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switching to MUS partway through elementary?


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I hope someone has an answer. I got Beta through Epsilon for my K and 4th grader.... Mostly to fill gaps for my 4th and I'm finding it really hard to navigate because she knows about 75% of each curriculum and I don't know where to start. 

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I have a 4th and 6th grader. We switched both mid-year. My oldest needed it the most as she has struggled for years. She finally feels like she is accomplishing math and without tears. She probably could have started in Zeta, but we started in Epsilon to make sure she was strong in fractions. It has gone really well. She is almost done with the whole book now after switching in January. 

My youngest was a little harder. She already knew long multiplication and had just started long division. We jumped in with Delta. I just have her use the algorithm for long multiplication problems. We will sometimes work together to show her how it works with blocks. For division, she’s learning it the MUS way. They do teach the old school algorithm as well. She had a little hiccup just recently, but I think that’s from her needing a break. 

For us, it has been a great move. Math is getting done and my oldest especially is feeling better about her skills. She has set a goal to start pre-algebra by January.

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So, what I'm wondering is, how easy is it to acelerate through if they know some, but not all the material in a level?  My DD is going into 5th and I'm thinking she could benefit from a review of division the way they do it, but she generally handles long division well. She has done some work with equivalent fractions, but not a ton, etc. 

And when doing it just as normal, say with my first grader who would be going into Beta, what is the weekly schedule like? It seems that if you do everything, there are over 200 days of work, but that's a long school year for us. Thinking we could just skip the tests if we wanted, to make it a shorter year? Or am I not picturing it properly?

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In MUS you don’t need to do every single page in the workbook. If they get the 1st page correct, and they can show/teach it back to you, then move to the next lesson. Some also alternate worksheets. The first 3 are for the new material and the next 3 are review and the last (g) is a puzzle activity. Then there is also the test. So you can speed up or slow down as needed. If you watch and read the teachers manual they go over this. 
 you can make its spiral with more review by alternating the worksheets as best for each kiddo! 
You could do worksheet In different orders:

A,D,B,E and then a test on Friday.

Hope that helps! We failed at MUS because I was a newbie and didn’t realize you could actually do your own thing as a homeschooler at that time ! Lol 😂 I didn’t have any confidence to adjust things for my kiddos. I now realize that that program is what we need and plan on putting my oldest back when she hits pre algebra 🙂

YouTube and this forum have been lifesavers for me over the years!!! Many many great and helpful people! It has been a blessing 🙂

Edited by ghcostafamily
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We switched to MUS in 5th grade (after switching to a  different math program in each year of gr. 1-4, due to mild LDs in Reading, Spelling, Writing, and Math):

5th grade = all of the  "original/classic" MUS Intermediate on VHS !! (in 1 year it covered gr. 4-6 topics that were later expanded into Delta, Epislon, and Zeta levels)
6th grade = a fast-paced run through Delta (division) + Epislon (fractions) + about 9 lessons of Zeta (percents/decimals) + excerpts from Singapore 4A/B
7th grade = backed up and re-did all of Zeta (percents/decimals) + excerpts from Keys to Fractions/Decimals/Percents + excerpts from Singapore 5A/B 
8th grade = MUS Pre-Algebra + excerpts from Keys to... + excerpts from Singapore 6A/B

We did not have any troubles learning MUS's method, probably because we had used Miquon in early elementary, which uses rods and tangible patterns of math, but also because 5th grade was about the time the math portions of DS#2's brain finally started to mature. It was the first time anything other than the tangible math topics (such as geometry) began to finally *start* to click for DS#2. In 6th grade, we re-did those same MUS topics in the newer format of MUS to make sure he was solid with those foundational math skills. We. also added in excerpts from Singapore and Keys to... workbooks to see the concepts from multiple perspectives, plus to get the better word problems and problem-solving techniques from Singapore. (MUS is weak in that area, IMO.)

MUS is set up for 1 lesson per week, with 1 video for each week's lesson, and then 5 work pages, 1 for each day. As I recall, the A & B pages incrementally put into practice the concept of the lesson, the C page is practice, and the D, E, F pages are further practice + review of past concepts. 


How we did our fast-paced review with the back-levels of MUS Gamma, Epsilon, Zeta:

Day 1 = together watch the video; DS#2 would do pages A and C
Day 2** = do 2 pages -- B + either D,E, or F 
Day 3 = if solid with the concept, go to next lesson, repeat Day 1; etc.

** = if he was not totally solid on Day 2, we would slow it down and do 1-2 pages that day, and then 1-2 of the remaining pages over several days to complete the lesson.


Because I was right there with him throughout, I could see how he was doing, and didn't feel the need for him to use the tests. However, that could be a tool you could use for assessment of understanding of the topic for that week's lesson to know how much/little of each lesson to use.

BEST of luck in finding what works best! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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21 hours ago, Charmom3 said:

I hope someone has an answer. I got Beta through Epsilon for my K and 4th grader.... Mostly to fill gaps for my 4th and I'm finding it really hard to navigate because she knows about 75% of each curriculum and I don't know where to start. 

You might also check out the MUS Placement tests for each level of Beta, Gamma, and Delta to get a feel for how much of each level (or which topics) your 4th grader needs to do...

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2 hours ago, ghcostafamily said:

... MUS ... I now realize that that program is what we need and plan on putting my oldest back when she hits pre algebra ...

Just an FYI -- I felt that MUS Pre-Algebra was the weakest of all of the MUS programs. And the MUS high school levels -- Alg. 1, Geom., Alg. 2, etc. -- are about the "lightest" of all of the high school programs. 

Even for my DS#2 who struggles horribly with math (he did MUS for levels Delta through Alg. 2), I supplemented heavily with MUS Pre-Algebra (excerpts from Singapore Primary 5A/B, 6A/B, and Keys to... workbooks) especially to get enough practice and exposure to word problems/problem-solving techniques. And I also filled in missing or weak areas of MUS Alg. 1 and Geometry with Jacobs Alg. 1 and Geometry.

You may want to research now and see if those higher math levels of MUS will be enough, or if you'll want to find things to supplement, or possibly look at alternatives that are more complete. Just a thought! BEST of luck, whatever you go with. Warmest regards, Lori D.

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23 hours ago, ghcostafamily said:

In MUS you don’t need to do every single page in the workbook. If they get the 1st page correct, and they can show/teach it back to you, then move to the next lesson. Some also alternate worksheets. The first 3 are for the new material and the next 3 are review and the last (g) is a puzzle activity. Then there is also the test. So you can speed up or slow down as needed. If you watch and read the teachers manual they go over this. 
 you can make its spiral with more review by alternating the worksheets as best for each kiddo! 
You could do worksheet In different orders:

A,D,B,E and then a test on Friday.

Hope that helps! We failed at MUS because I was a newbie and didn’t realize you could actually do your own thing as a homeschooler at that time ! Lol 😂 I didn’t have any confidence to adjust things for my kiddos. I now realize that that program is what we need and plan on putting my oldest back when she hits pre algebra 🙂

YouTube and this forum have been lifesavers for me over the years!!! Many many great and helpful people! It has been a blessing 🙂

Ah..so those first three worksheets are all the same type of problems, and you wouldn't miss anything/much if you skip some? So if using it mostly as review, you could theoretically do a lesson in a day or two instead of a week, until hitting material that was new/confusing/etc?

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21 hours ago, Lori D. said:

You might also check out the MUS Placement tests for each level of Beta, Gamma, and Delta to get a feel for how much of each level (or which topics) your 4th grader needs to do...


I keep hearing varying reviews about this. It definitely worries me about Pre algebra and up. I’m not sure what else to look into though. 

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54 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Ah..so those first three worksheets are all the same type of problems, and you wouldn't miss anything/much if you skip some? So if using it mostly as review, you could theoretically do a lesson in a day or two instead of a week, until hitting material that was new/confusing/etc?

- A & B pages incrementally put into practice parts of the lesson topic
- C page is practice of all of that lesson's topic
- D, E, F pages are further practice + review of past concepts

It is pages D, E, and F that are mostly the same type of problems, and you could skip some of these, if not needed. 

We did our fast-paced review of MUS Gamma - all (9 weeks), Epsilon - all (18 weeks), + started new material of the first 9 weeks of Zeta (9 weeks), all  in one year, using the books, covering most 1-week lessons in 2 days:
   - Day 1 = together watch the video; DS#2 would do pages A and C
   - Day 2 = do 2 pages -- B + either D,E, or F 
If solid with the concept, go to next lesson, and repeat Day 1. If not solid, then we slowed down and took 3-4 days total to complete a 1-week lesson.

If wanting to to just do 1 lesson per day, I'd suggest watching the video, and then do that lesson's end-of-week test as your work page. BEST of luck, whatever you decide. Warmly, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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13 minutes ago, hands-on-mama said:

I keep hearing varying reviews about this. It definitely worries me about Pre algebra and up. I’m not sure what else to look into though. 

JMO: I think it's fine to use MUS Pre-Algebra as a spine, but I would definitely supplement. I found that once we hit Algebra 1 and above, it was too hard to supplement simultaneously with DS#2 who struggled so much with math -- we ended up having to do the supplements later on, or flat-out redoing a level of math. Both Algebra 1 and 2 took him 1.5 years each.

What are you using now? What about it IS working? What about it is NOT working?
What are your student's particular needs or learning style? 
What do you think YOUR needs will be for guiding your student through the higher maths?

If you can help with answers to those questions, it will be a lot easier to help match you up with potential programs, rather than throwing a random list of textbooks at you. 😉 

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