by Paulette Fawcett
After using Rod and Staff, Abeka and Saxon I finally discovered Math-U-See.
Straight away the children enjoyed having fewer problems on the page! Instead of making them do every second problem, I now saw them happily doing every problem on the page, and often going on to do 2 or 3 pages.
I love the fact that there is a Math teacher on the DVD teaching each lesson. It means I do not have to teach a different lesson to each of my 5 school age children.
The curriculum is set up so that the child (and parent) watches the DVD, then completes page A. If they have grasped the lesson, and get everything right they can skip pages B and C. If they are struggling with the concept, there are pages B and C to gain further practice with. Pages D, E and F are review of all previously learned work, and should all be completed. Then it is on to the next lesson.
Math-U-See stresses mastery. Each lesson must be mastered before going on to the next. This ensures that the child does not just plough through numerous maths books, each one getting more difficult, and yet never really gaining an understanding of what they are being taught. Because each new math concept builds on the one before, it is imperative that the child thoroughly learns each step.
Math-U-See uses manipulative blocks, which the teacher demonstrates on the DVD. The child gets to use the blocks in his lesson. This is how it gets its name - because you can actually SEE the math problems.
We have been using this maths programme for 5 years and have used it from Primer to Algebra. We are very pleased with it and would not hesitate to recommend it to others.