I have a little secret to share. Math is not my strong point, it never has been. Just recently I was looking through some old photos and found a note from my first grade teacher. Her note said, “Jennifer has had no difficulty learning to read this year and is doing well in the highest reading group, she could, however, use some extra work with her 1 – 10 math facts.” Sadly, not much has changed. What’s a homeschool mom to do when math is not a strong point? Turn to Math U See.
The oldest child in the home is often the guinea pig when it comes to homeschool curriculum and methods. So true with my oldest and his math curriculum. It seems we tried just about everything before another homeschool mom recommended Math U See.
The strong points of Math U See are that it’s video based and uses manipulatives. Each Monday morning my three older children sit down at the computer and watch the video of their respective level. Throughout the week they work on a math page. On Friday I always assign the last page in that unit as it provides practice on the new material that they have learned, as well as a good review of previously learned material.
Recently my husband has taken a larger role in math studies. He watches the video with the kids on Sunday evening and then works with them again during the week, usually on Wednesday evening. This has worked out wonderfully, not only does it free me of math responsibilities, but it makes our Monday mornings go more smoothly as they are each ready to get started on their math studies right away.
An important component of the Math U See curriculum is the manipulatives. My oldest child hasn’t used them as much as my younger two do, but my younger children are more visual and the blocks are helpful for them. I think it makes the learning more concrete and less abstract, particularly in the younger years.
I also appreciate that Math U See includes word problems right from the beginning. Word problems always seem to cause difficulty and instead of doing them only once in a while like when I was in school, the children are doing them on a weekly basis. This gives them plenty of opportunity to get comfortable with word problems when they are doing lower level math. As the math topics increase in difficulty, they can focus on solving the problem, not getting bogged down by the fact that it’s a word problem.
The Math U See website offers additional support with printable math sheets to enforce different topics and give extra practice where needed. The site also offers on-line drill work for math facts. Also available is a handy placement test to see exactly where your student will fit. The worksheets are clean, uncluttered and aren’t overwhelming.
Here is what you can expect to purchase:
- Instructional DVD
- Test Booklet – A test is provided for each week as well as a unit test after every 6 weeks. A final test is provided at the end.
- Instruction Manual – Printed instructions for each weekly instructional DVD
- Student Workbook
- Manipulative Block Set – once you have a set of blocks this won’t be something you purchase each year
I will probably never be a math lover, but with Math U See I can ensure that my children will be fluent and functional with their math studies and who knows, maybe one or two will be a math lover!
~written by Jen, Forever, For Always, No Matter What
We had the same experience of trying a lot of programs and finding Math U See to be the one they dislike least and learn the most from. My oldest is going to start Pre-Algebra next year. Do you have anyone using the Pre-Algebra/Algebra or more advanced math? I am just wondering how those programs are.
We aren’t into advanced math yet, so I can’t say. Right now our plan is to stick with MUS. Thanks for reading 🙂
We use Math U See too. My girls have never struggled with math (for that matter I never did either and ended up in an applied math class due to teacher pressure) but they still moan about having to do it.
I have always tried to remain positive about the subject and how well they do but seriously it’s their least favoured subject (despite loving Mr Demme). This year I am trying something new and doing living math one day a week, whilst still using MUS. I just wanted to change their view on math as being boring and hard work.They are really enjoying the living math, so it appears to be working.
I’m curious. They say on the website that it is a good idea to buy two manipulative sets. Have you had a problem only using one?