Today I want to share my comprehensive review of the Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series, as we are almost done going through Book 1 with my Form 1B (first grade) student. It’s our first year using this program. We used something different last year, and I don’t want to keep changing what we use for math lessons, so I was hopeful that this curriculum would be  a good fit for my daughter. Keep reading to see my thoughts on this Charlotte Mason math program.


Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series Book 1 Review

I was nervous to teach math to my daughter. When I decided to homeschool, I felt very confident in my ability to teach everything… except math. Mostly because I didn’t enjoy it as a child because of the way I learned it in public school. I didn’t have a foundational understanding of numbers, nor did I get to use them in real life experiences before I was taught to simply memorize, test, and move on. Not much of my math stuck.

Therefore, when I searched for a math curriculum for my daughter, I knew I wanted something that was tried and true and would keep her interested. Enter Simply Charlotte Mason’s Elementary Arithmetic Series.

Right now there is a Book 1, 2, and 3. I believe 4 and 5 are coming out soon. But so far we’ve really loved using this program. Here are a few noteworthy things about it:

01. The lessons are short and sweet.

We spend twenty minutes per day on math. This includes new concepts, counting, sums, and review. I love the short and sweet lessons that the writer has put together. My daughter enjoys our math time, and I’m truly grateful.

02. It isn’t a workbook.

How wonderful is this? A math curriculum that doesn’t require a workbook or worksheet?! It seems unheard of! When you teach, you read the questions orally from the book, and the child (with help from the parent) solves the sums each day.

03. It is hands on.

Richele has us using manipulatives daily to form a foundational understanding of numbers. Most young children learn the concepts and foundations of math when they can manipulate objects to form a concrete understanding and/or find the answer. My daughter doesn’t use these as a crutch, however, as I’ve watched her repeat the problems so much that she’s now memorized them.

04. It’s open-and-go.

This program is completely open-and-go. It requires no prep aside from a bit of preparations in the beginning of the school year!

05. It’s very naturally scripted.

You can purchase just the book, or you can purchase the set with the manipulatives, math notebook, etc. I show you everything that comes in the kit in my video above.

06. Repetition, but not monotonous.

My daughter has memorized several sums now because we repeat them so often, but it’s done in an exciting way with new numbers, names, and scenarios. I especially enjoy the “nature-based” questions, like, “Tommy went on a hike and found 7 pine cones. His brother found 2 more. How many did they find in all?” My daughter relates so well to these real life scenarios, and it’s been fun to watch her feel enthusiastic about math.

07. “Exams” are mostly oral and very gentle.

The exams are one per term. They’re mostly oral and usually 3-4 questions.

08. Thoughtful and intentional structure.

I have talked with Richele about the Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic series, and she is just so intentional with how she writes it. The method is something that she has pondered extensively before she sits down to write it all. In my experience, Richele is intentional with everything she does, and this arithmetic program is no exception.

Closing Thoughts

If you are on the fence or don’t know what to use for arithmetic next year for your school-aged child, this would be a wonderful starting place! Or, if you’ve already started with a different program, there is a placement test you can have your child take to see which level they would need to start with if you’d like to try it out. I’ll leave a link to it below!

Shop the Elementary Arithmetic Series, Book 1.

I hope this blog post was helpful to you! Thank you so much for reading!

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One Comment

  1. I’m using Math with Confidence and we are finishing Grade 1. I have no complaints with MWC but I like the simplicity of CM Elementary Arithmetic. If I were to pick this up next year, should I start with Book 2? We live in Australia so am worried about shipping costs from USA. Do you know of anywhere else we can make the purchase that won’t send us bankrupt? 🙂

    Kind regards

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