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by David Quine


A Breakthrough in Math Understanding!

Dear Mr. Quine and Family, I just wanted to send a note of thanks to you.  We began with abeka for 2nd grade math-  she seemed to be doing fine one day and the next she “didn’t get it”.  I was beside myself!  She had seemed to master the same concepts just yesterday.  How could she not get it?  Immediately I decided she needed more drill and switched to mcp.  What a horror show!  30-40 problems per page and the book was huge!  It was very daunting for her.  She spent so much time worrying about whether or not she had to do all of the problems that she just couldn’t start.  Next a friend suggested math u see. Math u see was better, I must say but it was so repetitive that the fun soon wore off and we felt like we were in the same place months later. So against many of the reviews I had read saying your curriculum was “confusing or not for them”, I said what the heck! Let me tell you, she is going on 9 and the difference is amazing!!   It dawned on me one day that she just does not have a firm grasp of simple math.  We take so much for granted!  I assumed that when I ask her a question and she can answer it correctly, that she must know how she arrived at that answer.  Wrong!!  That is what your curriculum has shown us.  You take nothing for granted! We began this year (grade 3) in your 2nd book.  She cried the first day and said it was baby math, she cried the second day and said it was too hard, and on the third she looked up at me with a huge smile and said, “I get it now, he really wants me to UNDERSTAND it!” And for once she really did!  I love how she does the same operations but you break it up with a lunch menu or a graph.  I love how you put 10 problems on a page which are really disguising 20 more problems that she is thrilled to figure out!  (i.e.  23 + 19   <>=    24+ 12) for each problem she must figure out 3 different answers, but she is having so much fun she does not know it!  No anxiety!!  I had to write to you simply because I know people will be turned off by many negative reviews they see.  That is much of the reason I found you only after trying so many other programs. I wanted to give you our unequivocally rave review for Making Math Meaningful!! Our daughter begins book 3 next month and we will have her up to 4th grade level in the fall on time- not because she has to be but because she wants to be and enjoys her math so much now.  Thank you again!    With much gratitude,  The D _____ Family living in Maine



Dear Mr. and Mrs. Quine,

Today I heard my 3rd grader say 'I LOVE math, Momma. Thanks for getting it for me!' Well, 'it' is Making Math Meaningful. Madelaine has struggled terribly through our other attempts to provide math curriculum. She readily told me 'I hate math' and we had many discipline problems surrounding this area of school. She now eagerly sits down and works out each page with me. I think for her it helps greatly that I work with her. She needs me and we enjoy the time together.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping a sweet 8 year old regain some lost years of math learning, and find confidence in her God given ability to perform math equations. She and I are deeply grateful.

In Christ .......... D.& M. W.

Making Math Meaningful is written by a home school father for home schooling children. The mission of this series is to teach children to reason, to understand math concepts, and to think mathematically. Because very important concepts are presented in this level, you are asked to work with your children in the presenation of the ideas.

An Introductory Note from David Quine, home school father and author

As a child I was taught that math was merely parroting back math facts, memorizing formulas, and plugging numbers into formulas. I would often ask my teachers "why am I memorizing this?" Teachers would often tell me that "Someday, you will need to use it." Now as an adult I realize this is was a very shallow answer. As Shirley began teaching our oldest son Bryce at home in 1980, I told her that I would write lesson plans for her that would explain math to him in a simple way. In a way that he would really understand it.

Making Math Meaningful teaches your children to understand not only HOW to do math facts, but more importantly WHY and WHEN. This means that your children will have to do more thinking, but that is better than being treated llke a computer or calculator.

Let me assure your that children can understand math. It may not be your children's best subject, but as they learn to understand it, math will become more meaningful to them. Many children have actually told me that after using Making Math Meaningful math has become their favorite subject. Give your children time to think about each math concept. Don't rush. One of the reasons I wrote the younger levels of Making Math Meaningful in a conversational style was for you and your child to spend time together. Enjoy this time.


David Quine


"Does it Really Make A Difference?"

I am often asked if it really makes a difference in how math is taught. The goal of your instruction will determine the style of your instruction. What I mean is this. If your goal is the memorization of all the math facts, then drill and practice should be the focus of the instruction. However, if your goal is mathematical thinking (which would include the ability to recall the math facts), then your instruction would be very different.

Charlotte Mason writes: "The chief value of arithmetic, like that of higher mathematics, lies in the training it affords to the reasoning powers. The child may learn the multiplication table and do a subtraction problem without any insight into the rationale of either - without seeing the reason of them." Memorization is only one small part of the reasoning powers. The primary goal of Making Math Meaningful is to teach your child how to reason mathematically.


Perfect for the busy mom.

Pefect for all learning styles.

Perfect for every child.


A major breakthrough

in math understanding.




                        Making Math Meaningful

a multi-sensory math experience                

by David Quine                

Perfect for the Busy Mom

Making Math Meaningful is wonderful beginning. It lays the strong foundation for understanding math. Every concept is introduced with a simple conversation (which is provided for you) using math manipulatives. You are spending quality time with your children talking about each math concept.

The conversations are simple. The activities are easy to do. The lesson plans tell you exactly what you are to do and what you are to say. Perfect for the busy mom.

  • There are no seminars to attend and no videos to watch! Simply pull the book from the shelf and start teaching. Each child has his own student workbook.
  • Levels K through 4 give you a written script to teach each concept and skill. It's as simple as 1 - 2 - 3!
  • Levels 5 and 6 and Algebra are written directly to your child. Your child will simply pull the book from the shelf and teach himself.
  • There is no easier math manipulative program for mom!

The Original Home School Math Manipulative Program

Charlotte Mason explains that the chief value of arithmetic as well as higher mathematics is in the reasoning it advances in a child's mind. Reasoning has many facets. Memory is only one facet of the reasoning procedss. Making Math Meaningful uses instructional strategies to engage your child in advanced reasoning. She explains that the use of manipulatives is the key to understanding math.
  • Your children learn to reason!
  • Your children learn the math facts.
  • Your children really understand math ideas.
  • Your children learn to solve word problems.
  • Your children will finally have fun doing math!

Perfect for all Learning Styles

As I was writing Making Math Meaningful, I was very aware of the various learning styles. I designed the activities to include all learning styles.
  • Activities using manipulatives are perfect for kinesthetic learners.
  • Activities are written using a natural conversation format making it perfect for auditory learners.
  • Activities using pictures and objectds are perfect for the visual learners.
  • Activities fostering advanced reasoning is perfect for the analytical learners.

Perfect for your Child

  • Math concepts are easily understood.
  • Math skills are learned without hours and hours of drill.
  • There is not a more profound math program for your child.

Three Keys to Success

PARENT INVOLVEMENT is the first key to Making Math Meaningful. The conversations you have with your child over each concept and computational skill will minimize misunderstandings and enhance learning. Simply giving a child a work book or even a tradition textbook and asking him to work on his own leads to many misunderstandings in math. Such misunderstandings are sometimes not noticed for months and then very difficult to correct.

MANIPULATIVES give symbols meaning. Using objects to introduce each new concept and each new computational skill is the second key to success.

THE LEARNING CYCLE is a three phase learning strategy that is unique to Cornerstone Curriculum and the third key:

PHASE 1 - EXPLORING THE CONCEPT: Each lesson begins with math problems your child already knows how to solve or can solve using objects. This group of problems represents a very specific pattern. After solving the problems, your child will then be asked to state the pattern in his own words. In most cases, your child will actually explain the principle very accurately.

PHASE 2 - EXPLAINING THE CONCEPT: The statement of the principle, its proper name, and corresponding formula are explained in this phase of the learning.

PHASE 3 - EXPANDING THE CONCEPT: The last phase of the of the Learning Cycle is an application of the principle. In this phase of the learning, your child will either focus on a deeper aspect of the same principle or the study will move to a closely related principle.

Lesson Plans Telling You Exactly What to Do and What to Say

The lesson plans are what make the teaching of Making Math Meaningful so simple to use. This is a sample page from Level 3 Parent - Teacher Book.


Multiplication and Divison


15 cans of vegitables or fruit

unifix cubes


1. Using cans of fruit or vegitables make 3 stacks with 4 cans in each stack.

2. Set 1 can to the side of the other stacks.


3. Write: 3(4) + 1




4. Finish by …


"How many stacks of cans have I made?" (answer 3)

"How many cans are there in each stack?" (answer 4)


"How many cans have I set to the side?"(answer 1)


"I am writing a math sentence describing the cans I have stacked. It is read '3 stacks with 4 cans in each stack with 1 left over. Do we know the total number of cans?" (answer no)




For more sample pages GO TO the specific level.




My child reads and writes the numbers 0 - 20.
  If 'no', then begin using Level K.

  If 'yes', then go to 1.


My child solves word problems using the numbers 0 - 20.

My child knows the basic addition and subtraction facts 0 - 20.

  If 'no', then begin using Level 1 .

  If 'yes', then go to 2.

My child solves word problems and computational problems involving borrowing and carrying using the numbers 0 - 99.
  If 'no', then begin using Level 2 .

  If 'yes', then go to 3.


My child solves word problems and computational problems involving borrowing and carrying using the numbers 0 - 999.

My child knows the basic multiplication and division facts.

My child writes the symbolic representations for common fractions.

  If 'no', then begin using Level 3 .

  If 'yes', then go to 4.


My child solves word problems and computational problems involving borrowing and carrying using the numbers 0 - 999,999.

My child multiplies 1 and 2- digit numbers times 2 and 3 digit numbers.

My child writes equal, not equal, less than , and greater than equations for fractions.

  If 'no', then begin using Level 4 .

  If 'yes', then go to 5.


My child solves word problems and computational problems involving borrowing and carrying using numbers in the trillions.

My child multiplies 2 and 3- digit numbers times 3 and 4 digit numbers.

My child divides a 5- digit number by a 1 digit number.

My child adds, subtracts, multiplies, and divides common fractions.

  If 'no', then begin using Level 5 .

  If 'yes', then go to 6.


My child solves word problems and computational problems involving borrowing and carrying using numbers involving decimals.

My child divides a 6- digit number by a 2 or 3 - digit number.

My child adds, subtracts, multiplies, and divides using decimals.

My child finds ratio, proportions, and percentages.

  If 'no', then begin using Level 6 .

  If 'yes', then go to 7.


My child knows pre-algebraic concepts.

My child solves simple algebraic equations (ex. y + 4 = 9).

My child solves linear algebraic equations (ex. 3x + 2 = y).

My child solves systems of equations and inequalities involving 2 equations with 2 unknowns (2x + y = 9 and x + y = 10).

My child solves quadratic equations.

My child factors quadratic equations.


  If 'no', then begin using Principles from Patterns: Algebra I .

  If 'yes', then begin using Principles from Patterns: Geometry .

Cornerstone Curriculum • 2006 Flat Creek, Richardson, Tx 75080 • (972) 235-5149