Ooh, let me tell you how excited I was when I got notified from Melanated Gold Review Squad that I would be reviewing Royal Fireworks Press’ Awesum Alex Math Detective Series. Super excited. You see, this series happens to partner reading and math. Yup, two of JustaBXgirl’s most favorite things in one set! I unboxed it over on TikTok if you want to see what each book looks like in motion.
JustaBXgirl was just as excited about finding this series on my review shelf. That’s where things sit until they get reviewed. The series now sits proudly in her homeschool need something to do basket. As soon as she saw the books, she grabbed one and sat to read. I hadn’t even gotten the chance to check out the Implementation Manual before she was meeting Awesum Alex and her friends!
Once I did get around to opening the Implementation Manual, I was all in. Rachel McAnallen and Carol Ann Williams get it. They know us adults and our feelings about this “new math.” They’re not here telling us that our feelings are wrong. They’re here to help us understand the why. And that is exactly what the new math is doing, helping our littles understand the why as opposed to only understanding the how. Phew, if that ain’t a WORD! Honestly, I really wish I had the Implementation Manuals when JustaBXgirl was in traditional school. I think that it would have made for a better working relationship between me and her teachers. I really appreciate how they break down definitions that we are expected to simply know. I feel so much better prepared for helping JustaBXgirl tackle her math because I now have a better understanding that it is not just about getting to the answer but paying attention to the journey along the way.
I’m a writer. I’m constantly asking questions to get the full story. Yet, I never had a true grasp of math growing up because it was about being right or wrong and sometimes I need to take the scenic route to get to my destination. Math today is being taught from a perspective where there are different roads that can lead to the same answer. The Awesum Alex Math Detective series helps littles and bigs understand the different options while still supplying the roadmap to the destination.
Going back to JustaBXgirl grabbing a book before I had the chance to go over things. That could be a frightening moment with some curricula but not with Awesum Alex. The Implementation Manuals are to help us parents understand. The books themselves are stories about Alex’s adventures as a Math Detective.
I’ll be 100% honest and transparent. I’ve been helping JustaBXgirl with math through the lens of a parent that learned math over 30 years ago. I share that because it means that most of what I share with her is a tad bit outdated. I’m blessed that most of the math curricula that we work with do a good job of explaining the how and why with her. She seems to get it but truthfully, it didn’t really click for me until I read through these implementation manuals. I think that every parent should read through them before trying to help their children with math regardless if the child is homeschooled or traditional schooled!
- How do children learn using this curriculum? You can have your children read the books independently or together. Each story takes the reader through a different adventure in math. It breaks down concepts that children might get confused by when seeing them laying on a worksheet. It allows children to see that asking questions is okay? And that they aren’t the only ones with the questions.
- How can I track what my child is doing? After reading the books your little will more than likely be much more enthusiastic about jumping into math lessons. You will see the understanding in how much easier the math becomes for them.
- What input do I have in what my child is learning? You can decide how long you will spend on each book in the series. You can use the books on a way to refresh what your child has already learned or as a way to introduce the material to them.
- What grades does this curriculum cover? Awesum Alex is designed for children ages 7-12.
- What does this curriculum cost? You can buy the books individually or as a set. The set includes all six of the Awesum Alex books: The Addition Problem student book and implementation manual, The Subtraction Problem student book and implementation manual, and The Multiplication Problem student book and implementation manual. It is $75 and gives a discount over purchasing them individually.
Don’t forget to head over and check out what my friends at Melanated Gold Review Squad think about this curriculum.