Topic | I can't for the life of me pick a Math curriculum….help!

This topic contains 40 replies, has 26 voices, and was last updated by  Britney 5 years, 4 months ago.

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  • Britney

    My daughter has been using Abeka math since the beginning, she is almost 10. My son just started it, he is almost 6. I have been homeschooling using CM’s philosophies for 2 years now. We HATE ABeka math but because it’s all we’ve used I haven’t been able to kick it. Any ideas?

    We have looked at Teaching Textbooks but it is sooooo expensive. They would love something more hands-on but I would love something that my daughter can do without me some of the time. I am trying to get her doing some of her work independently. My son is just starting so I could change his without many issues but my daughter has been using Abeka for 4 1/2 years now. Everytime I look at new curriculum I see that they teach some things alot different than the way she learned them. I don’t want to confuse her but we need a change. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks!



    I don’t know how Abeka teaches, but we love Math-U-See. We’ve changed most things in our school, except this!  I like it because:

    1) Steve Demme teaches the new concept for me (we watch the short video for ea. new lesson together…about once a week). He’s a good teacher and entertaining.

    2) My kids are mostly independent.  I help them w/the first probblems of the new lesson, but then they pretty much do it on their own (we’re only getting ready to do Pre-Algebra…haven’t hit higher levels yet!)

    3) Lessons are not drawn-out, so very doable/not stressful to get a book done a year.

    Just my .02:)  Blessings, Gina

    P.S.  You can also sometimes find used items on the MUS Yahoo Group. So between that and saviing the dvd’s/teachers manuals it’s really not too pricey.


    Math U See for us too!  I like the idea of the teaching textbooks too, but can’t spend that.  I have also posted before that I use overhead sheets and dry erase markers so I don’t have to buy the MUS student workbooks/test books each year, so once I buy a level that’s the only cost for all my kiddos.  There are a lost of previous posts about different math curriculums, have you tried typing in math in the forum search box?  I know Math U See vs. Rightstart was discussed recently. 

    Also, before I started homeschooling, I read Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 Homeschool Picks (or something like that) and it was so helpful for me as far as explaining the different styles/prep time/manipulatives/CM methods, etc.  That’s how I decided on Math U See and didn’t have to buy others to try first.

    Do you have any friends that homeschool?  You could look at their curriculum and see if you like it.

    Hope you find what fits your family!


    The nice thing about Teaching Textbooks is that the company is very good about the product being resold. They will even issue additional licenses to a buyer if the previous owner has already used it for 2 students.


    I have tried several programs, and just recently bought the entire RightStart elementary program.  I know that it is a great way to teach math, and I like the looks of it.  However, it requires a lot of teacher time for me, and with 4 kids in 4 different levels, that adds up to a lot of time.  We also have tried Saxon, Math Mammoth, and Abeka.  We struggle with this a bit, obviously.  

    At this point, I think that I want to use Math-U-See because their program goes all the way through high school so I don’t have to re-teach any skills, is college level acceptable and I am tired to trying to teach math several different ways using several different programs.  I have to admit that I really like the idea of the dvd lessons as well.  I need my olders to be more independent in more things so I can spend time with the littles like they need.

    I showed the lessons and did the placement tests with my 5th and 4th grader.  They choose Math-U-See because it is already a familiar set-up to them so they are more comfortable with it.  I will supplement the RightStart Games for a fun reinforcement of facts.


    I just wanted to put in another good word for MUS. We changed over a few months ago from another math curriculum and it is working well for us. It has the hands-on component because of the blocks. I usually find that I only need to work directly with my dd the first or 2nd day that we begin a new concept, and after that she can complete the rest on her own. I also like that it is structured such that you can take more or less time to cover each topic depending on what the student needs.



    My oldest uses TT7. I would recommend that you look for it used, if you are interested in using it. The CDs are really the only thing you need (not the books, teacher’s guide, etc.). Check homeschool swap sites or eBay.

    I’m using Math-U-See this fall for my son who will be 7. I really like what I’ve seen in the curriculum so far. As he gets older, I do plan to transition him to TT as long as we continue to like it.


    We love CLE math! (Christian Light Education). We used TT for a few years, and it was okay for the older grades. But my 3rd grader did TT 4 this year and I feel like it was a waste of time- she didn’t learn her multiplication facts and didn’t retain alot. After she completed most of TT 4, we switched to CLE, and had to start with their 3rd grade.

    CLE is written to encourage independence, and is challenging, yet gentle. It is not hands-on, but the pictures and examples they use have been just right for us. I occasionally add in manipulatives if needed. My dd especially likes the sweet pictures, stories, and facts that tie in to the lesson.

    My oldest is using Life of Fred for Pre-Algebra, and we like it, but I would only use it as a supplement for the younger grades.


    We started out with Abeka too. It made my son hate school in general, including math. When we quit Abeka my son was 6 so we just focused on basic skills and read living math books for a while. The we started including Math Mammoth lessons, and now we also use Life of Fred.

    We really needed a break from all the worksheets and drilling of Abeka. Even now we often do the Math

    Mammoth lessons out loud partially, or just use them as a guide. Life of Fred is a favorite.

    I did not want to spend the large amounts of money most math curriculums demand. I couldn’t honestly. These two options are very affordable and we can still enjoy a wide variety of math work instead of the same boring thing everyday.

    Family Math is also a good book for games and activities to spice up math. I think the monotony of the same curriculum worksheets everyday can burn you out quick. Options are nice and keep it interesting. We just keep going, doing the next thing.

    We chose what works for us, and my number one priority with my son is not to let him get bored or we are all in for it. My second child is much more satisfied with just a worksheet to do. My third doesn’t care as long as it has pink glitter included. So you have to just decide based on your children’s strengths and weaknesses.



    Hi Britney,

    We also use MathUSee successfully (6 children with different learning styles).  You do need to help them understand the concepts, but in my experience this does not take long (and we don’t have math geniuses) and then it’s pretty smooth sailing.  Do get a demo disc from their website if you are interested in the program, or watch the demo video:


    So, question for you MathUSee users: have you ever had to switch from something else to MathUsee with a child as old as my daughter (almost 10)? Was it confusing?

    I’m thinking it will be easy for my son to switch because he’s only had 1 year of Abeka but my daughter has had 4.


    My son is 11 (5th grade) and we used Math Mammoth for the first part of the year.  It was good, and we liked it a lot, but I felt my son wasn’t always getting it.  I found MUS Gamma and Delta second hand, and switched him to Gamma for the third, using the first 20 lessons as review.  He seems to appreciate the audio/visual aspect of this program a lot, and the fact that there are fewer questions per page, (still plenty of pages, though) so it doesn’t appear as over whelming to him.  He is going slower now, and is just finishing up lesson 23, but he is fine with finishing it over the summer to start Delta in September. 

    I’m not sure which level your children would be starting at, but there are placement tests onliine to help.  It’s a complete mastery program, which my older really needs.  The transition was really smooth and easy.  Wer watch the video together, practice the new concept with the blocks a few times until I know he’s got it, (usually we do the first page of the lesson together this way) then he’s pretty much on his own for the rest of the week. 

    I really like that review of previously learned concepts is included in each lesson.  My son really struggled with subtraction with regrouping.  When doing Math Mammoth I would have to try to remember to keep giving him subtraction questions for review at least once a week after we’d moved on to the next lesson.  This is what happened with multiplication as well — by the time we got to division in MM he was rusty on some of his multiplication facts again.  Now I don’t have to remember to give him extra revision because it’s included for me!  I also like that it’s not graded, which can be touchy for a child going into 6th grade who is “behind” according to PS.



       I switched from Abeka and ACE to Math u See.  I am so glad we did. I took them back to see what they missed. I was surprised that my 10yr old, then (9)went back to Beta. But at least I felt comfortable with pushing him threw quickly. My other son (8) is doing Gamma now and is almost finished. My other son (10) is finished with Delta. We will be probably be moving into Epsilon over the summer but at a slower pace.  We will be doing other math games and a fraction pizza game. Just to reinforce what he is learning.  🙂 We are also doing some “Family Math” for reinforcement.

       I think Math u see was the best choice. If they are having problems i have them watch the video. Then, if they are having problems we sit down and try and find out what exactly the problem is. Most of the time it was something simple.

      I would encourage you to use Math u See because they use all of their senses. If they are a visual they have the DVD, Kinetic they have the blocks,  Audio, they have the skip count tape.

       I would also buy the DVD on line. I purchased most of mine from E-bay. The Student manual you can buy from the company for $25. + Shipping. If you need the teachers manual those usually come with the DVD when you buy it.   I never used mine with the younger grades but when you get into division or fractions it may come in handy for you . I just plan on selling mine with the DVD when we are done. 🙂

        I bought the skip count tape and the munipulatives seperately. I only purchased the basic munipulatives set and we didn’t use it that much. But my youngest may use it more. I also purchased the fraction overlays last year because knew we were going to stick with the Math u see program and I knew we would continue throughout high school with it and He will be using them this year. 🙂

       I hope this helps. I just find that it seems like a great program.  I also looked at Kathy Duffys website for the 100 best picks and that was one of hers. 🙂  I highly recommend it and won’t be changing this one either. 🙂

        I hope this helps!   Blessings!  


    Oh, I almost forgot. We just ran threw the first pages to see if they knew what they were doing. If there was a problem then we went to the 2nd page. This way we didn’t keep covering something they already knew. It was more like a reveiw and reinforcement time this last year. Now they are taking off fine. 🙂   Just in case you don’t know where to start. There are also reveiws on the Math u see website.  You can go there and see what book she would be in. 🙂  



    You might want to read this old thread, and other threads by Joanne.  She isn’t on the board anymore – but was a math expert…

    oh, and this one too

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