Math on the Level Visitor Review:
Are you looking for a way to help your struggling math learner but other homeschooling math curriculums just don’t seem to work? Or are you looking for a program that will show you what to teach if your child excels in some areas of math but struggles in others?
Perhaps you have a student that does better if they see the practical side of a math concept (Why do we have to learn this in the first place?). Maybe you have a child that excels in all areas of math and hates having to do tons of review worksheets. Or maybe you and your child are incredibly bored with your current math curricula and want something different. You may be looking for Math on the Level. It is a very innovative, out of the box approach to math. Our family stumbled upon it by accident while at a homeschool convention last year and have been very grateful we did.
Math on the Level is a very thorough math program for pre-k through 8th grade. It is somewhat unique in its layout and approach and my family has loved the system. If you are looking for a standard workbook approach, this is definitely NOT the system for you. However, if you want to approach math from a real world, practical application perspective, with a more global understanding of math, then this may be just the system you were looking for.
To give you some background, I have one student that has always struggled terribly in math (now going into 7th grade) and I have one that has always done well in math(now going into 4th grade). With this system, both students were supported and had great success. In fact, we were able to find previously unknown weak areas in both students and correct them, while also moving forward in areas they both excelled.
The Math on the Level system looks at math holistically. It is not set up by grade level. You get multiple spiral bound books in color that cover ALL the math concepts from pre-k through 8th grade. It also comes with a multi-page checklist that is wonderfully organized to show all the math concepts covered from pre-k through 8th grade so you can see the big picture and create a plan for each child. They guide you through assessing where your child is in their math development and journey so you know where to start in each concept area.
The system also guides you through understanding and teaching these concepts in a very practical way and gives several real world examples of when the math concept would apply in life. The checklist helps you so that if your child excels in an area, you know where to go next and if they struggle you know where to go back to review. You teach, not by grade level, but by developmental and concept level and the checklist (once you get used to the layout) makes it very clear what to be teaching. They give a recommended scope and sequence list, too.
If your child has been in public school and your homeschooling journey has just begun, or you were working with a system that didn’t seem to cover everything, then Math on the Level might be great for you because you can go back and see where the gaps and the strengths of your student are. You will know where to start in each and every concept instead of being strapped to a “grade” label.
The Math on the Level belief is that you teach to Mastery at each level based on the developmental stage of your child, but continue to review so that concepts are not lost. Concepts are covered in more depth as you progress through the system so that continual Mastery level learning is possible. I love their system of review, too. Painless and quick but keeps concepts fresh in a student’s mind.
The cost may seem a little high at first, but it is actually quite cheap. When you purchase the system, you are purchasing the curriculum for ALL elementary/middle school math concepts and each concept has its own book. Each book is non-consumable and shows teaching the concept from pre-k through 8th grade. The checklist can be used for multiple students so you track all of your students on the same chart. It makes the cost quite workable, since you only have to purchase the one set of books and they can be used for years and years, with multiple students.
The system IS teacher intense, but once you get used to how it works, prep doesn’t take too long. I am very weak in math skills, so it took me a bit to understand certain concepts well enough to teach them, but the books really helped me to grasp the lessons. Anyone who does fairly well in math would probably find this system quite easy to teach. Those who have weak math skills may need to work a little harder, but Math on the Level will guide you through with great success.
One of our favorite sections was Roman Numerals. I have never understood Roman Numerals better than I have after covering it through Math on the Level. The explanations were so clear, got into far more detail than I ever had in school and the kids and I had so much fun! It was great to see the kids even doing more complex math problems for fun on their own time using Roman Numerals just because they wanted to. We loved the games that are recommended for each concept throughout the system, too!
I must be honest, though. Unfortunately, we will not be able to use Math on the Level as our main program for this next year. We are switching to Teaching Textbooks, but not because we don’t love Math on the Level. I do not intend to sell our Math on the Level system. It is definitely a keeper. If it weren’t for SEVERE time constraints for this next year I would continue with this program as our primary math, without hesitation. Since Teaching Textbooks teaches the child (instead of the parent), we are switching to that, at least temporarily, but we will definitely keep referring back to Math on the Level for work in trouble areas, places where we can delve in more deeply, and for practical ways to apply math concepts. Also, I am continuing to use the Math on the Level checklist with Teaching Textbooks to make certain that we aren’t missing any concepts.
I love Math on the Level’s philosophy, concepts and lay out. It is a very thorough program. I hope to switch back at a later date. I really do love Math on the Level and would recommend it to anyone!