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Math-U-See

Grades: 1-12      www.mathusee.com

Math-U-See is a manipulative-based complete math curriculum that utilizes video instruction and interlocking, colorful blocks and fraction overlays to teach math, along with a textbook and worksheets to provide the review and reinforcement. It provides a balanced approach to mathematical instruction by simultaneously emphasizing computation skills and conceptual understanding. Children love playing and building with the colorful blocks.

Besides the video/DVD and manipulatives, each level comes with a Teacher Manual and a student text. Manipulatives are the heart of this program.

Adapted from interview with Dan & Angie Sinclair, Math-U-See Representatives (March 29, 1999):

"MUS is designed not just to teach your child, it is also designed to help you become a math tutor. This is done through the videos which demonstrate how each concept should be taught. Many parents learn how to really do math using this program. The program is designed for home schoolers by a home schooling dad (Steve Demme). MUS does not teach to any standardized tests. This means that MUS teaches math in a systematic approach for mastery."

Pricing: Levels Primer (for preschool) $31 for instruction pack and $22 for student text. Alpha through Zeta (for elementary grades) are $43 -$45 for the teacher pack and $30 for student kit. Pre-algebra, Algebra 1, and Geometry are $57 for teacher pack and $32 for student kit. Algebra 2: Teacher's pack $72, Student text $32. PreCalculus: Teacher's pack is $72, Student kit is $32. Manipulatives are priced separately. Calculus: Teacher’s pack is $92, Student kit is $32.


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Reviews of Math-U-See Curriculum

Time: 10 years

Your situation: Have home schooled 4 children, teaching every grade K-12. Have used MUS and other curriculum.

Why you liked/didn't like the curriculum: I liked the DVD's. The older kids watched on their own, I watched and taught the younger kids. Loved the manipulatives. My math/spatial oriented child practically taught himself using them. I like that the number of worksheets a child does is flexible, depending on how quickly they grasp the subject. I like that the child doesn't have to delve into every aspect of math man ever thought of; they get the basics and its enough. I worried about this at first, wondering if (as other reviewers mentioned) 31 lessons really could teach enough. Then I personally signed up for an online college algebra class. Not having taken a math class for over 30 years, I depended on the basics I had gone over with my child in MUS to be a good foundation for myself. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that I only had to ask the online tutor to explain 2 concepts in the entire college course. The rest was a natural extension of MUS. I passed College Algebra with an 89%. I actually received a card of congratulations signed by the online office staff telling me that College Algebra is the hardest online class to pass, and I had done it! So, yes, I think MUS is enough. I highly recommend it!

Any other helpful hints: Definitely get the manipulatives, especially in the lower grades. In High School I purchased a book of math review worksheets(not MUS) and had the student do them from time to time to keep the concepts fresh, review skills, and prepare for ACT. If your child loves math and wants more, search for fun additions to the MUS program (real life math, story problem workbooks, hands-on use of math, SAT and ACT practice tests, CAD programs, electrical calculations, accounting, etc).

Leanne
Review left July 29, 2014
Time: 1 year

Your situation: I have a 10th grade son who would like to pursue engineering in college. This is his first year home-schooling. He attended a private Christian school previously. He completed algebra I in 9th grade and geometry in 10th grade at his school.

Why you liked/didn't like the curriculum: I didn't like the curriculum at all. We began the year using Teaching Textbooks because a friend lent it to me, but I quickly began looking for a different curriculum because TT was basically the same curriculum that he had completed two years ago in Algebra I at his school. I though Math-U-See would be better after reading some good reviews, but unfortunately found out that it, too, was really more of an algebra I curriculum and barely begins to introduce any algebra II skills. I have since discovered that Saxon has a much better algebra II curriculum, and we are going to have to spend the summer going through that to get him up to the level where he can take pre-calc and trig in the fall. I should have looked at Math-U-See more closely before purchasing it. It only has 31 lessons. How can they possibly cover all of the concepts of algebra II in 31 lessons? Saxon has 120!

Any other helpful hints: Look at it carefully before purchasing, especially if you have been using another curriculum previously. It may not be as advanced as you need it to be. Also, don't count on the video instruction to be able to thoroughly explain the concepts to your student. Steve Demme is horrible at explaining higher math concepts. He may be better at explaining elementary concepts, but the videos for the algebra 2 curriculum are not adequate to explain difficult concepts.

Lisa
Review left April 22, 2014
Time: 1 year

Your situation: I had a son in public school that was falling behind. He was good at basic skills, adding, subtracting, multiplying but word problems were impossible. He did poorly on tests because he got confused and his self confidence was suffering.

Why you liked/didn't like the curriculum: After starting in Sept with Alpha he now understands WHY to do certain steps on word problems. They are word problems that are relevant to what he might do in real life. We started at the bottom and are working our way up. Mastering each part is the best part. His confidence is way up. What I was most surprised about were the "gaps" he had in his math. Without MUS we would never have known this is why he was struggling. Now that he has all the tools he is doing so well.

Any other helpful hints: I strongly recommend working your way up. Worrying about grade equivalents does not help your child. Like they said - there is always enough time to reteach the second time. Save time and do it right the first time! Thank you MUS for transforming my son and our life!

Darcia
Review left January 16, 2013
Time: 1 month
Level: Alpha

Your situation:As a new homeschooling mom of an apraxic 8-year-old daughter, this has become a wonderful resource and tool for her to learn math. She was struggling with the more conventional, less visual methods amd is flying through Alpha now with the visual blocks. It is also nice that she does not have to write very much on each worksheet- she practices writing when she works on reading, and math should be more about learning the concepts.

So far we are very pleased!

Why you liked/didn't like the curriculum: So far I am very pleased. I understand that it doesn't teach to the standardized tests, but for now my daughter is getting the concepts down and that is what matters, so we'll cross the testing bridge when we get to it.

Any other helpful hints: GET THE BLOCKS. They help so much in understanding and they also match exactly in size to the pictures on the worksheets.

Rita Swisher
Review left November 29, 2012
Time: 1 year

Your situation: I have totally homeschooled all eight of my children, starting with my boys who are now 30 years old down to my nine year old. My first four have graduated and are adults now.

Why you liked/didn't like the curriculum: We used Ray's Math with the first four. The first two did very well with it, then went to Saxon. But the next four did not do well with either. It wasn't until last year that I tried Math U See for my teens. They did very well with Math U See Advanced Math! I'm not sure what makes the difference! We don't use the videos, since I am strong in math. I just explain as they need it.

I wish I had found it earlier! Maybe my 3rd and 4th would have done better with math.

Any other helpful hints: You only have to use as many practices as the child needs to understand the concept. My boys are very motivated to do well, so they can skip all the extra practices! If they get it in one practice, they can skip the other four. They don't write in the books either. Our book can be used again.

Sheri
Review left August 13, 2012
Time: Eight years

Your situation: I have been home schooling two of my four children for the last eight years. My older son graduated this year (2012). He is a very independent, quick learner who was often bored in school (through 3rd grade). My youngest has dyslexia and needed intensive remediation for reading and math after two K-1st grades in school. We could not afford to wait for the school to figure out the best way to teach our struggling son while he continued to lose ground, so I quit my job and taught myself how to best teach him. I found Orton-Gillingham based curriculum for reading, and learned that he would do best with a similarly incremental, direct, multi-sensory curriculum for his math instruction. I found that in Math-U-See.

Why you liked/didn't like the book: With Math-U-See, my dyslexic son was able to master two years worth of math concepts each of our first two years of home schooling, putting him ahead of grade level by 4th grade. He has just completed 10th grade, taking Math-U-See PreCal with Trigonometry with a raw score of 93% (A-). Not shabby at all for a child who had left his brick and mortar school unable to understand simple addition. My older son (with no learning difficulties) achieved a raw score of 89% using Math-U-See Calculus, virtually independently. Thank you, Mr. Demme - you have become part of our family!

Any other helpful hints: Watch the video lesson with your child, and have him/her watch (and help) you complete the first practice page. Then let him/her take over and complete the second page while you watch and help. From then on, most often, the child will be able to complete the remaining practice pages on his/her own. Math was the favorite subject for both of my sons, because of Math-U-See.

Hilary Schwartz
Review left June 19, 2012
My son loved the Math-U-See Primer, and we fully anticipate continuing into Alpha. He is in a 2 day co-op where the classroom teacher began their day with it and we parent teachers would continue the lesson throughout the week.

Why you liked/didn't like the book: Each day there were 9 or so problems to do and each day they reviewed the material so they mastered it easily with the aid of manipulatives. There are online worksheets to print if you want more than the workbook gives. I haven't tried any of the other curriculums to compare, as I am well pleased with the Math-u-See program.

Any other helpful hints: Get the instructional DVD.

Mindee
Review left May 21, 2012
Math U See Primer through Epsilon
Time: 6 years


My 2 children are 9 & 10 this year (4th & 5th grade). Both have been home schooled since kindergarten. Both my husband I are engineers, and are math-oriented. My oldest son, however, does not love math - he may not have inherited the math gene! He still does well with this program and does not want to change.

Why you liked/didn't like the book: We love this curriculum, particularly my kids. I admit that we have tried other things - mostly because I thought maybe the lack of colorful pages might be an issue, or that maybe we were missing something. BOTH of my children complained almost immediately and we went back to MUS. I like the way he explains the concepts and he is very engaging. The teacher's manual has other teaching tips/ideas. I have only used it a few times for extra help, but the extra help was invaluable. The way Steve Demme teaches has actually helped me to see/remember the formulas for calculating the areas of many common shapes (trapezoids, triangles, parallelograms to name a few).

Love the focus on word problems. Word problems are real life and also help the students to see the value of learning certain concepts. I love the way 'algebra' has been introduced so early. I think the amount of practice on each subject is just about right. There have been a few times when I added extra work to practice a concept a little longer and a few times when we skipped some of the practice pages and moved on to the next item. And I also like the reviews that are in each lesson.

Weak Link - Through Epsilon, at least, there is little focus on how to read/interpret charts and graphs. I have filled this in, however, with my science curricula. I throw in studies/experiments that require data collection and graphing.

I find very few reviews/ or information on children at the high school levels using Math U See. I'm not sure why this is. I fear it is because it will not prepare them adequately for college, although the few reviews I have found state that their children's understanding (which is MOST important) was excellent, even though MUS does not teach to the tests.

Any other helpful hints: Overall, I like this curriculum a lot and so do my kids. So far it has been relatively easy to administer and my kids are definitely learning.

Because I planned to 'test' my kids this year, I looked through various sources for what might be on the tests and supplemented their schoolwork. The main things I wanted to be sure is that my children had a grasp of math jargon and some basic ideas so they wouldn't be overwhelmed. I very quickly went over scientific notation and decimals and percentages with my oldest child before the test. I probably spent 30 minutes on it just so he would have an idea of what it was. I never want to teach to a test, so I can't believe I did this, but I also didn't want them to feel overwhelmed by things they hadn't seen before.

As with any curriculum, have an idea of what concepts are in the MUS scope/sequence; what is usually covered for that grade level, and what you might like to add or supplement. I would love it if MUS did this homework for you....hint, hint to MUS!

Vonna Read
Review left May 17, 2012
Geometry, getting ready to start Algebra 2


Time: almost 10 years

Your situation: Homeschooling mom of 2 girls.

Why you liked/didn't like the book: Love it! Used Abeka, Alpha Omega, Switched on School House, Video Text and School of Tomorrow in the past. Math U See literally changed everything! We tried using Video text last year, but we returned to Math U See. The cost does seem expensive for one child...but is so worth it! I had to relearn how to do math...the Math U See way! What a difference!

Any other helpful hints: You may need to start at the "beginning" with primer or Alpha. This isn't the way you learned in public school. So take the time to sit with your child and watch the video. My daughter worked through Primer, Alpha, Beta, & Gamma during her 3rd grade year so she could start Delta during her 4th grade year. DON'T OVER WORK YOUR CHILD TO DO ALL THE PAGES UNLESS HE/SHE NEEDS THE REVIEW.

Janet Smith
Review left March 29, 2012
Time: 6 mo

Your situation: Homeschooling Mom of 4 children

Why you liked/didn't like the book: When I first received our books I was disappointed that the pages were all black and white. However, I was quickly impressed by the program. Math concepts are taught sequentially. The DVD's give short lessons that are easily understood. I have always loved and excelled in math. This is our first year homeschooling and my older two who had previously been in public school were struggling to understand and enjoy math. Math U See has been a huge help in boosting their math skills. The lessons are short, which in our house is very helpful. We love Math U See.

Any other helpful hints: Math U See is NOT written to standardized testing. (Our state does not require home-schoolers to take standardized testing.) It IS written to teach your child to understand Math. The joy of homeschooling is to teach to your child. Math U See works for us. Find what works best for your child.

Melissa
Review left September 1, 2011
Levels: MATH U SEE primer, alpha, gamma & delta
Time: 1 year

Your situation: Homeschooling 8-9 yr old, 5-6 yr old & 3-4 yr old Both oldest (boys) were in public school the prior year & now 4 yr old (girl) has never been in school.

Why you liked/didn't like the book: My then 5 yr old new very basics & flew through the Primer book in about 1/2 the year (which was a total confidence booster!) Then he moved onto Alpha. This program creates a good foundation & builds on what the child has learned, no jumping around from subject to subject so no confusion.
I'm not great @ math past long division so I was concerned about having to teach it to my then 8 yr old (4th grade). It turns out that I learned right along with him which he loved! (especially when he got answers right before me or I was totally wrong) Having the VERY short videos as an example was a huge stress reliever for me & between that and the answer key we had no problems all year!
My now 4 yr old is doing the primer book & is so proud of herself & she actually understands the concepts!!! I would totally recommend this product to anyone!!!

RACHEL GARCIA
Review left July 23, 2011
Level: Gamma Time: 1 1/2 years
My child is in a very good public school. I feel math is the most important and hardest subject to learn. Since my child was in kindergarten we started doing one hour of Math U See each day. We continue to do Math U See on a daily basis. My daughter is currently in first grade but her math level is that of a third grader. She enjoys math in school because it comes easy to her. Her teacher told me my daughter is a talented mathematician. But it's all due to the extra work I do with my daugher using the Math U See Program. I plan to finish the whole Math U See series with my child. With her strong math background she will be successful in any career she chooses.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
I like the repetition. It allows my child to master what she needs to learn. Also very well laid out program. Does not jump around from subject to math subject like other books. You learn one thing at a time until you fully know it.

Monika U.
Review left February 20, 2011
Level: Zeta Time: six months
Your situation:
Homeschool using a classical school 2 days a week. This math text is used with a teacher in a class 2 days a week and the other time the student works at home.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
We do NOT like this math text. There is very little explanation of how to do math problems. One has to figure how to do problems by looking at the examples. The few instructions included are complex -- they chose the hard way to do things. For the price paid, the publisher should include an answer key with the workbook. I will never recommend this curriculum.

Any other helpful hints:
Don't buy this one. Buy Bob Jones or Saxon curriculum for math.

DD Suwanee
Review left January 19, 2011
Time: One year
My Daughter has just finished her first year of Math U See. She was in public school for kindergarten and thus didn't complete the K program.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
We weren't satisfied with the program. The Alpha program tends to jump from topic to topic, and doesn't ease into topics at all. It starts with quantifying numbers up to 400, and kids are expected to build and understand numbers like 324 the first day. Being new to homeschooling, I wish that I had just expanded on the curriculum and slowed the introduction of new topics down. One week the kids are just expected to write numbers 1 to 20, but three weeks later (after covering different topics), they expect the kids to write 1 to 100 the first day of that unit.

The books are straight B/W, and each page is almost identical, 15 addition or subtraction questions, 5 word problems. Although they have some good concepts for teaching addition and subtraction, my daughter was bored and now has decided that she "hates" math. She has learned her math facts quite well, as is adding and subtracting to 18 very well. We are now doing Singapore, which has more creative/engaging ideas to get the kids to like math such as showing how to do many problems pictorially, although Singapore definitely isn't as strong for drills and math facts.

Any other helpful hints:
Don't do the Alpha program unless you do the K program. If your child is artistic and enjoys pictures with their math, this program wouldn't be ideal.

Tricia
Review left May 11, 2010
Time: 1 year
I did radical unschooling until my oldest child was in first grade. He had taught himself many math concepts but was terribly slow at computation, so I decided to start with Alpha. MUS was his first experience with a formal curriculum of any sort. I did every single lesson (in all three levels Alpha/Beta/Gamma), moving as fast or slow as he needed. We'll be finishing up Gamma during this first grade year! Math-U-See has really helped my son who is great at application and analysis but is not usually fast at memorizing. If he understands the why's, then he learns very quickly. MUS has been a great program for my advanced child.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
I'm a former middle and high school math teacher. I've found a couple surprising approaches in MUS that make so much sense! Right now, I'm loving the different approach to multiplication of large numbers. I also like the basic boring black and white. My oldest is quite distractable and the lack of colors make it easier for him, and me, to concentrate on the problems.

Any other helpful hints:
I strongly suggest taking the placement test to determine level - and not just going by the score on the test, but using how long it takes your child to complete the test as well. My oldest could pass the Alpha test before Alpha, but he was very slow at computation. When in doubt, start at an easier level than you think is needed. Mastery is the goal.

Emily
Review left April 9, 2010
Time: 12 years
This is my 16th year homeschooling I have two in college, one graduating high school this year and one in ninth grade. We have tried other curriculum, mostly text book from Mcgraw Hill.

I love the DVDs, student books. The ease of the lessons. The knowledge of how and why is great.

[I don't like] The fact that Mathusee is on a different scope and sequence of standardardize test. Yes, in the end your student will know all of it but if you need or want to test before you are finished with Algebra, then you will need to supplement.

Any other helpful hints:
Buy the blocks. Model your thinking. Make the child model it back. By doing so you can learn where they do/ don't understand a concept.

Patty Jennings
Review left March 17, 2010
Time: 7 years
I am homeschooling my 2 children who are in 2nd and 6th grade. I have been using Math-U-See since I started with my daughter in Kindergarten 7 years ago.

I love Math-U-See for several reasons: First it has excellent dvd's that explain how to teach the math concepts. It uses manipulatives (blocks) that both of my children loved. The same manipulatives are used throughout all the books so you don't have to buy more each year. I like the way the workbooks are set up. You have one page a day and he is always reviewing previous concepts and then a test booklet that allows you to see if your child has gotten the concept enough to move on. I would highly recommend this math curriculum.

Shannon Hardigan
Review left January 4, 2010
Time: 6 months
our situation: My 10 year old daughter just didn't do great in 3rd grad in math. I knew if she went of to 4th grade in public school she was really going to struggle. I decided to homeschool her and help her catch up.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
We have loved MUS!! I went ahead and started her at the very beginning, Alpha. We started with the blocks, also. It was great to watch her little brain get and she is doing great. The formulas and tips given have really opened her eyes to how easy math can be. We started this May and we are almost through with the Beta book. I have loved it and she really enjoys using the blocks to let her see how to solve the problems. I have started using Alpha with my son who is in 2nd grade and is ADHD. He is really struggling with addition and this program is helping him see how to solve problems. The visual aspect of this is great for him. You will really be happy with this.

Any other helpful hints:
Keep in mind the majority of this is repetition. If your child struggles with sitting and doing things over and over again, this may not be for them. However, using the blocks give them something to do with their hands and has been helpful with my ADHD child.

Cynthia Thornton
Review left October 30, 2009
Time: 5 years
Your situation:
Homeschool Parent with three boys (4th grade, 1st Grade and PreK)

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
I began using MUS when my oldest child entered Kindergarten. We didn't use the blocks that much and honestly, he hasn't used them at all through his years of using MUS. The instructions that are demonstrated on the DVD's are enough for him to understand the concepts. For him we are loving MUS and will stick with it as long as it is working or until he needs a higher math that they do not offer.

My second son however has been different. For him, the concepts are just not coming together with MUS. I am actually using Saxon with him for this coming year (1st grade) and am excited about it's slow progression and methodical teaching of concepts. I honestly could not use Saxon with my older boy as he is strong in his math skills but for those who are slower to grasp numbers and how to put them together, Saxon is a good start.

Bottom line: The teaching methods with MUS are simple, straightforward and not confusing! There are MANY practice sheets but you don't have to do all of them! If your child gets the concept, give them the test and MOVE ON! Some sections I only have my son do one or two practice sheets then give him the test, if he passes we move on, if he has done poorly, we do more pages and re-test. You cannot go wrong with MUS, it's so simple! I do recommend that you purchase the DVD's for the lessons if you are not strong in math skills yourself, they are a wonderful resource for knowing exactly how to phrase the lessons and how to teach them.

We love MUS and I know that after this year's Saxon, I will move my middle boy to MUS for next year.

Any other helpful hints:
Go to the MUS web-site and give your child a test from one of the levels so you have an idea of where to place them. Keep in mind that sometimes they are really good at most of the subjects in one level but weak in only a few. My suggestion is to get the lower level. For example, if your child can do most of the Gamma but not all of it don't move them up to the next level, get the Gamma level and be sure they have mastered it before moving them on. The only exception to this is if the weakness was in time telling, this can be taught via other methods and is usually covered again anyway. Just my two cents! Also, if you are in the lower levels don't buy both sets of blocks unless you find them used. You really won't need them until later or you may find that verbal instruction with board demos or paper demos are enough and you don't need the blocks or you want to use other manipulatives like beans, grapes, etc. Someone else on here said Skittles, now that is speaking my boys' language! :)

betty
Review left August 1, 2009
Level: MUS Primer/Alpha Time: 3 years
I am a 10 year veteran public school teacher that now homeschools her two children. 8 year old and 6 year old.

MUS teaches math the way that I learned to teach it from my professors, however, it is not how the schools expected me to teach it... very frustrating! My two children both learn very differently, but have both done well with MUS.

I used Saxon (2nd grade) this past year with my daughter, because she was in a two day a wk. program that eventually used Saxon in middle school. It looked like the stuff I had used when teaching, but I did not see the method at all to it, and will NOT use it again. We will go back to MUS. Math is about order and solution, and MUS does this very well.

Any other helpful hints:
Use the manipulatives, and DO drill the facts with cards and MUS's website. If you feel that the pages are boring, allow the child to color on them making pictures of things that follow the concept that day (ie. 6 fish + 3 fish = 9 fish). Also, have them practice the new concept with items in the house to jazz it up a bit.

Christine Alexander
Review left July 6, 2009
Time: 3 years
Your situation:
homeschooling for 3 1/2 years.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
We found MUS to be very helpful with elementary math. When our daughter began pre-algebra, the DVD to workbook process stopped working for her. She needed an actual textbook with charts, graphs, etc. It became combersome to go back and look up concepts in earlier books just to answer a simple question. We also found that the MUS technique of teaching several methods of solving the same problem to be a real time waster.

Go for it as long as it works for you, but don't feel obliged to stay with MUS if your needs change.

Leslie
Review left May 30, 2009
Time: 2 years
Your situation:
6 year old son with sensory integration and ADHD

I like introducing the concept with the video. I do not like the workbook exercises. All 6 pages of exercises for each lesson follow the same format. My son loses interest after the first day. The workbook pages could include addition problems in a variety of formats such as magic squares and number lines or secret codes. I have to supplement quite a bit to keep his interest in math and so it is almost as if I don't have a curriculum at all. Moms don't need extra work.

Lisa
Review left April 24, 2009
Level: Pre-algebra Time: one year
My daughter has always struggled every year in Math. She never could quite get the concepts. Now with Math-U-See, she is thoroughly getting it. This is amazing to me and to her!

The materials are great. Everything seems so easy to follow. It is nice to have a real teacher on a DVD. If you didn't get it the first time, you can always watch it over. The book has plenty of practice pages before the test.

Any other helpful hints:
The teachers guide gives very good explanations of the material.

Jill
Review left April 23, 2009
Time: 6 months
I have 3 children and have been home schooling for 5 years, the 2 oldest are doing 4th and 2nd grades.

My older son used to cry over math so I looked around and settled on Math U See. The website offered to send a free demo DVD which I watched and was sold. Although my son was 9 years old and in 3rd grade, I decided to start him on Alpha, some of which we laughed over such as 0+1=? ("this is pretty tough Mom"), but it taught methods and tricks for single digit addition that he will use forever. He is so much more confident now with adding and numbers in general and he enjoys it. It also taught me how to teach the concept.

I love how thorough the teaching of each concept is but one book only covers one topic at a time, which could be a problem if you haven't finished the books and your child goes to into school. I did some research and found out what else the children learn at this level and did my own teaching of measurement, basic fractions, geometry, graphing etc from books from the library etc.

Any other helpful hints:
1. The blocks are a must, I got mine on eBay. They love seeing and touching their math, and they keep my 2 year old occupied while we're doing our work.

2. The skip counting CD was very helpful for our boys because they memorize well after very little repetition.

3. Get paper and build the Decimal St that they suggest in the teacher's manual. It helps them understand the concept of place value and helps with regrouping, we pull ours out when someone's not understanding why 29+38 isn't 517 (9+8=17 and 2+3=5, so why not?)

4. Watch the DVDs together.

5. Use the online drills. It's fun for them to put answers into a computer and not have to write or say them all the time.

Katie L
Review left January 17, 2009
Time: 1 year
Waited to start math until halfway through my son's first grade year (last Jan.) I initially loved it, but we finished addition just after thanksgiving and were ready to move on to subtraction but then teacher warns us not to move on if child doesn't know addition facts. I realized my son did't KNOW his addition facts. So, we've stopped MUS and are drilling with flash cards and worksheets. My son would use the manipulatives to come up with the answer and never just "learned" the right answer. I should have taken time to "drill" between each lesson (hindsight!!) I've been H/S for 2 years and have realized I want the book to tell me exactly what to do (especially math!)

I didn't like:
I needed more support and "how to teach this" ideas.
Son needed more drill.
I think repetition needs to be increased. Work book offers about 8 addition problems, 2 story problems and then a couple other things related to the manipulative's color. I am searching for something more thorough and helpful for me to be able to teach.

Any other helpful hints:
DRILL (FLASHCARDS, BABY!) BETWEEN EACH LESSON and "master" those facts before you move on to the next!

Lynnette K
Review left Feburary 8, 2009
Time: 3 years
I was worried about teaching math, I never excelled in this area. If you follow the suggested way of teaching with Math-u-see your child will understand math and know how and when to use it. My son finds patterns with numbers on his own now and math is all about patterns. The more lessons we do the more I am learning as well, math is no longer a worry for me.

Any other helpful hints:
Do what is suggested and don't skip the blocks. Move on only when you are sure your child understands the material. Watch the video for every lesson!

Leslie
Review left January 14, 2009
Time: 2 years
I really want MUS to work for us. I love the program and Steve Demme. It is a wonderful fit for my oldest but doesn't seem to be the right fit for my 2nd born. He doesn't like the plain workbook pages. Because he prefers color and pictures, he says that MUS is drab and boring. Getting him to do math was a daily fight until a friend gave him a simple math workbook that has colored pages and pictures.

I love how Steve Demme teaches the concepts. I also love that it's cumulative. This curriculum is the perfect fit for my 1st born. I just wish that my oldest would be a little farther along. So I feel a bit conflicted about where he is it's important that he gets all the facts down, yet I am wishing that he knew more about division and adding fractions.

The only concern that I have with the curriculum is that it doesn't cover math in a traditional way. My 10 yo 4th grader has very little knowledge of division because we are in the middle of Gamma right now. I am concerned that if something happened that he would have to go to public or private school, he would be "behind" in math.

MUS does seem to be the right fit for my first born, though, so I may keep him in MUS and just switch little brother.

Any other helpful hints:
The manipulatives are a must in this program and should not be skipped. They are what helps the child learn the facts.

Both the parent and the child should watch the DVD's before each new lesson. They are a beneficial resource for both.

SueQ
Review left December 14, 2008
Grade levels: (all) Time: 6 years
I have six children and used Math-U-See from the beginning with them. All six learn differently, but they all thrived in this program.

This math program explains why things work the way that they do. I teach math in an alternative school as well, and most of my high school students do not know why anything works, and therefore cannot perform applications, or expand their thinking. This program works so well that my 8 year old daughter does problems for fun. She is almost done with Delta and will start Epsilon next week. She loves this math program!

Alynn Deatsch
Review left September 26, 2008
Grade levels: alpha, epsilon, zeta, Pre-Algebra Time: 2 years
Your situation:
Homeschooled off and on K-8

I used Calvert Math for my daughter for K-7, but she never really got the math. I switched to MUS and love it. First I used alpha to learn the system, even though she knew her addition facts. We jumped to epsilon and really nailed down the multiplication. What I really like is that I was able to remediate her math extremely quickly because we only needed to find the conceptual gaps and fill them. The books are uncluttered and the worksheets always provide practice of current matterial and past matterial. I believe, as an engineer, that this program will lay the foundation for others destined to be engineers.

Any other helpful hints:
It's ok to go quickly on the "easy" concepts and to take your time on the challenging concepts. Do watch the videos with your student, Steve Demme makes some terrible math jokes that had me in stitches.

Martha
Review left August 18, 2008
Grade: Beta/Gamma and Geometry Time: 2 years
I have been using this curriculum for two years now, after having started w/Singapore math. Boy am I glad we switched! My 8 yr old daughter was struggling sooo much w/Singapore- that called for wayyy too much mental math and she was not getting concepts. My advanced 14 yr old was teaching himself the Singapore, b/c I could not do it, however the teacher's manual wasn't much beyond just giving the answers.. So we switched and both kids enjoy Math U See. Especially my daughter who used to cry at math time before!

One thing that concerns me a bit is if this curriculum covers every topic enough. I was disappointed that in the Beta book, he covers only one way of telling time , no explanation of quarter hour, quarter of the hour, or time lapse questions, (for ex. If you start working at 2 and then stop at 5:20, how much time has passed?) I've had to buy Mammoth math workbooks to cover time more thoroughly, as well as money. There are also no lessons at this level on simple graphs or fractions. These are essentials that I found missing in Math U See Beta (and that are on standardized tests for 2nd grade!). For Geometry, I think it covers the basics.. My son did find it a bit easy though and I'm hoping the Alg 2 Honors book will challenge him enough. I find it a bit easy for advanced learners.

Any other helpful hints:
I would look at supplements for this. Especially if you live in a state where testing is required.. Or if you have an advanced student. There are certain concepts that are on these tests that Steve Demme doesn't necessarily touch on at a given level.

FPK
Review left June 22, 2008
Grade: FOUNDATION TO ALGEBRA 2 Time: USED MATH U SEE FOR MORE THAN 12 YEARS
I HAVE HOMESCHOOLED 10 OF MY 11 CHILDREN. I AM DOWN TO 4 NOW. AT THE BEGINNING I USED OTHER CURRICULUM. WHEN I FOUND MATH-U-SEE I COMPLETELY SWITCHED OVER. MY OLDER CHILDREN ARE IN COLLEGE OR FINISHED COLLEGE AND ENTERING THE WORKING WORLD. THEY HAVE ALL COMMENTED HOW MATH-U-SEE HELPED THEM UNDERSTAND AND GAVE THEM A BETTER FOUNDATION IN THEIR MATH SKILLS. EVEN THE ONES WHO DID NOT PURSUE A DEGREE THAT REQUIRED MORE ADVANCED MATH SKILL SAID IF IT WAS NOT FOR MATH-U-SEE THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING IN COLLEGE IN MATH. THE ONES IN THE MATH FIELDS ARE DOING GREAT.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
I HAVE THE OLD BOOKS. I HAVE NOT SEEN THE NEW ONES. I LIKE THE WAY THEY ARE PRESENTED. THE PAGES ARE NOT CLUTTERED AND DO NOT OVERWHELM THE STUDENT VISUALLY. THE WHOLE CURRICULUM MULTISENSORY. THE GOAL IS FOR THE STUDENT TO UNDERSTAND. IT IS SIMPLE. IT WORKS A CONCRETE PRESENTATION THEN MOVES TO THE ABSTRACT ONCE THE STUDENT UNDERSTANDS. MATH IS VERY ABSTRACT WHICH MAKES IT HARD FOR SOME STUDENTS TO GRASP CERTAIN CONCEPTS. NEITHER I OR MY CHILDREN ARE GENIUSES BUT THIS CURRICULUM IS THOROUGH AND PRESENTED IN A UNCOMPLICATED FASHION. I ENJOYED USING MATH-U-SEE.

Any other helpful hints:
NO NEED TO RUSH. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS FOR THE STUDENT TO UNDERSTAND. IF THEY DO NOT GRASP THE CONCEPT STOP AND FOCUS ON IT FOR AS LONG AS THEY NEED. YOU CAN REVIEW ALSO WHILE YOU WORK ON THIS NEW CONCEPT. BUT PLEASE DO NOT FORGE AHEAD TO STAY ON SOME SCHEDULE. THE STUDENT'S UNDERSTANDING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN A SCHEDULE. IF YOU DO THIS THE STUDENT WILL BE FURTHER AHEAD IN THE LONGRUN.

REBECCA ST. AMAND
Review left April 14, 2008
Time: 4 years
I am a homeschool mom of 4 (8yods, 6yods, 3yodd, 9modd).

I love MUS because of the brilliant use of the manipulatives. You do "see" math in a new way. The videos provide great instruction for both teacher and student.

Any other helpful hints:
You may want to supplement with more word problem practice.

Valerie
Review left March 4, 2008
Grade levels used: Beta, Gamma, Epsilon Time: 3 years
I have 4 children ages 7-12 and they are moving along very well. I would recommend Math-U-See to anyone.

The DVDs are easy to follow, and the manipulatives make it very easy for children to grasp concepts.

Terry
Review left February 28, 2008
Grade levels used: Intro/Primer thru Basic Alg/Geometry Time: 5+ years
Began the journey w/Abeka (their school used it). Quickly figured out the concepts were being presented too quickly for 2nd grader. Had trouble (mom) understanding the 5th grade material - luckily my son is very bright & learns easily. Switched the MUS (older material). We've done all levels now from Intro/Primer (K) thru High School Algebra & Geometry.

Why you liked/didn't like the book: I loved having Steve Demme teach me to teach, and at times, I just let him do the teaching! I (mom) have gained an understanding of concepts such as fractions that I now know I didn't fully grasp from my own education. (Of course, that has been the same with most of our subjects, we are ALL being educated for the first time!)

Any other helpful hints: If you are very comfortable with math, you might prefer something else. Don't worry about doing every worksheet, particularly if your child becomes bored (ie. memorizing the block colors). Each child is different-I have 5 and no two are alike! With the higher MUS math sometimes my son needed a little help from DAD or to watch the video lesson over.

Gina
Time: 3 years
I have 9 year old daughter who is kind of weak in math.

When we first started my daughter liked it for it being something she could see. But, we had to take a break and drill on basic addition facts. There is too much emphisis on place value notation in trying to explain new concepts. Kids need a bottom line explanation on how to do something. This curriculum is so focused on showing why and how things work that it confuses them. Not enough review on things learned in past lessons until test or review pages. Overall I do not like it because it tries too hard to make kids understand the reason why things work therefore confusing them.

Any other helpful hints:
Get flash cards for basic math facts to drills, or daily warm up pages. MUS does have a good drill web page to use, but sometimes kids need to write things to get it.

Brooke Ada
Time: 1 year
Your situation:
Homeschooling 2 children.

The blocks do it all! Excellent for my two different learners; visual and kinesthetic. DVD "teaches" the lesson for me. Easy to understand and review. Pace your kids at their own level, not "grade" level.

Highly recommend you view the free demo DVD-you'll be sold!!!

Kristine
Time: 2 years
I have to homeschool my 2 sons, and both are different. My older Grade 7 son is exceling in math while my younger Grade 4 doesn't work to the Grade 4 expectations in math. I chose Math U See as I can represent abstract concepts using manipulatives. My 7th grade son is working at the Geometry level and my 4th grade son has almost finished Delta.

I liked that book as it has a very logical order in lessons. One book focuses on a main idea, example, Gamma focuses on simple multiplications and divisions. I didn't like this book as I had too much manipulatives.

Any other helpful hints: Skip the parts that involve manipulatives if you think they are unnecessary.

Loni Jasper
Level: Geometry Time: 1 year
Your situation:
I like to say math is a foreign language to me, so I'm no good at teaching. We struggled with 6th grade Abeka. We switched to Math-U-See, and my child has been having A&B grades!!! She is doing geometry this year and so far has a high B/low A.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
I love this book because someone else teaches it!!! I cannot do math! Thankfully, because of math-u-see, my daughter can! I am looking forward to teaching my son all the way through school, not waiting until 6th grade when we have a MAJOR problem. I also like the fact that it is not just busy work (my son does not like so much repetition). I remember with our previous curriculums (tried 3 different kinds with my daughter) it seemed there were an awful lot of practice problems. This curriculum was a relief! My only real complaint is the cost; however, I believe other math costs about the same!!

Any other helpful hints:
Work at child's pace. use blocks. Sit back and enjoy!!

Joyce
Level: Alpha Time: 1 year
Your situation:
I was a little afraid of math as the primary educator because I was not good at math in Public School.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
My daughter and I absolutely LOVE Math-U-See. As someone who's strongest subject is not math, the teacher guide and videos are a life saver. The concepts are presented step-by-step and are easy to grasp. My daughter gets so excited when it is 'math time' that she independently pops the video into the VCR and watches the up coming lesson. I also like the fact that I can work at my daughter's pace. Once day we sat and completed 6 lessons because she was grasping concepts so quickly. On another day, we took our time and went through a single lesson that was a bit more challenging.

Any other helpful hints:
Take your time and make sure your child has a solid grasp of each concept before moving on. The whole idea is to develop a strong foundation so that advanced math will not seem so complicated (for the child, that is!). :-)

Aimee
Time: five months
I am homeschooling two daughters - one in Kindergarten and one in third grade.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
I placed my 9 y/o in Alpha level because she did not have the addition/subtraction facts down "cold" - meaning she hesitated two or three seconds before giving the answer. In hindsight, I probably could have moved her up a level or two and kept reviewing her addition facts, because she learns new concepts very quickly.

My 5 y/o already knew counting, how to write numbers, adding/taking away objects, and telling time to the hour, so I probably could have moved her into Alpha.

I didn't like the fact that they had the kids memorizing the color of the manipulatives. I was afraid they might become dependent upon them. After "building, writing and saying" for the umpteenth time, even the manipulatives became tedious, and I just left that part off altogether. We also have a 1 y/o, so I couldn't always follow all the suggestions in the teacher's manual.

Like I said, I probably put both kids in levels that were too low for them. I ended up buying a couple of Schoolzone workbooks with CD-ROMs, which explain the concepts very well for little money, and are a good stop-gap until I can find something else.

Although I know these are not "complete" curriculums, they are learning different math concepts and math facts quite well in a fun manner, and I don't have to be sitting down with them the whole time. We also do the pencil-and-paper workbooks, which are colorful and show examples of the different concepts taught at the top of the page.

I have a friend who is borrowing my MUS curriculum for her son, who is more of a visual learner. It may be just the thing for her.

Any other helpful hints: It takes a few minutes of preparation time, especially if you want to make it more exciting (or if you have a toddler running around). This is probably a good curriculum for visual learners, and I've seen many positive reviews of it - so don't make a decision based on my experience.

There is one bit of advice I would give. I went ahead and bought the regular set of manipulatives along with a "Completer" set that, I believe, you have to have if you're going to teach your student to tell time with them.

For the lower levels at least, you will not use more manipulatives for the addition/subtraction than the regular set provides. I taught my girls to tell time with a $5 wall clock that stopped working on it's own, without having to set up manipulatives on a table, only to have my toddler or cat mess them up! ;)

Maria
Time: 1 year
I home schooled my daughter for her preschool year useing other books for math. The other books were not bad but seemed to have a more traditional approach going along with the way of public school teaching. Math U see was recomended to me as a new homeschooling mom, without knowing a whole lot about it I tried it, trusting the word of mouth. I love it!! I have to save it for last during our school day to keep my daughter motivated to get though the rest of our curriculum.

Why you liked/didn't like the book:
What I like about Math U See is not only does it make it simple for the children to understand but after watching the video and reading about the lesson it makes it easy for me to teach the concept.... I want learning to be fun and hands on and this allows math to be all of that. The work book is not the most exciting due to lack of color, however its only used maybe 30% of the time to make sure on paper that my daughter at last grasps the concept. There is much more to the curriculum than the work book. My daughter who is five loves the blocks and my son who is three plays with them too. I also use a white board to show math problems and let my daughter interact by coming up to the board and solving them. It is never boring.... "Math U See's" way of teaching just makes sense!! Since I have been teaching I have looked at other curriculum and I will be sticking with this one.

Any other helpful hints:
I would consider it. It is the less expencive of some I have seen and the blocks can be used for multiple grades!! Both my kids love the blocks and both my children are very different personalities. It works for many.

Mikie Mitchell
Grade levels used: Pre-algebra & Geometry Time: 2005-2006
Homeschooling two students, the youngest who dislikes most math, and the oldest who struggles to remember new concepts.

I liked the way the teacher/student determine how many days to practice the new skill, and the fact that there is a review of previous skills without overkill.

Great for students needing a well-thought out sequence and review.

Margie Leer
Grade levels used: Time: 1 year
Currently using Math-U-See with 5 yr. old, 7. yr. old, and 10-yr. old twins. Works much better for our child with ADHD than a bright, colorful, distracting workbook-based curriculum that we initially used. The blocks are fun, especially for Kindergartener. Will be using fraction inserts soon in 5th grade level.

I do love this math curriculum. It explains the why of math. Not, "just do it that way because that's the way it's done". The DVD introduction of new material appeals to the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learner. There are lots of very practical real-life word problems, not just math drill. Each day has at least 2 word problems.

If you don't want to have to study 5 pages of a teacher's guide every night before teaching, you will love Math-U-See. The brief video, and sometimes the notes in the teacher's guide are so to-the-point that it nearly teaches by itself.

Beverly
Grade levels used: Time: 1 year
I really liked this program. It has worked well for my son who is 8 who is a very visiual learner. This program teaches place value better than any program I have used.

The program lets you move at your childs pace and lets you choose how much time you want to spend on each principle. 6 worksheets were provided for each lesson. You could use 1 sheet if your child quickly understands or all 6 sheets over several days.

I will use this program again next year and I am also planning to teach my younger son using Math-U-See when he reaches school age.

Charity Guthery
Grade levels used: 1-4 Time: since 1993

I have been homeschooling for 12 years. I have been using Math-U-See for the early grades since it first came out. My kids liked the video, math bars and clear explanations. It worked well for my math whiz kid, the average kid, and my dyslexic child.

I would advise focusing on the video and the math bars and mastering that before going to the worksheets. Don't try to cover one book a year. Go at your child's pace. I always used flashcards to review the basic facts that were already mastered, so they would not be forgotten.

Dorie Nealon

Grade levels used: 1st Time: 1 year

i really like this curriculum in principle. How much your child likes it will depend upon him/her. The DVD lessons are short and Steve explains things pretty well. However, when it comes to the workbooks, they are very boring. No pictures or colors. Just black print on white paper. Fill in the blanks. It was also not very comprehensive. It covers addition and subtraction exhaustively, but nothing else. A little clock work, but no fractions, graphs, money, etc. If you choose this, you'll want to supplement. I DID like their CD with songs on it...my 4 yr old can now count by 3's to 30 by hearing the music his sister plays. I'd just buy their CD separately.

Rheannon

Grade levels used: K-3 - Foundations Time: 3 years.

I used Math-U-See beginning with my then 3rd grader to evaluate him in his basics after removing him from public school. Although we moved quickly through it until he arrived to the multiplication sections, he enjoyed using the manipulatives and the skip counting techniques as preparation. The consumable student books are black/white (a little boring for him), but I also obtained an extra practice workbook which I have also used for his two siblings. There are separate practice/timed sheets for addition/subtraction/multip. and tests every two lessons that can be copied from the TE. An answer key of the students workbook is also included in the TE after each lesson. Word problems are included, also. My kids enjoyed building the clock with the blocks in order to tell time - easier to understand after they learned skip counting by fives. I watched the video for the first several lessons to get familiar with Steve's approach and for those lessons that were a little more complicated for the kids. I'm a strong math person, but I wanted to stay consistent with his approach. I would highly recommend this program with several kids at that age range (reduces cost and time) and who feel manipulatives are necessary in grasping math concepts. I bought the Kindergarten program, but found that you could have covered the same material a little slower in the Foundations 1-3. Save your money.

Marilyn Perry


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