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Math Curriculum: Math U See Program Review

math u see curriculum homeschool review

We have been using Math U See for three years now with all of the kids and I thought the time had come to review why we love it and how it works for our family. We are currently using the Primer, Alpha, and Beta programs and I fully intend to buy them the program again for next year! Read on to find out why we are Math U See addicts…

I grew up using A Beka Math curriculum and I loved it. It was bright, fun, full of different activities to do, speed drills, etc. When I started homeschooling, the first thing I bought was the A Beka math curriculum.

It was only when I went to my first homeschool conference and was browsing through the different vendors that I happened upon Math U See. I have to admit, I only walked up to the booth to check it out, I thought I was covered! But when I saw the program, I made a total impulse buy and got the primer.

We haven’t looked back since.

I have tried supplementing with the A Beka program, I mean, what a waste of money! However the kids will have none of it. They are just as much in love with the program as I am.

A Canadian Math Curriculum Option

One of the biggest bonuses for me, is that it is a Canadian math curriculum (please note they also have a US website and US curriculum that is the same, it just teaches US money/measurement, etc). This is such a huge benefit when dealing with the foundational years. I learned in inches and pounds with A Beka and I am constantly converting my kids’ weights at the doctors or their height, etc. I wanted my kids to understand the measurement system we use, to understand and learn with Canadian money, etc. I love that this math program does all that for me, I don’t have to worry about supplementing.

Math Curriculum that Works for All Learning Styles

With five children, it is very rare to find a program that works well for all the kids collectively. I am often found scouring the internet to find a more kinesthetic approach for Selah or a more visual program for Caleb. However, Math U See has me covered! It approaches learning from three different angles and targets the main learning styles. If you don’t know your child’s learning style, be sure to take the quiz!

Auditory/Visual Learners

Each lesson is broken up into 6 sub-lessons (ie. 1A-1F) and begins with a DVD instructional video to explain the lesson. The video is done in an interactive setting and the kids LOVE watching and hearing their lessons and feeling like they are a part of a virtual classroom. The combination of audio and visual learning works for all the kids and usually this is all they need to understand their lesson for the week (with minor helps from mom with reading word problems, etc.)

The blocks are another great tool for visual learners. Each number is a different color and very quickly the child is able to stop counting them and just use them based on their color “value”. This then translates to mental addition, etc. as they are seeing the blocks and colors in their minds as they figure out their problems.

Kinesthetic/Sensory Learners

I can concretely say that Selah is a kinesthetic/sensory learner, it is her strongest learning style for sure. She usually needs to approach a new concept from about 6 different angles to really grasp it, and for her, Math U See just works! After watching her lesson, she pulls out the blocks and gets to SEE her math problems, FEEL them, BUILD them. Whereas Caleb, my more visual learner watches his lesson and won’t use the blocks all week, Selah uses them every single day. She is very dependent on them and enjoys them so much that we ended up purchasing two sets and the beautiful wooden boxes to store them in.

Math Curriculum that Makes Sense!

Math U See is a very different program and can take a bit of getting used to if it is new to you. It teaches in a completely unique way, giving students strategies for solving problems that may seem totally out of the box to you. Although it takes some time to adjust, it is well worth it for the long term benefits… a child that not only understands math but has the tools and tricks for doing it quickly and effectively no matter how it is approached. Here is an example approach from the Alpha program:

Selah is learning her addition table. To do this, they teach that everything is jealous of the number ten. 9 wants to be a ten, so it steals one. In every single math problem they are supposed to “rearrange” their math problem.

example problem: 9+8
Selah takes those blocks and puts them on the top of her wooden box

math u see curriculum review

She then takes a ten block and rearranges the problem.

So 9+8 is the SAME as 10+7=17.

homeschool math curriculum with blocks

Instead of just memorization (which definitely has its place), she is learning unique tips and tricks to make math FAST, effective, and fun!

It took me a while but all of a sudden, I am getting much faster at math myself! Who knew!

A Comprehensive Math Curriculum

When people ask about the “BEST” math curriculum, I always point them to Math U See. Please note I am receiving nothing for this review, this is purely my thoughts as a paying customer and how it is working for my family. I can’t say enough about how this is helping our family. My kids LOVE math. They are building not only an understanding of the concepts, but are mastering them. This program approaches a new concept in so many different forms and I am so impressed with the results. The fact that my kids love the program as much as I do is pretty much the biggest indicator for me of what to purchase at the convention this spring. I’ll be the first one lined up at the table this year and I hope to see you there!

If you have another math program you love or any questions, I would love to hear about it! Comment below and join the conversation!

Comments

  1. What ages are your kids? Our daughter is still a tot and we’ve been looking at various curriculums. We are considering My Father’s World with Singapore Math to supplement to begin with, but haven’t used any math curriculums yet. Do you have any experience with either of those?

    • My youngest is 1 and my eldest is grade 2.

      I actually haven’t used either programs, although I have looked through them and done a lot of research. I have been eyeing My Fathers World for quite some time, but I got started on Mother Goose Time for preschool and have been so happy with it that I haven’t needed anything else.

      For me, it is a blend of finding a program that works, the kids don’t hate, but also one that is easy to use when working with such a broad age range of children. Programs that need me to do everything, lots of reading, talking, teaching, one on one time kill me! Because I just rotate child to child and try to maintain my sanity when they are all needing my help at once! Programs that they can do a little more independently or have most the prep work done are my FAV’s and for preschool, Mother Goose Time is the easiest for prep.

      I’ve heard really good things about Singapore math, but I’ve also heard of people who hate it. Although really, thats any curriculum, it either works for you or it doesn’t. If you are considering it, I’ve heard it is best to start with it in the very beginning. Math programs are very hard to switch around because they all teach different concepts and different strategies. Do your research and experimenting in the first year or so, borrow, try sample pages… if you can figure out what works best for your child by grade 1, you’re set 😉

  2. What grade level do you plan to use Math U See up to? I’ve heard several parents say they only used it for the younger elementary grades.

    • It goes all the way up. Though to be honest as they get older although I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of mastery, I want to make sure my children would be able to step into school if they would need to. My grade 2 still hadn’t learned division, temperature, multiplication, etc. So I think for him we may switch this year. To A beka of all things 😉 We are going to try it at least and see how it goes for us.

  3. Hi, I just took your quiz and I got my suspicion confirmed that my son is a kinesthetic learner. We have math u see alpha and horizons math. He likes math and it’s usually his first subject he takes out his workbox but he hates doing the actual worksheets. We started with horizons math but then after we purchased it we won math u see in a contest. I thought he would love it but he wouldn’t even try it. He will play with the manipulatIves though and use them to build. Lately I have been looking up games to play with him for whatever concept we are working on. That he loves and has fun. My question is it enought if he hates and refuses to do the worksheets. It’s gotten to the point where he will verbally give me the answers to avoid writing them out. He is 5.5 years old. Thank you for your time in reading this and I really look forward to your help and guidance.

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