Monday, March 14, 2016

Demme Learning's Math-U-See Digital Pack-A Review

Math is by far Evan's favorite subject, so we were very excited to review the Alpha level Digital Pack of Math-U-See by Demme Learning. Thanks to the generosity of Demme Learning we also received a full physical set as well! Math-U-See is a complete K-12 skill-based, multi-sensory curriculum with video instruction.

The Alpha Digital Pack was a win for us. For little learners, the online computer aspect adds a whole new level of interaction and really complements the concepts they are learning. For homeschooling teachers, the online instructional videos are ready to go at your fingertips and the quick and easy streaming saves the step of maneuvering a DVD. The digital pack and online interface also allows you to print off worksheets for extra practice, and easily access other downloads like skip counting songs. If I'm being honest the style of the songs isn't my cup of tea, but to each his own!

The Alpha Digital Pack is available to purchase for $38, which is a nice cost effective alternative to the physical, universal set. It does not include the student workbook, but does come with...

-12-Month Access to streaming instruction videos
-Instruction Manual PDF
-Lesson Solutions
-Skip Counting Songs mp3
-Songbook PDF
-Digital Manipulatives
Pictured above is Mr. Steve Demme. He is the creator of Math-U-See and the teacher of the online lessons, which are also available in the parent instruction DVD. I have never used this type of platform in our homeschool or even as a "teach the teacher" tool, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I have to say, I'm a fan of Steve! He explains math in a way that is easy to understand, and you can easily learn and watch alongside your child(in the video he is actually teaching to a first grade class). He is especially engaging to watch and is full of all kinds of tips and tricks that have me wishing he was my high school math teacher! Since math is not my forte, I can imagine this type of video instruction would be especially handy when approaching higher math.

Another key feature of the Digital Pack is the online manipulatives.  Math-U-See’s integer blocks are a cornerstone component of its "Build-Write-Say" method, and are great for helping the tactile learner see and understand what the numbers mean. For younger kids I would prefer to use the physical manipulatives, but as they grow older and your supply closet shrinks, these digital manipulatives provide a convenient alternative. Also, if you happen to have a baby or crawler in the house and want to avoid small choking hazards, the digital set is an excellent solution.

Here is Evan using the physical units...
and below is a screenshot of the online manipulatives. The integer blocks and Mr. Steve's "Decimal Street" illustration have been so helpful in bringing to life the concept of place value. Getting hands on and adding that extra digital layer to each lesson really helps it to "click."

One last thing to note is that Math-U-See is a sequential and mastery based program. Primer is generally the starting place for kindergarten math, and covers numbers adding to 10, telling time, and an introduction to subtraction. The next set, Alpha, focuses largely on place value, addition, and subtraction.The Beta level teaches regrouping for addition and subtraction. Gamma teaches multiplication, and so on.  

We had fun reviewing the Alpha Digital Pack(yes, math can be fun!) and will enjoy using our Math-U-See products beyond the time of this review. 

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Twitter:  @mathusee #​mathusee #homeschoolmath​ #hsreview



Michelle said...

I'd be interested to know if you think you will purchase the next level after Alpha? I'm considering this for my youngest for this coming school year. I love that it is theme based, but do you know if each level reviews material from previous levels? Thank you for your review, Rebecca!

Rebecca Scott said...

Hi Michelle! I'm so sorry I did'nt see your comment earlier! As far as I know, because Math U See is mastery based, it does not review topics from the previous level. However, inside each level there is PLENTY of review. The theory is that you completely "master" a concept and then move on. For myself I will probably not be purchasing the Beta level, primarily because of the theme based scope and sequence(we also really love the math we started out doing and will continue with it). I hope that's helpful, thanks!