From Primer to Calculus: Why We Use Math U See

Of all the curriculum that we have used over our ten years of homeschooling, Math U See is one program that I can’t imagine homeschooling without. It has provided my children with a solid foundation in math while helping them understand the concepts in addition to memorizing facts and formulas.

Why we use Math U See, a review

As a kid, I was pretty good at math. It was easy for me to memorize formulas and follow the step-by-step process to get the correct answer but I never understood why those formulas worked. Then I watched a demo video of Math U See and could barely contain my excitement because I finally understood why all those formulas and methods actually worked! I was sold on the Math U See curriculum and have enjoyed using it with my children for ten years now.

Here are some of the reasons why we continue to use Math U See in our homeschool.

First, my kids enjoy it! Even my children who struggle in math are excited when the blocks come out. The multi-sensory approach to Math U See allows all of my children to grasp the concepts being taught. When it comes to memorizing facts and formulas my kids can be easily frustrated but Math U See helps minimize the frustration by showing my kids why the problem is solved in a particular way. Math U See has made math time enjoyable even for my math-challenged child!

We also like the clutter-free worksheets. I have a few children who are easily distracted and colorful workbooks filled with pictures often draw their attention away from the actual problem they are supposed to be working on. Math U See has simple black and white pages that makes it easier for my kids to stay focused on the task at hand.

Finally, Math U See continues to provide excellent instruction for the high school years as well. My oldest child will be using Math U See for her calculus instruction this year. She has had success in these more challenging math courses because of the excellent teaching found in Math U See. By watching the DVD’s, reading the instruction manual and checking her work with the detailed, step-by-step solution key, she has been able to complete her high school math courses independently.

From Primer all the way up to Calculus, Math U See has provided my children with an enjoyable learning experience in math as they gain knowledge in the how and the why of mathematical concepts. Check it out for yourself and see if it might be a great fit for your family as well!

Are you curious about what other curriculum we are using in our homeschool? Then check out our 2014-2015 curriculum choices and find out what phonics and spelling program we absolutely love!

This review can also be found at LJSkool.

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Comments

  1. Math-U-See is great for the elementary grades. It is what I recommend everyone use. For the most part, middle school math is done well, too. I really like how Mr. Demme split a typical algebra course in half and takes two years to cover the material as pre-alg and Alg 1. As long as parents emphasize the correct way to write out math problems so that students don’t think they can scrawl things any-old place on their papers, the program is usable. I also like the Math-U-See approach to geometry and making proofs non-threatening.

    However, beyond that level, my approval ends. Things show up on tests that weren’t covered in any of the lessons, which is unnecessarily frustrating for students. As students encounter new concepts, more examples are needed, but aren’t provided. The course labeled pre-calc is really trig; adding a couple extra lessons did not turn it into pre-calc, and students are at a distinct disadvantage if they believe that they have mastered the material one ought to learn in a pre-calculus course. Logarithms 1) should be introduced in algebra, not pre-calc, and 2) are taught extremely poorly. To announce, “nobody uses these now that we have calculators, but someone decided kids still need to learn them,” then proceed to demonstrate that he does not understand logs, does kids a disservice. Maybe he postponed teaching them because he doesn’t understand them. Anyhow, it was interesting for the math video to basically tell kids that logs are antiquated, and two weeks later have my son encounter a physics problem that needed to be solved using logs. I finally wrote my own LOGS unit because the Math-U-See one is so incredibly poor.

    The calculus course is worst of all. The quality of the video is appalling. It was obviously not shot before students as the earlier videos were, so he has no idea when his explanations are incomprehensible. The video contains glaring problems, such as Mr. Demme saying, “Edit that out.” They could have at least taken the time to edit out errors. I have contacted the company about multiple mistakes in the answer key, but gotten only a generic, “we’ll look into it,” and those errors haven’t been added to the published correction-sheet.

    I’m glad the curriculum is working for you, but the problems with Math-U-See are so serious that I anticipate writing my own Alg 2 & up materials for my youngest child. We are not going to suffer through the problems in the upper levels of Math-U-See another time.

    • Thank you for your honest feedback. The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that you can use whatever curriculum you think is best. We have enjoyed using Math U See all the way through calculus and my daughter has been able to work independently in the upper levels by watching the videos and reading the teachers manual. She has not mentioned any of the concerns you brought up but of course everyone has differing opinions on things. I will add though that my dad is an AP Calculus teacher and looked over the curriculum for me and felt it was adequate for teaching calculus but only skimmed through it. Best of luck in writing your own curriculum. It is always nice to see more and more options available for homeschooling families!

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