And the best part? Math-U-See is generously allowing me to give away 1 level of Math-U-See. It’s the winner’s choice of levels for their homeschool!
One of my favorite things about Math-U-See is the people behind the company.
I have to first begin with a little background info. I had the chance to meet Steve Demme at a recent homeschool convention and we took a fun picture together. Y’all, I am one short little lady compared to him. Jolly math giant aside, he was fun and genuine and I enjoyed the chance to meet him. Through sharing that picture on Twitter, I was given the chance to review one level of Math-U-See and host a giveaway. Hooray!
In the many emails back and forth with the marketing department, I mentioned that my daughter had recently broken her leg and a later date for the review would be best for me.
When our Math-U-See box arrived it included a coffee mug, some hot tea packets, and stress balls for my poor little broken-legged child with a note wishing her a speedy recovery. That was such a nice surprise.
So, what is Math-U-See?
Math-U-See is a complete math curriculum with levels spanning all grade levels from Kindergarten through high school.
The program uses a multi-sensory approach to teaching with DVD’s, hands-on blocks, a teacher textbook, and worksheet pages.
Math-U-See is a mastery-based math program to help a student understand a concept and then demonstrate mastery of that concept by teaching it back.
The levels in the program do not correspond to grade levels and can be completed at the pace determined by a student’s understanding of the math concepts.
How did we use it?
I spent some time watching several of the DVD lessons before starting to teach them to Curly. I knew I needed a math brush-up. My husband heard all the math on the TV and he joined me. This became our nightly ritual. We watched the math DVD on the couch together. Steve Demme cracked us up!
After watching the DVD many times on my own, I would watch it with Curly (usually more than once). Then I would teach her through the first practice page as we worked together. The extra practice was good for both of us so we were sure to cement a concept.
That left two additional practice pages for Curly to work on her own.
After that she would do one or two of the review pages and the enrichment page with word problems. Sometimes I had her sit with me as she worked the review pages and explain each problem as she went so she could teach it back to me and I could verify how well she understood the concept.
I saved a few of the systematic review pages to sprinkle throughout the later weeks whenever I felt that we needed more review.
Once we were done with most of the worksheet pages, I had Curly take the test so I could assess her understanding of the concepts.
What did we think?
I was initially concerned about the mastery method for math. Curly is not very math-minded (and neither am I) and I know that we both need quite a bit of repetition for the math concepts to be remembered. Therefore, I had initially avoided programs that taught math for mastery because I was worried about a lack of review.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to see the number of systematic review pages that are included in this program now. (I don’t think these were included in the original editions). These pages are incredibly helpful in our house!
I find the DVD’s to be invaluable in teaching the lessons. Steve Demme explains the complicated concepts of decimals and place value much better than I could. And yes, the blocks really do help to visualize the math.
When Steve Demme showed the 3-blocks made into a square with 3 up the side and 3 across the top, demonstrating that this represented “3 squared” with a total of 9 blocks making up the square my mind was blown. When you take a number and square it, it makes a square, an actual shape of a square. I always wondered why you “squared” a number. So, let’s just say that I “saw” a lot of math concepts explained that I had never before understood. Win!
My final thoughts….
After playing around with this level of Math-U-See, I can say that I’ve been very pleasantly surprised with the teaching and with the new additions of extra practice pages and more word problems. The DVD’s are enjoyable to watch and we find ourselves laughing along with Steve Demme as he teaches math concepts.
I have liked this program with the new changes so much that I’m trying to figure out how we can add it into our homeschool day. And now I want the other levels too……..