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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Verbal Math Lesson Review

You may remember my review of The Reading Lesson last year.  It is the program we used to teach C to read at a very young age.  While not every child is ready to read as early as C was, I have always had the viewpoint that I want to help C reach any academic goals she is capable of, regardless of her age.  I love the simple approach of The Reading Lesson, it made reading a fun experience for my daughter.  Now at age six, I have don't know her "reading level."  What I do know is that she is a voracious reader that has been able to tackle just about any book that has captured her interested.  This includes books that are considered to be anywhere from K - 5th grade reading level.  If she finds a book interesting, she will read it, she hasn't met a book she wanted to read that she couldn't comprehend.  I think her basis with The Reading Lesson made reading seem easily attainable for her and that is certainly how she approaches reading today.  I could go on and on about The Reading Lesson but that is not what this post is about! 

Our Daughter's Approach to Math

You may have read in that original post, C was less thrilled with The Verbal Math Lesson.  Math is simply not C's favorite subject.  She does well most of the time, but if she considers a concept difficult, she simply gives up.(We are working on this.)  For her, the idea of doing math in your head seemed difficult because she was used to the worksheet approach.  Over the last year, I have learned that when it comes to math, C will "get it" easily if she is ready, otherwise, she won't get it all.  I've learned that if she is struggling with something in math, it does us both some good to drop that topic for awhile and try again at a later date.  This has proved true recently with learning to tell time, using tallies, and with practicing mental math with The Verbal Math Lesson.

Our Experience with The Verbal Math Lesson

Last year, I originally thought I would just alter my approach with the program but I later decided to just put it aside for the time being.  I always meant to try it again but I never got around to it.  Thankfully, I got a sweet e-mail from the folks at Mountcastle asking me if I'd be willing to check out the 2014 release of their Verbal Math series.  It was just the reminder I needed!. We got a new copy of books 1-3 to try out and C is actually enjoying math! 

She is seeing some great success with our math curriculum this year (Saxon), however, she does get frustrated with the length of the lessons.  We have started alternating days with The Verbal Math Lesson and she is so happy when we get to have a verbal math day!  I mean, who wouldn't prefer to do math snuggled up on the couch with a cozy blanket and mommy! 

The Verbal Math Lesson: What You Need to Know

  • This program is a fun, step-by-step approach to learning math with no writing required!
  • Excellent choice for young learners that don't yet have the motor skills to sit and do worksheets.
  • The Verbal Math Lesson is a completely comprehensive program, unlike other mental math books I've seen.
  • Math fluency will help your child achieve success in math as the work gets more difficult.
  • The Verbal Math Program is affordable
  • Book 1 is recommended for children 5-7, this is the book we are currently working through and it is actually lining up rather well with our Saxon 2 work.
  • Book 2 is recommended for children 7-8.
  • Book 3 is recommended for children 8-10.
  • The Verbal Math Lesson: Metric Math is recommended for students 11-16 (more on this book below)
 I am so happy we tried Book 1 again now that C is six.  Children that are naturally interested in math can most likely use this book with success sooner than we did.  I recommend this program for anyone with younger children.  The ability to do simple math mentally will be a great asset when your child is tackling more complex work in a few years. 

The Verbal Math Lesson: Metric Math

I am really excited about the latest book in the verbal math series, Metric Math.   This book is recommended for older students and is designed to help students seamlessly convert our traditional math to metric.  If you are wondering why learning metric math is important to students here in the United States, check out this blog post on the topic.  Here is a little snippet from the post:

"Metric math becomes increasingly crucial as our world becomes more global and we interact with other nations."
 With the addition of the Metric Math lesson, there is a verbal math lesson for everyone!  I just love the approach to learning of Michael Levin, M.D. and Charan Langton, M.S.. I have been impressed with everything I have seen from Mountcastle.  The e-books are incredibly affordable, you can get books 1-3 for just $17.99.  If you prefer a paper copy, you can get all three for $29.99.  If you try out The Verbal Math Lesson, I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Thank you so much for visiting Joy Focused Learning!

~Angela Bennett