We used Math-U-See Primer last year and I found it to be a really great curriculum so we continued this year with Math-U-See Alpha. Math-U-See is a mastery based curriculum so once you’re child has mastered the concept then you move on. The blocks really do help because children get both the visual and auditory lessons. Sometimes the book does have problems from a previous lesson. If your child does need extra work on a certain concept then I suggest that you go to the Math-U-See website. They have worksheets you can print out for your child to practice with.
I do prefer workbooks that are in bright colors but these pages are in black and while. Even though the workbook is not in color they do suggest that you have the student color the squares the same color as the blocks provided which I have found to be very useful with memorization. You do not have a color the squares though if you do not want, too. The workbook has 5 to 6 pages for each lesson. Page 6 is pretty easy with not a lot of work on them. Some chose to move on once the child has mastered the concept even if they haven’t done all the pages but we use all the pages provided. A huge plus for me is the test booklet. I like to make sure that our daughter really knows the material so we do use the test for each chapter. There are also unit tests and a final.
The teacher manual is very helpful. It has everything you need to know in order to use the curriculum to its’ fullest. It has examples you can do to show your student how to work the problems. I do wish that teacher manual was in color but what are you gonna do. There is also a DVD. I find it very useful. You can watch it with your child to further help them understand what they should be doing. Our daughter does find math to be very boring but the DVD and the blocks help make it fun. I have also implemented other items to make math more enjoyable for our daughter.
Since we school year round I like to make each item last as long as it can. We end up only doing 1 sheet (front and back) each day. Math-U-See Alpha deals with a lot of concepts but it is broken down in such a nice way that it isn’t overwhelming for the student. What was surprising for me was that they introduced solving for the unknown which I thought was more for higher level math classes. It was when I was in school anyway. I did recently have a chance to speak with someone who works for public schools. He said that they have started doing solving for the unknown earlier and complimented me on choosing such a wonderful curriculum; which is all thanks to Timberdoodle’s amazing kits.
I intend to stick with Math-U-See because it has really worked for us. Our daughter is 5 and doing the Aloha level this year. She has gotten such a great foundation for math which makes me very happy. A lot of times she hasn’t even needed to use the blocks because she has memorized the math facts and it is all from using this curriculum. If you are in the market for a math curriculum or extra help for your child I highly suggest Math-U-See.