We have used Mathematical Reasoning a lot before. In addition to Math-U-See Alpha we use Mathematical Reasoning B. I did tear out all the pages and put it in a binder (2 inch) with Mathematical Reasoning A. Then we use a sheet protector so that we can reuse the pages as much as we like. Like with the other Mathematical Reasonings I really like that it is in color. This book starts with jumping right into addition and counting money. So if your child doesn’t know how to add then I would suggest getting Mathematical Reasoning A or Math-U-See Primer. There is skip counting early on in this workbook as well as halves and patterns.
There are questions like “one and ___ equals four.” And then your child has to figure out the answer. For this particular type of question I prefer Math-U-See. It sets up the questions as an actual math and then you solve for x instead of filling in the blanks. Mathematical Reasoning does have a plus that Math-U-See does not and that is that they work on how to write the numbers. It also has working on a number line which Math-U-See does not. Something that is pretty fun is the mind benders. They give you clues or a ratio and then your child has to pick which answer best fits. I like these because then in addition to solving the problem they are using those critical thinking skills.
There are some pretty neat problems. For instance they will solve a bunch of addition/subtraction problems then do a connect the dots but the dots all correlate to the addition/subtraction problems they did on the previous page. There are also questions like what does not belong and you can extend the question by asking your child “why?” A great thing is that it has word problems so your child will get some practice with that. I do prefer Math-U-See on this one because some of the word problems your child will need to do two equations and Math-U-See has moreover those to practice on. The questions on time are neat though because they ask if the time is appropriate for the picture given.
Some pages in this book I find to be just busy work. They show a picture and then the child has to make the picture next to it match. There are pages that work on tallies. First, the child will count the tallies and write down what number they represent. Then, they will write both the tallies and the number answer to the problem. Closer to the end of the workbook they have more subtraction work. Since Mathematical Reasoning is a spiral type of workbook it will spiral back to things that were already taught.
Something Mathematical Reasoning does have that I do not believe is in the Math-U-See we have done is length. We do get some practice with length by using Mathematical Reasoning and Osmo (dragon). Towards the back of the book there is more work with fractions. There is also work on number families but what I find that is really cool is that there is expanded notation work. I would recommend this math book if your child needs extra work but we have come to like Math-U-See better. Of course it does depend on each child and how they learn best.