There was just a simple, clear explanation, followed by exercises that directly reinforced that explanation.

Now for the great part. I started my second grader with the first grade book, because even though she was up to grade level in things like time, money, and geometry, I knew she needed to pretty much start over in the areas of computation and place value. The first day I gave her the book, she literally did 20 pages or more. She felt confident with the stuff in the beginning, as much of that was review. But she said several times, "I love this math book!" I have NEVER heard that in this house, no matter how simple a math page might have been for her."

Read her entry in its entirety.

2. Tracey R.

Excerpt from her entry:

"...but after several lessons hit a point where he wasn't understanding something again, and then we'd be back to the tears/avoidance. ...

But earlier this fall I was getting very worried. He was now 12 and the age to be in sixth grade, and he was still struggling with long division and advanced multiplication. On top of that, he'd never memorized his times tables because he could add large numbers quickly in his head. He wants to be a chemical engineer, and that's just not very likely for someone who struggles with elementary math!
Someone else mentioned Math Mammoth, which was a program I'd never heard of. By the end of that day I'd downloaded the Sample Pack and was trying to figure out where to place him! And within a week I'd bought the complete Blue pack.

...for about two weeks, I had my son go through the multiplication and division books. We started out with both of us looking at the computer. I printed out some of the instructional pages with memorization tips for him to keep in a notebook. Then, we'd scroll through the lessons, around 30 pages a day, only stopping on things that were things he'd struggled with. I'd print out those pages and he'd read them and then try some problems. If he got them right, we'd move on.

He also went to one of the websites mentioned on Maria's blog in order to help him memorize the times tables. He still really didn't see the need to memorize them at first. But when I pointed out to him advanced multiplication was a whole lot easier, with fewer steps, if you didn't have to add up every single individual product in the bigger problem, he realized he needed to memorize them and buckled down! That was also happening during those two weeks.

He's about through all the Math Mammoth books, and surprisingly, Singapore 6B as well. I don't think he's quite ready for Singapore's New Elementary Math yet, so he'll be doing Life of Fred books, supplemented by Math Mammoth worksheets through algebra.

So, thanks to Math Mammoth, he's gone from struggling with 3rd grade math, to doing above-level math, in just about a month. I'd always wondered how some homeschooling moms I know who'd taken their kids out of government schools when they fell behind caught them up, and now I know one good way to recommend."

Read her entry in its entirety.

2nd Prize: $30 credit to get Math Mammoth books

Tricia Huebschman

"... My son found your worksheets very easy to follow with directions that made sense to him. This is a huge advantage in homeschooling as I have 3 kids to teach, all at different levels. We still worked together at times, but he found that he could work independently as well. Explanations are clear and concise. The problems kept him engaged, but did not get too repetitive. I appreciated that some of the sections were difficult as it gave me a chance to work through multi-step problems together. From a teaching standpoint, I like that I can choose a subject to focus upon."

Read her entry in its entirety.

Jeannie Gambill


"...I have resisted the temptation, and her begging, to omit some of the practice problems, and I'm beginning to see progress in her ability to recall facts. For example, she's always insisted on using the multiplication chart when working problems, so when we began the times tables chapter and she was asked to fill in boxes on the chart, she found it familiar & fun. Each day, she was asked to fill in more & more. Each day she grew crankier about doing it. But we persisted throughout the chapter. My fingers were crossed, but I wasn't sure if this would help either. Before giving her the chapter test on times tables, I let her take a few days to work on another workbook. She was asked to complete multiplication facts (in algebraic form, yeah!) and then plot a graph using the numbers. I was so shocked and overjoyed that she did it quickly and WITHOUT the multiplication chart! All those facts just came from her little brain! Thank you, thank you! I tried three different curricula last year. This is the first one that has made a difference. We are loyal fans!"

Lauri Bolland

"... I ordered the Blue Addition/Subtraction 2-A, downloaded, and printed that very day.

Well, it turned out to be just what Gracie needed! You teach math topics efficiently and interestingly, with no extraneous fussiness. After doing a few weeks of your math (slowly - 2 pages per day) Gracie asked to know a bit more about the writer. We went online so she could read your "about" page, and was so pleased to put a name and face to your math books. You see, she discovered that you like patterns, and believes you hide patterns all through your math worksheets. In fact, she now notices lots of math patterns quickly, and makes extra effort with her math worksheets to make sure Mrs. Miller doesn't "trick" her. Her ability to see patterns makes learning math facts so much easier. It never occurred to me (or my Engineer husband) to explain math the way you do. You seem to be speaking her "math language" and - finally - math makes sense to her."

Read her entry in its entirety.

Maria Wright

"...Last year, I bought Add & Subtract 2A&B (Blue series) because my 1st grader was having trouble memorizing math facts with Horizons. I was so pleased with the format and ease of use that this year I am using Grade 2 of the Light Blue series as my math curriculum, and it is working very well for us. We had tried other curriculums that relied heavily on memorization and drill (Saxon and Horizons). We also tried Miquon and Singapore Math, which did not have enough drill and were difficult to follow and teach. Math Mammoth seems to have just the right combination between theory and practice."

Read her entry in its entirety (It's the entry by maria05.)

Michele Call

"...My fifth grader has always done well with math, but we hit a wall with Singapore. My younger ones were academically immature for their grade, and were understanding nothing. I had long since looked to the math mammoth website when I needed worksheets. I found that more and more often I needed to print out the mammoth worksheets to explain their math, in place of the day's assignment in Singapore. So, because the price was so reasonable, and since I liked the worksheets (particularly for place value-I personally learned so much on the website about place value, which had always seemed intuitive for me, but was not at all intuitive for my second grade son) I chose to buy the set.

I put my daughter in the gold series, fifth grade. I started my other two, if I remember right, in the first addition and subtraction book. The second grader may have been in the second one if I remember right. Anyway, it worked much better than Singapore. I really liked the fifth grade curriculum, although I would have very much preferred to have the full fifth grade curriculum, rather than the gold book. The books for the younger ones worked well also. There was a ton of practice, but it wasn't just boring, rote drill. "

Read her entry in its entirety

Dian Dewi

"...Bottom line is, this is a very good program. However, be prepared to adjust its scope and sequence according to the student's needs. It is a mastery program, so it sometimes includes more advanced concept in the same chapter as introductory lesson. Do not feel compelled to finish off a chapter in one go. Children need time to solidify a concept. When a child is stuck, move on to other topics while reviewing the previous topics lightly to prevent children from forgetting what have been taught before.

I've mentioned the weakness of a mastery program above. However, a mastery program like Math Mammoth has its own strength. Apart from being logical and conceptual, its scope and sequence is easy to tweak. In fact, this is one factor which makes me use math mammoth. Not all math programs are easy to tweak. I found it hard to tweak a scripted program like Right Start. When I tried tweaking it, I had to go through the whole sets, made note and then taught based on the methods it employs. I guess a spiral program would be more difficult to tweak as well.

I personally do not like programs which make me slave to it. I like to be able to tweak it with ease to match my student's needs.And Math Mammoth fits the bill in that respect. "

Read her entry in its entirety (entry by mom2alma)


"...The textbooks are pretty much self teaching, with little or no preparation required for each lesson. Since the subjects are taught topically, they can be easily supplemented with other curriculum, though I don't feel the need to supplement as there are plenty of practice questions, drills, word problems, and links to online practice games to reinforce topics learnt. There is enough "meat" in this program to challenge the gifted, and enough practice to encourage the struggler. Each concept is first explained in its longest form, so the children really get a grasp of how it works. The problem is simplified in steps until towards the end of the chapter, the concept is taught in the traditional method. This seemed to us at first to be a long way around, and somewhat confusing, but once we reached the final outcome, it made sense to teach it that way, and the concept is well understood. This is why I really like the program."

Read her entry in its entirety

There were also other winners with smaller winning amounts:

Amy Burt
Cynthia C, Alaska
Rebecca Dickenson
Anita Dillahunty
Lori Thogersen
Raina McGrath
Jenni Thames

Winners have received an email from me.

Thanks again, for all participants!


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