Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mastering Essential Math Skills


Math is not a strong subject for half our house.  Some of us get it, and others of us do not!
Mastering Essential Math Skills is an asset to any household to help strengthen or even "master" those important math skills. It includes a DVD video with an instructor taking you through steps for each section.  I really liked that the sections were short, because attention spans do not last a long time around here.

Some of the benefits of using Mastering Essential Math Skills:

  • Short, concise, non-intimidating, self-contained lessons
  • A "Helpful Hints" section as part of each lesson, which insures that parents and students alike will understand new concepts
  • Includes an illustrated step-by-step teacher/parent guide and solutions
  • Requires only 20 minutes per day
  • Daily number fact speed drills
  • Consistent review is built into each lesson
  • Fun and exciting…students feel successful and develop self-esteem
  • Prepares students for all of areas math curriculum, which they will need in their future classes
  • Most of all, the program produces dramatic results


We had the opportunity to use Mastering Essential Math Skills Elementary Grades 4-5.  The dvd had some good explanations on how to do the problems.  Joey didn't mind the worksheet practice.  In fact, they seemed to be helpful in him learning.  He was working on basic skills daily.  The sessions were short and the practice work was only about 15 problems usually.  Which were very helpful with Joey's attention span.

Unfortunately, Joey still struggles in Math.  This is an extremely weak area for him, so overnight improvement will not happen.  He did make some improvement in understanding the steps to solve problems, but not as quickly as I would have hoped.  (But my hopes were pretty high.)  He still has trouble with some of the new concepts with each daily worksheet.  Since we have started though, he has had his assessment and the assessor explained that kids with Joey's learning disabilities will not be able to retain the same way.  Especially when it comes to basic facts.  As long as he has learned steps......then there is improvement.  So really he did make improvement so far.  

The one thing that Joey really missed was computer interaction.  We normally use a program that tells him whether or not he done the problem correctly and what he needs to do to fix the problem he may have gotten wrong.  I was able to let him work on math more independently by using that program.  This required more hands-on with me.  Which is not a bad thing, because he may continue improving with more interaction from me, versus the computer.

We are still sticking with this program though, to see what happens.  You never know when the switch will be flipped in his  His assessor said he had definitely made improvement!

Mastering Essential Math Skills is available:

Available in two levels:

Elementary Grades 4-5 includes:

Middle Grades/High School includes:

Whole numbersIntegers
FractionsCharts & Graphs
DecimalsProblem Solving
Ratio & proportionsNumber Theory & Algebra
PercentsProbability & Statistics
GeometryGraphing on number lines and coordinate systems

We also had the opportunity to try out the Problem Solving Mastering Essential Math Skills book.  This book has several short Story problems on each worksheet, along with a few math review problems.  Story problems is a weak area for both boys.  Brayden doesn't want to take the time to read the problem.  This book had everything already for me to use, so that they could practice "reading to solve" the story problems.  


The problems were easy to go through with the boys.  The practice is what causes the improvement.  And we saw a improvement.  And that is saying alot with our boys.  Would I recommend this product?  Yes, I would recommend this to other parents of kids with special needs or "typical" kids.  Depending on your child's level, the work can be independent or hands-on with a parent or tutor.  And you cannot beat the price....all the work is done for you, except grading.  I don't have to create story problem worksheets if I am using this program.  Saves me time!!!

You can purchase Mastering Math Essentials products here.  Prices for various levels range from $11.95-15.95. Still not sure if this is what you are looking for, you can take a look at some samples of the various levels offered here.

Check out what other Crew Mates thought of their Math Essentials products.  Visit their posts here.


*****Disclaimer......I received Mastering Essential Math Skills free of charge for the sole purpose of this review for TOS Homeschool Review Crew. I was not required to write a positive review. The views I have expressed are my own and are real experiences with my family. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255>:"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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