Reprinted with permission from the author
Math: Ages 4-8
For more information or to order: www.shillermath.com
I always struggled with math as a student in school. Now, as a homeschool mom, I must share the love of learning with my children (very difficult to do when you dread the subject). Finally, a curriculum company that has presented math in a fun and interesting way. WOW - What a neat concept in education! ShillerLearning gives life and understanding to arithmetic. Now I can confidently (and with enthusiasm) teach a difficult subject.
The program itself is amazing. Several years of math come prepackaged in a brightly colored box. Every manipulative you will need is included in the set (including the pencil). The author encourages using the program for multiple children at the same time. As a mother of four this addressed one of my primary needs. ShillerLearning recommends that, on average, you spend 15 - 20 minutes per day. My children often ask to continue with the next page because they enjoy the program. The activities are Montessori-based, using lots of exploration with manipulatives. The children have a workspace that is uniquely designed for performing the lesson. I believe this assists the child in transforming from a play attitude to a learning attitude. This is an extensive program that covers a broad range of topics including number order, place value, skip counting, addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, geometry concepts, roman numerals, money, estimation, time, equations and more. Each lesson is scripted for the parent/teacher and included in the student workbook, so you'll have one less teacher's manual on your shelf! Each activity has one math concept as the focus and uses manipulatives to reinforce the skill being taught. After several concepts, there is a test which reviews the concepts learned to date. The program emphasizes praising children and their success. There is also a fun CD with songs that help teach certain concepts. By using manipulatives, workbooks, discussion and music, ShillerLearning appeals all the major learning styles!
My 3 and 4-year-old-daughters love ShillerLearning. The organization of the kit makes my job much easier. I simply open the activity book five minutes before we begin and review. Since the manipulatives are all stored in the program box, there is no mad dash to locate the items necessary for the day's assignment. Many times the girls and I have been working on this at the table and my 7-year old all of a sudden wanders to the kitchen and joins us. I find this to be a great review for his math foundations, and he thinks he's just having fun! One of the important things to know before you purchase this curriculum is that it does require parent involvement. This is not a traditional textbook-style program where you can give your student a worksheet and have them complete it independently. Not sure if your 6 or 7 year old should start with ShillerLearning? Just visit their website and download the free diagnostic test samples - if you're still in doubt contact their helpful support staff.
On the whole, the program seemed expensive to purchase at one time. However, as I begin to think...this is several years of math for multiple children...the program is actually quite cost effective. Plus, the website offers art projects that reinforce the math concepts, free downloads of the consumable worksheets so you can re-use the program with younger children, and other support items. ShillerLearning is organized to be a time saver, but the best part of the program is that my children do not realize they are "learning" math. I must admit, even I look forward to doing math each day - with no more tears of frustration. This program, in its entirety, is a great investment!
Making the Grade: A
[Note from ShillerLearning: Cost is $399.95 (includes lifetime download license for all children of one generation in the family) - more info here.]
Value for your homeschool dollar: 9
Review provided by Jennifer M., homeschool mom of 4
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