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How does Math Mammoth compare with Math-U-See?

Math U See (MUS) uses a complete mastery approach. I will outline their system for lower grades below:

Level Focus
Alpha (1st grade) Single-digit addition and subtraction.
Beta (2nd grade) Multi-digit addition and subtraction.
Gamma (3rd grade) Multiplication
Delta (4th grade) Division.
Epsilon (5th grade) Fractions.
Zeta (6th grade) Decimals and percents.

Math Mammoth complete curriculum series is not as totally mastery-oriented as Math-U-See. My approach is a blend of some spiraling with mastery. Math Mammoth includes and develops SOME concepts over several grades (for example, the connection between addition and subtraction or the concept of place value), whereas some topics are taught with mastery approach (for example, addition facts or times tables).

An example: In Math-U-See, children learn multi-digit addition up to 5 digits in level 2 (Beta). In Math Mammoth, we find some easy two-digit addition problems in 1st grade, then two- and three-digit addition in 2nd grade, and lastly addition with bigger numbers in 3rd and 4th.

Here is another example concerning multiplication. MUS does single and multi-digit multiplication in level Gamma (about grade 3), which is indeed a good grade to study it. In Math Mammoth, the concept of multiplication is introduced in late 2nd grade. In 3rd grade, children learn single-digit multiplication AND division and get started with multi-digit multiplication. Lastly in 4th grade, there is a large section on multi-digit multiplication.

Another difference I can see from the scope and sequence documents is that geometry, measuring, money, and time concepts are scattered or intermixed between everything else in MUS. Instead, I have written complete sections (chapters) on each of those topics for the various grade levels.

Apparently metric units are introduced in level Zeta (6th grade). Math Mammoth introduces and uses them all the way from 1st grade.

Based on the documents and samples on the website, I am not sure if Math U See builds a unified and algebraic understanding of expressions involving many operations. MUS seems to concentrate on one operation at a time for a long time (about a year). Will this enable students to tackle word problems that use many operations or to understand the meaning of complex expressions such as 340 − 7 × 8?

In general, people praise the videos and the explanations presented in MUS (as you can see by reading reviews).

Of course, there is more to choosing a curriculum than just the content or the sequence. You need to consider the usability, "likability", price, and such factors as well.

Disclaimer: I have not seen the curriculum. If you know better, can correct possible errors in this information, or otherwise have something to contribute to this page, feel free to contact me!

We love your math program it works really really well for both my children (one who is dyslexic and struggles with math). We homeschool and use 2 math programs consecutively (Math U See and Math Mammoth). Both go together quite well, explaining things the same way. Using 2 programs helps us to reinforce the basic concepts so they are firmly planted so that later when math becomes more complex they will have solid foundations on which to build on. Also your tricks that you offer along the way like adding with 8 and 9's has helped my kids save time. These little tricks are not offered in our other math program and we so appreciate them! Thank you for developing such an excellent program and providing it affordably!!

In case you are wondering, yes you may use my comments towards your advertising. I simply cannot praise the program enough and also that you let me retrieve my files after the expiration!

Thank You again!

Danielle Jensen

I'm a homeschooling mom who has taken my kids through MUS from primer to epsilon thus far, starting zeta in a couple of weeks. A comment on your assessment of MUS regarding algebraic equations and understanding many operations in one problem - you expressed concern that perhaps MUS does not do this. My experience is that is does and very well too. Although MUS has a module dedicated to pre-algebra and algebra, it introduces algebra from the get go in Alpha with letters as place holders and gradually builds on this throughout the program. We are at a point where by lesson 30 of Epsilon, which focuses on fractions, the child is doing problems that solve for y that look like this:

3/5y - 2 1/3 = 2/3

Also, while the program is strong on mastery it continues to review previously learned material throughout, building on concepts so that they are never forgotten. I have not used math mammoth, so I can't compare, but I do want to be sure that MUS is fully represented in the comparison given here.

Taryn
June 2014

Both Maria's (with the disclaimer) and Angela's assessments of MUS are right on target, and will be helpful to all who read.

From one who was incredibly confused when algebraic concepts were introduced to me in 9th grade, (how can a letter equal a number?), I have been pleased to be able to introduce and use such concepts EARLY in math and believe this to be one of the most important aspects of a elementary math curriculum: both MUS and MM do this.

And yes, MUS incorportates measurement and geometry throughout the levels, (we just did quarts/pints in GAMMA) but I can see the importance of a separate focus as well, as Math Mammoth does.

Also, MUS has sections that focus on time, but I believe the graphics of MM will aid the student to grasp the concept more readily--as well as the graphics on money. I also like the fact you can choose different currencies. We will be moving to Europe, so the ability to study the Euro will be most helpful in our preparation.

Personally, we have been using MUS and Singapore,as together both are strong curriculums, but after seeing MM, we are DEFinately incorporating Math Mammoth's Light-blue curriculum into our learning and I believe it will quickly become our main math curriculum for the reasons stated above, plus its ease of use/teachabiility, convenience (downloadable), cost effectiveness and well, because it looks FUN!

Lisa Brouse
January 11, 2011

"Based on the documents and samples on the website, I am not sure if Math U See builds a unified and algebraic understanding of expressions involving many operations. MUS seems to concentrate on one operation at a time for a long time (about a year). Will this enable students to tackle word problems that use many operations or to understand the meaning of complex expressions such as 340 − 7 × 8?"

I just wanted to state that I feel based on your available information you have given a fairly accurate summary of mathusee. I did want to address this concept. By no means am I a math expert. For the most part I wish at times (as I seem to mentally prefer spiral programs) the program covered time, money etc more extensively.

My dd started with Abeka math for K5 and 1st and made straight A's but had no real understanding of concepts learned. I switched to MUS and she started in Alpha. We are now working on Gamma. I have had my ups and downs with the program but feel I am understanding how it builds upon itself.

But back to the above quote and topic. The online worksheet generator is good but is not an all inclusive of what is available within the actual curriculum. The online worksheet generator does not cover word problems (at least not any I've ever gotten for extra review) but the workbooks do. It also will not generate worksheets for every lesson covered. ...

There are definitely problems which cover multiple operations (of course since we are only midway thru Gamma not one like your example yet). Solving for unknowns (early algebraic thought) is introduced in Alpha and continuously covered.

Mathusee has been great for my daughter and it works ok for my younger son but he prefers to use remnants of an Abeka workbook. So I have let him do worksheets from multiple places but his main curriculum is MUS. He loves the video and blocks but bores with worksheets (black and white and mostly the same problems each day).

I ended up at Math Mammoth as it was suggested as a supplement for those skills that seem to be lacking with MUS.
...

Angela Clark

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