Topic | Math and the Common Core State Standards

This topic contains 18 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  tmckay 4 years, 5 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)
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  • greenebalts

    As some of you may already know, Math Mammoth, RightStart Mathematics, and Math-U-See have created revisions that align with the Common Core State Standards.  I recently did a blog post on this with links to each company and their revisions for anyone using or investigating these programs.  I know there are many MUS lovers here and I’m curious if this will affect your math program choice.  Feel free to leave a comment at the blog. 





    Rachel White

    I’ll leave a comment here: this really tees me off! We are trying to unload this unconstitutional monstrosity off our backs here in Ga. and in many other states and MUS has been the only thing that has worked for my dd up till now. AARGH!!!

    As long as I can get the previous versions, I’ll stay with MUS; so hopefully that will remain the case throughout her math-life. I’m typing and shaking my head at the same time.

    Please everyone, research this and then when you (hopefully) see it’s detrement, contact your state representatives in both Assemblies/Houses(dpending on what ya’ll call it where you’re at).


    Interesting post, Melissa. Thank you for sharing all the research you did with us – a real time saver for the rest of us :).

    Having used all three of the curriculums you mentioned in the post, I guess I would have to say that I trust them to make changes that will not lesson the value of the curriculum. All three are excellent and written with integrity. I don’t feel like that has changed. If they choose to make an update that keeps their curriculums relevant and current for the majority of homeschoolers who are their customers, I can understand that. I hope their businesses continue to thrive.


    Melissa, the link in your post to the video about Math and the CCS is dead. Can you fix it? I’d love to see that video. Thanks.

    Lesley Letson

    real quick, and I will try to check this later when I have time, but if I remember correctly (so please don’t quote me in case I’m wrong), when MUS announced their changes, they said that they were not changing up the curriculum, just adding some additional pages to the lessons (which allows them to comply) that would be more like questions on standardized tests, etc. Many of these pages were available on their website as extras already. Check their page to be sure, but I think it’s the same ol MUS, with a bit more. 


    I will stick with Math U See. It works for our kids! I second what mjemom said. They didn’t change their curriculum to fit CCS. Smile


    What I learned from MUS after emailing back and forth is that they made the following changes, all apply to Primer-Zeta levels:

    1. Added content and changed/clarified some explanations in the teachers manuals.

    2. Added 1 new workbook page per lesson that covers the elements from Common Core that MUS did not already cover at those ages (because MUS does things in their own sequence). These are application pages so the student is doing math in a slightly different way than a regular practice page.

    Why did they do this? Technically, so they could keep their accreditation for those using these materials in the PS system or under PS supervision (like some charter schools).

    What It Means if we keep using old manuals:

    – We don’t get the improved explanations.

    – We don’t have teaching materials or answers for the new workbook page G (the applications/Common Core stuff).

    I own all the manuals Primer-Zeta so I’m not upgrading to the new ones. To be honest, my plan is to ignore the new workbook page G completely. If I have a child who wants to do them for fun I’ll let them, but I won’t assign these pages. And yes, some of my children will probably choose to do them for fun. Others will be thrilled to ignore those pages. LOL

    I love MUS’s materials. The old manuals will still be compatible with new workbook’s pages A-F(which aren’t new!) and the test booklet. At least for now. Those haven’t changed.


    Tristan is right.  MUS has not changed the BASIS of the program; they have just added in a little extra content (easily skipped) to align with the standards.  You can get information on this by discussing it with a rep or on the MUS group.  Another thing to think about—It’s really not the companies that are to blame here.  They are just trying to get along and still be able to sell books. I still think MUS in a public school WITH the additions will do more good to students there than a typical text would.

    And probably state legislators will not be that much help either.  Few states can afford to resist the federal “voluntary” adoption of CC.  As the federal government has insinuated itself so much into education it is very difficult for a state to unentangle itself.  


    Thanks for letting me know about the link.  I had trouble with this in the paat, but I think it’s working now.  If for some reason you still can’t make it work, you can go to the and type “Beyond Right Anwers: Math Classrooms and the CCSS”.  The gal presenting in the video clip I reference is Sarah Brown Wessling if you need to search by her name. 


    Hope that Helps,


    Lesley Letson

    the answers to your questions about math mammoth can be found here on her website (?s 5&6 specifically):


    Rachel White

    I place no blame upon MUS or the others; as they are just trying to keep their accreditation. It’s the business responding to a government program. Businesses are having to do a lot of that these days in many areas. I will just choose to not use the newer TG, as I always buy used and only purchase new workbooks, that’s all. The info. Tristan and a couple of others have posted is also what I read a few months ago; minor changes, not a complete overhaul.

    It’s true that states have lost much of their 10 Amendment sovereignty and are financially indebted due to that-there is a great entanglement; however, some states are trying to pull themselves out of the mess they gotten themselves into. Many states are moving very strongly against CC, as CC by-passed the state legislatures- at least in Ga. they did. We have a Senator who has already pushed forward legislation and our Lt. Gov. is behind it as well and momentum is rising among parents, since in Ga., the populace is generally more conservative and our Gov. is more resistant to federal controls than the previous one (this gov. voted against his own party when he voted against the first TARP under Bush, for example).

    So I disagree that contacting your local reps. may be a fruitless endeavor; that depends upon the state, it’s indebtedness, how it “leans” in the Assemblies, having reps. who are willing to stand up against their own party members, and the people’s willingness to push on them, among other things. Same goes for any other area of continued federal pushes in other areas such as healthcare mandates, gun control attempts, etc.

    The stronger the states are financially and the more vigilant and educated the people, the better position they are in to resist federal mandates and other unconstitutional entanglements.

    On this page is a chart, scroll down to the right, which shows the degree with which various states are handling for or against CC:

    Thank you Melissa for bringing to everyone’s attention.


    Just wanted to mention what I understand from the changes to RightStart…

    RightStart has done their changes to meet and exceed Core Standards… I think they are mostly doing their same sequence while adding in a bit here and there to meet the standards.  There is supposed to be some changes due to Dr. Cotter’s research – clearer explainations, and a lot more use of the manipulatives throughout all the levels.

    It appears that RightStart is changing from having levels A-E (and G), to having levels A-F (and G).  As it generally takes people 3 years to do level C and D   (some people take longer with C, some longer with D, some longer with both…) I assume they have fixed that.  Also on the RightStart Forums, there are some known “walls” – about lesson 68 in Level B, and I think around lesson 90 in C….  I am hoping they haver built in ways past these walls….  I think they may have more game playing built into the lessons too.  But this is mostly conjecture because only level A is out (and the RS rep forgot it at home at the convention I got to go to.)

    So – am I switching?  Well, right now my kids are in level C, level C, and just finished A but not started B yet.  Only level A is out, level B is due out in September, with the other levels not due out until later.  Also, there is no easy way to switch a child that is already in it (although I assume they will make transition lessons for a child changing from another program like they have now – so that could be an option – but they might go back in level I would think….)    So basically, it isn’t possible to switch my older kids.  I could, in theory switch my younger 2 kids (and a part of me would kind of like too….) – but it isn’t cost effective for us.

    RightStart will be continuing to support Edition 1.  And as they now have ebooks for their workbooks (wish they had that earlier!), I don’t see it disappearing anytime soon….



    What I understand from the info I’ve read on MUS (what we use) is the same as what Tristan said. Their program is not any different for us, we’ll likely skip the G pages as well. 

    Plus, schools that are forced to comply with lame government standards can use a solid math program like MUS and the kids will be better off for it.



    i have the full CCS Math guideline printed.  I may have mentioned that I used it to sort of give me a scope and sequence during the time that we created our own Math program to use.  I found it very helpful and picked what I needed or wanted from it.  I’ve used a PS book, David Smith’s texts, MM, LOF, and the bounty of free material available on the web too.  I did not find CCS drastically different. 

    I don’t agree with the sensationalism and paranoia surrounding Common Core Standards.  My PS husband and I were trying to follow the thinking and concluded that it is about federal versus state power and not about educational standards.  Please don’t attack me!  I’m just offering a differing opinion.  I respect yours.  Please respect mine too.

    Rachel White

    Claire, your opinion is welcome and won’t be attacked – no one has been personally attacked for their opinions thus far and it’s rare around here anyway.

    However, using the word “paranoia” seems disrespectful, as it does diminish the very real concerns people have about – as you mentioned – federal versus state power; as more centralized power has historically lead to further erosion of individual freedom. Additionally, I disagree that it’s about the balance of power alone; people are concerned about educational standards established by educrats and the manner by which they are implemented; parental authority and weakening privacy protections regarding excessive information gathering and/or sharing on children and families; among other things that are not known yet.

    Of course, your opinions on whether you are in agreement with CC are yours and I respect that that is your view; we just disagree.

    Personally, I would be quite happy for the Federal Dept. of Education to dissolve.

    Getting back to the original question: I will use MUS in the same manner as Tristan explained so well.

    Blessings to you and yours.

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