Math U See Pre-Algebra Review

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Have you used Math-U-See? When we were in Germany, I had one Math-U-See DVD that I picked up used, and that was that. It was difficult to get the materials where we were at, so I never really looked closely at the program despite having heard incredible things about it.

But . . . You guys. I can’t believe I went so long without this program. This review is another one of those glowing reviews, because seriously, I am re-thinking the math program I (no joke) just dropped three hundred on at the convention. If I can talk my husband into it, I am totally jumping ship with the little kids.

So…. how is that for an introduction? Do you see where this review is going yet?

Math U See

What I Used:

For this review, I was sent the complete Pre-Algebra set (which includes the teacher’s manual, textbook, student workbook, test booklet, Math-U-See blocks, and the algebra and decimal inserts).

How it Works:

Math-U-See uses tactile blocks in various colors to teach math concepts in a visual way.

For example, look at this picture:

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Can you tell what math problem it represents? This picture is positive six, plus negative three. You are “in the hole” three. So, how many do you have left? Positive three. You can see both the problem and the answer right there.

What about this picture?

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This one is trickier. Here, you are getting into more complicated problems. Do you see how the blocks have smooth surfaces? You can’t visually see what numbers they represent. They could be anything. They are a mystery. They are “x”

This problem is two x squared, plus two x, plus three.

How cool is that? The DVD will explain how to use the blocks to both set up and visualize the problems, and, how to solve them.

Our Experience:

This program is super easy to use. I work full time, which means our family prefers programs that are less teacher intensive. This program is perfect for our needs. Over the weekend, I read the textbook to see what Bug will be doing, and how the blocks are used for the lesson. Then, on Monday, I have him pop the DVD in the player while I am at work, and he completes the first worksheet using the blocks to help him. When I get home from work, I review the worksheet with him, use the blocks to explain any problems he may have missed, and give him instructions for the next day.

If he struggled, I will have him watch the DVD lesson again while I am at work before getting started on the second worksheet. If he did great, I have him just do the worksheet (still using the blocks as a visual aid). We continue with this pattern all week, until Saturday, where I give him the chapter test (without the blocks) to make sure he has the concept mastered.

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Bug is very (very) young for Pre-Algebra. He is only 9 years old (a math wiz) and we have been in a bit of a holding pattern with math because I didn’t want to move him on to Pre-Algebra too fast despite him having mastered all the pre-requisites. However, this program is absolutely perfect for him. He loves the format and the blocks. He is learning quickly and totally “gets it.” The blocks make abstract concepts much easier to understand, and I am confident that he will thrive with this program.

Final Thoughts:

One of the reasons I did not look closely at this program as a complete curriculum years ago is because the levels are set up in a bit of a non-traditional way. Instead of “Second-grade math” covering a bunch of different topics, you move one topic at a time, one book at a time through the curriculum in the early years. For example, you learn single digit addition and subtraction in one book, multiplication in one book, decimals and percents in one book. After seeing how the program works, I understand why it is set up this way (you use the blocks in a different way for each kind of problem, and once it is mastered, you move on) and I am no longer “worried” about the different scope and sequence.

I really love that this program includes “honors” level worksheets which you can choose to add to the program for an extra challenge. They include word problems that really make Bug stop and think. I also enjoy the tests, and use them as a way for me to be SURE Bug has mastered the concepts before moving on.

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I think this program is wonderful for anyone with visual or tactile learners. This program is also wonderful for parents who are looking for something a little less teacher intensive (wahooo for video lessons!). It is IDEAL for parents who want to accelerate math in the early years (not saying I recommend this, I’m just saying it is possible) or parents who are looking for a little extra support for specific skills in math (for example, your child needs more help with fractions).

Really, I think this program is just wonderful, and it probably would be wonderful for you.

Enter to Win:

Math-U-See has offered a full level of their math curriculum to one lucky winner! Use the widget below to enter to win!

Do you have questions about Math U See?

Reviews

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158 Comments

  1. 8/25 My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

  2. My husband just lost his job so getting the Algebra curriculum our daughter needs for free would be a big help.

  3. 8/24 My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

  4. I use Math U See with both my boys and they’re doing great. We’ll be moving on to Alpha and Delta soon so this is a great giveaway.

  5. 8/23 My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

  6. 8/22 My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

  7. 8/21 My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

  8. I LIKE HOW THE LEVELS ARE BASED ON CONTENT RATHER THAN GRADE LEVEL. MY CHILDREN ARE ALL OVER THE BOARD WITH VARIOUS GRADE LEVELS DEPENDING ON THEIR INTERESTS AND STRENGTHS. I’M VERY CURIOUS TO LEARN MORE. šŸ™‚

  9. 8/20 My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

  10. I have math material that I purchased last year that I can use for this upcoming year. I have been quite reluctant to begin it because although it’s a decent program, I just don’t feel it’s the best out there for us. I really want something that my children are going to love and look forward to doing everyday-something interactive, engaging, stimulating. I haven’t found it yet. Maybe this program might be it!

  11. I would choose Calculus, because it is the only one we don’t currently own. I think that my daughter will get there before college, and it would be nice to be prepared.

  12. We would use the geometry set. We have used Math U See all the way through Pre Algebra and love it. She is currently working through the Algebra book and prefers this program to all others.

  13. I am glad you posted about this experience with the program. I learned more and it is definitely not the kind of program I thought it would be. Describing it as “non-traditional” was the cincher. That’s what I am looking for. I’d really like to learn more. This may be perfect for us.

  14. I would pick either primer or alpha for my oldest son. I would pick primer for my youngest son. I have been looking at Math U See for my home school!

  15. I would choose Gamma so that my little guy could reinforce some of the concepts he is still shaky on

  16. 8/19 My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

  17. love, Love, LOVE, Math-U-See. Going on our 4th year with DS1 and starting second year with DS2. Fabulous for all learners. MUS ROCKS!!!!

  18. We would love to choose pre-algebra. This sounds like a great program! Thanks for the wonderful giveaway! šŸ™‚

  19. This is awesome! Not only would my boys benefit from this but I could really use a refresher course! Why didn’t they have this 20 years ago?!

  20. I just got the first level of Math-u-see today. I can’t wait to try it out! I’m very excited about this approach to math.
    I would choose beta if I won šŸ˜‰

  21. We started Primer yesterday and so far we are really enjoying it!! Have heard so many awesome things about Math-U-See…

  22. I would choose a Level Alpha Universal set as well I think! I’ve been look for manipulative for my girl for a while also! This girl is a really hands on learner because she is in Special Education and and has done so well with just the few things I have made for her. But now we’re going to be getting into some harder things like money, fractions, decimals etc. So I think having a hands on manipulative set from Math-U-See would bee amazing and would help her learn and grow tremendously!

  23. Thank for the review. I had been sitting the fence with this program for the same reasons. Wish I knew someone that had the program though so we try it out for a few lessons.

  24. I’d choose Algebra 2 if my name is drawn. My teen who has struggled with math for years has done well with MUS.

  25. I’d want to try the Pre Algebra too. I’ve also go a math whiz 9yo boy who finished 6th grade Khan math last year, and I’m not sure what to do with him this year…

    1. I’m really pleased with pre-algebra and my 9-year-old. It’s a really good fit for him. I actually have him signed up for Pre-A with AOPS at WTMAcademy…. but I am strongly considering cancelling that class for Math U See. At the least, he’ll be using both programs if I do keep the teacher lead course.

  26. I think we’d start with Gamma. We’ve been working on multiplication for a little while now and he’s not quite getting it.

  27. My 11yo grandson was “left behind” in PS by the 3rd grade. We finally pulled him out and are homeschooling him for the past 1-1/2 years. He is really not getting math and after extensive testing we have discovered he needs to be able to “see and touch” the math! Math-U-See would probably be good for him and we would likely need to start at the very beginning.

  28. I would like to see and use the Algebra one. I teach remediation to Algebra 1 students that don’t pass the Algebra State Test and this would be perfect for those kids to tactilely see the Algebra.

  29. I would love to try the alpha with my special needs teen. He does not get math concepts at all. We have tried many programs, but i think this one looks great.

  30. 8/18 My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

  31. I would chose alpha since we are just starting primer this year. My son is stoked about this system with all the fun blocks!

  32. Since we are still at ground zero, but now with a learning disability diagnosis, starting at Alpha would be terrific!

  33. My daughter is struggling in math, shes a hands on learner and I am convinced Math U See is what we need. I cant get our charter homeschool school to use it and I cant afford it. Would love to win! šŸ™‚

  34. I would choose Geometry. We’ve used Math U See for a long time and i can’t wait to see how he addresses Geometry and proofs.

  35. Last year I just started getting into MUS. I have 6 children and I could use middle grade levels! I already have algebra 1 and two begeinning levels. I could use all the inbetween goodies!

  36. This is an awesome giveaway!! I would loooove to try out the Gamma level on my 4th grader who struggle greatly with math and reading!

  37. This looks like it may be a great fit for my daughter. After reviewing the product on their website, I believe that Alpha would be the best fit.

  38. 8/17 My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

  39. 8/16 My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

  40. We would be starting out with Alpha! I can’t wait to see how well my girl does with this curriculum. She normally hates math!

  41. Alpha!!! I grew up using math u see and it helped me through a lot of math struggles. I’m excited to have one big enough to teach with math u see.

  42. 8/15 My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

  43. I love Math U See! I just ordered the Delta level, and my kids have loved the Alpha through Gamma levels! I’m not a math whiz, so this curriculum is great at explaining the concepts and focusing on mastery.

  44. We used MUS through Zeta and then I switched my son’s curriculum. He’s requested we go back and now I would need Algebra 2.

  45. I’ve been using Math U See for a few years now and my kids LOVE it! I would love to get the Pre-Algebra level!

  46. 8/14 My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

  47. We are starting Epsilon this year and have used it since the beginning. We really love Math-U-See! I also appreciate the DVD. We would chose Zeta. Thank you

  48. We would probably choose Primer for our youngest two, but we are also looking at Delta and Zeta for our older girls.

  49. We love Math U See! I looking for the Epsilon set now. I have four kids, so winning a set wild be a huge help. That’s.ks!

  50. 8/13 My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

  51. i would love to have the pre-algebra set for our daughter, She struggles with Math and I believe the visual and kinesthetic aspects of this program would be a huge help.

  52. I would do the single digit adding/subtracting, I have a 5 year old and we are just starting out šŸ™‚

  53. I would choose Pre-Algebra. Math is challenging for my special-needs son so the hands-on aspect would be really helpful!

  54. I love it when things seem to fall into my lap! I have been looking for a hands on pre-algebra program. I always thought that Math U See was VERY teacher intensive but I now see it isn’t! Having three kiddos, it is tough to give a full math lesson to each one everyday. With this program, they can watch the video and I can facilitate throughout the week. THank you for reviewing!

  55. My daughter completed the primer and she did really well with it. I think going to Alpha would be great to do next.

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