It is no secret that we love Math U See over here. In fact, this is the math we have used since the day we started in 2011. I remember watching the videos with my son and being blown away by the approach. Math can be incredibly complicated and frustrating for some kids, but a lot of that can be a direct result of the way it is taught. All I could think as I watched these lessons with my eager little kindergartener was, “I wish I had been taught this way!”
Friends, when you find something that works with all your children, you don’t stray from that. It’s kind of like the idea of waking up a sleeping baby, it’s just not done–you don’t mess with a good thing! And right now, we have a good thing going with Math U See! It is working for my auditory learner, my kinesthetic learner AND my visual learner. So needless to say, it was no surprise when we released our curriculum reveal post that we were once again using Math U See.
Math U See Delta: How it Works
For people who are unfamiliar with Math U See, I wanted to break down the way a typical lesson is laid out. When you purchase the Universal Set, you receive the Instruction Manual, Instructional DVD, Student Workbook, Tests Booklet, the Integer Block Kit (these are the hands-on-blocks that make Math U See so hands-on), as well as 12 months access to the new Digital Pack. The digital pack is kind of like a bonus as you have all of the information that is on it already in print form, however you also have access to it online, no matter where you are. Because I don’t have a built-in CD drive on my Mac, it is a pain in the butt to load everyone’s DVD’s each time they are on a new lesson. With the digital pack, I just log in to my account and can choose my level and lesson where they can watch their video instruction with just a few clicks of a button. I created a bookmark on their iPads where they can click and login quickly and easily, I also taught my older children how to access this for themselves so that they can literally be pretty much independent in their math, a HUGE win for me right now!
Once they have watched their video lesson, there are 6 “lessons” throughout the week, depending on how you break those up. For example in lesson 1, they would watch the instructional DVD lesson, then do 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, and 1F. Then they would be on 2A and it would be time to watch a new DVD lesson. We are really inconsistent with doing school over here. So for us, we do 2 components each day that we do school, which means we can get a lesson of math done in just 3 days throughout the week. Each section of a lesson is only 2 pages, so if you do it 5 days a week it is an easy pace and not too overwhelming. If, like me, you prefer to get it over with so that you can go out adventuring together, then you might do 4 pages/3 days a week instead. Either way it is a very doable pace and because it is so hands on and fun, my kids never really mind doing their math.
What sets Math U See apart?
What makes this different from so many of the other math curriculums out there is that it is not based on grade level. Instead, it is based on concept mastery. So with Delta, we are focusing on division, yes for the entire year! Not only will your child learn how to divide, but they will learn about remainders, fraction notation in light of division, understanding division as solving for an unknown factor, and more! They will understand division as the inversion of multiplication, which they already mastered in the last year of Math U See (Beta). Each level of Math U See builds upon the one before it and is taught in light of that. So when you first learn addition, now subtraction is easy because you are not taking away, you are saying “what is missing in this addition problem?” Once you understand the Math U See philosophy, math becomes SO much easier!
What is learned in Math U See Delta?
Other than the main focus of division, your children will learn additional concepts as well, including:
- Reading and writing Roman numerals
- Dividing, multiplying, adding, and subtracting U.S. currency and standard units of measure
- Understanding angle measure and geometric shapes including points, segments, rays, and lines
- Classifying shapes based on defining attributes
- Understanding and computing area and volume
When you haven’t started with Math U See, it can be difficult to decide where to place your child as most math programs touch on many concepts but master none. This is why Demme Learning created an easy placement assessment for their levels. You can take the Math U See Delta placement assessment HERE.
Why we are Math U See Lifers
There are no bright pictures, no color at all in Math U See in fact, but my kids LOVE it. I tried one year switching to a Beka, it is what I grew up on and I felt slightly nostalgic about it. I loved the bright colours and pictures in a Beka and thought my kids would as well. And yet not one of them preferred it over Math U See. They all begged to go back to their teacher that they loved (the videos are really well done, fun to watch) and the problems that they understood. Their confidence has grown so much and if we are struggling we just go back and repeat a year to make sure we truly have mastered that concept before we move forward. The multi-sensory approach of this curriculum means that you really can use this for all your children. The blocks are my kinesthetic learners best friend, the videos completely enamour my visual and auditory learners, and the questions are easy to understand and not too overwhelming.
My son is going into grade 4, which I guess if you put a grade level on this program, that would be around where I would start. However, it could also work for grade 5 or 6 or even a grade 3. This is the great thing about Math U See, you aren’t limited to grade levels, your kids don’t have to feel like they are behind in math. You just work at their level, whatever level that may be for them. So if your child is still struggling with addition and you just keep going back to the same struggles every time, you need to start with Alpha! If your child is completely lost with subtraction, Beta is the one for you! It is easy in that light to find the curriculum that will work best for your child, and with the new digital packs, it is easier than ever to do math wherever you may be!
If you are looking for a quality math program that takes the pressure off you for teaching, that will help your kids grow in confidence, that will work with all learning styles, and that is in-depth and yet fun… this is it! I haven’t come across anyone yet who Math U See didn’t work for once they gave it a shot! It will be worth your time to go and take the placement test and see some of the program samples to see what you think.