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How to Effectively Implement Math-U-See for Homeschool

Image of Math-U-See Zeta Textbook for 6th grade homeschool curriculum review

Are you feeling frustrated with scheduling and using Math-U-See in your homeschool? I have seen comments across many homeschooling communities from parents who are having trouble scheduling and implementing this curriculum. The result: kids crying and sometimes, parents crying. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

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Math-U-See: 215 Days of Work!

Math-U-See Zeta Textbook

For every level workbook in Math-U-See, there are 215 sheets, a combination of worksheets and tests. Each workbook has 30 chapters:

  • 3 lesson practice sheets (worksheets A, B, C)
  • 3 systematic review sheets (worksheets D, E, F)
  • 1 application & enrichment activity (worksheet G)
  • 30 lesson tests
  • 4 unit tests
  • 1 final

It seems like a lot, but I find this to be just the right amount of practice sheets and tests to confidently measure my children’s mastery.

How I Schedule Math and Still Enjoy Summers Off

If you already familiar with Math-U-See, you know that it comes with a DVD where students and parents can watch Mr. Demme explain a new concept and then demonstrate ways of solving them. These lessons are short and sweet, averaging about 5-10 minutes. Not too bad. Listed below is how I schedule a particular chapter.

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  • Day 1: we watch the video clip for that lesson/work on sheets A & B. (Sheet A usually has the first two problems already done, so assigning both sheets isn’t a big deal. Plus, it gives them enough practice to learn that new concept.)
  • Day 2: we work on practice sheet C
  • Day 3: we work on practice sheet D
  • Day 4: we work on practice sheet E
  • Day 5: we work on practice sheet F
  • Day 6: I use practice sheet G as a bell ringer and give them their lesson test

In this way, I am able to fit 8 of those sheets into 6 days….except when practice sheet F lands on a Friday. I am reluctant to giving kids a math test on a Monday after a weekend. In this case, I have the kids do their sheet G on that particular Friday and save sheet F for Monday. Then I give them their test on that following Tuesday. Below is what our math schedule looks like for a typical month.

Example of Math-U-See Schedule in Google Sheets

This cuts down that 215-day year into a reasonable school year. If giving them two sheets the first day seems excessive to you then skip A and give them B for more practice. Click here: Our Math Schedule if you would like to copy and edit it in your Google Drive for your own homeschool.

Go as Fast or Slow as You Want

Math-U-See is not assigned or designed to a particular grade level. This means that you don’t have to finish an entire math book in a year. You can do 20-25 chapters then resume the rest the following year.

Math-U-See levels are not assigned a particular grade so you don't have to finish an entire level in 1 year.Click To Tweet

If you would like to see how we fit our math schedule along with other subjects, check out our 6th grade schedule and 6th grade  curriculum picks.

Quick Tip #1: The Goal is Mastery

In math, the goal is mastery, not memorization. Practice is key because it provides different ‘scenarios’ to apply what they have learned. My children’s mastery of math has made learning new concepts easier and less frustrating. So try not to skip practice sheets.

Quick Tip#2: Don’t Hate Math

For those of you who ‘hate’ math: instead, embrace it. And above all, don’t convey your hate of math to your children. They will see it as this evil thing and follow your behavior. If you really, really hate math, then perhaps have someone take over that part for you. Have your spouse, an older child, a friend, or maybe a next door neighbor work with your child.

To learn more about Math-U-See, visit their website at: http://www.mathusee.com/ They have plenty of videos demonstrating their products.

So how do you schedule Math-U-See into your homeschool? Let me know below in the comment section. I am curious to see what you do.

Take care,

Post Signature for Implementing Math-U-See

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links that I have provided for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.



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Our 6th Grade Curriculum

6th Grade Homeschool Curriculum 2016-2017

Our 6th Grade Curriculum for 2016-2017

6th grade homeschool curriculum pin pic

It amazes me how time flies. The boys are now entering 6th grade: middle school. This homeschool year will be a little different in that the boys are expected to take on a little more independent work. They will have less ‘elementary activities’ such as lap books, and have more writing assignments in the form of reports. I know the boys won’t mind the first two things but the last is going to be difficult to sell since they hate writing, but I have a plan for that. Below is our 6th grade curriculum along with how I am scheduling these subjects so far.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links that I have provided for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

6th Grade Curriculum for Math

math 6th grade curriculumWe have been using Math-U-See for the past three years and it works very well for our family. The boys really enjoy watching the videos and seeing if they can solve a given problem before the answer is given. This year they will be taking on the Zeta level which deals mostly with decimals and percents, but also metric conversions, mean, median, mode, probability, area of a circle, angles, and more. Math is a daily, Monday to Friday subject.

6th Grade Curriculum for Language Arts/Writing

English 6th Grade CurriculumFor our Language Arts and Writing assignments, the boys will be using BJU‘s English 6 Curriculum. We used BJU for third and fourth grade, but last year I decided to try a more Charlotte Mason approach to this subject. Unfortunately, we ended up going back to BJU’s curriculum because Joshua was having trouble with dictation. We did well with BJU in the past so we are sticking with them again. This curriculum is also a daily, Monday to Friday subject.

6th Grade Curriculum for Literature

6th grade curricula literatureOur approach to this curriculum will be a little different this year. Each month we are going to tackle a different form of literature.

For August, we will complete our last ‘Classical Start’ lap book activity for Gulliver’s Travels, by Confessionsofahomeschooler.com. We really enjoyed their literature curriculum.

In September, we will concentrate on the poetry of Robert Louis Stevenson. The twins will read and discuss selected poems from his book, A Child’s Garden of Verses.

For October and part of November, and in April, we will delve into Shakespeare covering the plays “Much Ado About Nothing” and “As You Like It“. In the past, we did one Shakespearean play per year but I am doubling that now mostly because the boys really love it. Every day we read a scene then watch a movie clip for that scene.

In March, we will cover selected short stories by O. Henry. In between these assignments (part of November-March), the boys will be given independent reading time. I selected the Percy Jackson Series by Riordan and Classic Start’s The Man in the Iron Mask. This is also a Monday-Friday assignment.

6th Grade Curriculum for Technology

This year I am introducing the boys to computer science. I scoured the internet trying to find an appropriate curriculum and found Homeschool Programming Inc. They offer both textbooks and online courses. They also provide a curriculum syllabus for each course helping to plan out my whole year. We will be doing the online course called Digital Savvy. Once the course is paid for its access is granted for only one year as their servers cannot hold student records for an indefinite period. After reviewing the syllabus, I decided to make this a daily Monday-Friday course because it offers so many different modules.

I am also considering adding another technology component as an elective. Right now, I am looking into EEME‘s monthly subscription kits that get kids to create various electrical components. The subscription also includes lesson plans. I came upon this after being disappointed with Lego’s kits which are very pricey. I am going to wait a few weeks after we settle into homeschool mode and then work this into our curriculum.

6th Grade Curriculum for Typing

This is a also a new subject for the boys. Seeing that they will be taking a computer course I figured they should start learning to type as well. I chose the Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Family Edition download from Amazon. This will also be a Monday-Friday course but I will omit it only on days when school runs a little late for the boys.

6th Grade Curriculum for World History/Geography

History 6th grade curriculumThis year we will stick to our newly loved curriculum, Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer, Volume 3, Early Modern Times.The boys will have to write short summaries of famous historical people and events using NotebookingPages.com inventory. We will also use Homeschoolinthewoods.com’s timeline record for placing the figures and events that we touch upon. For a review of these curriculums, see my post: http://www.homeschoolingtwinkies.com/2016/02/01/history-curriculum-reviews/. This is a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday subject.

6th Grade Curriculum for Science

This year I am taking a different approach to our science curriculum. I tried to find a curriculum online instead of trying to create my own using Virginia’s Standards of Learning. Because I love the Charlotte Mason approach to this subject, I went to Sonya Shafer’s site: https://simplycharlottemason.com/ and looked up science books in her very handy guide, the CM book finder. I came upon Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding by Bernard J. Nebel, Phd. After reading the introduction to this book, I was hooked. In fact, I went ahead and purchased the next book as well, Elementary Science Education.

The first book is geared towards K-2 grades but as the author suggests, no matter how thorough a science course is, there may be gaps that are missed. He recommends using his books (there are 3) together as he has created a way to integrate science topics for better understanding. He provides a flow chart for how to teach each topic as well as the pre-requisite topics students need before moving on to the next topic. Once we complete a couple of months of this curriculum, I will provide a review of our progress.

6th Grade Curriculum for U.S. Geography

Scholastic 6th grade curriculumJust as last year, we will use NotebookingPages.com United States state study forms to research various state facts such as the state motto or state symbols. We also accompany this with Confession of Homeschooler’s Road Trip USA curriculum and Highlight’s Which Way, USA subscription. We only have 16 states left and will finish this curriculum in March. This is a Monday, Wednesday, Friday course but I plan on suspending the course for the month of October so that I can add in our U.S. Government before Election Day in November.

6th Grade Curriculum for U.S. Government

Government 6th grade curriculumFor the month of October, I added this curriculum with a focus on presidential elections. This will primarily consist of reading Presidential Elections and Other Cool Facts by Syl Sobel and watching presidential debates as they air on T.V. The boys will write down definitions for certain vocabulary and I may add in activities where the boys can debate each other and create a mock election and ballot box. This will be a Monday, Wednesday, Friday component to replace U.S. Geography for a few weeks.

6th Grade Curriculum for Spanish

I am currently working on creating this curriculum as opposed to buying one. For the past three years, the boys’ Spanish consisted mainly of naming and labeling objects. I believe they are ready for small phrases and sentences. I’ll keep you posted if I am able to create this curriculum or give in and buy a curriculum. This will be a Tuesday/Thursday subject.

6th Grade Curriculum for Health

Health 6th grade curriculumThis year I decided to add this component as the boys are embarking on puberty very soon. I chose Kelli Dunham’s The Boy’s Body Book because it has a strong focus on puberty, hygiene, and safety. I plan on adding this in when our U.S. Geography component is finished in March.

Well, this is it, guys. It seems like a lot but I do spread this out so that the kids can get done before 3pm. I usually allot about 30-45 minutes per subject. If I make any changes to their curriculum I’ll be sure to update them here.

Please note that I added affiliate links to some of the products. I have, in no way, been given any free curriculum and even if I had, my reviews would still be honest. If a product disappoints me then I will say so. Throughout the school year, I will also try to review products so you can see if it is a fit for your family.