Pondering switching from MUS to Teaching Textbooks – advice please?

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • Heather

    First of all, let me just say that I need my own special category for math posting on this forum since I’ve asked so many math questions.  Embarassed

    We’re in a good groove now with youngest dd and ds who seem to be in the perfect programs for their learning styles, thank goodness!  I’m re-evaluating my oldest dd10 right now though.  She has hit a snag in Gamma in multiple digit multiplication.  Mr. Demme confuses her to frustration with multiplication and his ways of explaining things and she feels like a failure if she can’t do it his way.  Let me just say, she CAN do it, but feels like she can’t because she doesn’t understand his way, if that makes any sense.  I’ve had so many math trials with her and MUS was what we needed when we started GAMMA almost 2 years ago…yes, I said it…she’s been in GAMMA almost 2 years and I am wondering now if I need to buy Delta when Gamma is finished or switch her over to Teaching Textbooks.  I’ve heard lots of good things about it, but I don’t want to do the wrong thing.  I figured at the end of Gamma would be the time to switch if I’m going to at all.

    Does anyone have an opinion on my predicament…or can anyone tell me pros or cons of my switching her to TT?

    Thanks in advance!!



    I don’t know about your child, but I can share that TT was great for my dd in 5th for about 6 months, while it reviewed stuff she already knew. When new things came, it jumped around too much for her and didn’t give her enough practice. So we moved to MUS. Overall, we greatly prefer the mastery approach though. 

    You could check Developmental Math for a different mastery approach. If you want spiral, TT or CLE might work. 

    It’s always something to figure out, isn’t it?


    TT jumps around but like Christie said that is a spiral. My dh who is a math professor likes TT because of this. He said kids need to go back and refresh on things that they have already learned over and over. With mastery you learn and move on. What he sees in his college students is that they don’t remember things they learned long ago…they may have “mastered” it way back then but “forgot” it later..college!

    He has tutored a high school homeschooler who used and did use TT while he was tutoring and found that he knew his material only because it was brought back up again! The reason for tutoring was the homeschooler was in higher math, and he was not “getting” just a few things. That is when he brought TT to my attention way before we started using it!

    TT also has a workbook to help w/ practicing. And as the lessons move on, since it is spiral, you will practice again and again! Now, maybe some students don’t need to be refreshed..they just understand and never have to see that material again or for a long while…hence MUS working well for them! Also, both my ds could just not understand/see how MUS works. One of my ds can do math in his head but has difficulty on paper! And forget about manipulatives! I mentioned in another post how he can add/subtract almost as fast as hubby if not faster at times! His brain is just wired different!

    Both sons are doing well w/ TT and love it!! They really LOVE it! And occasionally I will pull out some worksheets that are not in the workbook just to do more practice. Not because TT is lacking but because dh thinks the more they do over and over the more likely they will do better on harder math!

    Have you looked on TT website at the samples? Also, many people complain it is behind in grades. My dh says there is nothing wrong w/ them re-learning math over again. And if they finish it quickly, good for them! Just move on! He is very math minded. And sees the deteriation of math in college students!He is having to go back and explain things that they should have already learned!

    Now I am not against MUS..obviously it works for many people! For some kids it doesn’t. And that is okay! 🙂

    BTW, I would include some math games too! Along w/ some computer math games! They really do help! And if you purchase TT and don’t like it you can always resell it! The value of both MUS and TT really doesn’t go down..they are both “wanted” in the hs community!

    If you have more questions, you can PM me! 🙂



    Thank you both!  I guess, I just realized TT was spiral.  I think that rules it out for dd.  She still remembers the tears she shed over Singapore which is spiral…and we tried CLE also, many tears, I didn’t realize CLE was spiral!  Oh my, well I guess I need to explore other mastery options then.  I will look into developmental math!  

    Thanks again ladies!!


    One thought is that sometimes you might need to adjust MUS without changing completely (or any curriculum you are using ) to better suit your child, and then continue in it if you really like it.  For example, we are using MUS for 4 children right now, some need the blocks, some never use the blocks.  Some love the DVD, some really don’t like it, and they don’t watch them.  My son just finished Delta, and my husband and I didn’t care for the way Steve was teaching long division, it seemed like a lot of extra work, and was confusing my son even though he knows how to do the division.  So we just taught him to do it our way (which usually isn’t better than Steve’s, I’ve learned a lot through MUS:).  He has moved out of Delta and just started Epsilon without any problems from adjusting the division.  So I think if it’s just a matter of not understanding the way Steve teaches multiplication, teach it a different way to her, then keep going in MUS if it fits your family.  I looked into teaching textbooks before and they look great, but are so expensive.  Hope you find what works best for your child.


    Hi Heather,

    I just wanted to point out that just b/c TT is spiral doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t for her. We were CRYING over Singapore – it was so detailed, repetitive and elusive in its logic. We love TT – it does review a lot at the beginning of each year, but then moves forward in a very step by step manner.

    I am sure you have already heard it, but you can try several sample lessons on the TT website to get a feel for it before you buy. If you decied that it will work, do the placement tests b/c they tend to run a year behind on grade level. But once you are in the right grade level it works so well.

    TT has been GREAT for us. Our kids love it, excel at it, understand it…and I don’t have to constantly worry about Math anymore! I highly suggest doing the samples before you make a fival decision.


    We’ve been using TT for a few years now, and while my son HATES the spiral method, the nice thing about TT is that, if you’re using the CDs anyway, you can skip the lecture, do the practice, and get through the lesson very quickly. I just tell my kids, if you can pass the practice questions, then you can skip the lecture. We’ve been doing this for awhile now, and he doesn’t complain about the repetition anymore. And, little does he realize, but he’s still getting in practice on the old concepts… Hahaha… I’m so sneaky 🙂


    Update: After the advice I received, I went back and took a hard look at TT, tried some practice lessons and let dd do a placement test.  Strangely enough she placed at level 5 which did alot for her confidence and may be part of the problem, I admit.  I think it’s what we need and we’re going for it!

    As a matter of fact, I found a set on homeschoolclassifieds last night and purchased it from someone with the name “dripdripsplat”!  Could that be our “dripdripsplat” who posted above??  How many dripdripsplats can there be?



    That’s too funny! It sure is me, and I hope your dd enjoys using it as much as my kids have.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • The topic ‘Pondering switching from MUS to Teaching Textbooks – advice please?’ is closed to new replies.