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Math-U-See Opinions and a Homeschool Fraud Alert

By Heather Idoni

Added Thursday, August 13, 2009


 ==========================================================
                The Homeschooler's Notebook
     Encouragement and Advice for Homeschool Families
 ==========================================================
   Vol. 10 No 59                         August 13, 2009
                      ISSN: 1536-2035                              
 ==========================================================
   Copyright (c) 2009 - Heather Idoni, FamilyClassroom.net
 ==========================================================

  Welcome to The Homeschooler's Notebook!

  If you like this newsletter, please recommend it to a friend!
  And please visit our sponsors!  They make it possible.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  PLEASE VISIT OUR SPONSOR:


  EasyFunSchool.com has over 1,500 pages of FREE unit studies,
  lesson ideas, projects, pre-school activities, holiday units
  and more!  Here are a few of our most popular pages:

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  Browse the site today for FREE ideas for the new school year!

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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    =================
      IN THIS ISSUE:
    =================

  Notes from Heather
  -- Virtual Academy Fraud Alert
  Helpful Tip
  -- Staples Teacher Appreciation
  Winning Website
  -- How To Do Research
  Reader Question
  -- Math-U-See Opinions?
  Additional Notes
  -- Newsletter Archives
  -- Sponsorship Information
  -- Reprint Information
  -- Subscriber Information

    =======================
       Notes from Heather
    =======================

  [July 15, 2010:  The following content was voluntarily removed
  on 3/31/2010 after receiving a legal threat from Mimi Rothschild's
  attorneys.  At the time I thought it was prudent to do so.  I am now
  returning to this published webpage the content that was originally
  printed and mailed to my readers on 8/13/2009.  As it is summer again
  and families are considering programs for the fall, it is much more
  important to me that even one family be spared disappointment and
  financial loss by doing their own internet research on this matter.]

  ---

  Virtual Homeschool Fraud Warning!

  ---

  This is a good time of year to share this info -- hopefully it
  will save a few families some potential misery.

  Each of the programs listed below is run by the same person --
  and they are about the poorest possible choice you could make for
  homeschooling your children. Each "academy" is heavily advertised
  and well-funded due to the consistent revenue gained from the
  defrauding of unsuspecting homeschooling families.

  Dozens of respected homeschool resource websites and several
  homeschooling magazines refuse to accept advertising from them,
  resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in
  potential revenue -- simply because they are unwilling to be
  associated in ANY WAY with the following organizations:

  Morning Star Academy
  Learning by Grace
  Grace Academy
  Jubilee Academy
  Southern Baptist Academy

  If you are considering ANY of the above programs, please feel
  free to email me privately and I will be glad to expound. You
  can also Google "Mimi Rothschild scam" or "Learning by Grace scam".

  -- Heather

   ---

  Do you have comments to share?  Please do!
  Send your emails to:  mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  http://www.familyclassroom.net/HomeschoolingABCs.htm

  "I was sold on the first mini class and started the 26 week
  course after that!  Thanks for showing us how to start and
  stay going.  We are excited with Homeschooling ABCs and feel
  comfortable knowing someone cares about our homeschooling
  experience being a success.  All the planning is already done
  for us and we really like the freebies and weekly schedule
  that make each lesson personal and fun!" -- Debbie in MD

  ---

  In Terri's classes, you will...

  -- Determine YOUR philosophy of education
  -- Learn the ins and outs of buying & selling curriculum
  -- Find out how to get and stay organized
  -- How to handle the "S" question - Socialization
  -- Get hundreds of dollars of free curriculum!

  For new homeschoolers AND those who just need a fresh start!

  Only TEN DOLLARS gets you started...

  And there is a 60 DAY Money-Back Guarantee!

  Click here to find out more:

  http://www.familyclassroom.net/HomeschoolingABCs.htm


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ================
      Helpful Tip
    ================

  "For those of you who may not have thought of it, as homeschooling
  parents, we are teachers.  As such, we are eligible for teacher
  reward programs at different vendors.  I've signed up at Staples,
  which is just the same as the normal customer appreciation form,
  except you mark down the grades you teach and the school name (our
  house has a name, so I just wrote it down - if you don't have a
  'school name' this might be a fine time to think of a fun name, and
  even mascot and school colors... but I digress).

  Yesterday I found out that spiral bound notebooks (with 70 sheets
  of lined paper) are one cent right now... there's a limit of six,
  unless you are a teacher... then you can get 25!  Also, in a few days
  (August 22nd) our local Staples is having a Teacher Appreciation day
  with lots of give-aways and special prices.  You can check online at
  Staples.com to see if your local store is doing something similar...
  or just stop by a local store.

  I thought you'd like to know so you can stop by this week, sign up
  for a Teacher Discount Card, and get your pile of notebooks.  Then,
  in a few days, you can swing by and get free goodies!

  Happy School Year to All of You!" -- Suzy
 
  ---

  Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share?  Please write!
  Send to:  mailto:HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net


    ==================
      Winning Website
    ==================

  How To Do Research

  http://www.kyvl.org/kids/homebase.html

  From the Kentucky Virtual Library, this site is a special research
  portal and information literacy tutorial designed for grades K-5.
  Through its interactive gameboard format, the site takes students
  through the entire process of research -- from picking a topic
  through a self-evaluation rubric for the project. Great site!

  ---  Special thanks to The Homeschool Mom's 'Site of the Week' for
  featuring this resource!


    ===============================
      Last Issue's Reader Question
    ===============================

  "I would like to know if anyone has tried the Math-U-See program.
  As you all know, homeschooling can be expensive at times.  My two
  homeschooled children, 12 and 13, have learning disabilities.  This
  seems like a great program, but I would like some unbiased feedback
  (and not just off of their site).  Of course, they wouldn't print
  anything negative.  Let me know whether or not it is a case of
  'too-good-to-be-true'." -- Shelly T.


    =========================
      Our Readers' Responses 
    =========================

  "I've now used this program from beginning to end -- we started
  using it with my oldest, after trying Math tutors and even a
  private school.  To make a long story short, when he turned 16 he
  took a part time job at a farm store, and ended up helping the
  public school kids with their math!  (And HE AIN'T  NO math wiz!)
  He felt very proud of himself, and it was challenging enough for
  our 2nd oldest, who IS a math wiz!  Now I am using it with our 2
  younger ones." -- Kim in KS

  ---

  "Shelly -- I did use Math-U-See very briefly some years ago when
  my two oldest were having trouble understanding some basic math
  concepts.  I like the books, the manipulatives, and the video.
  We only used it a short time because the girls quickly 'got' what
  they weren't getting.  I have seven children and the youngest has
  Down Syndrome.  I am planning on getting out those books, etc. to
  use with her when the time comes.  I thought it was a good program
  for anyone having trouble understanding the concepts.  Also, I'm
  looking forward to using it again, because it was so hands-on and
  easy for a child to 'get it'.  For us it was very helpful... I
  hope you find it helpful too." -- Mary in DE

  ---

  "My daughter changed from Saxon to Math-U-See two or three years
  ago.  She's moderately dyslexic.  Her whole attitude and ability
  in math changed overnight.  She's just finished Algebra 1 without
  a whimper.  I really appreciate their program.  My other younger
  daughter still likes her Saxon.  She hasn't tried Math-U-See,
  though." -- Suzanne

  ---

  "Hi Shelly -- Last year I purchased all MUS -- from primer through
  Zeta -- and my 12 year old son did every book.  I was planning on
  saving it for my 4 year old (who also did many lessons in the
  primer), but I have since changed my mind.  Let me start by saying
  that I loved MUS; I thought the teacher a bit dry, but great as a
  teacher and even funny sometimes.  It is a well-rounded curriculum
  and teaches in a very hands-on explanatory manner.  Here is what
  I didn't like about it:  It was so 'unconventional' that my math
  brain could not wrap itself around the way he was teaching.  I am
  a math person and found it extremely difficult to change gears.
  When my son was explaining how to solve the problem and I didn't
  understand what he was saying to me, it caused us to have a
  communication breakdown.  My brain is trained to do math the way
  it was taught in school, but MUS teaches you to do math in a very
  hands-on and concrete way.  It made sense, the lessons and all,
  but I couldn't translate it back to know if my son was actually
  learning anything.  If your child is a very hands-on visual learner
  and you are going to take the time to sit and do each lesson with
  them, and learn this method yourself, then -- yes -- this would be
  a great program.  But if you are looking for independence and not
  doing each lesson with them, then I'd say this is not the program
  you are looking for." -- Trish in FL

  ---

  "My son (10) was having trouble with Saxon and we moved to
  Math-U-See.  It works with the 4 basic concepts (easy-hard-harder).
  When my son finished he was doing some problems that wouldn't be
  covered in the same grade level.  My son hated math.  It isn't
  his favorite now, but there a better attitude.  I feel it is
  slowly helping him to make some sense of story problems, but
  there is still more to conquer.

  I am making the change to Math-U-See for my younger son (7).
  I have been worried because we are in the process of testing
  for dyslexia with him.  I saw on a website and in the book
  'The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Dyslexia', that
  Math-U-See was listed under curriculum materials and support.
  Someone mentioned 'Touch Math' also.

  Math-U-See is not colorful, and that can hinder students with
  ADD and other learning difficulties.  The page is not overwhelming
  with problem after problem.  It averages about 15-20 per page.
  There are several pages for practice and several for review of old
  and new material.  Math-U-See may give a clearer understanding of
  math concepts in the long run -- and it may not be seen right
  away.  I am still new to the program." -- Nancy

  ---

  "I started using Math-U-See after 6 years of other math programs.
  I sure do wish we had started with Math-U-See!  I can't say enough
  about how much it has revolutionized our homeschooling!  There used
  to be so much stress and even tears when it came to math.  Now my
  kids do their math with little to no resistance and are able to
  finish each day's lesson in much less time than before.  The biggest
  difference is that they focus on helping the student actually
  understand what they are doing -- which makes it all much easier.
  They teach things in the best way possible with tips and 'tricks'
  that make math so much easier for the student.  I HIGHLY recommend
  Math-U-See to everyone I come in contact with in the homeschooling
  community.  I have been SO very pleased with it!"

  ---

  "Hi, Shelly -- We have used Math-U-See for many years, currently
  for our 14 and 7 year olds.  My 7 year old has learning issues and
  I just do one page per day to ensure that he understands what he
  is doing.  Therefore there is no pressure on him or me.  We do
  every page with him to ensure understanding. 
 
  My 14 year old likes it as well and we cover one full lesson per
  week -- usually missing 1-2 pages per week, depending on his
  understanding of the lesson topic. 
 
  I wouldn't go back to any other program now.  It works as they
  claim!  It is a hands-on program and, to me, well worth the cost."
  -- Michelle in Australia

  ---

  "Hi -- I used Math-U-See with 3 of my children.  We started our
  oldest with the Primer and went through Delta with her; Beta with
  the next oldest, and Alpha with the third.  For us it wasn't a
  good fit and it began to be a cause for much distress.  I think
  though it has to do with the mastery approach.  My children do
  better with a spiral approach to math because they get bored
  working with the same thing all year long." -- Leslie

  ---

  "My sister-in-law has used Math-U-See for years and loves it.
  I am just beginning homeschooling this year and have received
  my Math-U-See curriculum and plan to begin using it in 2 weeks.
  We are very excited!  From what I have seen so far, I am really
  impressed with it." -- Becky

  ---

  "I tried Math-U-See with my 8-year-old daughter last year.  It
  does have some good qualities to it, like how the author explains
  the teen numbers and twenty (one-T one, one-T two, etc.)  Overall
  though, I was disappointed.  It went way too slow for my daughter's
  abilities, and it ended up being boring for her.
 
  We are trying Right Start Mathematics this year.  I encourage you
  to look into that one before you decide.  The author studied the
  Japanese way of doing math in order to write this curriculum.  It
  is expensive too, but I have high hopes for it." -- Mary


    =========================
     Answer our NEW Question
    =========================

  "Can anyone recommend a home school photography course for a 14
  year old boy?  Alabama requires some art in order to graduate.  He
  isn't artistic, but loves to take photos.  I'm fairly sure that a
  photography course will satisfy Alabama's art requirement." -- Ronda

  --- 

  Do you know of a resource for Ronda's son to use? 

  Please send your answer to:  mailto:HN-answers@familyclassroom.net


    =====================
     Ask YOUR Question
    =====================

  Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

  Send it to mailto:HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
  if we can help you out in a future issue!


    =======================
     Need Immediate Help?
    =======================

  Visit our Homeschool Encouragement Center!  This is a live 24/7
  'chat' area where you can talk with our homeschool counselors
  by typing in a box.  When you get there, just introduce yourself
  and let them know that Heather sent you!

  This ultra-safe chat is supervised by experienced moms who are
  there to serve and share their wisdom... or just offer a listening
  ear and encouragement.

  http://www.HomeschoolChat.us


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    =====================
     ADDITIONAL NOTES
    =====================

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    ===========================

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