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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Math U See Schoolhouse Review Crew Review

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   When we first started homeschooling one of the things Taylor struggled with the most was Math. He still struggles a bit but not as much since we found Math U See, I came across MUS at a homeschool convention a few years back and let me tell you it was the best investment we ever made. We quickly made the switch for both boys for the next Fall and have been using them ever since. This being our 3rd year using them. I have also shown MUS to many of my homeschool friends and they have made the switch as well.

   At first the price scared me a bit, it is an investment, but semi consumable as you can use some of the components over again but you do need to get the student workbooks for each child when you want to begin the program with your next child.  I was worried since there were other programs we had tried that did not work so well for us, I kept thinking what if this did not work either, then we had just wasted a fair sum of money. I talked at length with the people at the booth and what was different was all of the hands on manipulatives. Both of my boys are very hands on learners and I truly believe this was the missing component from our previous Math programs we had used. I was so excited to show them when I got home and for the first time we were all content with the choice we had made in our Math studies. I for one was relieved because the burden of teaching the entire lessons to the boys, Math is not my strongest area. I know enough to get by but was nervous about teaching it as my boys got older and in more advanced areas of Math. What is one of the added benefits of MUS is that Mr. Demme teaches the lessons via DVD. This is great since now with Alyx in 9th grade we are dealing with Geometry which is what we were given to review. Geometry scares me a bit to say the least, it has been a long time since I did Geometry. The teacher's guide is wonderful because it does not just give you the answer key like in other curriculum, it walks you through how the lesson is to be taught so you can understand and if your children need help beyond what they learned in the DVD you can help them to grasp the concept even if you are not a Math Whiz like me.

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    I wish I had know about Math U See years before I took the plunge to begin homeschooling, because the worry of being an effective teacher when it came to Math scared me to death and prevented me from homeschooling for years. Even though back then I knew I could have taught them what they needed to know, it frightened me to look at the long road of Math ahead of us, I did not want to fail my kids. I am happy to say I have gained confidence and refreshed my mind when it comes to Math since we began using Math U See back in 2010.

  One of the other things I love about MUS is that each book is focused on one area of Math, like our Geometry book we reviewed, it is all about Geometry. Back when we started MUS we chose to start with Gamma which focused on Multiplication using single and multi digit numbers, along with the manipulatives Taylor finally grasped the concept and sailed through to Delta which was all about Division. We have been finishing and catching up rapidly since we started MUS. Taylor is now working on Zeta which is Decimals and percents, Alyx has just completed Algebra 1, which is why I chose Geometry to review since that is the next book in sequence for us.

  I am so impressed with how much the boys take to doing their Math with no arguments because it comes so easy with MUS and they truly are learning and mastering the topics they are working on without the traditional skipping around that other curriculum has you do. MUS has made math not a struggle and for that I am truly thankful. Alyx's only complaint with the Geometry is there are no manipulatives like the Algebra and lower levels. I told him I was sorry it is so tough to get old, ha ha!

   For Geometry you would need to purchase the Student Pack (this is the consumable portion that would need to be purchased if you were to use the program with other children) which sells for $32.00 this comes with the student workbook, which includes the lesson by lesson worksheets, review pages and honors pages. This also includes the Geometry tests. You will also need to purchase the Geometry Instruction pack this sells for $57.00 but this is the portion that can be used over and over again, no need to purchase it again to use it with other students. This includes the Instruction Manual with lesson by lesson instructions and detailed solutions and also the DVD lessons ( 2 in the set). The DVD is where your students will learn from Mr. Demme and be taught the lessons so they can complete their assignment in their workbook.

    As I stated above in the lower levels you would need to purchase the same type of packs but in addition you would need to purchase the manipulatives that are reusable in order to make the curriculum work to its full capacity. These are an investment and truly are what makes in my opinion this curriculum work for the lower levels, so that by the time they get to the upper levels of Geometry and above they will have mastered all of the Math concepts they need to know to be a successful Math student.

    My boys often do more than one lesson a day for Math because the curriculum is so easy to follow, now I am not saying it is easy by any means but the way that it flows helps to make learning less stressful and in turn it doesn't seem like the chore it used to be to complete their Math work. I honestly cannot give as much praise as Math U See deserves, it has made Math time in our house, much more enjoyable and my son is catching up to grade level with so much enthusiasm and confidence, this is something we were not seeing with other full Math curriculums. If your child is a hands on learner or is struggling with Math or both, you need to make the investment and switch to Math U See, you will see in no time at all, it was one of the best investments you made for your student and homeschool needs.  I am sure you will thank me for it later. Be sure to check out all of the reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew as we all chose the level that was best for our student. If you are not sure which level is best for your child, be sure to have them take the FREE placement test and browse the sample lessons on the Math U See website, they are also great at answering any questions you may have when making your choice for the level for their program, as well as if you have any questions while using their curriculum. Don't forget to come back and thank me later, when you see what a difference Math U See makes in your student's Math studies, I love hearing all of the success stories when it comes to Math U See.

 

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