Math U See Touts Common Core Alignment

Filed in Common Core State Standards by on March 1, 2013 12 Comments

My wife received an email about Math U See yesterday that announced that they are aligned with the Common Core.  Math U See is another popular math curriculum for homeschooling families (one my family has used for years).

On their website they tout:

We welcome the emphasis in the Common Core State Standards Initiative on conceptual understanding. The goal of the Common Core State Standards for elementary mathematics is to “provide students with a solid foundation in whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and decimals.” This is not simply a matter of rote learning. “The standards stress not only procedural skill but also conceptual understanding, to make sure students are learning and absorbing the critical information they need to succeed at higher levels- rather than the current practices by which many students learn enough to get by on the next test, but forget it shortly thereafter, only to review again the following year.”

Math isn’t just a matter of rote learning, but you need rote learning to complement conceptual understanding.  Otherwise there is a focus on trying to develop algebraic thinking with kindergarteners without them having any base knowledge.

They announced that all of their 2013 editions will be aligned to the Common Core:

Our 2013 editions of Primer-Zeta ensure that all of the concepts and procedures outlined in the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Content for grades K-6 is fully articulated. Although our materials are structured for skill mastery and are not divided by grade level, we have also followed, where possible, the grade level sequence within the Content Standards. As additional materials from the CCSS Initiative are released, such as the publisher’s criteria, we are also endeavoring to pass on the intent of the standards by focusing on those concepts and procedures that the Initiative describes as essential and by placing less emphasis on those that the Initiative considers to be of lesser importance.

First Saxon and now Math U See… homeschoolers do you understand now how the Common Core impacts you and not just public schools?

Update: If you’d like to express your disappointment you can do so by emailing them at sales@MathUSee.com.

2nd Update: You can also send them a tweet at @mathusee or leave a comment on their Facebook page.

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About the Author ()

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.

Comments (12)

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  1. Rosco P Coltrane says:

    Let’s see how the Free Market corrects this problem. Home schoolers should be linked into the Truth better than government-schooled children. Enterprising individuals should see the need to create home school materials that avoid the common core, and home schoolers should flock to the new companies.

    If I had the resources this would be a GOLDEN opportunity to create materials that fill the void left by the defecting Saxon and MathUSee companies.

  2. Melissa Barrette says:

    We use Saxon to teach our kids, who we homeschool. We won’t buy the new editions though, and buy the older editions before they were bought out. We were really disappointed when Saxon began their change.

  3. Dawn @ Guiding Light says:

    We use MUS…I’m not exactly sure what your email is saying exactly. We tried Saxon years ago and didn’t like them. Can you explain more the impact you are saying will happen? Thank you.

    • Here’s an example – http://truthinamericaneducation.com/common-core-state-standards/ccss-content-issues-reviews/math-misadventures-with-the-common-core/
      Here are some concerns that we have noted in the past:

      – Delay development of some key concepts and skills.
      – Include significant mathematical sophistication written at a level beyond understanding of most parents, students, administrators, decision makers and many teachers.
      – Lack coherence and clarity to be consistently interpreted by students, parents, teachers, administrators, curriculum developers, textbook developers/publishers, and assessment developers. Will this lead to consistent expectations and equity?
      – Have standards inappropriately placed, including delayed requirement for standard algorithms, which will hinder student success and waste valuable instructional time.
      – Treat important topics unevenly. This will result in inefficient use of instructional and practice time.
      – Are not well organized at the high school level. Some important topics are insufficiently covered. The standards are not divided into defined courses.
      – Place emphasis on Standards for Mathematical Practice which supports a constructivist approach. This approach is typical of “reform” math programs to which many parents across the country object.
      – Publishers of reform programs are aligning them with the CCSS Standards for Mathematical Practice. The CCSS will not necessarily improve the math programs being used in many schools.
      – Unusual and unproven approach to geometry.

  4. Kristin says:

    I just called them. Did you talk to them at all? It does NOT sound like a big deal. She basically stated that they have always met Common Core Standards. They are stating it on their site now. THey added a few things. But the curriculum hasn’t really changed.

    • I received an email back saying much the same. I question their interpretation of the Common Core then, and if they added ANYTHING from those standards they are mistaken. So either their curriculum has always been substandard (which I don’t believe) or they just weakened it by the recent additions, they misunderstand the Common Core, or this is a marketing ploy. Also their statement begs the question if it has always met the Common Core then why would they have to add anything? Regardless my family will likely not be purchasing any new books.

  5. I understand the concerns, so please share an alternative with us. What is a better curriculum for those of us parents that struggled through public school math ourselves? Have you found a good, solid, meaty math curriculum that also has good teachers manual? Thank you!

  6. Oh, that makes me really disappointed! I have been searching for a math curriculum for my going to be 5th grade daughter that I just pulled from PS she is in 4th grade now. I was so set to us the Math u See for 5th grade. Because I hated the math she was doing in PS. To me it was so confussing and the math teachers/helpers have been looking very stressed when coming out of math class which is a change from previous yrs these people are normally very happy and cheerful looking. I attend church with one of the helper that have been at my daughters school for yrs. I was telling her that since I pulled my daughter out of school and trying to help her with the math is very stressful to many steps and words. And she said yes it is it’s because of the Common Core standards and she said she does not like it and we will just have to wait and see if it will be a benift for the kids or not. I’m not an math expert but I feel like Math U See would be better for the kids to stay the way it was and not to make these changes.

  7. (Letter written to Math U See, lets see what response we get. Thank you for calling this to our families attention)

    First I’d like to thank you for the unbelievable product that you’ve put together. My family has used Alpha – Delta with our oldest son and Primer with our middle son. As a mathematician, I can say that you have put together resources that explain concepts in a way that matches how I understand it after years of study.

    I recently read that you have changed your curriculum to be in line with Common Core State Standards (CCSS). I was deeply saddened to hear this. I understand that you are not drastically changing the final product; however, I feel that you are turning your back on the homeschooling community, the same community that has supported you for many
    years. As a fellow homeschooling family I am sure that you understand the fine line that we all walk with ensuring that our children are receiving the best education we can provide and keeping the government from intruding too deeply into those decisions.

    You may want to re-read what you wrote in Volume 25 of the Math-U-See Newsletter dated April 29, 2011. The last two paragraphs state,

    “Please let your children move at their own pace and not some man made standard from one of the worst math nations on the planet, the good old USA.

    Protect your children, those precious individuals that God has placed in your care, from state imposed guidelines and raise them and train them the way they should go.”

    Yet, here your company stands trying to follow those state imposed guidelines. Is it hard talking out of both sides of your mouth? It seems from the outside that a business and financial decision was made to keep a subset of your customers happy with no regard for the homeschooling population that was the original base for your company’s success. This decision could end up backfiring on you. Did you consider the financial
    impact of losing all of your homeschool business? Your website explains that homeschoolers will be “indirectly” affected by the changes that you’ve made. In fact we will be directly affected since we would be using the same curriculum.

    We will continue to pray that God will give us the wisdom and direction regarding our children’s education. We will continue with Math-U-See if we feel led to do so, but at this
    point in time I am not certain that will happen. This is not because Math-U-See is now
    inferior, but out of principle. We ask that you also consider praying about this decision and its impact on the homeschooling community.

    • Tamara Doss says:

      I saw this on their FB page, and I couldn’t have said this any better!! Have you spoken to them anymore about their alignment?

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