Help me decide: Math-U-See vs. Singapore Math vs. Miquon - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 02-07-2006, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
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My ds will be 4 in March - we're looking for a math cirriculum. He loves doing worksheets and would probably do well with manipulatives. I would like a program that also involves other things like learning to tell time and coins/money. What are the primary differences between these math cirriculums?? Thanks!
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#2 of 9 Old 02-07-2006, 11:53 PM
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We're using Miquon and dd absolutely adores it. It doesn't cover money (does cover time), but it's been fairly easy to supplement that just through RL stuff.

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#3 of 9 Old 02-08-2006, 12:15 AM
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My friend tried Singapore before she tried Math-U-See. She said SM didn't work for her ds at all, and MUS did. Based on her recommendation I bought MUS and my dd absolutely loves it. It does teach coins, telling time, etc. It's not colorful and fun like many books. No cartoon pictures. But that's what my dd needs- just pure and simple lessons.

MUS comes with blocks that help. My dd uses a simple abacus in addition to the blocks for some of the work. It comes with a DVD that she loves to watch, that has the lessons on it, and then the workbook has 6 practice pages for each lesson and then a test booklet.

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#4 of 9 Old 02-08-2006, 01:33 AM
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You might want to also consider Patterns in Arithmetic at some point - their program starts at 1st grade level: Patterns. Their aim is to get children to be able to think like mathematicians. Lillian
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#5 of 9 Old 02-08-2006, 11:06 AM
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We started out with Miquon and Singapore, and finally switeched to MUS after math just got to be TOO math is DS's favorite. The blocks are FAB!!! you can actually see the is does cover money, measurements, coins, etc...starting in the "first grade" book...that is something else i is labeled with the greek alphabet so my unschooled kids don't compare that level to a ps grade levela nd don't feel superior or behind..they are just on alpha or beta or gamma.

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#6 of 9 Old 02-08-2006, 03:02 PM
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I've never used MUS, so I can't comment on that. However, we've used both Singapore and Miquon. The first thing you should know is that Miquon starts at a 1st grade level. However Singapore has the earlybird books which are intended for PreK and K levels. So far I've had 2 of my children use the Singapore Earlybird books, and they have worked well for them. I plan to use them with my other kids when they are ready for them. Singapore books don't come with manipulatives, but they do include suggestions for activities to accompany each lesson.

Many people choose to use both Miquon and Singapore during the elementary years, to give a more rounded education. Singapore is known for having very good story problems, but doesn't provide enough practice for some students. Miquon is a 'math lab' in which kids use cuisinaire rods to figure out the answers. Another unique feature of Miquon is that it introduces + - x / all in the first book. So kids learn how to do all 4 operations at the very beginning.

My oldest child just started with the Miquon Orange book, so we don't have too much experience with it yet. But so far it seems to be working well. I've found that Singapore and Miquon seem to compliment each other quite well.

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#7 of 9 Old 02-08-2006, 07:17 PM
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We've done basically what Ann mentioned (combined Singapore with Miquon) and since we're a few years further down the road, I just wanted to say that it's a combination that we've been very happy with. Basically we started with Miquon at age 6 or so (though one or two of my kids used the Singapore EB books prior to that for 'math play' like their older sibling(s)), began overlapping with Singapore by the time they got into the 2nd-grade level stuff, and then moved over to Singapore completely by the 3rd-grade level. I've got one kid in Singapore's secondary program, one in Singapore 3 and one in Singapore 4 and they've all got terrific math skills.

The combination of a great manipulative-based foundation in numbers and operations thanks to Miquon and clear, logical, creative and challenging work on mathematical thinking and computational algorithms in Singapore has worked very well for us. Both programs all lend themselves well to being worked through in leaps and spurts by bright, math-intuitive children.

Edited to add that 'turning four in March' is much younger than I would choose to start a math curriculum, and certainly it wouldn't work with Miquon unless you have a very unique child. One of my kids did, at her insistence, start Miquon at 4.5, but she was already fairly capable with basic addition, subtraction and multiplication. Even so, she moved quite slowly compared to my other kids who started at 6.


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#8 of 9 Old 02-08-2006, 09:40 PM
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I've only used Singapore but I did look into the others. The reason i went with Singapore is I want to use manipulatives with everyday things I have around the house. Not specific to any particular book. From what I read about MUS, they have specific things to go with their program. I am not organized enough to keep track of things like that. I would lose soemthing. However, I always have lima beans and craft sticks. That's my fault though, not the fault of MUS.
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#9 of 9 Old 02-08-2006, 09:48 PM
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Have you visited the math curriculum sticky? I think that all three of these programs have been discussed there, at the pre-k/k/1 level and beyond.

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