A Review of Math-U-See Algebra I (2024)

We have one son who is a visual-spatial learner. He always does much better learning a new concept when he can actually see and touch and manipulate an idea. This was an easier task when the math were were learning was addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Once we hit algebra, I had a hard time coming up with ideas to show algebra principles in a visual-spatial way.

A Review of Math-U-See Algebra I (1)

Math-U-See Algebra I

At a home school convention, I visited the Math-U-See booth and posed the question to them. They had an answer. They showed me their math manipulative blocks along with their text and DVD. They showed me ways to offer algebra that made it fit my visual-spatial learner.

A Review of Math-U-See Algebra I (2)

The Math-U-See system starts out with watching the DVD lesson and then moving to the text.

Everything that is in the video is in the Teacher’s Guide so the parent can follow along with the DVD lesson if they want to.

Not all lessons use the blocks but the DVD lessons that show author Steve Demme illustrating the algebra concepts convinced me that my son would benefit from this program. My son enjoyed Steve Demme’s casual style and the fact that he could watch any of the short video lessons over again if he didn’t get the concept the first time through.

Math-U-See Helps Understanding

Although I am what some people would call a “math person” and algebra came easily to me, I learned by following along with the lessons *how* algebra works.

For instance, we could visualize what it meant to factor an equation like: x² + 3x + 2 = (x +2)(x+1)

Math-U-See showed us how to factor equations with the manipulative blocks. We could see with our own eyes how this looks and understand it on a different level. We now understood the “why” and not just the mechanics of more abstract math concepts.

Many of the lessons will instruct the student to “build with blocks” the equations that are in that particular lesson. After watching the short video, my son would be able to quickly apply the patterns and ideas to his set of blocks and then to the daily lesson.

The lessons with the blocks are self-correcting since the student is instructed to build the equation and then check it by multiplying. This was a great way for my visual-spatial learner to teach himself how algebra works.

Sample Math-U-See Algebra I Lesson

On their website there is a sample Math-U-See Algebra I video lesson that will illustrate how the system works. You will also get a feel for how Steve Demme teaches all the lessons and how he teaches math using patterns. This system also worked well for my visual-spatial learner.

There are also sample lesson pages I recommend you look at so you can see what the teacher’s guide includes and how the student pages are set up.

A Review of Math-U-See Algebra I (3)

You might want to note too that the tests are multiple choice. At first I did not like having the multiple choice test, but I required my son to show *all* his work to substantiate his choices.

Our Experience with Math-U-See Algebra I

My son has since told me that this approach to learning algebra I helped him to understand things like squares of numbers, square roots, and equations in a way that has stuck in his brain. Math-U-See helped us over the bumps and set the stage for a lot of math successes since.

Math-U-See is reasonably priced for the quality DVD and textbook. My son loved the ability to write in the text and the spiral binding made the actual book easy to work with. The DVD makes algebra an independently learned subject if need be, but I enjoyed following along with each lesson.

Do not skip using the manipulative blocks because you think they are too expensive. They are the backbone of this program!

Math-U-See was painless algebra for my visual-spatial learner.

Purchase Math-U-See Algebra I

A Review of Math-U-See Algebra I (4)

Demme Learning Store: You can purchase everything you need right from their store including both digital and physical copies of the books as well as all the manipulatives.

Curriculum Express: You can also purchase everything you need here but what I found cool about this site is their Readiness Assessment – this helps you decide what level your child should be using.

Other Math-U-See Reviews Here At The Curriculum Choice

  • Math U See Review
  • Math U See Works for Us!
  • See Math Clearly with Math-U-See
  • Math-U-See Review

Originally published July 2009, written by Barb-Harmony Art mom. She also blogs at Harmony Art Mom

A Review of Math-U-See Algebra I (5) Barb (48 Posts)

Barb McCoy- Harmony Art Mom writes about homeschooling their teens on her blog Harmony Art Mom. and taking family outdoor adventures on her other blog, Handbook of Nature Study. She is the author and host for the Outdoor Hour Challenge and a series of ebooks helping families get started with simple nature study. Barb also founded Harmony Fine Arts which helps homeschoolers with their art and music appreciation.

A Review of Math-U-See Algebra I (7)A Review of Math-U-See Algebra I (8)

A Review of Math-U-See Algebra I (2024)


What grade level is math you see? ›

The Math-U-See Curriculum is a complete and comprehensive K–12 math curriculum.

Is math you see worth it? ›

For children who struggle with math or have trouble thinking abstractly, Math-U-See can help them feel successful at math and confident in their understanding of math concepts. But if you have an average to above-average math learner, Math-U-See may not provide enough challenge to keep your child engaged.

What grade level is Algebra I? ›

Some schools may offer Algebra I in either 9th/10th grade OR 11th/12th grade, but not both. Nonetheless, it is important that students have access to Algebra I sometime in their high school career.

How long does a Math-U-See lesson take? ›

The duration of Math-U-See videos depends on the level, typically lasting between two to ten minutes.

What is the hardest math grade? ›

Generally speaking, the most rigorous math courses in high school include Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus AB and BC, AP Statistics, and for some, Multivariable Calculus (which might be offered at your school or at a local college).

What is 11th grade math called? ›

Typically, students in grade 11 take Algebra II (if they followed the traditional course sequence: Algebra I in 9th grade, and Geometry in 10th grade).

How hard is algebra 1? ›

However, for many students, Algebra 1 will be quite a difficult challenge. In Algebra 1, there are dozens of quickly-moving topics and skills that build on each other as the curriculum progresses. Having strong arithmetic skills is an incredibly important prerequisite for gaining confidence in an Algebra 1 course.

Why was algebra banned? ›

That draft explicitly promoted the San Francisco Unified School District's policy of banishing Algebra I from middle school—a policy grounded in the belief that teaching the subject only in high school would give all students the same opportunities for future success.

Is algebra 1 harder than geometry? ›

So if you want to look at these three courses in order of difficulty, it would be algebra 1, geometry, then algebra 2. Geometry does not use any math more complicated than the concepts learned in algebra 1.

Is Math-U-See accredited? ›

Accredited. 1 High School Credit earned for students in a full enrollment with the Academy.

What is Math-U-See curriculum? ›

The Math-U-See Curriculum helps students learn math concepts and succeed at their own pace. This unique math curriculum integrates a distinctive set of manipulatives with strategies presented through lesson-by-lesson videos, textbooks, and digital resources.

Does math you see prepare students for college? ›

Here are a few pictures and his testimony in his own words. After using Math-U-See for high school, I've gone on to major in mathematics in college, and have found that your curriculum prepared me very well for higher mathematics.

Is math you see mastery or spiral? ›

Math U See is a “Mastery Based” method. This means that a child doesn't move on until they have mastered a skill. Since Math builds one skill on the previous skill, this is important. Another important aspect of Math U See that I love is that it's also cumulative.

What does 7th grade math look like? ›

Seventh grade math lessons include practice in adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing integers, fractions, and decimals. Students at this grade learn more about different ways to display data on graphs, solving equations for one unknown, solving ratios and proportions, indirect measurement, and more.

What grade is do the math for? ›

Designed to support struggling students in Grades 1–5+, Do The Math is organized into 13 scaffolded modules that focus on whole numbers and fractions. Each module contains 30 lessons. Students receive an assessment every fifth lesson to monitor progress.

What grade level is go math for? ›

Go Math! (K-6) on Ed is an easy-to-implement core curriculum with an effective instructional approach that includes robust differentiation and assessment resources that engage all levels of learners and support all levels of teachers, from novice to master.

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