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Math U See?

Posted by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 8:03 PM
  • 15 Replies

I am considering buying Math U See for DD10 5th grade who is really struggling in math and HATES it.  I shouldn't say really struggling, she is just barely on grade level, and knows enough to get through, but she doesn't know it the way I feel she should (she hasn't memorized her multiplication facts, division is super hard, she even has to still count for some addition such as 7+5, and she misses a number often resulting in 7+5=11..which also makes her think things like 6x7=41, because she is still adding for some multiplication).  For some of this, she just needs to study them more and work on that memorization.  But I'm not sure how much she can actually just memorize by going over it repeatedly, or I think she would at least have the 6+4=10 immediately, you know?

So I've heard great things about Math U See and I have found a bunch of them used (teacher's manual and DVD) online...so my question is, what do you HAVE to have for MUS?  Do we need all of the manipulatives?  Are there other things we can use at home as manipulatives?  Is the student pack super helpful and awesome?

What's your experience or what have you heard about this program?  We have VERY limited funds, so I would really hate to spend money on something that is not going to work for her, but I need to make sure we are doing what we can to help her learn this stuff!

Thanks everyone for all your help :)

by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 8:03 PM
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Replies (1-10):
bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 9:01 PM

 We love Math U See.  It works very well for all 3 of my boys.  The one who likes worksheets, the one who likes videos, and the one who cannot sit still.  We just modify the lessons to fit who they are.  My oldest does nearly all of the worksheets (2/day).  My middle boy watches the video, then I do the first worksheet and slowly let him take over, finally I have him teach it back using the 4th worksheet and then he takes the test.  My youngest plays much more with the blocks.  While they all do the blocks for the first worksheet, my youngest really does the blocks with each and every sheet.

KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 9:05 PM

My daughter had one lesson that she would have needed the manipulatives, but they were basically just base ten blocks, and I had some cardstock cut outs of singles, ten strips, and hundreds.   She just used those paper ones instead and it's worked.  

She is in the Zeta level, and has always be very, VERY sharp at getting math concepts.

My son hasn't needed them yet.   He's 9 and doing Gamma (multiplication) because we just started.  He probably should be in the next one... Beta? I think?  Anyway, I didn't want to move on without his mastering it, though, since we switched from other curriculum.

I would like the manipulatives if we can find them used.   But for my older kids, they don't need them.   If I don't find them used, though, I might splurge for my next one.   She's very hands on and must see it all to learn it.



TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Sep. 27, 2013 at 9:44 PM
I was looking on homeschoolclassifieds.com and found the manipulatives used, but still am not good with spending $30 if she won't really need them, or if I can make something that will work ok. Any chance you will be done with Gamma soon and want to sell it(or rent it then I can send it back for your younger one? Lol). I am pretty sure that's where I will place mine, she is taking the placement test tomorrow. She took the one for the one before Gamma and she seemed comfortable with it...so we will try the Gamma placement test and I am fairly sure she will land there. I am finding the teachers manual and DVD for around $25, so then I would need to get the student pack (right?) for I think $30...I think it will be worth the investment if we can make it through math without tears and tantrums every day.


Quoting KrissyKC:

My daughter had one lesson that she would have needed the manipulatives, but they were basically just base ten blocks, and I had some cardstock cut outs of singles, ten strips, and hundreds.   She just used those paper ones instead and it's worked.  

She is in the Zeta level, and has always be very, VERY sharp at getting math concepts.

My son hasn't needed them yet.   He's 9 and doing Gamma (multiplication) because we just started.  He probably should be in the next one... Beta? I think?  Anyway, I didn't want to move on without his mastering it, though, since we switched from other curriculum.

I would like the manipulatives if we can find them used.   But for my older kids, they don't need them.   If I don't find them used, though, I might splurge for my next one.   She's very hands on and must see it all to learn it.




KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:04 PM

I'm so sorry, if we didn't need it for two more kids, I'd mail it to you for free.... However, I agreed to take care of it and keep it for my next kids when DH and I ordered it.

Do you belong to some type of co-op or homeschooling group?   That's a great place to share, borrow, and exchange curriculum.

I have to warn you that the Gamma level is really easy so far.   It takes them back for the entire first unit of things like 1 times table, two times table, ten times table, and five times table.  

However, when I asked my son if it was TOO easy, he said... "in the beginning, but like, right now, I'm learning the metric system, and I never knew THAT before!"    He is approximately halfway through it and it's only now starting teach him something new.   There have been several lessons I've let him watch the video and test on.

Go on the website and look at the actual chapter breakdown of what it teaches...  look at each title and see if it's something your daughter knows pretty well.   If it's just not having the facts memorized, why don't you just work REALLY hard at flash cards, games, and memorization techniques?   Then start her on the next level (whatever the division one is called?) ... because this stuff was REALLY easy for my son who is supposed to be in the 4th grade.... Gamma is approximately 3rd grade level.   Your fifth grader might find it really, REALLY young for her.


Quoting TJandKarasMom:

I was looking on homeschoolclassifieds.com and found the manipulatives used, but still am not good with spending $30 if she won't really need them, or if I can make something that will work ok. Any chance you will be done with Gamma soon and want to sell it(or rent it then I can send it back for your younger one? Lol). I am pretty sure that's where I will place mine, she is taking the placement test tomorrow. She took the one for the one before Gamma and she seemed comfortable with it...so we will try the Gamma placement test and I am fairly sure she will land there. I am finding the teachers manual and DVD for around $25, so then I would need to get the student pack (right?) for I think $30...I think it will be worth the investment if we can make it through math without tears and tantrums every day.


Quoting KrissyKC:

My daughter had one lesson that she would have needed the manipulatives, but they were basically just base ten blocks, and I had some cardstock cut outs of singles, ten strips, and hundreds.   She just used those paper ones instead and it's worked.  

She is in the Zeta level, and has always be very, VERY sharp at getting math concepts.

My son hasn't needed them yet.   He's 9 and doing Gamma (multiplication) because we just started.  He probably should be in the next one... Beta? I think?  Anyway, I didn't want to move on without his mastering it, though, since we switched from other curriculum.

I would like the manipulatives if we can find them used.   But for my older kids, they don't need them.   If I don't find them used, though, I might splurge for my next one.   She's very hands on and must see it all to learn it.






KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:08 PM
1 mom liked this

oh, and yes, the student stuff is pretty necessary.   I mean, you could make up some of your own worksheets and tests... but if you don't want to make up work for them to do based on what the lesson teaches, then the student workbook is needed.

I actually don't use the teachers manual except for quick grading so I don't have to sit and do their work just to grade it.   My kids just watch the video and understand it.  

I don't have to teach it to them.   I just oversee that they do some of the work and oversee that they have a good test taking attitude for the assessment.   I grade their work myself because I'm not teaching it.   This way, I see if they are making any real mistakes or if they are just silly little errors (like transposing a number or something)..

Like I said, half way through Gamma and Zeta and only one lesson needed the blocks and I substituted paper ones.   However, mine don't really struggle to get math.  English and writing are their challenge areas.




TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:14 PM
Thank you so much for that advice! Especially since we probably couldn't buy it twice this year, lol. So if she went through it too fast we would be right back where we are. I do want to focus on the multiplication facts and get those down. So maybe we will do that for a while and then try the next placement test. I did find a bunch used online (at least the teacher manual and DVD) and I don't think many people would have the student stuff for sale since you use that up, but I think we can make it work once, just not repeatedly in a school year if we get one that is too easy.

So I think I will take your advice. Maybe if I show her the examples she will want it, so I can tell her we will get it when she knows her multiplication facts ;). Maybe then she will be more encouraged to learn them.

And don't be sorry, I appreciate that you would be willing, but I totally understand saving it for the next kid. DS is only 11 months older than DD but about two years ahead of her (closer to 3 in math), I am certainly saving everything from him to use with her later, there is no sense in buying things twice! We do have a co op, and even a co op website with book sales and all, so I have been keeping my eye on that. It's an ok sized co op but not huge. But I know I will find what I need and we should be able to swing $50-ish...I am telling DH that its worth $50 to not fight everyday and see her struggle so much. I just really hope it works for her. But we should focus on the facts first and then be ready for the next step I think.


Quoting KrissyKC:

I'm so sorry, if we didn't need it for two more kids, I'd mail it to you for free.... However, I agreed to take care of it and keep it for my next kids when DH and I ordered it.

Do you belong to some type of co-op or homeschooling group?   That's a great place to share, borrow, and exchange curriculum.

I have to warn you that the Gamma level is really easy so far.   It takes them back for the entire first unit of things like 1 times table, two times table, ten times table, and five times table.  

However, when I asked my son if it was TOO easy, he said... "in the beginning, but like, right now, I'm learning the metric system, and I never knew THAT before!"    He is approximately halfway through it and it's only now starting teach him something new.   There have been several lessons I've let him watch the video and test on.

Go on the website and look at the actual chapter breakdown of what it teaches...  look at each title and see if it's something your daughter knows pretty well.   If it's just not having the facts memorized, why don't you just work REALLY hard at flash cards, games, and memorization techniques?   Then start her on the next level (whatever the division one is called?) ... because this stuff was REALLY easy for my son who is supposed to be in the 4th grade.... Gamma is approximately 3rd grade level.   Your fifth grader might find it really, REALLY young for her.



Quoting TJandKarasMom:

I was looking on homeschoolclassifieds.com and found the manipulatives used, but still am not good with spending $30 if she won't really need them, or if I can make something that will work ok. Any chance you will be done with Gamma soon and want to sell it(or rent it then I can send it back for your younger one? Lol). I am pretty sure that's where I will place mine, she is taking the placement test tomorrow. She took the one for the one before Gamma and she seemed comfortable with it...so we will try the Gamma placement test and I am fairly sure she will land there. I am finding the teachers manual and DVD for around $25, so then I would need to get the student pack (right?) for I think $30...I think it will be worth the investment if we can make it through math without tears and tantrums every day.





Quoting KrissyKC:

My daughter had one lesson that she would have needed the manipulatives, but they were basically just base ten blocks, and I had some cardstock cut outs of singles, ten strips, and hundreds.   She just used those paper ones instead and it's worked.  

She is in the Zeta level, and has always be very, VERY sharp at getting math concepts.

My son hasn't needed them yet.   He's 9 and doing Gamma (multiplication) because we just started.  He probably should be in the next one... Beta? I think?  Anyway, I didn't want to move on without his mastering it, though, since we switched from other curriculum.

I would like the manipulatives if we can find them used.   But for my older kids, they don't need them.   If I don't find them used, though, I might splurge for my next one.   She's very hands on and must see it all to learn it.









Bleacheddecay
by Bronze Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:17 PM
1 mom liked this

Once we found Math U See my kids wouldn't try anything else. I wasn't happy with the results they got on college prep tests in math. So I wouldn't use it if I had to go back. I might use Teaching Textbooks or Jacobs or both.

PinkButterfly66
by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:23 PM

check out touchmath.com

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:23 PM
Thank you again. I think it will be worth it since I am making up their curriculum for everything else, it will just save me a bunch of time and frustration on my part. I think I will get the teachers manual since a)she will need me to teach some of it at some point and b)all of the used DVDs come with the teachers manual, so I may as well get them together and then I have it for the answers so I don't have to spend my free time doing 5th grade math ;)

We have some manipulatives and I will make card stock base 10 blocks for her. I think that will work. I also found a website (maybe here?) with virtual manipulatives, I'm sure she would enjoy using those too.

Thank you again, I really appreciate all your help with this!


Quoting KrissyKC:

oh, and yes, the student stuff is pretty necessary.   I mean, you could make up some of your own worksheets and tests... but if you don't want to make up work for them to do based on what the lesson teaches, then the student workbook is needed.

I actually don't use the teachers manual except for quick grading so I don't have to sit and do their work just to grade it.   My kids just watch the video and understand it.  

I don't have to teach it to them.   I just oversee that they do some of the work and oversee that they have a good test taking attitude for the assessment.   I grade their work myself because I'm not teaching it.   This way, I see if they are making any real mistakes or if they are just silly little errors (like transposing a number or something)..

Like I said, half way through Gamma and Zeta and only one lesson needed the blocks and I substituted paper ones.   However, mine don't really struggle to get math.  English and writing are their challenge areas.





TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:25 PM
I was talking with a friend about touchmath, she teaches special Ed and uses it a lot and loves it, but when we talked more she thought it would be much too low for DD. Have you used it with an older kid that is close to grade level for math?


Quoting PinkButterfly66:

check out touchmath.com


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