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School Week: Math

Have I mentioned how much I love Math-U-See? I'm sure I have. We've been using it for 4-5 years now, and are still going strong. My girls (just like their mom) are not strong in math, and it has been amazing for all of us.

So here's how we use it:

Math U See is broken down into lessons that could typically last about a week. There is a DVD that accompanies each book. For instance, in Gamma (the multiplication book), a child will watch the DVD lesson 13, which introduces the SIXES (skip counting and multiplying by 6). There are 3 workbook pages and 4 review pages, and one test for each lesson.

I generally watch each DVD lesson with my students so I can be familiar and refreshed on the concept they are learning.

I then require them to do the first workbook page. If they seem to have the concept mastered right off, I let them take the test. If they ace the test, I let them go on to the next lesson. If they seem to be struggling the least bit, I require them to do all the workbook pages.

If they are breezing through a concept, I see no need to require endless pencil work. They love this reward, so they are more motivated to really learn a concept.

The Math-U-See website has some great extra resources that I have taken advantage of in the past: online drill and worksheet generator. If my students need extra practice with addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division, both of these resources give them that practice.

This year, I have added Life of Fred for my oldest daughter for extra fun. : ) She actually enjoys it, and will remind me that she hasn't "done her Fred book yet." The great thing about these books is that there is one that corresponds to each Math-U-See book, almost like they were designed for each other. Some of the concepts are taught differently, but I think it's a good thing. Fred is a story-type math book, with lots of humor.

I know families and students are as different as the math books out there, and that Math-U-See isn't for everyone, but if you are struggling with an unhappy math student, give it a try. They have wonderful customer service, placement tests online, and an easy-to-teach math system for preschool to high school.

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