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Math-U-See vs. Teaching Textbooks?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Anyone able to compare the two?  Both right now are on the table for my non-mathy 2nd grader to do since I have to change programs anyway (Miquon just isn't quite the fit I was hoping it would be for her, although its working rather well) so far.

post #2 of 10

In scope and sequence, Math U See is far more thorough. I have not used either but have reviewed both quite thoroughly on that end. I like how Teaching Texbooks presents the lessons. I actually like how both present the lessons, but I hear a lot of complaints in the lower levels (Alpha and Beta) that kids will get bored with it. I think kids that young get bored easily anyway. Plus, Teaching Textbooks does not even have those levels so no need to compare them.

 

I would recommend Math U See over Teaching Textbooks, but both are nice programs. 

post #3 of 10

Teaching Textbooks doesn't even start until grade 3.  

 

However, one of the potential issues of TT is that many folks find the grade levels to be "easy" -- not the same S&S as other math programs.  This isn't a PROBLEM, you still cover everything eventually, you just have to make sure you get the right level... and it's great for a struggling kid who gets to feel for awhile like they're truly working "at grade level" ;)

 

We used TT grade 6, when DS was "in" grade 5.  It was the FIRST math program we'd tried (and we tried a lot) that didn't end up in tears, that he actually enjoyed.  He did great with it -- average of 91% at the end of the year.

 

However, he didn't have good retention from it.  Certain kids will breeze through it -- the computer-based format allows for a certain amount of... well, more than educated guessing, but you can still get away without having full comprehension.

 

So we had not yet "finished" grade 6 math at all, or even grade 5... Our next step was to go to RightStart, level E (which is about a grade 4-5 level)... that finally cemented things for him, let him truly understand, AND he enjoyed it too.

 

I still credit TT with breaking through his math phobia.  It's a very well-presented and fun program.  And we're back to it now -- he's "in" grade 7 and using the TT Pre-Algebra course, and we're finding it very thorough and well-done -- but he's not even touching the computer part!  His choice.  Weird.  We're also continuing with RightStart Intermediate Geometry.

 

Anyway... we haven't used MUS, so I can't compare unfortunately.  We're using RightStart from the beginning with my daughter now and we're happy with it... I'm still curious about MUS since I hear such good things about it but unless some problem comes up, we ain't planning to switch.  ;)

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Do you think I'd be able to put her in TT3?  She just missed the placement by 2 points on the second part of the test, and she seems to do well with computer-based stuff that we've done so far.  But my 5yo dd is doing MUS Primer, and dd1 (the second grader) is joining in on some of it too.  We were planning on doing MUS Alpha with her because of how dd3 is doing with Primer, and based on how my cousin did with MUS (he and dd1 are identical in learning quirks, so she definitely got it from my side of the family even if I'm not like this) up through algebra.  But then I read about how there is soooo much review at the start of each level on another forum site, and that got me reconsidering TT3 for her.  My 5yo will be in Alpha by fall anyway since she's a mathy kind of kid, so would it be overkill do you think for me to have dd1 do TT3 and some MUS to cement her facts at the same time?

post #5 of 10

You can certainly give it a try.  Worst case scenario, it's too hard too soon and so you put it away for a few months (take a break from math completely) and try again later after her brain has developed a bit more.  (IMO and experience, 95% of math learning comes entirely from brain development and not from instruction or practice)

 

I would just say to her from the outset "I got this math course for you but I'm not sure if it's the right level for you or not.  I'd like for you to give it a try, maybe for a month or two, then we can figure out if it's too hard, or too easy, or just right."

 

That way she doesn't feel like she's failing if it's too hard.  She knows it's just an experiment.  I've done this many times with my VERY over-sensitive and prone to feelings of failure son, and he's always been fine with it.  "Nope, this one's too hard, let's find something else."

 

(In fact, after we had finished TT6 we went straight to TT Pre-Algebra, skipping grade 7, which he was fine with -- the first few chapters were okay but then he was getting lost, confused, and bored, so we set it aside.  Almost 2 years later we started it again -- found that about the first 30 lessons were unnecessary, he'd learned that stuff well in the meantime, and now he's progressing through just fine... no lingering trauma from having abandoned it earlier.  ;)  )

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

See we pretty much did that this year with math for Missa.  Once we dropped k12 in October, I just put a Miquon book (she's doing orange) in her box with the rods and let her at it.  She fiddles with it a couple times a week or whenever she's interested (this past week she didn't touch it at all, but spent a lot of time reading and doing some educational games and dvd's on the computer) and if she needs a hand she'll bring it to me and we work together on it.  I've just kind of let her dictate how to do things right now, because she's having a really hard time in math with her LDs.  I know that she wants more though, something that she can do mostly on her own with little help from me.  MUS appeals to us because she can watch the dvd lesson over and over, but TT appeals because she's so technology-savvy already (kid taught me how to program our DVR to record when we activated that service last year) and it appears to be slow and thorough so it may work well for her.

 

I could probably easily get her to try it by saying that I'm not sure if it'll be too hard or easy for her, and that I'd like her to at least try it.  I did notice that in the list for TT3 on what it covers, some of the new stuff we did do already and some we didn't, just like with her barely missing the mark to place into TT3.  I think I will give it a shot, and if it doesn't work out then I'll just buy her a student pack for Alpha plus the full set for Beta in MUS (since her 5yo sister and 3yo sister are doing that program, or will be as the youngest is ready for instruction).

post #7 of 10

My 2nd grader is doing wonderfully with MUS and she has had quite a time with math.  It doesn't come naturally, but she's finally starting to love it!  Alpha is all basic addition and subtraction facts.  If she already knows those (up through 10+10 and 18-9), she'd probably be fine to start with Beta.  Beta is a lot more fun than Alpha.  There is a ton of review and repetition (which has been great for my dd!), but if I find that she is really getting it and a bit bored with it, then we skip some of the review sections or one of the lesson sections (3 days of new lesson, 3 days of review, we often do 2 days of work in one day and skip a few pages now, so we're flying through the lessons, but it didn't used to be that way.)  I've not compared it at all to TT though.  But I can give a glowing review of MUS for my math challenged child!

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scheelimama View Post

My 2nd grader is doing wonderfully with MUS and she has had quite a time with math.  It doesn't come naturally, but she's finally starting to love it!  Alpha is all basic addition and subtraction facts.  If she already knows those (up through 10+10 and 18-9), she'd probably be fine to start with Beta.  Beta is a lot more fun than Alpha.  There is a ton of review and repetition (which has been great for my dd!), but if I find that she is really getting it and a bit bored with it, then we skip some of the review sections or one of the lesson sections (3 days of new lesson, 3 days of review, we often do 2 days of work in one day and skip a few pages now, so we're flying through the lessons, but it didn't used to be that way.)  I've not compared it at all to TT though.  But I can give a glowing review of MUS for my math challenged child!


Yeah, one of dd1's LDs involves her ability to memorize facts.  She understands how to do the work, but depends heavily on her nose tapping up and down to get the answer.  She's doing bits of the work in Primer now (I'm copying pages here and there for her and she watches the DVD lesson for it then does it herself pretty much) and is having the hardest  time with memorizing the basic facts (I'd like her to memorize them before moving to Beta if possible).  If we go MUS for her, I plan to buy Alpha and Beta both for her to do at her pace, so she can work however fast she wants/needs to.  In fact, I'm placing her math order this week I think and dh said give MUS a try first since we already have another child who really is doing well at 5yo (in pre-k at home) in Primer, then if it doesn't work we can try TT.  He wants me to try and get all the kids into one math program if possible because we team teach math (he does lessons with them 2 days a week and I do the other 3).
 

 

post #9 of 10

Hm -- I don't know if you're interested in adding another curriculum to your consideration, but if memorization is a difficulty for her and she relies on counting on (which is what I assume you mean by nose going up and down heehee) -- you might look into RightStart.  It's NOT about memorization, not in the first several levels anyway... it IS about understanding, and about strategies that don't just involve counting on and on.

 

For instance, everything breaks down into "5 and" something.  8 is 5 and 3, 7 is 5 and 2, up to 10 is 5 and 5.  They do have to memorize that much, but my 3yo daughter had this nailed within a couple weeks.  There's a song to help, and the abacus (which is divided in 5's by colour) assists with visualization.

 

Then they'll learn strategies like, to add 5 and 6, you remember that 6 is 5 and 1... so you have 5, and 5 and 1... and 5 and 5 is 10... so you have 11.  It makes mental math easy, without having to physically count 6 more after 5, and without needing to completely memorize right away either.

 

They also are allowed to use the abacus for support as long as they need it.  If you understand the concept of addition, memorization is only essential for eventual speed of more complex calculations.  There's no need to delay a student's progress just because they don't have things memorized yet -- as long as they have efficient strategies for figuring out the answers in the meantime.

 

Anyway, RightStart is what we used with my son after TeachingTextbooks 6 (RS level E) and it's what I'm using with my daughter from the beginning, now that I know about it.  :)  Just thought I'd throw the suggestion out there!  

post #10 of 10

I am actually going to take my dd out of public school at the end of this 3rd grade year when we move.  Im trying to figure out what math program to use.  I had originally thought MathUSee, then TT, and now Im wondering if I should start with Right Start b/c of how you explained it!!  She is a deficiency in her short term memory skills and is having a terrible time memorizing her multiplication.  She still counts addition/sub. on her fingers, and cannot seem to retain any facts she does learn.  Anyhow, this is the only subject she struggles with.  I was thinking of starting out with Sonlight curriculum.  I know they also offer TT, but wasn't sure if that's the correct route to take.  

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