# MUS Explanation of Long Multiplication is confusing ME!

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I've just gotten to this section in Gamma, and I'm not sure what to do as I think it's going to be confusing to my children. Have others of you found the way it's taught to be confusing? Is the explanation for division in the next level just as unconventional?

I guess I'm trying to figure out if I should just finish out Gamma, teaching multiplication the way I know it ... or if I should be looking for a different math program.

And it was all going so well with MUS! :tongue_smilie:

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Personally I actually liked it. Do you mean the explanation using the blocks or just how he carries the numbers and puts them under the equal sign line instead of putting them on top like most people probably learned?

Ds's writing is terrible so he wasn't able to keep things straight doing it the way MUS does it so I taught him how to put the numbers on top like I learned (and in fact Mr. Demme shows it briefly on the video as well if I recall).

However I wish I had been taught the MUS way. It makes sense to me that you do all multiplication and then you go back through and do all adding instead of multiplying, then multiplying again, then adding, then back to multiplying, etc.

We are in delta right now but only on the 4th lesson so I can't comment on how he teaches long division just yet since we're only doing the super simple things right now.

ETA: I just remembered that when we were watching the video last year during gamma we did have to stop, get our own blocks and white board, and figure it out as we went along.

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I didn't like it either. Poor dd was :confused::confused: during the video where he explains it. I went over it with her. There were tears. Finally I just showed her how I was taught in school. It clicked for her immediately, and we just did it that way from there on out.

As a disclaimer, I should say that gamma is the only level of MUS we used. It just wasn't a good fit for us.

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I ended up teaching it the standard way -- esp. because I hit Gamma with a precocious 5yo, and it was just too confusing for him. I like Math Mammoth for alternative teaching strategies to MUS, and also Kitchen Table math books. In the end, I got this book, which is simply lots of problems and the answers in the back, graded by complexity. We waited until the toddler went down, made some fresh O.J. and slowly went through about two problems a day until he got it. -- but this was working with a very peculiar child ...

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I ended up teaching it the standard way -- esp. because I hit Gamma with a precocious 5yo, and it was just too confusing for him. I like Math Mammoth for alternative teaching strategies to MUS, and also Kitchen Table math books. In the end, I got this book, which is simply lots of problems and the answers in the back, graded by complexity. We waited until the toddler went down, made some fresh O.J. and slowly went through about two problems a day until he got it. -- but this was working with a very peculiar child ...

Math Mammoth does an excellent job of explaining multiplication with the standard algorithm. It might be worth getting the dark blue topic book on the subject.

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If you mean where to put the carried numbers and when to add up, I showed ds the more standard way to set up a multiplication problem--I gave ds the choice. I'm glad he chose to do it the way I learned it if for no other reason that I generally went along problems to check all the steps rather than use answer key, and I am too used to the way I learned to make the change easily now. I may at some point show him lattice multiplication which does the add up all at once, like Demme does, but in a different lattice like arrangement which I find less confusing. For now, one way seems to be enough.

The division book went back to more standard set ups, I think. At least, I don't off-hand recall anything way different. Demme did have problems that said to check by what he called multiplication backwards or some such--I was not sure if that was supposed to mean something different than the usual way of checking division answers by multiplying. We did it the usual way, whatever Demme meant.

I actually wish there were an algorithm for long division that does not need to have repeated changes in process over and over, since the divide, multiply, subtract, bring down process gets a lot of kids hung up for awhile, my ds included, something for long division like the way lattice multiplication or Demme's system work. If anyone knows another long division method, I'd love to hear it.

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I've just gotten to this section in Gamma, and I'm not sure what to do as I think it's going to be confusing to my children. Have others of you found the way it's taught to be confusing? I don't think it would have confused ds, though graph paper would have been even more needed to keep long columns straight...but I am glad he chose the way I learned since that is easier for me.Is the explanation for division in the next level just as unconventional? no, IMO

I guess I'm trying to figure out if I should just finish out Gamma, teaching multiplication the way I know it ... or if I should be looking for a different math program. Doing MUS with multiplication the way I know it worked fine. We left MUS for awhile, but have returned to it because it still seemed better for my ds than the alternatives. We do use some supplements for math also.

And it was all going so well with MUS! :tongue_smilie:

:D
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It's really the whole thing that seems like it might be confusing. I've only read the teacher book so far, so maybe when I watch the video it will start to make more sense.

I think I'll try teaching it the MUS way first, and if that's not working I'll go to the way I learned.

Thanks for the tip about the Math Mammoth book. If I run into trouble with MUS, I'll pick that Math Mammoth book up.

Thanks, everyone!

**edited to add: I'm glad that the division explanation is less unconventional. I really, really don't want to switch math programs again!

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