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Math U See Description

Math U See:  K-HS math program, video teaching segments. Heavy emphasis on manipulatives. Workbooks are simple, plain, b&w. Tend toward fewer problems per page. Mastery vs. spiral approach. Unique fraction manipulatives. Cost with manipulatives is higher than average, but many components are non-consumeable and resale value is good. (see additional comments below)

Comments by Users

Posted June 2006:
Julie Brennan San Diego CA:  We found that this is a great program for elementary through about 6th grade math. We moved on to applications based math programs once the basics of arithmetic were mastered. Appreciated the video teaching probably more for the benefits to the parent for explaining math concepts throughout the day / week / month as we come across math in our everyday lives.  Manipulatives were good for two of our 4 kids, but not necessary or wanted by the other 2 kids who tended to grasp math more quickly. We found Mr. Demme's sense of humor to be a plus.

We did not follow the program exactly in terms of mastery, but used it more flexibly using common sense when we were "stuck" and moving on when math facts were not fully memorized, they came along with use especially with games. Early in homeschooling experience this was our primary math program, but as we relaxed we supplemented a lot for variety and eventually migrated toward a non-textbook approach. However, I used the ideas and methods learned from the teaching on an ongoing basis. Note we have only had experience with the original Math U See. The program was updated a few years ago, we haven't seen the revised program.
Rebecca: We have used this program for about one year and a half now at the elementary level.  Here are the things we liked:  the WAY things are taught, a strong understanding of place value, different ways of looking at math facts, the manipulative blocks.  Although "mastery" is stressed in the program, we have not followed that idea completely, as I believe mastery comes with time and usage. 

Math U See works well for our family because it is really a "supplement" so far.  It has been a way to learn math facts in a better way and "computational math".  In my opinion, it does not introduce chidlren to many other math concepts:  weight, measure, patterns, geometry, table usage, tally marks, history....   And although, it is a multi-media curriculum, the activities are generally blocks and worksheets.  Our family does so many other math games and activities.  Now I actually didn't really think about these things until a friend of mine who wants to homeschool asked for my recommendations.  Given her situation, she wanted a "complete" curriculum.  For families who will be getting most of their math from a "curriculum", I think Math-U-See is lacking.  For people who incorporate all sorts of math (i.e. through literature, games, various manipulatives lying around, buildiing things....), I think it is great.  That is why it has worked so well for us.  For those who want a more complete package, they might want to consider another option (perhaps Rightstart)...
Ann in Ohio:  I began using this program at the Primer level with my then 6 year old son who had speech and language challenges which were impairing his understanding of numbers.  I hoped that the kinesthetic and visual nature of the program would help overcome the language roadblocks.  This program was very helpful in breaking through that barrier and helping him to understand counting and the decimal system.  He had no problem moving into the Alpha and then the Beta books, but I had more and more difficulty getting him to sit down and do the pages.  They are rather boring looking and repetitive for a kid who picks math up fast (but not as fast as he thinks he does!).  That's why we use lots of living math ideas in addition to this curric.  My son enjoys watching the videos with me, and he likes Steve Demme too.  I must disagree with a previous poster about the completeness of this curriculum.  It certainly does include measurement, geometry, tally marks, table use, and patterns, as well as telling time.  We've done all of those and we are only in the middle of the Gamma book.  Perhaps the poster is referring to the older version of this curriculum. 

I also used this program to remediate my jr hi age daughter in fractions and decimals, and to get her ready for algebra.  She is an auditory learner and this program worked well for her.  It also helped me help her when she got stuck on concepts.  I found I did not need to invest very much time in this program - just enough to keep up with the concepts and grade the workbooks and tests.  However, when she began algebra, she found this program to be dry and disconnected from 'real life'.   I am not sure there is a program in existence that would make her like algebra, however.
Julie again: MUS introduces some of the more applied areas of math later in the curriculum than some others, and this may be the reason why Rebecca hasn't seen it but Ann has. Over the full course through pre-algebra as we have used it I found it to be complete, just sequenced a bit differently (and that was a positive difference for us). It doesn't include math history, but few if any elementary math curricula do.
We have used the Gamma (multiplication) and Epsilon (fraction), and have just purchased the Algebra I and Geometry. 
I can't say enough good about the video lessons and the manipulaltives.  I especially think the fraction manipulatives are ingenious.  However, I find that my children get bogged down if we do the Student worksheets every day.  We have found that MUS (elementary) works best with lots of "Living Math" materials to supplement it.
We have used the Algebra video to explain concepts as needed for a child  who was using a different text.  I haven't used it as a whole course, but looking at the scope & sequence, I do have some concern that it isn't a very thorough Algebra course. 
Posted Sept 2006 by Becky
MUS is fantastic!  The lightbulbs are going on all over my home.  Math has become very easy to do & understandable - it doesn;t have to take such a struggle any more.   Previously we used Saxon which relied upon memorization of formulas.  But now that we are understanding what we do the memorization work is lessened.

Now I spend my time making games & getting living math books rather than fighting over math lessons. 

Bc MUS is based upon great teaching you customize it for each child.  There is no better program than a personalized tutor.

4/20/07:   I have found this an excellent program. Very good for auditory, visual, and kinetic learners. It is not so good for the printed page person.

My only complaint is purchasing sources and options. It doesn't have to be so difficult to purchase. It is a sole source product. This means I cannot place an order for it along with my other purchases of curriculum. It must be ordered from Math U See. This also means I cannot pick it up at my local Homeschool store either. It must be shipped, high shipping cost and since I am in TX taxed also. This all adds to the price and puts it higher than needed. Good curriculum but not distributed with the customer convienence in mind. I have used Alpha through Delta. My older children use Life of Fred and I pay much less for upper math . Ber

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