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Review by Sarah Shelton
I recently had the opportunity to review the kindergarten and first grade Liberty Mathematics curricula published by Christian Liberty Press. I was very excited since I had not yet used a formal math curriculum with my kindergartner. She also was excited when she saw the Liberty Mathematics Level K workbook. She immediately did the first twelve pages and did not want to stop! In addition, she really enjoyed coloring the cute black and white drawings found throughout the book.
At the beginning of the course, there is a lot of repetition and tracing to help students get started with forming their numbers. It also is very biblical! I love how it talks about God, His orderly universe, and how He made all things; it weaves these truths nicely together with learning numbers and math facts. Topics covered in this course include counting from zero to 100, addition and subtraction facts from one to ten, counting on a number line, and much more.
Concise instructions for the teacher are located at the top of each page. They give specific practice exercises to use with your child and suggestions to make the lesson fun. They also remind you to be patient, as some numbers may be hard to form at first. These instructions exhort you as the teacher to encourage your child throughout the course. This is really the first curriculum I have found that has little nudges for the parent along the way.
The teacher’s manual is very thin and can easily be stored in a folder. Each unit gives a general lesson plan with guidelines and ideas for drills and games, rather than offering daily lesson plans. This is a work-at-your-own-pace type program. It is very flexible and you can use it however you like and how it would best work for your child. The manual divides the course into fifteen different units of study; certain units may be only a couple of pages or as many as forty-eight pages.
You definitely have to do one or two pages per day to complete this course in thirty-six weeks. The kindergarten workbook has 233 pages, and the first grade workbook has 250 pages. The time it takes per day to complete this subject would be based on the child and how many games, drills, and manipulatives you decide to use.
The first grade workbook is called Liberty Mathematics Level A. It also has a lot of practice for the student and cute drawings that will grab his or her attention without being too overwhelming and busy. Level A also comes with a separate, 129-page Drill Book; each page contains sets of math problems that are used to drill your student. Directions at the top of each page tell you to administer a particular drill after the student has completed certain lessons. On page vi, there is a helpful chart for you to record your child’s drill times; this is a great way to show them how they are improving their skills! Level A also comes with a 35-page teacher’s manual and a separate packet of twelve tests.
We truly love this affordable, simple, and encouraging math curriculum; and I cannot wait to continue using it next year for first grade, as well! This is the first time a math curriculum felt just perfect for us from the very beginning.