MAY 4, 2017
Math & Love Don’t Mix?
Math & Love Don’t Mix? Nothing is Impossible with God
Math & Love Don’t Mix? – The unlikely story of how CalcuLadder® became Homeschoolers’ Favorite Math Drills worldwide and helped thousands of kids to FALL IN LOVE with Math!
By Anna B. Myers
My parents started homeschooling in 1980 – back before most people had even heard of homeschooling! Homeschooling wasn’t easy. There were few educational materials available to homeschoolers at the time. Mom and Dad had to research for a long time before they found curriculum publishers that would sell to individual families.
Easter Sunday 1984
My dad, Dr. Ed Myers, is a rocket scientist. In the 1970’s, he designed the optics of the infrared spectrometers for NASA’s Voyager I and II space probes. My mom, Nellie Myers, is an accomplished artist and stay-at-home mom.
One day, when my dad came home from work, he decided to test my brother Matthew’s ability in math. Dad shares, “I still remember when I found out that our 7-year-old son—who was finishing up a second grade math workbook—couldn’t add:
‘Say, Matthew, what’s 7 + 4 ?’
‘Uh, 7 + 4 ?’ Matt replied. ‘Let’s see. . . 7, (and his fingers went under the table as he whispered slowly) 8, 9, 10, 11 . . . 11 !’
Each problem I asked went that way. He understood the concept, and could use a concrete procedure (counting fingers) to get the answer (most of the time!) after 7 or 8 laborious seconds.
‘Two years with workbooks haven’t given Matthew the level of skill he needs,’ I thought. ‘He’ll really get bogged down in multi-digit multiplication and long division, where he’s got to use addition and subtraction routinely on his way to getting the answer. If he learns to multiply and divide no better than he adds and subtracts, then fractions will be a disaster!’”
Today, Matthew is a military engineer who uses math in designing roads, bridges, and buildings. None of this would have been possible without CalcuLadder!
Dad knew that math drills would be the solution for Matthew. For several arduous months, he came home from work each night and spent hours developing CalcuLadder drills—quick, potent drills to bridge the gap between just “knowing about” and doing well. Mom spent many long hours illustrating the CalcuLadders. They ended up creating six CalcuLadder books, covering addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions & mixed numbers, English and Metric units, Roman numerals, percents, geometric concepts, and more! They also created ReadyWriter® Penmanship, AlphaBetter®, and SanctiFinder®!
After trying out the drills on us kids, Dad and Mom marketed them for sale with only occasional success at Christian School conventions. (Homeschool bookfairs didn’t exist in those days.) Dad sent out thousands of promotional mailers, and had only one response. It seemed impossible that our home business would succeed. Dad still had to work full-time in order to support the family.
In 1988, we began going down to the abortion clinic to pray. Within a few months, God blessed us directly – because CalcuLadder won MaryPride’s national “Pick of the Crop” Award. Things changed literally overnight. Immediately, orders started to pour in. We had to stop printing the books on our basement printing press, and hire a local printer to meet the demand. My dad quit his job as a senior engineer to work full-time with the business. Over 80 companies and hundreds of Christian bookstores started to carry our books. Our home business provided “jobs” for us children, as we did data entry, shipping, and accounting.
CalcuLadder, ReadyWriter, and AlphaBetter are now used by hundreds of thousands of home, Christian, and private school students in over 60 countries around the globe.
Thousands of customers have written to let us know just how much they LOVE CalcuLadders!
Would you like to try us? You can get your FREE Sample Pak or order today at:
To keep our products as economical and user-friendly as possible, we now offer our drills for download on the “CalcuPak” computer app so they can be printed out and used as needed!
Additionally, the printed, hard-copy drills are also available, accompanied by my dad’s new invention the “Super Slate”!
We eventually grew to a family of 12 kids, and I’m number six. My dad still likes to joke, “Nellie and I only wanted two kids — we just never got the two we wanted!”
Things haven’t always been easy with the downturn in the economy. My parents weren’t always sure if ends would meet. They taught us hard work and perseverance. However, with the Lord’s blessing, we look forward to serving the homeschool community for years to come!
“No question about it – drill builds speed + accuracy. These drills are the best.” – Virginia B., Massachusetts