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Math U see Vs Horizon


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  #1  
August 10th, 2006, 08:37 AM
crunchymama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Can someone tell me the good and bad things about each. I am having a hard time deciding.
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  #2  
August 10th, 2006, 08:50 AM
homegoddess22's Avatar Regular
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 83
Hi! I have used Horizons for my boys and wil continue to use it until we switch to either Abeka or Saxon in seventh grade. We are in the third grade right now. I love it! It is based on a sequencing method of teaching math. They learn a certain skill, practice, practice, practice, use it with other skills, and it then cycles thru the curriculum every 6 weeks, so they have lots of time to master and learn it well. It is very easy to teach, you can teach a new skill in less than ten minutes. The kids are usually done with the worksheet in 30-45 minutes.

When I was choosing curriculum for my boys I consulted with a lady who has been very involved with the homeschooling community here. She was a public school teacher and tutors homeschoolers. I value her opinion highly. I was looking into Math U See and she discouraged me from using it. The reason being that kids seem to have a hard time adjusting to the rigors of math in junior high and high school after using Math U See. They basically have a learning gap. They seem to have an especially hard time if you wish to switch to Saxon or Abeka Math. That is why I did not use it.

I know a lot of people love it though, and swear by it. The above was just the reason we chose not to use it.
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  #3  
August 10th, 2006, 09:03 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
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I've never used Horizons so I can't comment on it. I think they are made by Alpha Omega and we did use the LifePAC math and found it to be incredible easy. Way too easy actually and that is why we switched to MUS. It's mastery approach and in a bit of an "odd" order compared to some others (like there's never a measurement unit, but all measurements are learned when they actually make a lot of sense).

With the OLD MUS (classic version) that can be true, sometimes. It's completely updated now with the "Greek" version (named Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc.). It goes through pre-calc which means it most definitely takes kids clear through high school math. The interesting thing is I have heard often about learning gaps with MUS but in every case it is said by people who either did not use the program or only used one level. When it comes to people who have actually taken their kids through the program (including the classic program) there aren't any learning gaps. I have known a couple people who switched to Saxon from MUS (though the vast majority switch TO MUS FROM Saxon) and there were no problems at all other than adjusting to a spiral learning approach instead of mastery. So, honestly, I trust the opinions of those who have used the program (and more than just a level or two) than those who think they know about it.
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  #4  
August 10th, 2006, 09:45 AM
homegoddess22's Avatar Regular
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Horizons is NOT the Lifepac math. Just so you don't confuse the two. Horizons is on par grade level wise with Saxon, and Abeka math. These math programs are teaching skills that are ahead of where they would learn them in the public school. The last time I looked into Lifepac math, it was on par with the public schools. They are two completely separate programs made by the same company, Alpha Omega.

While I didn't mean to offend anyone, she tutors children who are coming off the MUS program and are trying to switch to the other maths that will fulfill state requirements for high school. So I feel she knows the MUS program well. Sorry if it came out as "curriculum bashing"!

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  #5  
August 10th, 2006, 11:12 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
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Uh, yeah. That's why I said we never used Horizons but we did use LifePACs.

Sorry, still don't buy her opinion nor would I trust it. Trust me, I've heard a lot of people who claim to "really know" how kids are who have used MUS and say stay away from MUS yet it's totally not the experience of people who actually USE it. I've also found a lot of public school teachers to be VERY anti anything that is never used in schools or goes at all in a different order than public school math.
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Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
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  #6  
August 10th, 2006, 02:51 PM
joandsarah77's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Ok I'll wade into this even though I only personally know what MUS primer is like. I spent a long time researching maths curriculum's before deciding on MUS. I belong to the MUS email group, which is very active and I constantly see people coming in who used Saxon and had kids who hated maths. Now while Saxon isn't horizons, it is spiral like Horizons. If a kid is having trouble with Saxon I think he or she would likely have troubles with Horizons too. To me the mastery approach just makes more sense. The maths concepts in MUS were done in the order they are so that the new concepts make sense with what has already been mastered. This is why you can find 4 or more 'grade level' lessons in the one level of MUS.
Steve Demmi does not teach concepts to any standardized test, but rather in the order that he feels is most beniftial to learning maths. So that when a child first starts division they already have such a good background of addition, subtraction and multiplication so that devision is easily understandable, because it is the proper time to start devision, not we better put devision in here because kids might be tested on it. I'm not saying that Horizons or Saxon does that (shoves bits in for tests) but I have heard that some programmes do and I know MUS doesn't.
The other reasons I like MUS are that Steve demi is the DVD teacher for each lesson. I am not a maths person, I could not use and understand a manuel by itself for long at all. I also like that you build the maths with the blocks. I am a kinetic type learner as is dd so that makes a good match for me. The programme is geared for every learning style though as you watch and listen to the DVD, look and touch the blocks, look and write the answers. Sure buying manips is more costly, but if it teaches the maths more quickly and enjoyably, or is needed for understanding then I will wear that. I also like that your child has to teach the concepts back to you to show mastery before moving on. I know from personal experience in school, I was one of those kids that never got those early concepts yet we just moved on. I never understood what the heck I was doing even when I could get a correct answer. If asked why I did a sum that way I would have said to just about any maths "I dunno". I really hope maths will be an "I know" in our household.
As for gaps, I can only go buy there scope and sequence, and by what I hear from people on the email list. I do know a few peoples kids there are now doing Saxon calculus (MUS goes to pre calculus) and are not finding it hard.
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  #7  
August 10th, 2006, 06:16 PM
KarateMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I use Horizons and pretty much the only thing I don't like about it is that sometimes the teacher's manual is a little vague about what is to be done with all the "supplies" listed in the lesson. So sometimes I find myself saying, "What am I supposed to do with the dominoes?" One of the main reasons we chose it was cost, really. It's a lot more affordable than a lot of math curriculums out there. And I like the spiral approach, although having never had experience with teaching using the mastery approach, I have a one-sided opinion!
Honestly, I think that MUS is right up Reilly's learning alley, and I'm fairly sure that we would use it if we could afford it. She is a very visual, kinesthetic learner, and I think she'd really get a lot out of it. Who knows, maybe we'll "splurge" next year and switch!
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