The purpose of Liberty Mathematics is to help parents communicate "a small part of God's knowledge and wisdom to children." Since formal lessons are new to the student at this age, it is important to move slowly and carefully. Understanding should be emphasized rather than quickly finishing workbook pages. Considerable importance is placed on math games and drills outside of the workbook lesson. Suggested activities for each unit are listed in the Teacher's Manual. Standard drills involve counting on hundred charts or working with flashcards. Typical games include making up oral story problems or using counting manipulatives to illustrate math facts.
The kindergarten workbook contains 233 pages printed in shades of black and green. One lesson usually takes up both sides of a page. Time spent on games and drills should at least match the time spent on the workbook each day. Brief instructions are given to the teacher at the top of each workbook page, while more complete lesson plans and instructions are provided in the Teacher's Manual. Topics covered include identifying and printing 1-10, counting from 0-100, place value, addition and subtraction through the family of 10, counting by 1, 2, 5, and 10, time, and ordinal numbers. Measuring in inches, simple fractions (halves and thirds), and addition and subtraction story problems are also briefly covered. Continual review is integrated into subsequent workbook pages. Compared to Horizons K, Liberty Mathematics makes more efficient use of space, generally fitting more practice problems on a page than Horizons. Horizons, however, has more workbook pages than Liberty. Liberty presents a solid math foundation, although Horizons covers more advanced material. Horizons K Book Two ends with problems like 72+5 or 69-5, whereas Liberty ends with problems like 4+5 or 10-6. Horizons covers time and measurement in short sections scattered over many lessons, while Liberty treats time and measurement as main topics concentrated in fewer lessons.
The 1-10 number line is an important aspect of every lesson. It is printed at the top of nearly every workbook page in the K and A workbooks. In the first few lessons, students use the number line to learn number recognition. Later on, the concept of "adding one" is equated with counting the "number that comes after." For instance, 2 comes after 1 is the same as adding one to 1. Eventually, addition and subtraction are modeled by moving up and down the number line. 1+2 = 3 is verbalized as going to 1 and adding 2 more. Working on games and drills outside the workbook may be especially important if the student becomes accustomed to referencing the number line and using it as a "crutch" when solving problems.
The 129-page drill book for level A contains extra practice for your student as they seek to master the skills they have learned. Some drills test for accuracy and contain twenty-five problems while other drills test both accuracy and speed and contain fifty problems. The top of each drill page contains the workbook page number that your student should have completed before they can take the drill. The drills can be taken any time after that workbook page has been completed; they don't necessarily have to be done immediately following. The book is reproducible, so you can copy each drill several times to give to your student, and each page is perforated for easy removal.
Level B is the newest edition to this series (2010). The lessons each day should include certain components such as counting numbers, math facts, lesson goals, drills and tests, and the workbook assignment. The student workbook is done in shades of gray, black, and red with plenty of concept practice. Chapters build sequentially with a review found in each, and speed drills after the 4th chapter. Chapter 1 is a review of concepts learned in level A and continues to build on the foundation. Concepts covered in this level include addition and subtraction up to 4 columns with carrying and borrowing, place value, telling time, calendars, money, story problems, measuring, fractions, multiplying and dividing up to 5, shapes, balanced equations, and working with maps. Games are still used at this level and suggested items to have on hand are dominoes or dot cards, flashcards, coins and bills, ruler with inches and centimeters, teaching clock, and miscellaneous manipulatives for counting. The test packet includes one cumulative test for each chapter (8) and the answers.