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Topic: Math U see or other math programs?

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Subject: Math U see or other math programs?
Date Posted: 7/31/2007 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2007
Posts: 25
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I was wondering what you all thought of Math U See or other successful math programs you have used.  Do you think it is worth the money?  Are there any sources to get it secondhand or is it consumable?  Of course they want to sell you the teacher's manual and dvd, would you say they are necessary?

Thanks,

Amity

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2007
Posts: 137
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Hi!

I'm just starting my first year with Math U See, so I can't tell you from personal experience too much yet, but just from what I've seen, it looks wonderful! I don't know if you've gotten their demo DVD yet (you can get it free from the mathusee website), but when I watched it, suddenly *I* was understanding math that I knew HOW to do, but I never knew WHY.  I was sold.

I found all my materials secondhand. I got the teacher's manuals and instructional video from vegsoource.com (they have a HUGE homeschool swap board) , and I got the manipulatiive blocks from there also. The  only thing I needed to get from mathusee directly were the student workbooks. You can also find a lot on Ebay, but I found that many times the stuff that was listed there was going for as much as it would have been new from mathusee - especially figuring in shipping costs. I found a lot of good deals on vegsource, though. You can even post a "wanted" ad - but just go through the for sale ads first. The board is so active that new posts are added every few minutes. It was a gold mine for me getting used curricula this year.

My kids are already having lots of fun playing with the blocks, and we haven't even begun school yet for this year. I'm excited to get started with it -- at this point I'm just waiting for the workbooks to arrive in the mail (maybe they will be there today!!)

Let me know if you want more info. I'd be happy to hear from other people who have been or are using math u see as well!!

(Unforunately, so far I haven't seen any materials posted here on this site...) :-)

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 4:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2007
Posts: 137
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Oh, and I forgot to add --

I think the teacher's manual and instructional video (DVD or video) are very central to the program. They want to first teach YOU the concepts, so you can teach your child. I've heard many people suggest you watch it with you kids, as the frst step in each lesson. That's likely what I will be doing.

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 158
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I have only used MUS and really like it.  The manipulatives are costly initially but are used again each year.  I bought the "old" version so was able to save some $ that way.  The new version comes with the lessons on DVD which is quite handy and also made some changes to some of the lessons.  I was able to get a deal on the TM and DVD for the new version for my upcoming level at homeschoolclassifieds.com. 

 

The savings you can have depend on how flexible you are.  I didn't mind getting the older version for the first few grade levels because I didn't feel that I'd need that much "help" to teach addition/subtraction, etc.  I have also supplemented when I didn't care for the MUS system.  For instance, I am not using MUS to teach telling time but working with an e-workbook that I purchased for @ $3. instead. 

If you visit the Links for Schooling Page (below) and select Math you can view some free online resources.  In the General links, you'll find websites that offer curricula reviews as well.  There are also two MUS Yahoo Groups, one for discussing the program and another for buying and selling.  Several other curricula have Yahoo groups as well, so if there's something you are interested you might do a search for a group. 

Date Posted: 7/31/2007 7:19 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2005
Posts: 68
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We used it 4 years ago for my oldest but it didn't work for her but we are going back to it this year with my other two and I am looking forward to it.

There are lots of book/homeschool groups on Yahoo.  I am on Cathswap, FreecycleHomeschool and several others.

Date Posted: 8/1/2007 8:59 AM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2006
Posts: 1,443
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We are in our 3 year of using it.  I really like it, my son says it's ok.  There is a yahoo group for buying a selling used copies of MUS.  MUSSwap@yahoo.com

 

Date Posted: 8/1/2007 2:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2007
Posts: 25
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Thanks for your replies!  I looked at some of the used copies on vegsource.com and I'm confused about the different versions.  My daughter is starting 2nd grade so I assume that is the Beta set.  What about Intro to Math and Fundamentals of Math?  Are these sets more general and not so specific to grade level?

Thanks!

Amity

Date Posted: 8/1/2007 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 158
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Introduction and Foundations are the older "classic" version.  Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc. is the new set.  Visit the Math U See website and you'll find placement information to help you decide which set you need to start with multiplication. 

Date Posted: 8/1/2007 7:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2006
Posts: 1,443
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Amity, if you go to the Math U See website, there is printable placement test she can take.  My son is starting the 3rd grade, we started Beta 1/2 through 2nd grade.  We also started with Primer in the spring of his K year, I should of just started him right into Alpha as those two are very simialr.

 



Last Edited on: 8/1/07 7:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/2/2007 7:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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I use MUS with my older son, finished 5 years and will continue in the fall. Younger son has used it 3 years. Both love math and learn quickly and easily. I don't know if it is the MUS way of teaching or their brains, but I am not changing as I don't want to risk it.

For the revised program, the DVD comes with the teacher manual automatically. The DVD can be helpful sometimes and other times is not needed.

Not counting the manipulatives the year's program is $55 if you buy both teacher manual ($35) and student workbook ($20). The student book is consumable. I obviously re=used teacher's manuals for my second child. So for me to teach two children costs me $75 per year. In my book that is not expensive. I feel the teacher's manual is necessary---in the early years, to "get" how to teach the concept and later, for ease with correcting their pages if nothing else.

The other thing I'll say is that the recommendation to do one page per day never worked for us as my kids whiz through it. If we did that on some days math would be over in three minutes. I teach with short lesson times so for the Kindergarten year we did 10 minues of math per day, First grade for older son was 15 minutes. Now that my son was in 4th grade it was up to 30 minutes per day.

There is a Yahoo Group for "Math U See Users" I think it is called "MUS Users" if you feel you want to ask questions of others.

HTH.

 

Date Posted: 8/3/2007 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2006
Posts: 7
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this last school year, both my 3rd grader and 6th grader used Horizons math and they both really liked it- very colorful and uses the spiraling mthod which I like.

i still have the teacher's maunual, if anyone wants them.  PM me.

Date Posted: 8/8/2007 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2007
Posts: 25
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I just wanted to say thanks again for all of your input!  I found the placement test on the site and ordered the demo dvd.  Then I ordered a foundations set from someone on vegsource.com--I am now addicted to that site tyvm! 

Amity

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 9
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I've been using Math U See for about 6 years.   I was thrilled when I found it.   I'd struggled and struggled to teach math concepts to my middle child.   His older brother was teaching himself math with A Beka textbooks from about 6th grade through High School.  But not my middle child. He wasn't getting any of it.  So I decided to chunk everything and start over.  Using MUS  he was able to grasp the concepts he had previously learned, but forgotten and retain that knowlegde from year to year.   He is now a Senior (this year) in High School and he has been watching the videos for himself and then doing the assignments.  All I've had to do is go back and reteach those concepts he still wasn't quite grasping.   The only draw back to the program is that there is not a quick review of the previous years concepts at the beginning of the school year.  So I've had to go back to the previous year and pull worksheets and lessons from that year to get his mind to working again. 

When I put my middle child on the Math-U-See program I also put my youngest on the program.  She is a very independant learner.  She too just watches the videos and then does the assignments.   If she's not getting a concept I go back and have her do the entire lesson over, re-watching the video or with me re-teaching her in a way she understands.  

This works out great for me, since I am not always available during the school year to teach math (I substitute teach) so with them watching the teacher videos I know they are at least learning from a math teacher, which I'm not a math teacher.  Sometimes when my son doesn't grasp a concept I have to go back and relearn the previous three or four lessons, until I can understand it enough to help him.  

I myself struggled with math.  I wish that math had been taught in a more incremental approach with everything laid out, step by step the way Math-U-See does.   Both my son and I don't "see" math.  It is not a "concrete"  thing to us.   My oldest son "sees" math and it is very concrete for him.   Even now when I do math I have to do every single step--because it is so abstract  a subject for me.   If given rules to follow and guide posts to look for we can do the work, but we don't always undertand the reasoning behind the answer or why we should do it this way and not another and sometimes we don't recognize the answer even when we arrive there (this is especially true with Algebraic problems).   With Math-U-See, I can see, and my son, has been able to see a glimmer of the reasoning and logic behind the subject.

My sister-in-law has taken some of the teacher's manuels and my teacher DVD's to use in her public school classroom.  She teaches special ed in a high school and loves the Math-U-See program for those kids, because it is built step by step, and on a level where the concepts can be understood.

Naomi

 

 

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2007
Posts: 137
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Amity ,

Welcome to the Vegsource addiction club. I've now gotten everything I could need for this upcomng year, yet I still peek in over there to what's popping up and for how much. I just can't stop. :) I got my blocks from there too - in great condtion and half the price of new. 

It's like Ebay, only wth instant gratification and often no additional shipping costs!