It seems that every time I turn around lately, I hear Math U See being praised by another of my moms in the Resource Library. They love to tell me about the difference it has made in their child’s comprehension of how math works.
They are so enthusiastic, in fact, that if I have the slightest hesitation in understanding a concept they are explaining to me - one that their child has struggled with and grasped at last - they want to get out the Resource Library’s Math U See manipulative kits and demonstrate to me just how clearly it works!
So I am making the time at last, to try to put together the bits and pieces I know, with all that I don’t know, in order to give you a clear picture of this acclaimed program’s unique approach.
The idea of using manipulatives to teach math certainly didn’t originate with MUS creator, Steve Demme. In fact, I used Cuisenaire Rods with my daughter for several years to demonstrate addition and subtraction and even fractions. But Algebra...no way...I wouldn’t have had a clue how to present equations using those little colored rods.
What Steve did do, was to greatly expand the Cuisenaire concept to cover all levels of math!
The elementary portion of this excellent course was updated in 2004, so first of all I want to give you an overview of how it is now laid out. It doesn’t use grade level to determine placement but rather skills mastered. There is a placement test available on the website to help you determine where your child should start.
The course is divided into levels with the lower levels mostly named after the letters of the Greek Alphabet: Primer (the exception), Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta. The length of time to complete a level can be easily adjusted to each child’s progress. When you visit the website and click on the level you are using, you will see a link that says ‘online drills’. Follow that link to practice problems geared to your level. Click on the Help button if the use of the drill program isn’t clear to you. The drills are timed and there is a simple reward for getting all problems correct. Each level’s webpage also has Sample Pages and a Scope and Sequence.
You can find some (the titles available varies) used MUS books in our Amazon aStore so if you have the time and would like to try to save some money, you may want to check it out first.
All New book kits and all manipulative sets must be ordered through your state's MUS representative. They have exclusive rights to sales in their state. You can find your rep on the
When you order a level you will need:
The Teacher Pack which contains the Teacher’s Manual and the video either in DVD or VHS format.
The Student Kit which consists of the Student Text and the Test Booklet
The Manipulatives - Get just the Starter Set 1 or for more blocks get the Starter Set 1 and Completer Set 2.
Also Available (but optional): Math Songs Songbook and CD and/or the Wooden Storage Tray with dividers.
When working with the Epsilon Level you will also need the Fraction Overlays. Starting with the Epsilon Level there is an online Worksheet Generator available for extra practice on each level's website page.
For Pre-Algebra you will need to purchase the Algebra/Decimal Inserts. And beginning with Pre-Algebra there are Honors Enhancement Books created for the student ready for a greater challenge. Designed for students planning on pursuing math in college or those leaning toward a career in science, the honors books offer tougher problems and an increased variety of topics. Sample pages are available here.
The courses continue through the upper levels providing Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Pre-Calculus.
Steve Demme also offers a Stewardship Course - A Christian approach to personal finance and consumer math.
MUS will give your student a solid understanding of why math works the way it does and will help him to see how to apply it in his everyday life.
No wonder Math U See is on the ‘favorites list’ of so many homeschool moms... It has been my observation that they have just as much fun using it as their children do!
Are you a Math U See fan? Use the form below to submit a short review and tell us why... other moms could really use your opinion and experience!