Grades: K-6 Shillermath.com
ShillerMath is a Montessori-based curriculum; however parents don't need to know Montessori or math and there's zero lesson preparation time. ShillerMath is provides a multi-sensorial experience based on the principle that students have different learning styles: visual, tactile, auditory, and kinesthetic.
ShillerMath is provided as two kits: one for ages 4-8, and another for ages 9-11. Kits are reusable with subsequent children.
The kits include activities, song audio CD, diagnostic tests, worksheets and tracking sheets, manipulatives, FREE consumable replacement, parent guide, toll-free phone support.
Pricing: Kit 1: $299.95 Kit 2: $199.95
Pre-owned kits available Kit 1: $199.95, Kit 2: $129.95
Reviews of ShillerMath
Time: 2 years|
Your situation: I've been homeschooling for 7 years now. I have four children, the oldest of which is 10. For about 5 years, we used Singapore math -- the texts for Singapore are clearly laid out and, at least till 3rd grade, brightly colored. However, we hit a snag about 3rd grade when some concepts were introduced which we could figure out how to do, but didn't really know *why* we did them that way.
Why you liked/didn't like the curriculum: I came across ShillerMath when I was looking for a clearer way to teach higher maths concepts, and we also happened to be dabbling in some Montessori-style learning at the time.
After studying the samples on-line for a couple of times, I realised that it wasn't just telling us *why* we do things the way it says, but it introduces new concepts in a very logical, step-by-step way.
For example, my son is using the 3rd grade book and is learning division by taking a wadge of manipulatives (hundreds and tens and units) and splitting them amongst several teddies. My daughter in 5th grade is also doing division, where 4-digit numbers are tackled in a long-division way, but using clearly laid out tables that aren't much different from splitting the number amongst teddies.
Any other helpful hints: I know ShillerMath seems to cost a lot up front, but when I factored in the price of all those Singapore textbooks, it was actually cheaper in the long-run.
But what price do we put on really understanding something, and on making it easy for the home-ed teacher?
A super product all around.
Review left April 20, 2011
Time: 3 years|
Our children learned well with the Montessori approach of the lessons. I wish we had known of this program when our girls were very young.
Mr. Shiller called and assisted in the choosing of which lessons to begin with for our children.
If you have several children who will be using the program, the cost is minimal spread over the years. The program is great for filling in overall gaps if switching from another curriculum that hasn't been working as well for your child.
Review left July 23, 2009
Time: 3 years|
Your situation: single work-at-home parent with 2 boys
More than a single book, Shiller includes Montessori-type manipulatives and additional on-line resources. The activities are varied so my boys are engaged in multiple ways - auditory, visual, kinestetic. In some ways it spoon feeds the teacher/parent with a script of exactly what to say, but it doesn't feel like a straight jacket at all. More like a recipe you follow the first time but then adapt as needed.
Any other helpful hints: I lurked on the Shiller Yahoo group for a while before making the purchase which improved my confidence in my choice. Now we keep the set in a central location and can work for five minutes or 5 hours (yes, the boys choose to do that one day! I was over it looong before they were!)
Review left July 12, 2009
Time: 2 years|
I am a homeschooling mom of three children in Kindergarten, first grade and third grade. I also run a homeschool co-op a few days a week that teaches all major subjects.
I love this math curriculum. I wanted something that would help my children to fully understand what they are accomplishing in math. Shiller Math is very hands on and appeals to all learning styles. My children have active understanding of the math concepts that we have covered. It is very easy to use, requires very little planning and could do nothing but benefit your student. Even if another curriculum is being used, this is a wonderful addition to help bridge the gap between rote memorization and workbooks and truly understanding math. I have liked it so much that I just purchased Kit 2 to use with my oldest daughter because she will be finishing Kit 1 this fall.
Any other helpful hints: Word to the wise - don't try to save money by purchasing a used kit (like I did). The support by the company, online resources and free downloads are very beneficial and I ended up having to purchase them in addition to the used kit and, in the end, it would have been the same price to by it new. Like many, I am on a very tight homeschool budget but I think this curriculum is worth every penny.
Review left July 11, 2009
Time: 1 year (and still going)|
Your situation: My daughter F-E-A-R-E-D math, and bucked it at every turn.
Why you liked/didn't like the curriculum: The first thing Shiller did was assess her in a non-stressful way. She enjoyed seeing that there were things she could do. The things she couldn't do, we would go over in a scripted way. She LOVED it!
Now, and I'm not kidding, her neighbor friends come over for math help! When they get confused about something, they'll ask for aid using the manipulatives. This curriculum is a "little expensive" up front. HOWEVER, it is worth every cent. Depending on the grade level, it will serve up to four years' worth of work. We have a little girl we babysit. She's five. We added an extra mat, and they'll do their Shiller math together, just in different books. It's like we're doing a Montessori math class right in our own living room!
Any other helpful hints: Start young, if possible. Either way, FIRST go to their web site and use their free math assessment. This helps you realize where your child needs to be. Literally, any problem missed will be covered where it states. You will appreciate this when the time comes. You can start him/her off where you already KNOW there are problems. I suggest, though, to offer one or two related activities that they already can do, just for confidence sake, and then throw it out there. I hope this helps!
Grade levels used: K-3|
Edition: Kit 1
Time: 2 years
This is a great program for my kids. ShillerMath comes in a kit that has EVERYTHING!!! My favorite part is that I don't need to do any lesson preparation whatsoever. My next favorite part is the CD that comes with the kit. The kids love it and even ask me to play it in the car. They sing along and know all the words.
ShillerMath says their kits are Montessori (I've heard of Montessori but don't know a lot about it aside from they have a great reputation as an exploratory learning method for kids) - I only mention this because people do rely on reputation.
My kids had real problems with math before ShillerMath. Now they are progressing quickly and are doing problems I honestly didn't think they could do. Like right now we're covering probability theory for my 6 year old and solving for unknowns for my 8 year old!
ShillerMath support is the best I've seen - they respond right away and are very helpful - When I got my kit one of the wooden shapes was broken and they replaced it right away at no charge. I highly recommend this program to homeschoolers and anyone who wants their children to do great in math and enjoy doing it (me too!). I understand ShillerMath has a 4-6 grade kit coming out in February 2005 and we plan to get it for next year for the 8 year old. This is another wonderful thing about ShillerMath - one kit works for the entire family. The company gave me a user name and password and I can login and get free downloads that I can use for both children.
Anyway I hope this helps and that your kids enjoy math as much as mine do!