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Michelle in AL

Math U See Algebra 2 for strong math student

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I was planning on using Lials this yr for algebra 2. I love the sample of the 9th edition, but I recently met our math teacher at are local coop and she seems wonderful. She will be using Math U See and including the honors portion.

 

I've often heard that math u see is "light" and am concerned that it may leave out some topics normally covered in algebra 2.

 

If you had a good teacher would you use Math U See with a strong math student?

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My dd did MUS all the way through Pre-Cal. It is considered by many to be an easy course. If you child really likes math and wants to be challenged this is not for her. Will it prepare her for college: yes. My Dd took Calculus in college and was the top student in her class. She was one of a few that could do the work without a calculator because MUS won't let you use a calculator until Pre-Cal and then only when necessary. It prefers that the student learn to do the problem on their own. This was a big plus for her and I think gave her a step up from other students. At that level we did find that the author would give the kids problems that he hadn't gone over how to find the solution with. This made her have to use her knowledge base to figure out how to do it, which I also think helps. It is light in word problems and that's where the honors books come into play since that's where more word problems are found. I think MUS is doable even for a math bright student but you really need to look at how much he wants to be challenged because it really isn't very challenging for a math bright student.

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Michelle in AL:

 

I'm reviving this thread because I'm interested in hearing what your decision was (and, if MUS, how things are going). I'm at that point where I've begun to ponder Junior High/High School Math curricula and would love to have more positive feedback about MUS. Lots of people say it's light but few (except for on the MUS website) say it's perfectly adequate for college prep. My dd is an above-average math student (mathy but doesn't adore math;)). We are currently combining Singapore with CLE and trying to figure out that next step in math for Jr. High.

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:lurk5:

 

My 15yo is using MUS Algebra 2 right now. He is taking the PSAT this month. I'll be happy to let you know how he does. I don't know if that will be any use to you. We haven't used any other math program since switching to MUS from Abeka. He started with MUS Epsilon. We always do the honors pages.

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Hi Dassah, my dd loves Math U See, it's the first time she's enjoyed math and really understands it instead of just going through the motions needed to solve the problems.

 

I think the problems are challenging, especially the honors problems. My only criticism is that there could be more problems daily in order to "cement" the problem solving methods needed.

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Wonderful! Glad to hear the praises. I'd love to hear how the PSAT goes :) Michelle, do you think the review is lacking or the new content pages? Just wondering because it's easier for me to add new content work than review. I guess the Honor work has appeased those who thought MUS needed beefing up. :)

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Hi Dassah, my dd loves Math U See, it's the first time she's enjoyed math and really understands it instead of just going through the motions needed to solve the problems.

 

I think the problems are challenging, especially the honors problems. My only criticism is that there could be more problems daily in order to "cement" the problem solving methods needed.

 

 

My friend uses Math U See has talks about going on line to get "extra Worksheets"....that may be a help to you.

 

On a side note....what did you think of their Geometry? My son did ACE School of Tomorrow Algebra I and is doing okay but not very well on retention. We are thinking of changing to MUS for Geometry..... Any suggestions?

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FWIW, I have heard that a student needs to be done with MUS precalculus in order to have covered all the topics on the SAT. In other words, some topics that are normally covered in algebra 2 are not covered in MUS until precalculus.

 

Just passing along what I have heard from the woman who teaches MUS at our local coop.

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On a side note....what did you think of their Geometry? My son did ACE School of Tomorrow Algebra I and is doing okay but not very well on retention. We are thinking of changing to MUS for Geometry..... Any suggestions?

 

We've been using MUS for about 5 years now. My oldest is in Geometry this year and I had originally purchased the MUS Geometry set. However, after getting it home and looking more closely at it, I decided to go with something else. To me, it just seemed way too easy and I wanted him to be challenged a bit more. He's average in math, but has great visual perception (can see the end product before he begins building something), so we were looking forward to geometry with him. I felt like he could coast through MUS Geometry, so I looked at a few other programs and ended up going with Jacobs Geometry. For us, it has been an excellent fit. Challenging enough, but not overwhelming. He's not breezing through it, but is not dragging along either. I liked that it does use proofs, but is not "proof-heavy".

I don't have the MUS Geometry here anymore to look at in person, but if I remember correctly, I don't think there was much in the way of proofs in the course. For our family, I felt like having proofs as a part of the course was important. Not everyone feels that way, though. (And it could be that I'm remembering incorrectly.....maybe there are a good bit of proofs in MUS and I overlooked them.)

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DD15 has used MUS all the way from Foundations (classic MUS) to Algebra II. I think it is a great program for students who are good at math but don't love it. Why make them do zillions of problems once they understand? I think DD would revolt.

 

We haven't formally tested yet but DD took the ACT practice test once she finished MUS Geometry and scored 28 on the math portion. Not bad for not having algebra II and trig under her belt.

 

MUS Geometry is indeed very light in proofs. This wasn't a concern to me because proofs are essentially an exercise in logic. DD had already shown that she was adept at logic.

 

Pegasus

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We used Foerster's Algebra 2 with one DS (strong in math), MUS Algebra 2 with other (struggles with abstract math/algebra concepts). The "mathy" DS scored well on the PSAT, SAT, and ACT in math; the struggler scored average (right at 50%) for all three tests. Of course, this is an unfair comparison, as one DS "gets" math and one DS doesn't. I do think the tests were accurate in showing what/how much of the math each DS understood. And I do think that the math-struggling DS was able to grasp the math concepts with MUS in a way that he would NOT ever have done with another math program.

 

 

MUS is definitely "lite" in comparison with both Foerster and Saxon (which I looked through but did not go with).

 

I would say, go with MUS Algebra 2 for the main instruction IF that is what the student best connects with, BUT definitely *supplement* with additional material *from a different viewpoint* to make sure you get coverage of ALL the topics, to go in-depth in the topics, and to practice complex problem-solving. If you have a strong math student, you would be doing them a disservice otherwise (IMO).

 

I no longer have both textbooks to be able to do a side-by-side comparison, but the big thing that I recall as a difference is that MUS is "lite" on the problem-solving aspect, and does not have the complexity of problems that the Foerster had.

 

Hope that is of help! BEST of luck in finding the best math match for your DC! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

ETA: We just used MUS Algebra 2, not the Honors component.

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