Monday, October 22, 2012

Math-U-See review for kindergarten

Looking for a math curriculum that is easy to teach and easy to learn? We have been using Math-U-See for over a year now. It came to me highly recommended, so I decided to give it a try.

What is Math-U-See?

Math-U-See is a math program for homeschoolers (or schools) that follows a mastery approach.  That means you introduce a concept and the student should master it before moving forward in the program. It can be tailored for the individual student so it can be used for the mathematically-gifted student, an average student, and one that doesn't grasp math concepts as easily.  There are reviews built in to the book, so you are constantly remembering what you have already done so you don't forget. The system recommends you buy: 1) manipulative blocks 2) student text 3) teacher text 4) video 5) test book

If you want to read the company's explanation of their product, go to http://www.mathusee.com/about-us/homeschool/.

Our Experience

Last year I started with the Primer book. It was suggested for those in kindergarten to introduce the student to numbers and the ideas presented in some of the later books.  Sebastian ate it up!The Primer book is about introducing concepts that will be presented in later books, so we didn't worry about mastering the concepts. We were just introducing math. After he plowed through the Primer book I worked on other concepts with him.

This year we started the Alpha book, which is the mastery approach so I am making go a little slower so that he has things memorized. We use Math-U-See by watching the video together first. We then work with the blocks together to understand the concept. For each lesson in the student textbook there are 3 worksheets built around the new concept. There are also three worksheets that include reviewed concepts as well as the new concepts. The review is great to keep Sebastian remembering everything he has learned so far.  There is also an extra fun page in the test booklet that Sebastian likes to do for fun.

Math is Sebastian's favorite subject and I have to thank Math-U-See for making it very easy for me to do it.  The teacher's text is easy to read and I have learned a lot from it myself!

This is Sebastian using Decimal Street

 Positives:

  • Going at his own pace
  • He loves the videos!
  • The manipulatives are fantastic to use. He understands concepts a lot easier when we let him use the blocks
  • Online drills page (the student can practice online)
  • Online worksheet generator

Negatives:

  • There isn't any money or telling time in the Alpha book. 
  • Sebastian hates the skip counting CD.  This might be a positive if your child likes to sing and dance.  Sebastian doesn't like having to learn music unless it is something he likes. This became a struggle so I put it away.
**We did not receive any compensation from Math-U-See for this review. We purchased the curriculum at our homeschool convention in May and have written this review based on our opinions and without any reimbursement or other gains.

2 comments:

Joseph Demme said...

Elyse, thank you for your review. I wanted to let you know that telling time is in the Appendix to Alpha, and money will be more prevalent in Beta. It looks like you're enjoying place value. :)

Kateplus3 said...

We are also really enjoying using the Alpha (1st grade-ish) program! I see that JD commented about the telling time work and money. Fortunately, these are easy to do on our own too. There's nothing like getting to handle a wad of bills and a jar of coins to excite a kid about math! My Grandma used to let me keep 10% of her change jar total if I could accurately count it out AND calculate the my take. Needless to say, I caught on quick! Thanks for taking the time to share your homeschool experiences. I find these kinds of reviews extremely helpful when planning for my own kiddos!