Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review of Math Made Easy

As a member of the TOS Crew, I was given the opportunity to review Math Made Easy's Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy.  Recommended primarily for 3rd and 4th graders (although certainly beneficial to older children who need to be drilled in multiplication facts), this program consists of lesson plans, a pretest, six weeks of daily activity sheets, a post test, multiplication games, and flash cards, all contained within a modestly sized comb bound book.

 These sample worksheets give a very good idea of the tone of the program.  This is a very basic, bare bones approach to learning multiplication facts.  It reminds me of the kind of worksheets that I had as a kid in school, which is not a detriment: many homeschooled children do exceptionally well with such a presentation.

Some homeschooled kids, though, especially those who don't really have an affinity for math do not respond well to the worksheet approach.  Granted, this program includes coloring activities, too, but it still remains basically just a worksheet drill-n-kill.  It is probably for this reason that my 2nd grade twins (my only children who did not know their facts when we got this program) didn't respond to it very well.  We spent several weeks using this program exclusively, but then began to use another, interactive, program and their retention of facts increased dramatically.  It is possible that they

experienced greater success with the other program because they are more visual learners (I think our computer-based culture is probably actually creating more visual learners).

What this program does differently than other worksheet-based approaches is to begin with the premise of eliminating certain facts right off the bat (zeros, ones, tens, elevens - all the easy ones), and then teaching the others in pairs (i.e., 3x2 is the same as 2x3).  The author posits this as a new and different way to teach multiplication. My main problem is that I don't think it is new.  This is the way I learned multiplication 30 years ago, and it is the way I taught the facts to my two older children.

Perhaps for parents who are even less math-able than I, this approach will seem novel enough to justify the $24.95 price tag, but for my money, there are many less expensive ways to teach the facts.  Just because Math Made Easy was not the right fit for our family does not mean that it is not perfect for yours! To see other Crewbies' experiences with this program, be sure to read the Crew blog.


Disclaimer: I received Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy free in exchange for my review.  I received no other compensation.


  1. Thank you for an honest review!

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