The Curriculum Choice

April 20, 2009

Math-U-See Review

Filed under: Curriculum choices, math, Written by Brenda — Brenda @ 1:38 am

Math-U-See

Math-U-See is a mastery based math program.  This means that it teaches math concepts to mastery.  This is very different from the spiral approach, which spirals through math concepts adding harder equations as the years progress.  (Saxon would be a good example of a spiral approach).  Understanding the difference between the two approaches can be key to picking the right math curriculum for your student.

The great thing about MUS is that each book teaches one math concept from beginning to end, meaning that in the addition book, Alpha, your student will be adding multiple rows and learning place value extensively.  Next, Beta teaches subtraction.  Gamma is multiplication.  Delta teaches division, then Epsilon covers fractions and Epsilon decimals.  As the years progress they do cover previously learned concepts.

Division requires a student to be able to multiply and subtract, so why teach division until the student masters the previous concepts?  That’s something I never understood about traditional textbooks.

Other things I like about MUS:

  • DVD lessons for you to watch or student
  • enough practice per lesson to master the concept yet not overwhelm the child
  • review pages for previously learned concepts
  • great price
  • time, money, measurement, geometry are woven into the lessons
  • word problems on every worksheet

I’ve used MUS from Primer – Zeta and have never thought twice about switching because of content.  I think MUS is a wonderful math curriculum and my children have liked it also. Please visit the site for more information on placement.

Written by Brenda

The Curriculum Choice

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April 17, 2009

Math resource review: Beyond Numbers

Filed under: Biblical Principle Approach, math, Written by Anna-Marie — principledmom @ 11:44 am

Beyond Numbers book

Beyond Numbers: A Practical Guide to Teaching Math Biblically

by Katherine Loop is the most helpful introduction to teaching math with Biblical principles that I have come across. She packs a lot of food for thought into less than 100 pages, and as a busy mom I appreciate that I can read it in one night. Chapters include “Where Did Math Come From and Why Does it Work?,” Math is Not Neutral,” and “Teaching Math Biblically.” It is a concise synopsis of math’s origin, exactly how to discover principles and how to teach them to your children of all ages. She also offers  curriculum suggestions, supplement resources, and help to overcome challenges (which we all have with some child at some time).

BPA requires you to internalize the principles and ideas in order to teach them to your children and she does a good job of helping you do that. If you have a hard time with math yourself or if you struggle to get your children when math lessons come around, this book will bring the subject alive for you. As she states in the chapter “Adopting a New Heart Toward Math, “…I would encourage you to do more than just add Bible verses to your curriculum. Let God change your heart toward math….As you begin to see and use math Biblically yourself,you will be able to teach math Biblically to your children so that they too, can behold God in math.”

For more info on this book visit Christian Perspective. They offer many mathematical resources.

written by Anna-Marie

The Curriculum Choice

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