Math Lessons for a Living Education is a Charlotte Mason inspired Math Curriculum
In our homeschool we love using many Charlotte Mason methods. When I first saw that Math Lessons for a Living Education I was interested to try it. We used it for grades 1 & 3 last year and I purchased levels 2 & 4 for the upcoming year.
There are some pros and cons to this curriculum
I purchased all items in today’s review offering an unbiased opinion. We are secular homeschoolers that do use Christian material and tweak it as needed. I’ve used levels 1 & 3 and will be using levels 2 & 4 this upcoming year in addition to other math curriculum.
Math Lessons for a Living Education curriculum review
- It’s a light math program. This could also be a con, but for kids that struggle with math, the pages are light and the lessons short. We often did more than was suggested in a day because it went by too quickly.
- Story inspired for some of the math concepts. These books offer weekly stories with real life math so that kids make the connections to what they’re learning. For example a skip counting lessons talked about packing up items for a trip and organizing clothes. Subtraction lessons was introduced with eating cinnamon buns. Not every story offers a math lesson however. I found that some of the stories the kids liked, others not as much. I do screen through certain stories because we are not Christian.
- Inexpensive. This is a big deal as most math curriculum cost a lot of money, often in the multiple hundreds for the year. You can buy it on Amazon or directly from Masterbooks.
- Simple. I loved the simplicity of just using beans or manipulative items from around the house. You don’t need to buy a fancy expensive kit to go along with this curriculum. They offer some pages in the back like houses for place value or number charts.
- Check off lists. I love the beginning that offers the teacher check off lists and the dates you completed the lessons.
- Level 1 had way too much repetitive busy work and felt more like a kindergarten program for the first half. Even towards the end of the book it was still asking us to copy numbers or color in the rectangle. The other levels didn’t seem to have the same busy work.
- Lots of review. This can be a pro or a con depending on the student. The reason why I felt like this was a con was because when you look at the first half of many of these books, it seems to be review from the previous grade level. Then when you look at the second half of the books, they are covering the topics that are generally taught for that grade level.
- Light compared to most math curriculum. When you open level 2 in Singapore math, Beast Academy or Math Mammoth, they’re doing math that the same level 2 doesn’t cover until half way through the year or even level 3. It’s nice that the lessons are short, however, they honestly don’t feel like enough. The goal is for the stories to infuse the kids with that real life application, but not every story is related to the topic at hand. If your kids are a strong math student I don’t feel like this curriculum will offer enough.
- Christian based if you are secular. This is likely a pro if you are a Christian. However this curriculum isn’t super heavy in Christianity and I feel like it’s easy to tweak certain stories or wording for our secular homeschool. I definitely couldn’t do this with Masterbooks Language Lessons for a Living Education ( I tried!).
For this year I am still using Math Lessons for a Living Education in our home, but not as our core.
I like to rotate light math days with heavier ones so that kids get more enjoyable days with math. Too much drill and kill or heavy math topics can be hard for certain students. I will be doing 3 days a week of Math Mammoth this year and 2 days a week of Math Lessons for a Living Education.
Have you tried this curriculum? How did it go for you?