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Straight Forward Math Series: Addition, Multiplication, and Division Review by Karen Waide

Stanley H. Collins
Garlic Press
1 (800) 789-0554
899 South College Mall Road, Suite 381
Bloomington, IN 47401

The Straight Forward Math Series from Garlic Press contains several different math workbooks. I was given the opportunity to review three of these books with my older daughters. My eight year old primarily used the Multiplication book and is starting to learn with the Division book. My seven year old has been reviewing her facts using the Addition workbook. Each of the workbooks in the Straight Forward Math Series costs $6.95.

As the title of the series suggests, these books are a straight forward way to learn math facts from 0-10 (or 1-10 as in the case of the Division book). There are no explanations of what addition, multiplication, or division are. It is expected that the child has a basic understanding of how to add, multiply, and divide, and what each process means.

Each of the books begin with an instruction page for the teacher or parent. The workbooks are then divided into sections. First, the child will take the “Beginning Assessment Test.” Next, there are three practice sections, each of which contains practice sheets, review sheets, and section diagnostic tests. The books conclude with a cumulative review, final assessment, and an answer key. In looking at the answer keys, you’ll notice that all the assessment tests are arranged in patterns (either diagonal, vertical, or horizontal), which makes it easier to see what the child still needs work on.

The idea of the books is to have the child take the beginning assessment test and the parent, or teacher, uses the diagnostic tool to determine where the child should begin with the practice sheets. However, we chose to start at the beginning of the practice sheets in order to encourage the children to memorize all of the facts. The girls took their assessment tests in their respective books, so I could see what knowledge they had. They then worked on the practice sheets; taking one or two days for each page.

There are two full sheets of 100 problems included for each number in each book. Each page of the double page spread uses the either the horizontal or vertical format. This allows children to get comfortable with both methods. This is especially nice in the division workbook as it is a simple way to introduce the children to the long division sign which they will see throughout their school days. I do have a word of caution, however. While these sheets do focus on basic facts using single digits, not every child works at the same pace. Parents need to be aware of their child’s limitations. Forcing a child who is struggling to complete all of the problems in one day may cause frustration and reduce the chance that the facts actually get learned.

The Review sheet for each section contains only the numbers reviewed during that section. I allowed the children to do as many problems in the review section as needed before moving on to the test the next day. I did not have them fill in every problem for the review. The Section Diagnostic Test was given over a period of two days.

The nice thing about these books is that you can have your child practice the same pages multiple times, as permission has been granted for limited reproduction. It has been quite an encouragement to see the improvement in our girls’ knowledge of basic math facts. I love listening to them as they quiz each other at various times throughout the day. Knowing that they are finding math fun is truly a dream come true. Thanks to these books, they are gaining a solid foundation to build on as the years go on.

-Product Review by Karen Waide, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November, 2015