Curriculum Review: Maths – No Problem!
I’ve been using Maths No Problem since 2015 and I have worked through books 1A to 6A with my eldest child. This is the only maths curriculum we have used so it’s hard for me to compare it to others that are available. However I can share with you the advantages and disadvantages as I see them, which I hope is useful.
(This Review is my own opinion, this post is in no way sponsored by Maths No Problem and I haven’t received any remuneration for writing it.)
- Available in the UK for a reasonable price – the four books you need for a year’s worth of work is currently £36.96 which also gives you free shipping in the UK (excluding the Scottish Highlands and Northern Ireland – which kinda sucks.)
- The workbook pages are perforated, and so I have always put them into a document folder and used thin white board pens to fill them out. This has allowed me to use a single set of books for all three of my children, (which will save me about £17 a year per child.)
- The curriculum is compliant with the national curriculum changes from 2014, so are good if you want the option of maybe going back into school at some point, or would feel more confident sticking closer to the national curriculum because of the maths GCSE further down the line.
- the lessons are short, which means that they are easy to fit into a busy day, and feel manageable even for a child who isn’t that into maths. But being short, they can also be double or tripled up without much difficulty if you want to cover more work.
- the lessons give a number of examples of different ways you could solve the same problem, which gives the student options for ways that make more sense to them.
- There are optional activities and games (particularly in the first few books) to practice the concepts that are being taught. There are also maths puzzles at the end of each chapter to chew over.
- The teachers manual is really expensive, online only, and works on a subscription basis so isn’t really available for home educators. Therefore you need to be comfortable with your own maths skill to know that the answers you are getting are right, because you’re not checking the answers off a list. This is fine if you are working through the problems together, and might just need a calculator or a bit of maths working out on your part if you set the workbook pages as independent work. Your confidence is the key here.
- How maths is taught has changed a great deal in the last 20 years, and so coming to the series part of the way through might mean that you need extra help working out why they are presenting the work in the way that they are. (There are word problems in year 5 and 6 that would be easy with algebra, but aren’t build to be solved with algebra, so can feel a bit all over the place at times.)
- Though there is currently a secondary level math curriculum available via the website, these are not national curriculum compliant, and are imported from Singapore. They are also going to be discontinued in the near future and so you (I) will need to find a completely different curriculum for KS3 maths.
Maths No Problem has worked really well for all three of my children because of the short and to the point lessons, the variety of ways that the problems can be solved, and the slow building up of skills from year to year. As someone who is pretty confident in maths, particularly at this level, and who is working alongside my children during their maths time, the disadvantages I have discussed have not been a problem for our family. (Ymmv.)
Please let me know if you have an questions about Maths No Problem! and I’ll do my best to answer them.