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Does Math-U-See really work?


Samiam
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I somehow ended up on Math-U-See's site tonight. I've heard of them before, seen them at conventions, and even watched a sample disc once. I remember now ruling it out, for some reason.......

 

...so I just watched the sample video tonight for Primer...which I assume is K5 level. Um, I thought I would see something lively, interactive for this level at least. Nope, boring man standing in front of a white board...having a very boring conversation, using words that are just not K5-oriented.

 

What I am missing? Does anyone actually use and enjoy it at this young level?

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A lot of the families in our co-op use mus, so when I started homeschooling 3 years ago, we used it too. My children have not enjoyed it. My oldest ds did fine with it, but dd hasn't retained much. We are thinking of switching to r&s at new year. What do you use for math, and what grades are you teaching if you don't mind me asking.

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I love MUS but it's not on my radar for addition/subtraction math. For the early years I'd rather use Brilliant Minds. However, the big thing you might be missing is that the dvd is intended for the parent to watch, the manual for the parent to teach the child, and the blocks/workbook for the child to use. Many of us are fine with letting the kid watch the dvd because as they get into higher math it's easier for them to follow along than going about it with mom learning then teaching.

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Really work? I guess for some kids. For mine...it was a waste. The little blocks actually complicated everything. he ends a lesson with 'here is the simple way but we can't show that with the blocks.' It seems like the blocks add extra steps. I found it frustrating as did my kids. If that is the simple way, why didn;t you say so to begin with?

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...I just watched the sample video tonight for Primer...Um, I thought I would see something lively, interactive for this level at least. Nope, boring man standing in front of a white board...having a very boring conversation, using words that are just not K5-oriented... What I am missing? Does anyone actually use and enjoy it at this young level?

 

re: boring man in front of a white board

The video lessons are designed to teach the teacher how to present the concept, NOT designed as teaching lessons for young kiddos.

 

That said, Math-U-See has been the program that saved us with our math-struggling DS. We didn't stumble across it until he was in 5th grade and had been through 5 math programs that did NOT connect and caused repeated math meltdowns. The MUS demonstrations with the blocks absolutely provided the tangible/concrete/visual explanation our DS needed to "see" the abstract math concepts. And yes, he went all the way through MUS from Delta thru Algebra 2 and "got" it and retained it.

 

We have no personal experience with anything below the MUS "Delta" (approx. 4th grade) level, so I can't help with questions about the Primer level.

 

However, just a general observation: no math program is for everyone. Sounds like MUS may not be the best fit for your family at this time. Sometimes the math needs of the student (and/or the teacher) change over time, so sometimes a switch in programs is needed. Another reason it's nice to have researched a lot of math programs like you are doing, is that you'll have them in your "mental files, just in case". :)

 

 

One last note about the MUS teaching DVDs: many people (ourselves included) DO have the students watch alongside, starting along about grade 3 or 4, as the students grasp it quickly from the demonstration with the blocks, and then re-create it with the blocks before moving on to the workbook.

 

 

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

Edited by Lori D.
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After much trial and error with various other things MUS is the one that REALLY got through to both of my kids. I think dd would still be counting on her fingers without it, and confused if the total went to more than ten. And subtraction....geesh. But she's doing long division now. So I'm a fan. Ds does say the videos are boring (but he's 14; everything is boring), and yeah they're not the most exciting thing on the planet, but they do explain things clearly and succinctly and I appreciate that he does it without lots of bells and whistles. For us clear and simple is a very good thing. But as another poster pointed out, the videos were originally intended to show the parent how the concept can be taught, and then the parent is supposed to do the teaching. It's probably not for everyone, but it's been a breath of mathematical fresh air at my house.

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I used Primer with my 5 year old, and am now using Alpha with my 6 year old. My older student did Alpha - Zeta. We're taking a few months off from math, and will continue with MUS Pre-Algebra after the holidays.

 

No, it's not exciting. Not everything is :) For us, it's been effective so that's why we stick with it. Sometimes the blocks helped; other times, not so much. We play it all by ear, and adapt accordingly -- to each lesson, to each book, as appropriate. If the blocks are slowing you down, bypass them. Consider them a tool, and employ them accordingly.

 

My K6 student actually enjoys the videos. She's an odd duck, in general, though! I think she's more sold on the program because -in her eyes- it's a "big kid" thing and she's excited to be doing the same program as is her brother. My older kid was indifferent to the program, and didn't love the videos, but always preferred to watch them with me. They're short enough that even if one finds them boring ... it's still manageable, no?

 

Math at the earlier ages is so easy to supplement, if you're looking to jazz up the program. Card games, dice games, board games, playing store -- there is so much else you can add to MUS if you feel it's not enough to keep your student engaged. If our child isn't into the DVD lesson, skip it and go straight into your in-person lesson; do 1-2 pages, then wrap up Math with a card game or something.

 

You could look into the Right Start games, too; I bought them, but in five years have yet to use them LOL. We ended up just using standard cards and games I already knew how to play :blush:!

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I would not use MUS with young kids. There is no variety of lessons, just the same old, same old. I much prefer RightStart for elementary level.

 

That being said, MUS has saved my math-phobic dd. We started MUS when she was in Gr. 4. We started with a girl who hyperventilated at the word "math.' I had to carry her through her lessons. Now (Gr. 7) she does it all on her own and may I be so daring as to say that she actually likes math now?

 

I don't know whether I would start MUS with young kids with the plan of carrying through all the way through highschool, but I do like it for the older grades.

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My oldest used MUS through 5th grade. (Younger siblings used it too .) We followed that with Horizons 6 in 6th grade and Lial's BCM in 7th grade. (Younger siblings switched to Horizons the same year that the oldest used Horizons 6.)

 

I might suggest that MUS would make a great supplement for specific, troublesome math problems. MUS would work well for this because it is a mastery curriculum.

 

MUS's strength of being a mastery program also became it's weakness for us. When we switched to Horizons which is a spiral curriculum, we had a mixture of kinds of math, fractions, charts, graphs, etc... It was a breath of fresh air. Our children's standardized test scores improved with this change as well. MUS had such a limited scope that my kids were not learning the math that was being taught in other grade-specific math books. For us, this was a huge disadvantage.

 

I'm sure MUS is effective for some kids more than others. Some would benefit from the mastery learning it provides; others would get more out of it as a supplement to help with troublesome math concepts.

 

 

ETA: My middle child switched to CLE for 5th grade. This is a wonderful spiral math curriculum too.

Edited by Sweet Home Alabama
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We did all of MUS alpha but my dd seemed to come out of it without really retaining it. I really like it and like the dvds but it just didn't work for her.

 

We moved on to Math mammoth which has been brilliant. I am kind of glad in some ways that MUS didn't work as they charge a lot for delivery here in the UK and I can't see that I can really afford to pay it over the years for all the levels.

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We have been using MUS since we started homeschooling. But, my youngest was in 3rd grade at the time so we did not use the beginning levels. It has been a great fit for us. My kids like watching the video and my kids like math worksheets. So for us, it is a good fit. They remember what they learn.

 

As pp stated, it is different from what they teach in school becuase it is a mastery program. This can be a detriment if they go back to public/private school.

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We've been using it since Alpha and are now about 1/3 of the way through Delta. The videos may not be the most exciting things in the world, but if your kid is one who gets easily distracted or confused by other curriculum, it can be a great fit. It was/is for us. DS doesn't enjoy curriculum with lots of pictures; he wants the facts, more facts, and nothing but the facts. MUS provides that for him. I am hopeful that I can move him to something else (I now supplement with other various books) in the next couple of years, but we'll see.

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we came out of public school, and my youngest three were so far behind in math.

We thought to stay with Saxon (my reasoning, who knows, they were using it in public school and were floundering)

We actually had a bonfire and burned Saxon!

 

Enter MUS. I would watch the videos, then teach them at first, then we would watch and pause them together.

Math began to click.

We actually did two years in one year to catch up the youngest three, and my older son (one year ahead) opted to do one more that summer, and moved a grade ahead.

 

my oldest (who math comes natural) did Teaching Textbooks for pre alg, alg and geometry. This year, we opted for Algebra 2 to do MUS! He loves it, says the mastery is so important in the problems.

 

The blocks? naw, never used them. oh yeah we did, my son played with them like legos once.

 

I like the layout. A B C D E F test.

If they are "getting it" we skip C and then if with the systematic reviews of D E F, they do well, we might skip one or two and then test.

I have even when they totally understand just done A and D and not tested.

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we came out of public school, and my youngest three were so far behind in math.

We thought to stay with Saxon (my reasoning, who knows, they were using it in public school and were floundering)

We actually had a bonfire and burned Saxon!

 

Enter MUS. I would watch the videos, then teach them at first, then we would watch and pause them together.

Math began to click.

We actually did two years in one year to catch up the youngest three, and my older son (one year ahead) opted to do one more that summer, and moved a grade ahead.

 

my oldest (who math comes natural) did Teaching Textbooks for pre alg, alg and geometry. This year, we opted for Algebra 2 to do MUS! He loves it, says the mastery is so important in the problems.

 

The blocks? naw, never used them. oh yeah we did, my son played with them like legos once.

 

I like the layout. A B C D E F test.

If they are "getting it" we skip C and then if with the systematic reviews of D E F, they do well, we might skip one or two and then test.

I have even when they totally understand just done A and D and not tested.

:iagree:

 

My story is almost the same-pulled them out, crashed and burned with Saxon, and then bought MUS. I used it faithfully, and then got lured by the pretty shiney, made some of the biggest homeschooling purchase mistakes of my life, and went back to it.

 

My Dd16, who is now a junior in PS (who was my guinea pig with math) and taking Alg 2, really wished I had stayed with MUS.

 

So, though there are naysayers, I'm sticking to it, and so far, the kids *love* it. They love the blocks, they love the fraction cards, they *get* it. Others will disagree with it, but I have success with it, and I'm not arguing with success.

Edited by justamouse
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FTW, I wasn't ever considering it....just looking at it, in my browsing*:).

 

But that is interesting, I didn't realize the DVD's were for the parent to watch,...that might explain why it was rather "bland" for children (well, some anyway). But I wonder why there were children in the audience then, as you could hear them reply to his questions.

 

Anyhoo, I guess it's like any math program, works for some, not for others.

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We've used it all the way through from Primer to Delta and plan on continuing to use it. Every once in a while I'll throw in a MM lesson or two, some Life of Fred to break up the routine. Both my kids like Mr. Demme, they think he's nice and he jokes with the kids in his classroom in a gentle way. The lessons are short and sweet, incremental, with the goal of mastery. I've heard the criticism that he's boring, that the videos are low quality, I think he gets the message accross just fine and I don't know what else people are expecting from a homeschool dad and math teacher who developed this curriculum to help his own autistic son learn math. It's grown considerably in these last 10 years and why change something too much if it's worked so well. I like the simplicity of it and my kids like it too.

 

Back at the beginning when I was researching Math programs, the thing that stuck out to me was that MUS has a different Scope and Sequence than other programs. Their S&S is 1st addition, 2nd subtraction, 3rd multiplication, 4th division, 5th fractions and 6th decimals, then on to higher math. That means that the yearly progress tests aren't going to test along those lines, they'll expect your child to know some simple subtraction in 1st grade, when your student has only studied addition in 1st grade. So your kids will look like they are behind in their standardized tests, until it all comes together at the end. On the other hand, they'll know 4 digit multiplication, solving for the unknown, really complicated geometry (for an elementary student) in 3rd grade, which they won't know at that young an age in public schools.

 

It's a different system, and I decided that I would stick with it if at all possible through to the end because I believed the research Mr. Demme has done has been quite extensive and he has experience as a teacher in every grade, which I don't have. I needed to trust someone to teach math to my kids because their mom never got that training in school. And I think he's doing very well.

 

By the way, a friend of mine has gone through 3 Algebra programs with her son, all which were touted to be the best, and her very intelligent (computer genius) son struggled with them. He finished them but struggled. She gave him the MUS Algebra book and he said he finally understood it, it was so simply, but completely, explained that it finally made sense to him. That is my goal, for my kids to understand the concepts of higher math, and they are getting a very solid foundation now to be able to do that higher level math later on.

 

That's my personal experience, and I agree with other PP that say that not every math program is for every kid or family. But I have been very grateful to have found a program that I can trust will give a solid math education to my children, the one area I knew I would fail at miserably on my own. And my mathy husband thinks he's doing a good job too.

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Would you mind elaborating on what you see wrong with the "thoroughness" of MUS?

 

I haven't read the other replies, so I might be repeating...

 

First of all, the videos are meant for the teacher, not the student.

 

Second of all, I'm with you about the thoroughness of the program. I have a degree in mathematics, and I chose long ago not to go with MUS for my kids.

 

HOWEVER...

 

I have an 8.5yo with an intellectual disability to whom I will be thrilled to be able to teach basic mathematics. I just received MUS Primer in the mail about a week ago, and we have done all of one lesson so far. It seems to be a good fit for him.

 

And from my understanding, Primer isn't really kindergarten level. I think it's more a preschool level curriculum.

 

(ETA: I use Saxon with all my other kids, from Math 1 all the way through Advanced Math.)

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We LOVE MUS. It has made a huge difference for my math-challenged dd. We just adore the way Mr. Demme explains things. We do not see it as boring at all--rather, the simplicity of the approach makes it easier for both dd and I to understand. I would disagree about him not speaking age-appropriately--both my kids have always watched the video together with me and have had no problems following his explanations.

 

That said, different approaches work for different people. We happen to love MUS, but another family may need something different.

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MUS entered our house about a month ago- it never intrigued me but does my son. I can't say if it works, but my son is excited to do math and looks forward to it. He enjoys that we are focusing on less topics instead of many; so for us it's going well. He wants to watch the dvd's with me, so he does and I think it teaches the concepts pretty well.

 

What I am learning is that some curriculum out there I rejected at first was what my son needed (we've changed at least 1/2 of what we are doing- for the better).:001_smile:

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We will be starting Beta after Christmas and it is a hit in my house. I like the plainness of the pages & DVD. One of my twins would be very distracted by pictures on the pages and dancing objects on the TV. He is almost like the "if you give a mouse a cookie" story. One thing leads to another thought to another to another. :lol:

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:iagree:

 

My story is almost the same-pulled them out, crashed and burned with Saxon, and then bought MUS. I used it faithfully, and then got lured by the pretty shiney, made some of the biggest homeschooling purchase mistakes of my life, and went back to it.

 

My Dd16, who is now a junior in PS (who was my guinea pig with math) and taking Alg 2, really wished I had stayed with MUS.

 

So, though there are naysayers, I'm sticking to it, and so far, the kids *love* it. They love the blocks, they love the fraction cards, they *get* it. Others will disagree with it, but I have success with it, and I'm not arguing with success.

 

My story is *almost* the same...pulled 2 oldest dc out of PS (starting 5th grade and 2nd grade respectively) ...Saxon was a HUGE failure...bought MUS and "filled in the gaps". (Youngest has used MUS from the beginning.)

 

The kids have thanked me for buying MUS!! The oldest 2 are tutoring kids in math...

 

What's the saying? (If it ain't broke...:D )

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MUS has worked for us! It is a mastery program, but does a great job of reviewing! My boys must have constant review and this program does that for them. I have tried other programs, but MUS is the perfect program for us. They have great customer service too. I highly recommend it. Primer was my least favorite, but my son just wasn't ready for some of the concepts at the time and Steve says that all of it will be hit again in Alpha, so I really hit math very light that year. I did buy cheap ($1 bin at Target) math workbooks with lots of pictures for "fun" extra math. They thought it was a fun treat to have once in a while! I also bought stickers to put on complete pages.

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Would you mind elaborating on what you see wrong with the "thoroughness" of MUS?

I also have a degree in math. We used MUS from K through Algebra. It was weak in word problems. We supplemented with Singapore's Challenging Word Problems (my son called them "evil", but you should hear the disparaging comments he makes about the students in his CC math class that struggle with word problems)

 

I don't recommend MUS in the high school years for any student going into STEM. MUS in the high school years is a bit of a controversial topic. See this post for more information.

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I think the issue of thoroughness is really an issue of scope & sequence. As the pp explained the mastery aspect of mus and the s & s are different than other programs but you are on schedule after 3rd or 4th grade. I wanted to add that I use mus for my advanced dd because it's easy to accelerate. Lots of people mentioned using it for children who struggle and it is great for that but it's not the only audience at benefits from the teaching style. My daughter appreciates the straightforwardness of the teaching and enjoyed playing width the blocks. As a mathy person myself i really appreciate the way mr. Demme clearly explains the why and not just the how of each concept. There is an emphasis on knowing when do problems not just how. We've completed beta, gamma & half of delta over the last year and a half. I recently gave her our state taks test for 3rd grade math and there was one problem out of 40 that covered an obscure topic that we haven't covered but everything else was covered. I can't remember what the topic was right now but she got 90 percent right on the test.

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I wanted to add that I use mus for my advanced dd because it's easy to accelerate. Lots of people mentioned using it for children who struggle and it is great for that but it's not the only audience at benefits from the teaching style. My daughter appreciates the straightforwardness of the teaching and enjoyed playing width the blocks. As a mathy person myself i really appreciate the way mr. Demme clearly explains the why and not just the how of each concept.

:iagree: This describes us as well.

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Uncluttered Pages: Plenty of white space keeps the lesson from looking overwhelming--

Manipulatives: One box of blocks will do. The blocks give students a mental picture of a number so that they can grow out of "counting" and into adding and subtracting.

Math Concepts: I have not used the old comb bound editions, but the current Alpha book teaches time and shapes. Beta again teaches time, graphs, perimeter, reading a gauge, etc. Don't forget the story problems.

Confident Kids: MUS is doable. The thought of trying SM again with one particular child of mine makes ME want to cry.

Teaches the parent how to teach: Yep. Child of the 80s that I am, I learned algorithm driven math (which, I might add, has served me quite well, but anyway......). This curriculum has given me the ability to understand the how and why. It all started with me grasping our number system through the first lessons on decimal street. It's embarrassing to admit, but hey, now I know.

 

MUS saved my middle dd. MUS has allowed my two youngest boys to absolutely leap ahead in their understanding and interest in math. MUS allows my oldest daughter to learn as independently most of the time, which is something she really values.

 

Toss in LIfe of Fred for Fun, and we're set.

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  • 1 year later...

I haven't used it myself, but I've known people who did. I've also looked at it during conventions. I have 2 friends who have used it all the way through their homeschooling years. One has a daughter in college, and I tutored her in her college algebra class. She needed a lot of help. She didn't do well on the math part of her SAT. The other has complained about the poor job MUS did preparing her oldest for the standardized tests and and for the SAT. She has recently switched the younger son to different curriculum, but I'm not sure which program.

 

If you live in a state that requires testing, I've heard over and over that the kids in MUS won't do well because they focus on one main skill at a time while tests are set up to cover many categories of math because most curricula teach the operations, as well as fractions, geometry, statistics, etc., at the same time (each grade level).

 

I have a math degree, too, but from what I've seen and heard, I would never have picked it for my children. The first friend I mentioned has a much younger adopted child and is using Right Start with her. She realized there's better stuff out there and thought it would be better not to switch curricula for the older kids (because of gaps) and to just finish out with MUS.

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I haven't used it myself, but I've known people who did... One has a daughter in college, and I tutored her in her college algebra class. She needed a lot of help. She didn't do well on the math part of her SAT. The other has complained about the poor job MUS did preparing her oldest for the standardized tests and and for the SAT...

 

...  I would never have picked it for my children....

 

 

Clearly, not every math program is for every child. I think this thread has done a great job of expressing that for some students, MUS has been *THE ONE* program that finally helped the math light bulb go on for them. For others, MUS was "lite" or lacking, not the scope or sequence that fit their annual testing, or was not a good fit for some other reason.

 

A large percentage of people DO find it best to switch math programs when they reach the high school level. BUT... there are also a number of people on this board who have used MUS all the way through and their children HAVE done well with SAT testing and college math. It really depends on the student and if the program "clicks" in getting across the concepts of higher math or not for the individual.

 

Based on many past threads, the majority of people who successfully use MUS in the high school years have one of these three situations:

 

1. a student who would have done fine with any math program

2. a student who struggles significantly with math (see Rebecca in TN's post here (#89))

3. family uses MUS as a supplement or early introduction to the high school math topics (or as a "bridge"), and follow up with a more rigorous program (see 8FillTheHeart's post here (#9) -- and LoriM's post, linked below)

 

That said, a majority of families tend to switch away from MUS at the high school years, esp. those who have STEM students and prefer a more rigorous math that emphasizes more complex problem-solving, such as Dolciani, Forester, Lial, Chalkdust, etc.

 

For positive experiences in using MUS experiences, see

- Alyce's posts here (#1) -- success with college math after MUS in high school

- Prairie Song's post here (#5) -- success with college math after MUS in high school

- HSmom's post here (#8) -- used MUS successfully through high school

- kloumc's post here (#6) -- used MUS all the way through; high SAT math score

- LoriM's post here (#4) -- success with MUS as bridge/early intro to trig

- at the beach's post here (#3) -- high PSAT math score

- Kimm in WA's post here (#8) -- success with MUS through Alg. 2, and high ACT scores

 

 

Not a salesperson for MUS! :) Just wanting to provide more experiences to help people decide if MUS is a match or not for their DC. BEST of luck to all in finding the math program for each student that is the best fit! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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Lori, I'm sorry to be so negative, but I was trying to present another side of it. I like to read all kinds of reviews when I'm looking at something...the good and the bad. The MUS students I know are really good students in all ways.

 

Honestly, the college algebra class in which I tutored was a very easy math class. Any student who had completed 4 years of high school math with good grades (as they did in MUS) should have breezed through it. That is why I question the program. How can you get an A all the way through MUS and need help with some of the simple things learned in Algebra 1? I know the parent very well, and she is good at holding her kids accountable and giving them the grades they make, so I don't think it was an issue of inflating the grades.

 

I'm glad that it has helped the "light come on" for some kids, but there may be other programs out there who present math in a very similar teaching manner yet will be more reliable in terms of scope and sequence, word problems, etc.

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We used Alpha when DS was 6 or 7.  We spent a whole year learning addition facts (pretty much) and by the end of the year, he still didn't have them memorised.  I think he was just so bored, he was completing worksheets like a robot and not really thinking.  The problem now is that he is a year behind in math because we had to start that same year again in another program.  For us it was a mistake.

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We used Alpha when DS was 6 or 7. We spent a whole year learning addition facts (pretty much) and by the end of the year, he still didn't have them memorised. I think he was just so bored, he was completing worksheets like a robot and not really thinking. The problem now is that he is a year behind in math because we had to start that same year again in another program. For us it was a mistake.

We had a similar problem. Fortunately I switched to Singapore mid year in 1st grade. She's half a year behind but she started school early so it shouldn't matter in the long run. I use Singapore for all of them now.

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We used Alpha when DS was 6 or 7. We spent a whole year learning addition facts (pretty much) and by the end of the year, he still didn't have them memorised. I think he was just so bored, he was completing worksheets like a robot and not really thinking. The problem now is that he is a year behind in math because we had to start that same year again in another program. For us it was a mistake.

Same here. We used Primer and Alpha. Math became his least favorite, dreaded subject. He begged me to switch programs. I agreed if he would spend the summer break going through different programs with me and trying to catch up. He picked Singapore and he finished 1B last October and then was able to finish 2B when he finished for the school year. Math is still not his favorite, but it's going MUCH better.

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There are a few older threads about this subject.  It seems to be almost 50/50.  It works well for some kids, but others it really bombs.  We were one of those.  My kids tested 3 grade levels behind using MUS and HATED math.  They just didn't get it.  Finally we switched to SM and they literally advanced 3 grade levels in less than a year and they like math (well, we're dealing with the whole "pre-teen" thing right now, but usually). After using SM and retesting, they were in the 99th%.  In our co-op and IRL, I have never met one person who doesn't regret using MUS.  Several with kids who graduated and switched to another math program after how badly MUS failed their kids. 

 

Personally, I like the Primer and Alpha, but I would never use it again.  If it works for you, GREAT!  Keep using it!  But it does *not* work for everyone and the mastery part can be disadvantageous if you end up putting your children in school or switch curricula.  Since it is mastery, many topics are not covered until very late, compared to most math curricula.

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Lori, I'm sorry to be so negative, but I was trying to present another side of it.

 

Glad you posted your experiences, Amy! :)

 

Not offended by your post at all. Similarly, I, too, want to hear both the good and the bad when reading posts -- and I try to include both in my own reviews and answers about specific programs, or at least include a note that different programs work for different students, and try to show what worked/didn't for us, and why.

 

In no way did I mean to attack you or want to make you feel attacked in my response. :( My intention was to provide balance to the negative experiences you have had with students who used MUS in high school with positive first-hand experiences of families who used MUS in high school, as that specific topic wasn't much commented on in previous posts.

 

 

Honestly, the college algebra class in which I tutored was a very easy math class. Any student who had completed 4 years of high school math with good grades (as they did in MUS) should have breezed through it. That is why I question the program. How can you get an A all the way through MUS and need help with some of the simple things learned in Algebra 1? I know the parent very well, and she is good at holding her kids accountable and giving them the grades they make, so I don't think it was an issue of inflating the grades.

 

I have heard this exact same complaint (and more than once) used against Saxon -- that the student did well with the high school levels of Saxon, but later on it became clear that the program did not really sink in for that student, and the student didn't really learn the concepts -- just memorized the type of wording for the formula they needed to plug into the problem to solve it.

 

It is easy for a similar thing to happen with MUS -- memorize what's being looked for with certain types of problems, rather than real learning and internalizing of concepts and application.

 

JMO, but that's why I think it's so important to use a supplement that includes complex word problems, and explanations from a VERY different perspective, to encourage seeing the math concepts from more than one angle, to encourage making real math connections and math thinking, and to strengthen problem solving skills.

 

We started MUS with DS in 5th grade, and supplemented all along -- with Singapore Primary 4a/b, 5a/b, 6a/b, some of the Keys To... books, and then in high school, with Jacobs Algebra and Geometry.

 

 

I'm glad that it [MUS] has helped the "light come on" for some kids, but there may be other programs out there who present math in a very similar teaching manner yet will be more reliable in terms of scope and sequence, word problems, etc.

 

 

 

Would love a list of those programs and short reviews or pros/cons. :)

 

My own DS who clicked with MUS has graduated, but I still know many homeschoolers -- and many have DC who do not learn well from traditional math programs, or who would like math supplements, esp. at the middle school/high school levels. I always appreciate having resources recommended by math teachers and tutors that could be what really helps these non-mathy students, visual-spatial learners, and students with LDs. The more resources that could be helpful, the better!   :)

 

Warmest regards, Lori D.

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m

i know lots of people who use it and LOVE it. my math professor hubby, however, completely dismissed it when we were researching math a few years ago.

 

Out of curiosity, what math did you decide to go with?

 

And for others, would you consider using a segment like gamma or delta to master a concept, then move on/continue with other math program?

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I posted on this thread in 2011.  We are still using MUS in 2013 and I have 5 out of 6 kids in it.  

 

The bottom line is that MUS made me a better math teacher. 

 

We supplement MUS with LOF and MM.  I like LOF for fun.  I like MM for teaching mental math.  I just like math.  Why confine myself to one math program?  :)  Sometimes I want to order Miquon just because it looks fun...

 

I have sent my oldest STEM inclined kid through Foerster Algebra 1 and now he is in Foerster Algebra 2.  DD will wrap up MUS Algebra 1 and then I will have her do the whole Foerster Algebra 1 book. MUS just doesn't go as deep as I would like for Algebra.

 

Luckily, there are about a million math programs to pick from...there's one for everybody I think.  :)  And for pete's sake, there are certainly ones less spendy than MUS.  And with faster shipping.  And cheaper shipping.  

 

 

 

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Out of curiosity, what math did you decide to go with?

 

And for others, would you consider using a segment like gamma or delta to master a concept, then move on/continue with other math program?

 

we originally decided on rs. dh loved it. but it turned out to be too teacher intensive for me and the manipulatives were too distracting for my dd (though she did love the abacus and it is still her go to math tool). tried Singapore and mep (both also dh approved) before landing on mm. it seems to really work for both of us. she completed 2 years in 1 to catch up from all our jumping around. she is now right on track and doing well. does she love math? no, but there are rarely anymore fits and tantrums when it's time.

 

as for question 2, I have no idea. I actually left the original math curric research and decision up to dh so I didn't look that far into it. however, since we have landed on mm and it has the supplemental programs (with additional practice by subject) I would probably go with those.

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