Thursday, March 28, 2013

Math-U-See {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Math has always been the subject we struggle the most with in our homeschool. With my older two, it seems I tried many things, none of which "worked" for us. When ever I researched Math-U-See (which I seemed to do on a yearly basis! Ha!), I always felt put-off by the cost. In looking back, though, I wish I had gone ahead and just invested in it anyway! I think it would have benefited Tim the most.

When Botanist Boy was in third grade, I "bit the bullet" and purchased the Beta level for him. When he was finished with Beta, I moved him on to Gamma, and he took two years to complete it, he balked so much. From the things I'd heard about Math-U-See, I always figured it would help my math-hater to at least tolerate math. Sadly, not the case with that boy, though.

Now, Little Bit is a different "breed" entirely. He likes math...LOVES math, even. Perhaps because he started out using a hands-on, manipulative-based program, using frog counters as the manipulatives. He adores frogs! ;-) I wasn't sure where he'd head after he finished those workbooks, though, but I was pretty sure MUS was it!

Then came our chance to take that plunge a few weeks ago! We were blessed with the opportunity to review the newly-revised Beta level!

Little Bit and I had watched the overview video on the MUS site, and he was eager to receive this program. Frankly, he beat us all to the FedEx truck when our package arrived!

We received the instructor's guide, DVD, student workbook, and test book...and a set of the manipulative blocks!

Almost immediately, he put in the DVD to watch the first lesson: Place Values, something he'd been struggling with. But it seemed to really "click" for him, and it was like a light bulb went on!

I like this program, because Steve Demme is so clear in his instruction, and easy to follow...and humorous. Even Botanist Boy begrudgingly admits he enjoys watching him. ;-)

Each lesson of the workbook contains several worksheets. Worksheets A, B, and C cover the new concept just covered in the DVD; worksheets D, E, and F review previous topics that have been covered; and added in to the revised editions is a page of Application and Enrichment.

So, if your child understands the concept, and completes worksheet A quickly and with mastery, then he won't need to do worksheets B and C. Same with the review pages. Little Bit is very systematic, though, and likes to do the worksheets, just because they are there it seems.

He seems to really like the word problems. Some of them are very humorous! For example: Six parrots called me on the telephone yesterday. Three more parrots called me today. How many parrots called me altogether? This one really struck his "funny bone" and literally had him rolling on the floor, laughing!

If you feel your child needs even more practice of a topic, though, there is a worksheet generator, and a page for online drill.

Beta focuses mainly on addition and subtraction for multiple-digit numbers, along with other topics, such as: place value, telling time, measuring, adding and subtracting U.S. currency. Check out the table of contents.

No matter what, one of the kids' favorite ways to use the manipulative blogs is in building various structures, especially seeing how tall a tower they can build!

My plans are definitely to continue with Math-U-See for Little Bit. I look forward to seeing how the other levels will work for him!

I really wish I could persuade the Botanist Boy to continue with it as well, because I truly think that if he would really set his mind to it, he would find it more beneficial than he cares to admit.

So if you are like we have been, and really struggle to find a multi-sensory, mastery-based math program, be sure to check out Math-U-See! They cover all levels, Kindergarten through 12th grade.

Please note that Math-U-See does not follow a traditional scope and sequence. You'll want your child to take the placement tests to determine at which level he should start.

Cost: For Beta Instruction Pack (which includes the DVD), the cost is $43.00. The cost for the student pack is $30.00. The manipulative block set costs $38.00.

Contact Information:
PO Box 8888
Lancaster, PA 17604
Phone: 888-854-6284



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1 comment:

  1. We have used Math-U-See pretty much from the beginning and since it has worked we haven't felt the need to try other programs. I hope you continue to have success with it.


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