Can You Say Math Drilling is Fun?
Fun and math memorization in the same sentence?! Yep! So much fun, in fact, that my kids laugh their socks off and fall down the stairs while they practice their math drills. (Don't worry. No children were injured in the making of this review.) So much fun that I heard my son lamenting with a pout, "Now I'm sad!" when I told him it was time to take a backseat and let his sister practice for a few minutes. So much fun that the other morning, all four kids were begging me to "do that fun math again today" and shouting "Yay!" when I said that sounded like a great idea.
How Does It Work?
Memory Joggers makes memorizing math facts easy by capturing the imagination! It uses fun memorization techniques incorporating rhymes, pictures and playful activities to teach instant recall of addition and subtraction facts. My kids started doing hand jives a couple of years ago and were thrilled when they found out I'd be teaching them new ones -- and that it would actually count as part of their math class! You don't have to practice it this way, though, if that doesn't sound like your thing. The handbook comes with a variety of great ideas -- saying them along with jump rope rhymes, in plays or skits, while warming up for PE, or during any other game you or your creative kids can come up with. It's especially great for kids with learning disabilities because it's an approach that keeps their interest. Now just in case any of you educators out there scoff at the idea of having too much fun during math class, don't fret! There's a workbook and quiz element included, too.
Who's it for? The Memory Joggers curriculum says it's aimed at kids in grades K-5. However, it can easily be used with kids as young as preschool or as advanced as middle school. For us, it works in a homeschool setting, but it was developed by and used by a public school teacher. My kids are 9, 11, and 12 and all of them are benefiting from Memory Joggers. Even if you have younger students or older ones, the full set comes with an extra bonus: the 136-page lesson plan book "Memory Tips for Math" which includes memorization techniques encompassing counting, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, odd and even numbers, days of the week, calendar months, time, fractions, decimals, geometry, the metric system, money, measurement, Roman Numerals, even Algebra!
What Else is Included?
Besides the 136-page lesson plan book, Memory Joggers also includes:
- 36 Fact Family Cards (these also doubled as art class -- the kiddos decorated ours themselves)
- Parent/Teacher Guide (a quick read that's super user-friendly)
- CD of the Memory Rhymes (for becoming familiar with the cadence and voice patterns)
- Reproducible Memory Joggers Workbook (including practice sheets, quizzes, and tests)
Why I Love this Specific Curriculum
Besides all of the laughter it brings into my classroom and home, I love this math curriculum for many reasons. First, it's so easy. I read the short intro in a couple of minutes and was ready to start it with my kids. The charts included are handy for learning the math facts, the worksheets correlate perfectly, and the set-up takes almost no time at all. Everything is straightforward and is organized in the most convenient way imaginable for the best results possible. I also really like that it's easily adaptable for a wide variety of ages. That's something I almost always look for as a homeschooling parent. I'm so glad to have found this program, and so are my kids!