In my search for a math curriculum that would work well for my children, I came across Math Lessons for a Living Education. After looking at the sample pages online, I decided to try out this curriculum. This article is a review of Math Lessons for a Living Education based on my experiences using levels 1, 2, and 5 over the past 2 months.
Overview of Math Lessons for a Living Education
Math Lessons for a Living Education is a homeschool math curriculum with books ranging from 1st through 6th grade. The curriculum is advertised as a Christian curriculum that follows a traditional math teaching sequence. The curriculum integrates stories into each unit that relate to Christian values. Practice pages for Monday through Friday follow the story. Practice pages may include practice problems, copywork, word problems, and/or review problems.
Benefits of Math Lessons for a Living Education
If you are looking for a Christian math curriculum, the stories that go along with each unit may appeal to you. If you prefer a secular curriculum, you will want to use something else.
Auditory Learning Style
The stories included in each unit can be read to the child and my appeal to an auditory learner. The child will be exposed to Christian themes in the stories, but math instruction within the stories is limited.
Visual Layout of Pages
I was drawn to this curriculum as the sample pages seemed to provide a good balance between space and content. The pages are not visually overwhelming.
Minimal Preparation Time
Math Lessons for a Living Education is mostly an open-and-go type of curriculum. Some preparation time may be needed to assemble included manipulatives (e.g., a clock, place value houses, etc.).
I feel like the cost of Math Lessons for a Living Education is comparable to other affordable math curriculum. I bought the downloadable books for less than $30 each from Masterbooks.com. CLICK HERE to read about how to view your homeschool PDF files in a Kindle app.
Limitations of Math Lessons for a Living Education
When I bought Math Lessons for a Living Education, I expected the stories to clearly teach math concepts. The stories loosely relate to the math content; however, they do not consistently teach math concepts. After the story, the student completes math practice pages. I kept looking for the clear mathematical instruction and it just was not there.
Expected Grade Level Content
When I compared the 1st, 2nd, and 5th grade content to Arizona State Standards for Math, Math Lessons for a Living Education was mostly on target for 1st and 2nd grade. …maybe 1 or 2 concepts were not completely covered. Fifth grade content was completely missing some content that should be covered. For example, Geometry math standards for 5th grade include graphing points on a coordinate plane to solve problems. This concept is completely missing from the 5th grade Math Lessons for a Living Education book.
I feel like the content in Math Lessons for a Living Education falls short in providing appropriately challenging content. Really the content seems too easy. For example, in the 1st grade book, shapes are covered over the course of 3 weeks. My child working at this level knew his shapes at the preschool level and does not need to spend 3 weeks on learning to recognize basic shapes.
Summary of Evaluation of Math Lessons for a Living Education
|My Math Curriculum Standards||Notes|
|Aligns with State Educational Standards||Mostly, but there may be some gaps.|
|Content is Appropriately Challenging||Content seems on the easy side.|
|Learning Style||Curriculum may appeal to auditory learners.|
|Visual Layout||Pages are not overwhelming visually.|
|Quality of Review and Practice||Content is reviewed regularly. Practice problems seem on the easy side.|
|Required Prep Time||Minimal. Mostly open-and-go.|
|Cost||Comparable value to other affordable homeschool math curriculums.|
Recommendations on Math Lessons for a Living Education
Based on the lack of clear instruction for mathematical concepts within the curriculum, I would not recommend using Math Lessons for a Living Education as a core math curriculum. If you are drawn to the Christian themes, the simplicity of presentation, and the uncluttered visual layout of Math Lessons for a Living Education, this curriculum could work well if you combine it with another resource that will clearly teach the math concepts. Evan-Moor’s Math Fundamentals series would work well in making Math Lessons for a Living Education a stronger curriculum. CLICK HERE to read my review of Evan-Moor’s Math Fundamentals grade 1 book. CLICK HERE to read about how Math Fundamentals aligns with grade level math standards for education to ensure your child will have no gaps in their math education.
How to Supplement with Evan-Moor’s Math Fundamentals series:
- Follow the instructional sequence presented in Math Lessons for a Living Education.
- For each unit, find the corresponding content in Evan-Moor’s Math Fundamental Series.
- After reading the introduction story in Math Lessons for a Living Education, have your child learn the content using Math Fundamentals before moving on to the daily practice pages in the Math Lessons for a Living Education book.
- To avoid gaps in grade level content, be sure to include units from Math Fundamentals that might be missing from Math Lesson from a Living Education.