Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Math-U-See Review

(Not a paid post. Too Bad, So Sad.)

We have been using Math-U-See for 3 years now.  Ginger has used Primer, Alpha, and Beta levels and is currently using Gamma.  Sugar has started Primer level.

The gist is that your child (and you, if you like) watch a 5-10 minute DVD lesson.  Then there are 3 pages of lesson practice and 3 pages of review problems.  Tests start in Alpha level.  In order to See your math there are manipulatives that are color coded for quick recognition.  The child will learn that brown is 8 (chocol-8 if you like.) The blue is 10. The red block is 100. The program is divided into concepts and each is given a latin letter designation.

One point I absolutely LOVE, is that they introduce Algebra at even the Primer level.  Example: B+5=10.  Very simplistic and it lays a foundation for the harder stuff.

We have used 4 levels so far.


I loved the concept when we started 3 years ago.We started when Ginger was 4 with a very simplistic Primer level.  This is the equivalent of a Kindergarten introduction to math.  Nothing is expected to be retained at this stage.  It is just teaching the kids what math looks like and what they will see.  

With Ginger, this was too simplistic for her and she was confident with her concepts.  I think we blew through these 30 lessons in about a month.  Yep, a 6 page lesson each day.  She ate this stuff up.  I was thrilled!

Sugar is taking longer.  This might not be the best program for her learning style.  I find she is less motivated than Ginger.  I do plan for her to work through Alpha and see if she picks it up once we reintroduce it to her in a more concentrated and less tasting menu type of way.


This stage is for all the basic adding and subtracting facts.  (About 15 lessons each.)  This level does a more thorough job of teaching the facts than the intro they had in Primer.  This stage concentrates on mastery.  It still has lesson problems and review problems, but this level adds a test page and an activity page.  Trying to make the math more fun.  Ginger took this at a much slower pace.  (It could have been because Sugar was distracting us both in her toddler phase.)


This level drives home the addition and subtraction facts and shows multi-digit usage.  Roughly 15 lessons each on carrying and borrowing.  The lesson set-up is the same, but there were no more activities in this book.  


Ginger is currently working through Gamma.  She is learning her multiplication facts.  The set-up is the same.  5-10 minutes for a DVD lesson, 3 lesson pages, 3 review pages and a test.  This program was made for Ginger and she is excelling at it. (She is learning multiplication at 6 years old.)


Delta is where we will start division.  I have not purchased this level yet, so I can't give you a run down on it's effectiveness.  

I do plan to continue Math-U-See with Ginger.  I need to evaluate Sugar's learning style before committing to the program with her, but for now we plan to keep using it, since I already have it on a shelf.  If Ginger continues at the rate she currently devours these book, she will be in Algebra at age 12.  As a comparison, I stated Algebra at 13.  She's a year ahead of me.  I better refresh my Calculus skills soon.

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