Have you ever wished math could be, well, less math-like? My husband loves the predictability of numbers and operations whereas I feel stifled when I look at a page full of numbers. For us right-brainers math can feel tedious and in need of a giant boost of something creative. I stumbled across something wonderful one day as I browsed Facebook: Arithmetic Village…math for the right-brains!
Arithmetic Village is a series of beautifully illustrated books which teach mathematical concepts in a very creative and unique way. Children learn mathematics with hands-on activities which excite and engage like no other math manipulative I have seen. While this is not a stand-alone mathematics curriculum it is a wonderful supplement to any curriculum out there and is especially perfect for the right-brained learner. The unique blend of story-telling, rhyme, role-play, and tactile learning experience makes children want to do math!
The five books
in the series cover place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division inviting children to actively participate in the learning rather than just be told what each operation means. In addition to being beautifully illustrated these sweet stories are told in rhyme which often creates a more memorable learning experience for children.
Are you intrigued yet?
You can purchase hard-copies of the books or printable pdf files with directions. Be aware this will take a large amount of ink, particularly yellow, if you want them to turn out nicely. The pdf files also must be cut and bound by hand, but the payoff for this effort to make them nice is well worth it!
First the children decorate their treasure box. Since there are three little girls in our house I opted for a larger treasure box for us all to use together. I used wedding favor bags and red vase gems from Walmart for the jewels and bags. All five books and 10 sacks of 10 gems fit neatly inside. I also have a small basket of loose gems in the box and as soon as I have a chance I’m going to add in several miniature treasure chests. The girls loved decorating the box. I used tissue paper and modge podge to give it a stained glass look and we added on the lettering with stickers we already had.
Now that the box is done, let the fun begin!
I read the girls the first story in the set, Arithmetic Village. Then we acted out what the story told of gems falling from the sky while the villagers slept, the villagers collecting the jewels and putting 10 in each sack, and delivering sacks to the king. Grace and Beth especially liked this part. Grace is three and has been counting well for a while now. She was excited to show off her counting skills! This first book introduces the ideas and main characters who reside in Arithmetic Village and will reoccur later in the series.
Each of the following books deal with a different ma thematic operation. We found out more about Polly Plus, Linus Minus, Tina Times, and King David Divide as we read through the series. The girls enjoyed the stories immensely and have read them several times on their own.
Another wonderful aspect of these unique learning tools is the variety of free ideas and activities provided through the Arithmetic Village website
, youtube channel
, facebook page
, twitter page
, and pinterest page
. You will never
run out of ideas! We used several of the printable work pages to aid in our learning endeavor. Here Beth is practicing place value by using the rules learned in Arithmetic Village and the printable worksheet available on the website.
Rose and Beth took turns helping Grace learn to add and subtract. It was so much fun seeing Grace begin to understand the concepts of addition and subtraction at 3 years old. I wish I’d had this resource when my older girls were just starting out with mathematics instruction!
Our family has been greatly blessed by this wonderful resource and I know yours will be too. Math manipulatives are known for helping understand concepts, but I have yet to see one which engages my girls as much as Arithmetic Village has. How do I know they love it? I’ve been asked, “Mommy, can we play with the treasure chest and gems again? Where are the books?” almost daily. I think this resource should be in every homeschool and classroom and will greatly benefit every child whether they are right-brained or left-brained!
Have you used Arithmetic Village? What is your favorite part of this resource?
I received the Arithmetic Village series in pdf form in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. No other compensation was received.