Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Timberdoodle Review: Daily Word Problems

My kids often ask me why they have to do their schoolwork. One that I've heard more than once is, "Why do we have to do math every day?" I try to tell them that we do math homework every day because they'll eventually use math every day, regardless of what careers they choose. Recently I found an easy to use workbook that effectively answers that question without me having to come up with creative examples that cause my children to start rolling their eyes.

Brennan and I were given the chance to do a product review for Timberdoodle, and we received Evan Moor's Daily Word Problems workbook.

This affordable workbook is divided into one-hundred eighty short assignments, one for each day of a 36 week school year. The questions for each week all follow a theme, for instance, making sandwiches, science experiments, astronomy, sharks, etc. The assignments for Mondays through Thursdays are typically short and only require a single operation to answer the question.

I really like the way that the workbook is set up to include plenty of room to work out the problem. Brennan's not a big fan of showing his work for his math assignments. If he needed to go get a scrap of paper to work this morning's multiplication question, he would've just tried to do it all in his head and probably would've gotten the wrong answer.

On Fridays, the question involves a longer problem or problems. Often these word problems include a chart or graph with the needed information. For instance, one Friday's assignment give the costs of sandwich ingredients and the menu prices. The student calculates the profits earned when they sell 1, 10, or 50 sandwiches. The final question that day asks what the profit per sandwich would be in the price of turkey slices goes up 3 cents. This is the kind of problem that shows my kids why we're doing math everyday.

Sometimes the Friday assignment is a logic mind-bender -- the type where you are given a series of statements and you have to figure out which of the four people caught which types of fish. Those sorts of problems have always been a favorite of my older daughter's, and she's a bit jealous that Brennan gets to do them as part of his schoolwork.

This book is a great supplement to our current math curriculum. It doesn't teach math concepts, but instead, it teaches students how to use those math concepts. I like the way the problems are presented in a way that makes Brennan think about math. He's not simply adding the numbers in the word problem because that's what he was doing on the rest of his assigned worksheet. He's also learning to sort through the information in a chart or on a graph to figure out what numbers are and are not relevant to the question being asked.

Knowing how to use math in our everyday world is the most important math skills that I could teach my children. I'm thankful for a product that helps me accomplish that goal.

Timberdoodle offers Evan Moor Daily Word Problems for grades 1-6; each one at a discounted price of $12.25. They also offer a wide variety of other Math options for homeschool students.

As a product reviewer for Timberdoodle, I received a free copy of the Daily Word Problems workbook. I received no other compensation, and I did not promise to write a favorable review. I always aim to show how a product either did or did not work for my children or for my family.

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