MathTacular: Unbelievably Understandable Math™ {Review}

10/27/2014


Have you seen the MathTacular series from Sonlight?! Starring a quirky teacher named Justin, they are a series of DVDs that make math "unbelievably understandable" (and fun) using everyday objects.


I'd love to share my review of the MathTacular® 1-4 Bundle with you!

The Mathtacular® 1-4 Bundle contains:

Price: $98.99

I am using these DVDs with my three youngest children:

  • Boaz, Pre-K

  • Eliana, 2nd grade

  • Malachi, 4th grade


What I loved right from the start is that I didn't have to ask the kids to sit and watch. I just popped in a DVD and turned it on. Within minutes, I was surrounded by curious kids. I let them move in, and I stepped back to let the DVD do the teaching. So easy!

After that, the kids were asking me to watch MathTacular, so it was easy to add it to our weekly schedule, about 3 days a week.

Boaz

Justin covers a complete list of concepts from every top Math K program in MathTacular - including Horizons, Saxon, and Singapore and makes math fun by demonstrating hands on ways to learn math. Justin makes it so understandable and fun that after watching a segment, my preschooler wanted to go "play" with math and learn for himself. Not only that, Justin demonstrates how math is all around us in our everyday life with his unique style and silly humor.

This DVD includes four hours of math activities and games–plus PDF training tools (aka printables) that you can print.

In fact, we used many of the printables for our Preschool Morning Board!


All of the top pockets contain printables from MathTacular: colors, shapes, number words, months of the year, and days of the week - all concepts I am working on with my preschooler to get a head start for Kindergarten.



I added the weather printable on the side of the tri-fold. Bo loves running outside each day to feel how warm or cool it is and then choosing the picture card to match.



After we put up the new date on the calendar and sing the "Today Is" song, we count the days in the month using the number word cards, and then count and sing the days of the week song using the days of the week cards I printed from the DVD.



Then we recite the months of the year together and name the current month.



I love that the months of the year have seasonal reminders. (They do have seasonal holiday reminders, but I removed those for our use.)


Watching the DVD has inspired Bo to do many independent math activities - all on his own. This is how Justin makes math understandable and fun - children can watch and see math in action and then can imitate what they have seen.


Making tessellations with shape blocks:



Counting objects with a tape measure number line:




Sorting objects by color onto color cards that I printed from the DVD:



What is wonderful is that this is just what I happened to capture! Bo can watch the DVD and do math all on his own. He is being exposed to Kindergarten skills early through the lessons on the DVD. He is not ready for all of them, but he still enjoys watching them!


Eliana



Eliana is using both MathTacular and MathTacular 2. She enjoyed watching many of the lessons of MathTacular with Bo, and then Bo enjoyed watching lessons with her from Level 2.


What's wonderful is that the lessons have tied in well with her current math program.



MathTacular 2 teaches:

  • Addition

  • Subtraction

  • Money

  • Time

  • Place Value

  • Number Theory

  • Data and Statistics

  • Geometric Shapes

  • Spatial Relationships

  • Measurements

  • Perimeter and Area

  • Graphs

  • Basic Equations

  • and more!


Malachi


Malachi is using both MathTacular 3 and 4.


MathTacular 3 teaches:

  • Multiplication

  • Division (short and long)

  • Estimation

  • Mathematical properties

  • Equations

  • Factors

  • Prime numbers

  • Spatial relationships (like angles and coordinate planes)

  • Time zones

  • Money math

  • Conversions

  • Fractions

  • and more


MathTacular 4 is different than all the rest in that it is one continuous story ~ a mystery that is solved using math problems. The DVD also accompanies a workbook.



It has a silly, but fun mystery theme in which Amber Wave's precious prize pig has been porknapped by the dreaded "Word Puzzler" who has left behind clues. Detective Justin Time helps her solve the clues, which are actually word problems. These word problems are in the workbook, along with extra practice problems. As the mystery progresses, the problems get more complex.


I love how MathTacular 4 makes problem solving fun through the use of the mystery, and understandable by taking my student through the process step by step. The program first has Malachi cross off any unnecessary information. This is extra information the "Word Puzzler" has added to try to stump you. It makes solving story problems like solving a mystery. 





The answer key has step by step solutions for each problem.


The MathTacular DVD is for grades 4+, but the workbook is for grades 6+. Malachi was able to only work part way through the workbook, but literally begged me to finish the DVD! I had him go and far as he could and then I gave in and let him finish the mystery! I love that he begged me and learned math in the process! :)


I especially love that MathTacular:




  • can be used independently

  • supports any math curriculum

  • teaches math through the use of manipulative and real life examples

  • is taught with a silly sense of humor that makes learning fun

  • encourages imitation

  • can be played over and over


I recommend this for a supplement to any math curriculum for K through 6th grade, or for your preschooler to get a head start on K math concepts!


The Mathtacular series includes:




The Giveaway

Sonlight has offered to sponsor a giveaway for a chance to win a Mathtacular DVD of your choice! Please enter using the widget on my blog!  Giveaway has ended ~ thank you to all who entered, and to Sonlight for sponsoring the giveaway!

Connect with Sonlight on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Sonlight Forums, and the Sonlight Blog!



Disclaimer: I received a free Mathtacular 1-4 Bundle from Sonlight in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations. 

27 comments:

Sarah said...

Thanks for the giveaway and the review! I always appreciate an in-depth look at a curriculum piece before I buy. I have a preschooler, so the first DVD would be great for us!

Angela said...

So excited to try this math videos

Billie said...

I would love to win any of them! I probably would pick 2 or 3

Rachel C said...

I would love the first or second DVD. But they all look great!

Julie said...

I am always looking for the perfect math curriculum. I would love to try this out.

Mindy said...

I've always wanted to try these DVDs out. The mathtacular 4 with the mystery sounds so fun!

Heather said...

We have the first couple Mathtacular and kids watch in the car. I didn't know about the mystery one--sounds great!

Heather S. said...

forgot to add my last initial

Megan L. said...

Thanks for such a great review! My kids would benefit most from DVD 3 I think. I have one who is ahead a grade and one who is a bit behind so this would work for both!

Marci Hart said...

Great giveaway!!!! I've been wanting to try Mathtacular with my 4 year old. Thank you so much....fingers crossed!!!!!!

Amber Garsee said...

Michelle!

I would LOOOVE to win this bundle!! I'm excited!

Abby said...

We really enjoyed the first MathTacular video, so we'd definitely be interested in the second one.

Joanna A said...

MathTacular 4 looks like something my oldest would love.

Rachel said...

Thanks for the review! I'm always looking for exciting ways to teach math, and I've had my eye on these dvds for a while:) I would be interested in the 2nd or 3rd dvd:)

Pam Deibler said...

A wonderful, thorough review. Thank you! I would be interested in the 2nd or 3rd DVD.

Krishna Bolling said...

I would use the math 2 or 3. I would need to review it a bit more but I have a 9 yr old and 7 yr old.

Valerie B. said...

I'd love Mathtacular 4. It sounds great! :)

Leanna said...

Hi Michelle! This is the first I've heard of MathTacular - but I am having a blast watching all the of the samples from the Sonlight page. My kids would LOVE this...any of them! Thanks!

Jodie said...

I live Sonlight and use Horizons. Id love to use 1 and 2!

Deana said...

Thanks for the chance to win! I would choose 2.

Wendy @ Simplicity Breeds Happiness said...

I would probably choose level 4. It's a toss up between 3 & 4 though.

Lisa R @ A Rup Life said...

I'd love to try Preschool!

Bridget said...

Either the second DVD for my 2nd grader or the level 4 for my 5th grader.

AdenaF said...

These look AWESOME. It would be so hard trying to decide on only one but it would probably be the 3rd one.

zekesmom10 said...

I'd get one. Or two. Maybe three, but probably not. :)

Brittney said...

These look fun! I would probably get the first or second one for my boys.

Jamie B said...

Wow! These all look great! I have kids that could use each level I think, but it would be awesome to win MarhTacular 4! Thanks for the great giveaway!

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