Maria's Math News, September 2016
Welcome to this edition of the newsletter! As usual, I do hope you will find something interesting, or useful, or both. smile

In this edition:
  1. Math Mammoth news
  2. Free online practice exercises for math (grades 1-12)
  3. Brainie game and Kenken puzzles (grades 1-12)
  4. In the news: No homework this year
  5. Homeschool Math study survey

1. Math Mammoth news

  • I know some of you have been waiting for this... Rainbow Resource Center will have a sale for Math Mammoth PRINTED books (and CDs) from September 6 through September 15.
  • Math Mammoth got a "top recommendation" badge from the folks at the Well-Trained Mind Press! smile

    The Well-Trained Mind recommended curriculum

    Math Mammoth is included as a top recommendation in the newest edition of The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (a best-seller now in its fourth edition).

    I also put the badge on the testimonials page.

2. Free online practice exercises for math

Did you know that Khan Academy not only has videos, but they have added (in recent years) a TON of free interactive practice exercises?

These exercises are of good quality, and also include word problems, graphing, and other problems with visual models. And they span all areas of elementary, middle, and high school math.

You might bookmark some of these pages, in case some day you'd like to find just a few extra practice exercises for your child or student (on just about any math topic) to do interactively...

1. The search page.

The search for a math topic will list a lot of videos and exercises intermixed. It will help if you include the word "practice" in your search.

2. Common Core "map" page, from where you can find all sorts of math exercises listed according to grade levels, then Common Core standards (videos not listed here).

3. Brainie game and Kenken puzzles

Check how your 2nd-6th grader might like this game titled "Brainie" for a bit of mental math at the start (or end) of the day.

It starts out with simple addition but advances in levels. Soon, you will see tiles with "-1", "-2", etc. which indicate subtraction. And after a few more levels you'll see *2 and similar, indicating multiplication.

I liked it! smile

Here's another fun idea to get a bit of mental math into the math lessons in early grades... play KenKen puzzles! (And they are really neat logical thinking puzzles for any "grade" or age - I enjoy them too!)

You can play Kenken online here — options include the puzzle size, operations to use, and difficulty level.

The image above shows a 5x5 solved Kenken puzzle that uses all four operations.

You might also check the offer for free weekly KenKen puzzles that Denise mentions.

4. In the news: No homework this year

This is interesting... a teacher decides no homework for this year. It doesn't directly apply to homeschoolers, I realize, but quite interesting. I hope the results of this teacher's experiment are good!

Read more: Second grade teacher's unique homework policy goes viral.

5. Homeschool Math study survey

Carissa Bruno, a student from Thomas Edison State University, could use your help!

She is gathering data for her capstone study, and would need homeschooling parents who are willing to fill in her questionnaire. Please read her info below.

(The following is information from Carissa Bruno)

I would like to invite you and other current/former homeschool parents to answer my questionnaire. The questionnaire should take about 5-10 minutes to complete. The link to the questionnaire is:

In return for answering the questionnaire, I will be holding a drawing for all homeschool parents who indicate on the questionnaire that they are interested. Five different curricula companies have offered to donate curricula for the winner(s). If you would like to enter the drawing, please select "yes" to the question asking if you would like to enter the drawing. Then fill out the information on the following page. Once the questionnaire closes (September 10th, 2016), there will be a drawing (on September 12th, 2016) of all the participants who indicated that they were interested in participating in the drawing.

How this information will be used

I will be submitting this information in my capstone paper to my professor. In addition, the results will be shared with the curriculum providers who have donated prizes for the drawing. The reason for this study is to complete my Bachelor's degree and possibly to use for admissions to a Master's Degree Program. Just to let you know, I will be using fictitious names for anyone who fills out this questionnaire.

A little about me and the Homeschool Math Study (in case you are interested :-))

I am currently taking my capstone course which is my last course for a Natural Sciences/Mathematics degree at Thomas Edison State University in New Jersey. Having been homeschooled all the way through high school, I am interested in studies concerning homeschoolers! In my capstone course, I will be studying the question "How do parents perceive their own success when teaching homeschooled children math?". In order to answer this question, I am conducting the above-mentioned study of homeschool parents.

Thank you for reading this and answering my questionnaire! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at

Carissa Bruno

Questionnaire Link -

Thanks for reading! :)

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Till next time,
Maria Miller
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