My name is Maria Miller and I am the author of MathMammoth.com as well as of the books sold here. In a nutshell, I am a math teacher turned housewife and homeschooler.
I have a master’s degree in mathematics with the educational studies required for teachers, and minors in physics and statistics. I love teaching math (and teaching in general). My teaching experience is varied, ranging from private tutoring to teaching in a university and vocational school.
The history of Math Mammoth books is this: In the early 2000s, I was tutoring various homeschooled children, and I noticed the struggles their moms had in teaching math. For example, they didn’t know much about the “why” of mathematical procedures or what was the best order to teach various concepts, and thus they were not passing much conceptual understanding to their children. The materials they were using seemed inferior to what I had seen in Finland. I even noticed some blatant errors in them.
Those experiences prompted me to start writing books especially for homeschoolers. I wanted the books to do the same teaching as I personally would do — that way I could in a sense “spread out” to help thousands instead of just a few.
It took me almost a year to write an initial set of math ebooks for approximately grades 1-5. I started selling those early versions of my books online in June 2003 (at the site Homeschoolmath.net). I’ve kept working on my books ever since. They’ve gone through many editions and improvements, and I’ve added many more books to the collection.
The aim of my books is first and foremost to explain math in very simple terms, yet rigorously, concentrating on helping students understand the actual concepts of math. I use visual models and exercises based on them a lot because they are pretty much equivalent to using manipulatives, and help children understand how math works. After working with visual models, students can then transition to the more abstract exercises.
The materials I’ve written are categorized into various series. The Blue Series and the Light Blue Series consist of worktexts that include both the instruction (the “text”) and the exercises (the “work”), and thus are perfect for parents who don’t know how to explain the math themselves. These worktexts are self-teaching or nearly so for most children. Also, no separate teacher’s manual is needed because all the explanations are in the student’s book. Like someone commented, the book does the teaching.
And that has been my goal all along: I imagine teaching a concept on a blackboard to a group of students, and try to put those ideas into a written form. So in essence it’s me teaching through the books.
Over time, I’ve also added videos to this site, so now everyone can see me teach directly, not just via the books smile.