No-Fuss Math for Young Learners: ThemeVille Math Review

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

I have a new kindergartner, and he's the sweetest, most eager child... And I still spent much of the summer hoping he'd be willing to just do his own thing so that I didn't really have to "do" kindergarten with him? Of course, this is the child who has spent the past two years insisting he DOES do school, and that he's in PRESCHOOL!!! All while trying to sit in my lap while I do lessons with all the older children. I've thrown workbook after workbook at him, and he really has loved them all. But it was time for something a little more structured, and ThemeVille Math has the structure he needs without being overly loud or introducing concepts that are unfamiliar to me.
I wasn't sure if Peter would be ready for Level 1, but after checking the placement test on the website it looked like that would be perfect for him! We have plenty of our own math manipulatives (which are mostly used as toys at this point, honestly), but separate manipulatives are available for purchase on the ThemeVille Math website.

The worktext is thick and full of exercises, I would say probably similar in thickness to the math curriculum I have used with our other children, but with a lot more problems on each page. For Peter, that meant he often wasn't able to do an entire page in one day because he's still working on building the habit of attention, and building up hand strength. Instead we play lots of fun math games, and he really enjoys pulling out his worktext whenever he feels like getting a little math done! It's nice for him to have his own "serious" worktext to use when his older siblings get their math books out when it's school time. No colorful pictures to distract, just simple concepts and lots of practice. A separate solutions book is also available, although I don't think it's really necessary for Level 1, though probably useful in later levels.

Each day has a "pre-lesson" (meant for review purposes) and an actual lesson, and I believe both are intended to be completed in the same day. For Peter, who won't be 6 until November, that was just too much. So instead he does a page or half a page each day, and we don't worry about finishing all 120 lessons quickly. A lot of the concepts he's already mastered, but he isn't interested in skipping ahead to new material, and is happy filling in the worktext as written. As he progresses, I think I'll be able to convince him to move ahead more quickly, though. But the skills he's learning are providing a good foundation for mathematical understanding in the future.

Right now ThemeVille Math is available in five levels, with teaching videos online. It differs from our usual math program because it covers both addition and subtraction (and Level 2 covers both multiplication and division), rather than just one or the other. It will be interesting to see how that works, and whether we decide to stick with ThemeVille Math or not, considering how much more budget-friendly it is!

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