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Math U See vs. Teaching Textbooks?


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#1 jenni33

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:50 PM

I am wondering about any and all opinions concerning MUS Algebra 1 and Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1.

Mainly, if you have any experience with either/both, would you tell me what your comparisons are? Things you like/dislike, differences/similarities, etc.

We have used MUS from Beta-Pre-Alg and I am now considering switching my son over to TT. Reason being- I am not as comfortable anymore with helping him with math, and even thought Steve Demme teaches the lesson, there's only so much on the DVD. Pre-Alg is about my limit of understanding on math, and even the teacher guide does not seem to fill in all the holes for us when we have problems. I have to go back and re-read the teacher lesson (which I have never had to do) and try to re-teach it to him.

Also, any other suggestions you have might help. Really, I need help with high school math, and I am looking for a curriculum that will hold my hand all the way through. I am scared to death about Algebra I, and I have not been as confident with MUS Pre-Alg as I had hoped to be.

Thanks!

#2 BlueTaelon

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:35 PM

I can't offer advice on comparing them but I will tell you that TT has FREE phone tutoring:) You can call every day even if you need to for any level and Brian will work with your child to get them though it. This alone makes the cost worth it to me as I am not a mathy person AT ALL. If he's busy with another child they take your name, number and lesson # and he will call you back. I've never been left hanging and he calls quickly.

#3 raceNzanesmom

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:41 AM

We loved TT for algebra up. My ds did really well with it and I didn't feel like a failure because I couldn't teach it.

My younger ds is using MUS, and we love it, but I have no problem switching to TT when/if I need the help.

#4 jenni33

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:44 AM

I am shocked at the free phone tutoring. WOW! I might have to switch just for that purpose alone.

Does MUS offer that as well? I know they have their online classes, but they are so expensive, and the class we need for Algebra 1 this summer is not being offered. So I am a little apprehensive to move forward with MUS for Algebra and up.

#5 raceNzanesmom

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:57 AM

TT has, I think, a 30 day return. You could try it and return within that time if it doesn't work out.

Not sure what MUS offers.

#6 luvnlattes

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:28 AM

I can't offer advice on comparing them but I will tell you that TT has FREE phone tutoring:)


I did not know this! Thanks for sharing.

OP, we moved to TT from MUS at the pre-algebra stage so I can't compare the two. We switched because I was needing to re-teach the lessons as you mentioned. It wouldn't have been a big deal except Mr. Demme usually approached things differently than I was taught so I would have to figure out his way of teaching and then try to duplicate it. I didn't like that.

One thing I will mention about TT is that I do NOT feel it is a visual program like MUS, especially at the pre-algebra level (and I assume above). You will listen to the lecture on the CD and there will be images that pop up on the computer screen but it is not like watching someone work through the problems on a white board. There are times when you are sitting and listening and nothing is happening on the computer. This was a drawback for one of my sons but doesn't seem to make a difference for the other.

#7 BlueTaelon

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:39 AM

I did not know this! Thanks for sharing.

OP, we moved to TT from MUS at the pre-algebra stage so I can't compare the two. We switched because I was needing to re-teach the lessons as you mentioned. It wouldn't have been a big deal except Mr. Demme usually approached things differently than I was taught so I would have to figure out his way of teaching and then try to duplicate it. I didn't like that.

One thing I will mention about TT is that I do NOT feel it is a visual program like MUS, especially at the pre-algebra level (and I assume above). You will listen to the lecture on the CD and there will be images that pop up on the computer screen but it is not like watching someone work through the problems on a white board. There are times when you are sitting and listening and nothing is happening on the computer. This was a drawback for one of my sons but doesn't seem to make a difference for the other.



This is worrisome, TT has been a great fit for my dd (started with TT 5) but we start pre-alg in the fall so we have a year before we hit alg1 but she is a very visual learner and doesn't really get oral instruction, I'm wondering if I need to be thinking about switching before hand? I plan on doing HoE over the summer with her, maybe that will help clear up whats not being shown on screen in alg-1 as a starting point? Were going to need some type of visual to go with the lesson.

#8 MerryAtHope

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:09 PM

One thing I will mention about TT is that I do NOT feel it is a visual program like MUS, especially at the pre-algebra level (and I assume above). You will listen to the lecture on the CD and there will be images that pop up on the computer screen but it is not like watching someone work through the problems on a white board. There are times when you are sitting and listening and nothing is happening on the computer. This was a drawback for one of my sons but doesn't seem to make a difference for the other.


:iagree: from my limited experience. When I was deciding between MUS, TT and a couple of others for pre-algebra, I showed my son all of the online samples. I tried to choose lessons that covered similar material so he could try to see which teaching style he liked best for the concept. He is very visual, and did notice that TT wasn't very visual at the Pre-alg. level, and we ended up going with MUS.

That said, Steve Demme's explanations make sense to me and I've been able to talk through examples so far. So, I'm no help to the OP, but maybe for others who are trying to choose between a few programs--look at online samples but also have your kids look at them. Especially at this age, because they are the ones that have to "live" with the decision so to speak!

#9 curlylocks

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:22 PM

We have been very pleased with MUS. I have used every level from Primer to Algebra 2.

They offer phone, email and live chat support. Also, there is a wonderful Yahoo! group w/ MUS representatives who are very helpful.

I also hear that MUS has a forum much like this one where one could ask questions, chat w/ other MUS users, etc.

I have never used TT at the upper levels so I can't compare the two products.

#10 CatholicMom

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:31 PM

:lurk5: I'm reading this thread because I use MUS currently and have thought about switching to TT in the future when I might need (even MORE) hand-holding with teaching math.

I also wonder if there is any optimal point to make a "clean switch" from MUS to TT?

Not to take away from the OP's comparison question, though. Just a side-question. Carry on. :)

#11 54879525

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 04:43 PM

I have nothing much to add, but I'm using MUS for the first time (recently, Algebra 1) and I love it!

#12 Hedgehogs4

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 08:35 PM

We have used MUS Primer through Epsilon (soon to start Zeta) and it works. I think if you start with MUS, it is best to stick with it, and you won't have holes. Switch programs and you will have holes.

#13 jenni33

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:20 PM

We have been very pleased with MUS. I have used every level from Primer to Algebra 2.

They offer phone, email and live chat support. Also, there is a wonderful Yahoo! group w/ MUS representatives who are very helpful.

I also hear that MUS has a forum much like this one where one could ask questions, chat w/ other MUS users, etc.

I have never used TT at the upper levels so I can't compare the two products.


Thanks for letting me know this. This is my one concern about switching to TT from MUS- my ds is very hands-on and visual. Steve Demme's teaching on the DVD's have been great, but we are hitting more brick walls with Pre-Alg, especially with positives and negatives, and order of operations. Also with solving equations with variables on both sides.

I think we can get through it with MUS as long as I stay one lesson ahead of him. I hate to switch all the way through, but it could just be the switch from lower level math to higher level math that is catching him. I know he can do it, because he has great grades so far, I just don't want to get halfway into Algebra 1 and find out that we are really in over our heads.

#14 curlylocks

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:42 AM

Thanks for letting me know this. This is my one concern about switching to TT from MUS- my ds is very hands-on and visual. Steve Demme's teaching on the DVD's have been great, but we are hitting more brick walls with Pre-Alg, especially with positives and negatives, and order of operations. Also with solving equations with variables on both sides.

I think we can get through it with MUS as long as I stay one lesson ahead of him. I hate to switch all the way through, but it could just be the switch from lower level math to higher level math that is catching him. I know he can do it, because he has great grades so far, I just don't want to get halfway into Algebra 1 and find out that we are really in over our heads.


Are you using the Algebra/Decimal Inserts w/ the blocks to show the problem?


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