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Math U See vs Rightstart


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#1 purplemama

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 11:07 AM

Can anyone compare these programs for me? We have tried Singapore with my daughter and she is just not getting math. We are both frustrated. She seems to really not understand math on paper and is completely reliant on manipulatives at almost 8 years old. She seems to remember math facts sometimes and not others, Sometimes she can fly through a worksheet and others it takes her an hour what it took her 10 minutes to do another day. She also HATES math because she doesn't understand and we have completely stopped doing math several times for about 6 months total just to give her a break. She is about to be in third grade and only understands single digit addition/subtraction--no borrowing or carrying--and not much beyond that. I really do not know how to teach this child. My son is very intuitive with math and just understands and enjoys math. I am not that confident with teaching math and her not understanding makes me feel even less capable of teaching her. HELP!!

I have decided that in order to salvage her math understanding I am going to have to fork over the cash for a different program, which is going to put a major dent in our small budget, so I want to make the right choice. I can't afford to buy one expensive math program and have it not work and have to buy another expensive math program. I was hoping to only have to buy new workbooks and reuse our texbooks and tms for Singapore, but alas, it is not meant to be that easy!

If you have used both of these it would be helpful if you could tell me which worked better and why. If you have only used one, please explain to me how the program works and why you like it.

Thanks!

Jennifer

#2 HomesteadMommy

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 11:32 AM

The only math curriculum I've used so far is MUS. But my oldest dd has used it for 3 years now. We all really like it. Basically you or you and your child watch the video that explains the lesson. Then you work on the practice problems from the teacher book with the child. Once they understand what they are suppose to do, let them start on the workbook pages. I think there are 4 workbook pages per topic. You just do the number that it takes for her to understand the lesson. When she can sit down and teach/show you how to do the problems, it's time to move on. After each lesson work pages there are 3 or 4 (can't remember) review pages. They review what you've just learned as well as the material up to that point.
They really focus on knowing each point well before moving on. My dd has found the blocks very helpfull when learning something new. But once they start to memorize the facts they don't use them as much.

#3 Lovedtodeath

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 11:49 AM

MUS has much more potential for being boring, and independent.

#4 OhElizabeth

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 11:59 AM

Purplemama, I saw where you've posted your frustrations before. Would you like to share what you've tried with her so far? My first thought with all this is you might not be going in the right direction. I like RS a lot (a LOT), but kids are all different. What kinds of manipulatives is she using right now? Are the manipulatives helpful to her or actually getting in the way? Does she like them?

Also, you mentioned she's not yet 8. Is it possible you'd feel less pressure if you called her a rising 2nd grader? It's already the end of June. Much later, and you're looking at July or August. Many, many people use a summer cut-off, say June 1, as the decider for grades. I know each school district and state is different, but you can buck that. Many do (just search the threads here!), and it can make a huge difference. My dd has an end of April birthday, which still puts her on the young end for her grade, and I've always kept it in mind over the years. In fact, she seems to make big jumps, to what I would call the next grade level, in January and over the Christmas holidays, not in the fall at all! My new baby (not so new anymore, sniff) was born in October. I've already decided he's going to be cutoff, turning 6 the year I call him K5. I don't care how smart he is, because I can teach him at his level. It's just a way of making sure my expectations are physically appropriate for the amount of writing, etc.

Well enough of that!

The other thing I'd consider is some sort of learning issue or difference. Have you had her eyes checked? Does she have any other issues or things that concern you? Have you done a basic learning styles assessment? (try one for free at www.educate.com )

I wouldn't plunk out the big bucks till you've had a chance to try some of these curricula. Are you near anyone who has any of them? You could ask on the RS yahoo group to see. MUS is so common, surely someone near you has it. I'd also suggest you look at CLE. It's easy to implement, girl-friendly, and straightforward.

#5 purplemama

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 12:48 PM

The reason I am thinking of trying these is because I think her learning style is going to be served best by them. When I use counters, a clock, base ten blocks, etc. for math, she seems to understand better, but she has trouble making the leap from manipulatives to paper.

She can see fine, and has no other issues that I can identify. She reads VERY well for her age and understands what she reads. Examples of what she has read on her own: Patricia MacLachlan's Sarah, Plain and Tall series, The Doll People series, Beverly Cleary's Ramona series. She can do narrations and takes dictation well on her level. The math is really my only concern. I have decided to try one of these programs because I think it will fit well with her learning style. I want something that will provide the teaching to go along with the manipulatives suggested and help her with visualization since I think that is why she leans on the manipulatives. Math was not my favorite thing growing up and I have a hard time teaching it, so I really need a lesson laid out for me, but I don't want a workbook because I don't think she will understand.

#6 Aurelia

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 01:08 PM

Could you have her do the sample lessons from both and see what she likes and sticks best?

We use and love Right Start for the reasons you gave, but every child is different. I suggest trying a lesson or two, if possible and see how it goes.

#7 Lovedtodeath

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 03:43 PM

You could also look at Miquon and McRuffy.

#8 Katie.Louise

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 04:35 PM

I am a big fan of MUS. Oldest dd did saxon in public school for K-1st grade. My 3 girls all love MUS. It sounds like your daughter still needs the manipulatives. According to MUS's Mr. Demme, using the man. for several years is fine. He even uses them with fractions (5th grade.) I think my daughters really understand their math. I would think she'll be able to see it in her head when the light goes on for her.

My older 2 went to public school this past year (3rd and 5th grades.) I made them both do their MUS at home through the year, because I knew we would be going back to hs'ing this coming fall. They did excellent in math. I like that MUS sticks with 1 subject per year and covers it very well. For instance, my 3rd grader finished up her year in public school learning her multiplication facts doing mult. like this:

24
x5

In MUS, she is doing this type of mult. by the end of the year:
4587
x348

They really master a topic before moving on. It has 6 sheets for each lesson. Three of them are on the new concept, the last three are systematic review (includes a few problems from the new concept too.)

I love that the lessons pages are neat and orderly. I am funny about that. So far, I haven't used the TM much but for the answers. We have used it up through Epsilon- 5th grade.

I hope this helps,
Katie

#9 walkermamaof4

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 04:40 PM

We've used both MUS and RS. We are using A&B of RS right now. I know lots of people love MUS, but for whatever reason, my kids still can't see math after using it for 2 years. They can memorize facts (which we did using R&S and BJU), but not do word problems. They still mix up addition and multiplication answers and don't quite "get" what they are doing when they multiply. We tried and tried with MUS. (Honestly, I am sure they are not math-types, but I was a little surprised they still couldn't get it.)

We've only started RS about 50 lessons ago, but I think it is a better/perfect fit for us. I love the way they see that 5 and 5 is 10 on the abacus and then easily see that 6 and 4 is still 10, 7 and 3 is still 10... without having to mess with blocks. Just one abacus and they can see so much. They all really understand odds and evens now and skip counting and so much that they never really got before, and we've really just started. I was shocked that we've done R&S 1-3, MUS 2 levels, and BJU 3 but when I opened RS level C I was certain I had better backtrack and move through B first! (Holy cow, they should be moving into BJU 4 but instead are going through RS B!) There were so many concepts in there that I thought they didn't know and really understand!

I've come to the place where I really don't care what "grade" they are in, but that they have a super foundation and understand what they are doing. I think that will get them much farther in life. So we are backtracking and using RS. We actually do levels A and B every day simultaneously. It is super fast. I bought the cd and am so glad bc/ I can print copies for everyone of the workbook pages. If you'll have more than one child use it, I recommend that instead of buying workbooks. We slide a laminating sheet over the pages each day so we can reuse them too, and use a wipe off marker. I wanted to be able to include these with the TM when I sell it. I think the kids think it is fun.

The card games are exceptional. They ask to please do them. For the first time ever, my kids talk about math later in the day. My 6 year old son tells us math facts as he thinks of them and sees them in his head. He is happy and having fun.

My girls thought the videos from MUS were great. (They often watched them with me.) They didn't want to switch. But they weren't learning to think and so we switched. I love RS. And I think they do too!

#10 gaz-mom

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 04:52 PM

We have tried Singapore with my daughter and she is just not getting math. We are both frustrated. She seems to really not understand math on paper and is completely reliant on manipulatives at almost 8 years old. She seems to remember math facts sometimes and not others, Sometimes she can fly through a worksheet and others it takes her an hour what it took her 10 minutes to do another day. She also HATES math because she doesn't understand and we have completely stopped doing math several times for about 6 months total just to give her a break. She is about to be in third grade and only understands single digit addition/subtraction--no borrowing or carrying--and not much beyond that. I really do not know how to teach this child.


This was me a little over a year ago! We've been using Math-U-See since then and it has made a TREMENDOUS difference for my son (9 years old and only now beginning double-digit addition). He is a visual learner (as I am) and I have always struggled with math, and was afraid to teach it, and we were using Singapore and it was just NOT working--he was not getting it and was frustrated and hated it, etc. etc.
I love MUS because it's visual--the videos are awesome--I don't have to worry about how I'm teaching it--I let him watch the video every day, and do the worksheets, and if he's struggling, we'll use the mathblocks to help smooth out any bumps. I wish I could have learned math this way.

#11 purplemama

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 04:53 PM

I use Miquon and Singapore with my son. I have tried Miquon and Singapore with my dd. She is just not independent or confident enough to work through Miquon on her own and have it set in. I feel like I have to do the work for her. The concepts are not intuitive to her and she does not really discover anything by doing the worksheets. Singapore does not make sense to her either. I can't understand what the problem is with Singapore.

I have never thought to try McRuffy. Maybe I will look into that. I have thought of Mastering Mathematics as well, but do not know anyone who has much experience with that program. I think the fact that is games based attracted me to it, but I think my daughter needs the manipulatives and the visual cues. I have thought of MEP as well, but I think we would have to start at the beginning with it. Maybe that is what I need to do...just start at the beginning.

Jennifer

#12 Amy C

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 07:09 PM

We tried Rightstart after finishing MUS Beta. I was worried that Gamma would be too hard for him by the end of the book. My ds8 found Rightstart frustrating and confusing. He hated to use the abacus - but he had already mastered addition and subtraction with regrouping. We went back to MUS and he was much happier.

I think it totally depends on the child. My son just wants to watch the video and do the worksheet. The other "stuff" with Rightstart just muddied the waters for him. For someone else it might be what makes math click.

Amy

#13 emmsmama

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 07:25 PM

I use Righstart Math with my two children and really like it. It does build a solid foundation of understanding for children, just like MUS does, however it takes a more spiral approach to it. By spiral I don't mean that it jumps crazily all over the place and doesn't solidify learning first, just that there is constant review built in, so in one lesson you might be reviewing telling time, doing some addition questions, skip counting by 5's and talking about the qualities of a square. Now mind you, those aren't all *introduced* in one lesson, but they are reviewed like that. Although some things have to be mastered before moving on, things like the addition facts are approached from many different angles and using many different strategies, and you aren't stuck on the +4s until your child gets them, because they are reviewed constantly until they are solidified.

There are also a lot of manipulatives instead of just one kind. The alabacus is the main manipulative, but you also work with cards for memory and games, tally sticks, blocks, a clock, geoboards, a math balance, drawing tools, etc.

I would say if you are unsure (because Righstart is a large investment), get the card games set and an abacus (if it doesn't come with one already) and see if you like it first. It's been working very well for our family though. Ds just completed Level A and is starting B. Dd has gone through Level B-D and is starting E.

I read through the MUS Alpha and Beta manuals and wasn't all that impressed. The blocks are handy and the DVD would be great if you want your child to work more independently (RS has to be teacher-directed up until you get to the Geometry program when it is then written directly to the student) or if you think Mr. Demme would explain things better than you would. But I really felt the teacher manuals and approach lacked "meatiness". Maybe the meat is in the DVD lesson, but it just seemed that there weren't a lot of angles used to approach things and it was a lot of rote memorization.

I am considering checking out MUS again for higher levels, but for lower levels I know RS was the right choice for my kids. I do think MUS is a solid program though and I like how it focuses on understanding math, not just spitting out numbers because the teacher says that's what you are supposed to do, but RS does that too and is a much better fit for my kids.

#14 Lovedtodeath

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 09:03 PM

I just want to say that the abacus makes way more sense than the MUS blocks. It is so similar to counting on your fingers. Starting with the abacus is the way to go. (we did most of MUS Alpha and we have the RightStart math games, which include the Abacus)

#15 prairiegirl

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 09:36 PM

I am using both now. I switched my oldest to MUS when she was halfway through Level E. I love RS ( we have been using it for 5 years) but I don't like Level E. There isn't enough practice for my dd. Now, we have only been using MUS for a few weeks but it is working amazingly well for my dd, who has major math difficulties. But I can see that MUS would not have worked for her when she was younger. She needed the variety of manipulatives that RS offers. The worksheets from MUS would have scared her off. I agree with the earlier poster who said that MUS is boring. This would have been the case for my dd when she was younger. Now that she is older, though, the independence that MUS offers is a very good thing. MUS is working for us now, but I know that it would not have worked for us a few years ago.

Just to clarify: I am still using RS for my two youngers and am very happy with the lower levels.

#16 Marla

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:10 AM

I switched my oldest to MUS when she was halfway through Level E.


I'm curious to know where your child placed in MUS when you made the transition from RS. Did you use MUS placement test to make the determination? Thanks!

#17 Satori

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:35 AM

MUS is working amazingly well for my 4.5 dd using Primer, but I want her to understand math up and down and enjoy it. I have no problem using 2 math curriculums. I thought Singapore might be the one, but I'm not that impressed yet. Looking into RS...

#18 prairiegirl

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 09:41 PM

I'm curious to know where your child placed in MUS when you made the transition from RS. Did you use MUS placement test to make the determination? Thanks!


No, I didn't use the placement test. I am having her do Delta (division ) over the summer because I don't think there is enough division practise with RS. We will keep going in order (fractions next) just to make sure that things are solid.

#19 DinoMom

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 09:57 PM

I used both RS A&B and MUS Alpha and Beta. My experience is, when DD got stuck with RS we switch over to MUS and vice versa. Sometimes she needs more worksheets, sometimes more manipulatives. I find it handy to use both.

After we finished RS A, DD still couldn't grasp addition and subtraction. After we switched to MUS Alpha and then Beta, she could work with 4 digits operations with ease.

But then, we are stuck with MUS Beta at one point because DD couldn't comprehend rounding to ten thousands even though we practised all six worksheets and tests together. To give her a break we worked on RS Lesson 28 or so. We backed off to teach thousand the RS way and her enthusiasm returns.


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