Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ordered More Math U See Math Curriculum Today

Due to my not planning and not buying too much ahead of time this academic year, I find myself needing to order the next levels of math for both of my children. They are both using Math U See.

My 8 year old is finishing up the “Foundations” level. He started this back when “Foundations” was the current curriculum. In 2004 Math U See reorganized their program and changed the names of their new programs. The new programs are still not linked directly to grade level but here is what it basically is:
Kindergarten: Primer
First Grade: Alpha
Second Grade: Beta
Third Grade: Gamma

The old program was:
Kindergarten: Introduction…
First through Third (in one thick book): Foundations…

In my younger son’s prek-4 year (2004-2005 academic year) he did the entire “Introduction” than moved on to “Alpha”. As of today he is in the last third of the “Alpha” book. I just ordered the “Beta” curriculum today from the MUS website. He is 5 years old and technically in Kindergarten. (Can you see how grade levels with homeschoolers are mushy?)

In my older son’s Kindergarten year he began “Introduction” (while aged 5.5). In my older son’s First Grade year (age 6) he finished “Introduction” and then moved on to “Foundations”. He is 8 now and in the beginning of his Third Grade year yet is finishing up “Foundations” which is the Third Grade part of the book. In order to transition to the new curriculum he will be using “Gamma”, so I ordered that today.

I did a quick check over at the Well Trained Mind Sale and Swap board to see if I could find used curriculum with clean pages. I did not find it. Prices on eBay for Math U See curriculum tend to be on the very high side, sometimes exceeding the full retail price for new materials purchased through the official Math U See website. I still cannot figure this out at all. Why, why would someone buy used materials on eBay for an equal or higher price than buying brand new materials at full retail from the Math U See official website??

In case you are not aware and are curious, Math U See cannot be purchased from homeschooling vendors or bookstores. You won’t see their products in the Rainbow Resource Center catalog. You must buy directly from the Math U See website. MUS has official distributors around the country who actually do the sales and ship the materials to you. The nearest distributor to your home address is the distributor that will service your area (from what I can gather; my distributor lives in a state that borders my home state). In the past my orders have arrived in 2-3 business days. I have never had a problem with their customer service. If you buy their materials at their official vendor booth at homeschool conferences the price is the same as if buying from the website (except you don’t pay shipping if they have the item in stock at the conference).

There is also a “Math U See Users” chat list on Yahoo Groups! for discussion about this curriculum. Some of the members are distributors so they are all very positive about this curriculum.

My only complaint about the program is that by using it my children don’t memorize all the math facts. The program wants the children to memorize all the math facts in order to make performing operations easier and faster for the children. My children get all the concepts and like the workbooks. They both like math. I just wish something were different to help the students memorize math facts. We have been supplementing with flash cards, Wrap-Up’s, audio recordings of math songs, and math content computer games.

If you are curious about Math U See, they have a frequently asked questions section on their website.


Melanie said...

Since memorization is difficult for some children with learning disabilities I have found that making up stories to memorize the math facts have helped. There is a book called Times Tales which uses this short story to help memorize. I haven't yet tried the book. Melanie

Grandma Carol said...

Hi, Another help for drilling math facts are Calculadder drills. Go to the website at www.calculadder.com and read about them. I used them with our 2 sons 15 years ago and they know their math facts inside and out. I now use them with our grandson who is in first grade age. I have used all of their products in the past and highly recommend them.

ChristineMM said...

Yes! We used to use Calculadder when my kids were younger. We bought the CD-ROM then made our own print offs as needed.

I also used their Ready Writer for penmanship for preschool and Kindergarten years to improve fine motor skills.

shawnaeverett said...

Did you use Math U See all the way through high school? If so, did your boys take the ACT or SAT, and how did they do? Thanks ;)

ChristineMM said...

Hi Shawna Everett,

Older son stopped after delta and switched to teaching textbooks through arithmetic then changed when he began algebra.
AoPS algebra was not a good fit.
Using Thinkwell Alegebra I, II, Geometry.

He is in grade 10 now and has not yet taken ACT, SAT, PSAT, too young.

Younger son stopped MUS after Delta. He used Singapore also. Then Teaching Textbooks, then Khan Academy, now Thinkwell Pre-Algebra in his grade 7.

Pamela Edwards said...

We used Math U See through high school (Geometry, Algebra II) with our son. He is a good student, not exceptional, and he scored fine on the SAT. His math scores were in line with the other subjects.