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Thread: Math-U-See vs Saxon

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    Senior Member Enlightened MrsJadeDragon's Avatar
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    Default Math-U-See vs Saxon

    I was originally considering Saxon for my kindergartener but am wondering now (perhaps too late?) about Math-u-See. She is a very visual, hands on type learner and from the name, MUS sounds like it may be good but would love some input from folks that may have used either. (I really should have done this research earlier since I need to put in my curriculum order TOMORROW but oh well...)
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    Senior Member Evolved sdvelochick's Avatar
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    I tried Saxon with my son and HATED it. I think some people love it, some hate it. That being said, we were starting it in 2nd grade not K. As far as Math u see goes, I have heard it's very basic and sticks to one thing opposed to teaching a little bit of everything. We jumped around in math stuff for a while and settled on Singapore math and loved it.

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    Senior Member Arrived MrsLOLcat's Avatar
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    MUS is mastery-based, meaning that you spend an entire book working mostly on a single concept - Alpha is single-digit addition and subtraction, Beta is multiple-digit addition/subraction, Gamma is multiplication, etc. There are review problems on the review sheets with each lesson, but you don't go back and re-cover each topic when it's reviewed. You simply review it and move on. My DS loves it and refuses to even consider another math program, and DD started using it after she had a horrible time with Math Mammoth, and while I think it's not the program best suited to her, she's content, so I'm not arguing.

    Saxon is what my daughter used when she was at her private elementary school, and she liked it and was learning, so I looked into it when I first brought her home. The elementary Saxon homeschool curricula made me want to vomit. If you have multiple children or have a serious math focus, it's good. For anyone else, fugettaboudit. Basically what they did was take the school stuff and repackage it for homeschool. So you're still supposed to do calendar/meeting time and a page of work early in the day and THEN do another page later in the day (that second page is the 'homework' page for PS kids). Ridiculous, IMHO. It is, however, spiral-based, so it touches on a topic lightly and then comes back to it again later, so there's more variety in the pages. That was largely why I wanted to keep using it with DD, but the actual workings made me change my mind. If you want spiral-based math for elementary, I believe there are better options...
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    Senior Member Evolved Staysee34's Avatar
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    Our first year homeschooling, we used MUS and the girls loved it. Year 2, I decided it wasn't enough and went rogue finding a scope and sequence and making my own program. It was okay but somewhat disjointed. This year, we are back to MUS and the girls are once again excited about math. The newer versions of MUS do have a bit more content beyond the mastery skill being taught. However, we still supplement just to lessen my anxieties. This year, we're doing Charlotte Mason's Your Business Math. The girls are loving it and learning a ton!
    3rd year homeschooling mom to Julia (12) and Sarah (10).

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    Senior Member Arrived farrarwilliams's Avatar
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    None of the above?

    Sorry, my least favorite of the programs I know something about. But I know they both work for some people. Before diving into the MUS world, be sure you know what you're getting into in terms of the scope and sequence. It's really different from other programs and so it's a little harder to switch into and out of than most.
    sdvelochick likes this.
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

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    Senior Member Evolved JenRay's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with either program (although I did consider Math-U-See at one point). Just wanted to make sure you had considered RightStart if you have a visual and hands-on learner. I could not be happier with the math learning going on here - DD has a strong conceptual understanding that goes far beyond the specific things studied so far.
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    JenRay
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    Senior Member Arrived farrarwilliams's Avatar
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    Yes, I second looking at Right Start - and Miquon! - for a visual, hands on learner.
    jess97 and sdvelochick like this.
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

    But if I don't annoy you, feel free to visit my blog:
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    We use Saxon Math. My twin boys used Saxon 1 last year and just now moved onto Saxon 2. My daughter is about half way through Saxon K. Saxon K has been excellent for my daughter. Her math lessons are short and typically centered around some type of manipulatives. She loves it! I love that the lessons are short and to the point....exactly what a K student needs (10-15 min per lesson). With Saxon 1 I found myself feeling a bit overwhelmed with it at times, but I quickly learned that I don't have to follow the scripted lesson plans to the T. I can omit things that my boys have mastered and that has made it work well for us. All 3 of my kids are doing very well with Saxon Math!
    Susan

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    Junior Member Newbie BeccaJ143's Avatar
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    I first tried Math Mammoth, but something just didn't sit right with me about that, plus it's worksheet overload.

    I kept hearing about Math-U-See so I tried it and quickly got rid of it. Its so basic it makes be cringe everytime I here about someone using it. Plus I find the videos annoying to have to watch since it is explained in the teaching manual (elementary math isn't rocket science for godness sake!) My kids express interest in being doctors and scientist when the grow up and I just don't think they will be able to do advanced math if I keep using MUS.

    So I switched to Saxon and LOVE LOVE LOVE it! The lessons are short but right to the point and you DON'T have to do the calendar/meeting book stuff. The workbook has two pages to complete, one "in class" and one for homework. I do the homework one the next day before our new lesson to make sure my kids remember what was taught the previous day. The kindergarten book is simple enough to start with a 4yo, the 1st grade book for a kindergartener, and so on, so your kids will always be one step ahead of their peers!

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    Senior Member Arrived MrsLOLcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeccaJ143 View Post
    My kids express interest in being doctors and scientist when the grow up and I just don't think they will be able to do advanced math if I keep using MUS.
    My son also wants to be a scientist, and I certainly don't feel that he's behind by using MUS. He's 10 and will start pre-algebra later this year. I think each family has to find their own way. What works for me won't work for others and vice versa.
    Last edited by MrsLOLcat; 08-15-2013 at 11:38 AM. Reason: clarifying to avoid conflict
    ---
    Sarah B., Oklahoma

    "By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

    Blog: Our Sunnyview

    Less-than-Zenlike mother of:
    M1 - The Boy, age 11, home since 2009 - loves science, swimming, and folk music
    M2 - The Girl, age 9, home since 2012 - loves anatomy, the arts, and her violin

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