Jump to content

Menu

MUS Beta or R&S 2nd for ds math? Help me decide.


Johanna
 Share

Recommended Posts

OK, so this year my ds6 is using Mcruffy for first grade math. it is ok, i like that it is a nice gentle "non cluttered" intro to math for ds. However, I feel that ds is very reliant on the number line for adding and subtracting instead of conceptualizing. Should I go the R&S route which has them really mastering facts with memorization....or should i go the MUS route which is more about conceptualizing and mental grasping.

He does great with base 10 blocks, but has no Mental grasp (still needs hands on for anything above +3 or -3. SHould he have that or will it eventually come???

I am really torn about which route to take? Both are good programs, but i want to build a solid foundation.

If you have used either of these can you give me you poss. and neg experiences.

Also, does he have to have his facts mastered to do Beta?....I guess we could work on that over the summer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

but here's my experience...

 

My dd, who was in public school until half-way through 1st grade...which was fall of 2006...didn't get math at all!! She had such a hard time even understanding what was going on with addition. Anyway, when we brought all the kids home from school last year, we started her on K12's program. A very "traditional" program. While the pages were cute and fun, and it seemed like a pretty rigorous, well thought-out program. She just kept getting further and further behind and more and more confused. We switched her to MUS Alpha at the beginning of the year, this year. At the time she was just a little over 7, and what would be typically seen as a "2nd grader." I was so worried that she would never, never catch up in in math, due to her confusion and switching programs so many times, so early on.

 

Well, we started with MUS Alpha for her, along with her 6yo and 5yo sibblings. It was truly amazing. After a month or two of watching the MUS videos...which I had her do, because I was sure that it was being taught "correctly" that way...she was totally understanding math!! She got it! In fact, she got through the entire alpha book in about 3 months, and is working on Beta now. She's doing awesome, and we hope to have her to Gamma by fall. It is like night and day difference.

 

I don't know if it is/was the MUS that did the trick, or if it was just the fact that she matured enough to understand the concepts (she is super-good at reading and all her language arts, so I knew we weren't dealing with any sort of "issues" with her learning abilities). Perhaps, and this is my guess, it was a combination of both. Maturity, and a program that really spoke to her and helped her understand.

 

All 3 of my youngest use MUS, and we love it here. In fact, one of my older children used Rod and Staff 4th grade this year. She is really good in math, and has no issues with concepts and understanding abstract ideas. I thought that a more "mainstream" program may be good for her. Well, after a year of it, she is bored stiff and can't stand math. She is begin to do MUS! We are going to have her finish out the year, then do Delta at super-speed over the summer, and go into Epsilon in the fall.

 

I do believe in MUS. It is a great program, and I would highly recommend it. Rod and Staff is great too...but in a totally different way. They are so different from eachother. I would think that a child would love one or the other, but not both.

 

HTH!

Kelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm very pleased with R&S Math. I've used grades 3, 4, 5, & 6 with my older sons, and I'm using grade 1 with my younger son this year. I think their math program has prepared my sons well for higher level math. In addition, the older boys score very well in math on their standarized tests. R&S has teacher notes for mental math drill, teaching the lesson, and reviewing past concepts. I also use their speed drills and tests. It's a straight-forward, no frills math program. I find that a pro, but others may see it as a con.

 

I would recommend calling R&S for their sample curriculum by grade level and a scope & sequence booklet (606-522-4348). It will give you an overview of their math program to help you make the best decision for your homeschool.

 

HTH!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They are so different from eachother. I would think that a child would love one or the other, but not both.

 

 

 

This is a good point, for some reason I think that R&S would seem more like drudery (though i know that it really gets facts mastered) but my ds is so much into manips (hands on) and he loves computer stuff (so i think he may like watching the dvds on the laptop)

I guess the only thing holding me back is the weird (non traditional) scope and sequence. KWIM??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some kids really thrive on the one concept at a time approach. We used MUS Alpha and switched because my kids got it when watching the DVD and the block demonstrations but couldn't translate the concepts over to the workbook pages. I must say they LOVED the DVD. They would watch it for fun.

After skipping around a lot, we are giving R&S a try. I like it as it is easy to teach, has loads of review and drill which my guys need at this point, and is very complete.

The only other program I would suggest is TouchMath. The workbooks are all you need. It is a supplement really, not a complete program. It worked wonders here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, so this year my ds6 is using Mcruffy for first grade math. it is ok, i like that it is a nice gentle "non cluttered" intro to math for ds. However, I feel that ds is very reliant on the number line for adding and subtracting instead of conceptualizing. Should I go the R&S route which has them really mastering facts with memorization....or should i go the MUS route which is more about conceptualizing and mental grasping.

He does great with base 10 blocks, but has no Mental grasp (still needs hands on for anything above +3 or -3. SHould he have that or will it eventually come???

I am really torn about which route to take? Both are good programs, but i want to build a solid foundation.

If you have used either of these can you give me you poss. and neg experiences.

Also, does he have to have his facts mastered to do Beta?....I guess we could work on that over the summer.

 

It is absolutely essential for almost all little people to see how and why math works. Six is far too young to expect him to have it all down mentally. MUS is a wonderful mastery hands-on approach that will help him truly learn it. Sure, you can have him memorize the facts, but if he does not understand them what has he learned?

 

His mastery of the language of math will come with understanding, but I don't believe that memorizing the math facts will help him move on in his math understanding. Every child is so different and what one child gets right away, it will take another child longer. That is what makes MUS so wonderful - you move on when your child understands it and can explain it back to you. When he can teach it, he has mastered it. Math is a language just like reading and is an incremental process. MUS is a really wonderful way to learn.

 

Warmly,

Kate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

R&S approaches facts differently. You don't learn +1, +2, etc. You learn number houses. All the ways to get 6 for example: 0+6, 1+5, 2+4, 3+3, 4+2, 5+1, 6+0. In second grade they learn through the teens the same way, as triples. R&S never does addition on the number line and the only time you use manipulatives is during teacher presentations. OTOH, ds does seem to be getting the pattern of how the numbers work to make a sum. It's taken a long time and I'm sure it won't be cemented for a while, but it's finally coming together for him. I thought R&S was very dry memorization, but now I see there's a lot of method to the way they present addition. It gradually builds conceptual understanding even though it's not very obvious, even to the teacher.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It gradually builds conceptual understanding even though it's not very obvious, even to the teacher.

 

That is good to know about R&S....I guess I really thought that it was all rote memorization.....yet very effective...but rote.

I guess i need to try Alpha out at the end of this year to see if he gets it.

But, i am still wondering if I will need to supplement if i go the MUS route?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...