Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Math-U-See Success

I wanted to write and tell you a little bit how math has gone in our homeschool this year. When we first started homeschooling, I used Saxon math. It came highly recommended by people I respect. We tried it, but it wasn't a good fit for my daughter. We tried to use it for three years, but it was too repetitious for her creativity, even when I skipped as much as I could. She started shutting down, and fighting against math. So I started looking for something better. I tried Miquin, but she wasn't sold on the change, neither was I. So I decided to try Math-U-See for 4th grade. But I started her in the second grade book because I really thought she needed to learn some important things that she had missed.

At the end of her fourth grade year, which is where we are right now, I have to say that the experiment was a great success. She has completed 3 years worth of books, and is now in the beginning of the 5th grade book. I'm so happy with her progress!

Each book has 30 lessons in it, enough for one year if you do one lesson a week. Each lesson has a DVD lesson to watch taught by an excellent math teacher that is easy to listen to, and has a touch of humor about him. He will often have a "trick" to teach the kids to make it easier, and my daughter really likes this. After watching the lesson, there are three similar pages of the lesson. If my child completes the first page at 90% or better, she doesn't have to do the next two. Then there are three similar pages of review. If she does the first page at 90% or better, she doesn't have to do those remaining two pages either. This really motivates her to put her heart into her work. She rarely has to do a second page, unless it is a more difficult concept like long division, etc. It is really nice for me to be out of the teacher role in math, and more in a tutor role now. Also, I have to say that the teacher knows much better ways of teaching the math concepts then I ever learned, even when I was in college taking classes to prepare me to teach math in the elementary school. I'm thrilled with how he is teaching fractions in the book she is in now. I have never seen it taught this way. He has some manipulatives called Fraction Overlays that help illustrate the concepts of even adding fractions with uneven denominators very clearly.

My son is in first grade. He hasn't moved quite as fast as my daughter, but he has completed the first grade book and is the second one. He is catching on quite quickly, and can now insert the DVD in the computer himself and do his math almost independently. He only needs me for the part that involves reading words.

Now if I could find curriculum that teaches English like this I would be really excited!

4 bouquets of wildflowers (Comment here):

Anonymous said...

Hi Elizabeth Joy! I too, loved Math U See! We didn't do well with Saxon either, my poppets are way too the black and white repetition just stopped everything.

Your photos are wonderful!!
Thanks for sharing!

VJ said...

Hi EJ. Since you didn't leave an email address on your commnet to me, I replied using your _w_. email.

Carrie said...

Hi Elizabeth, I just wanted to let you know, I posted an answer to your question in my comment box right under yours. Thanks for the interest! Carrie

Shereen said...

We use Math U See for Kayla over here. We were using Rod and Staff, but it was too work book-y for her. We switched over to MUS, and I put her a year or two behind just so she could grasp their way of doing things. She is now flying through it as well. She grasped it so much better than Rod and Staff. I bought her the next book for her next school year and she asked me if she could start it now. She did 15 lessons in one week, doing all of the pages. lol I guess I have to order the next book. This is our 3rd year using it.