How do you say Maths U See?
People often get confused about the Australian way of speaking about maths versus the American way of saying "math." Many Aussie parents and families often call the program "Maths U See" or "maths you see" and rightly so. They search the internet for "maths u see" and call their kids "maths-u-seers."
This slight but meaningful difference of language denotes a whole other issue - of which metric system, weight system and money system to use.
Educational programs in Australia for homeschoolers, from history, geography, maths, and science all get impacted by the AUS or USA version of English that is being used. We even recently heard of one of our universities using a solely US-based text to teach maths here - oh no!
Does the difference really matter?
I remember when we were homeschooling (more than 15 years ago now) the only reliable homeschool programs on the market were developed in the United States - so my kids learnt American history, American money systems and measurements, and all about how to speak English the way the Americans do.
That's great as a comparison, but not so great for having the only reference to all these subjects following an American culture. It was very different to our Australian way of doing things! My kids started talking to people about the American presidents without knowing a thing about the laws of our own country. They sang American songs and worked out dimes and quarters when changing money!
So, we set out to change that!
Maths U See: Australian maths vs American math
The reason the name of the program Math-U-See refers to mathematics as "math" is because the program was originally developed by an American parent, tutor and maths teacher, Steve Demme.
After working within a Montessori-based business, Steve Demme designed the program with a strong emphasis on the hands-on (kinaesthetic) approach to learning that had proven to work with hundreds of students across many classrooms. No matter their age, grade level or learning ability, he saw that maths was much more effective - and much easier for the teachers to teach each concept - when it was taught using hands-on tools.
What are the benefits of the Math-U-See program?
Because of it's focus on 'simple yet effective' ways to teach maths, the Math-U-See program has gone wild in Australia. Teachers, specialists, parents and kids are all raving about the incredible results that seem almost too simple to be true.
By using a hands-on approach, maths comes to life. Once kids are introduced to each topic with the blocks and they can touch, see and feel what they are being taught, it's a game changer. The program follows a sequential and systematic approach to teaching maths, and incorporates student practice and end-of-lesson tests to ensure each student's understanding of the concept before moving forward.
And the best thing? You don't need any prior experience with maths. We've truly had everyone - from business accountants to those who didn't pass maths class at school - effectively using the program. With the step-by-step instruction manual and online video lessons, you are fully supported through the entire program to teach in the best way possible.
The Math-U-See program includes the following:
- Is easy to use
- Requires no prior maths teaching experience necessary
- Utilises step-by-step instructions and online video lessons
- Begins with ands-on manipulatives for kinaesthetic learners
- Incorporates student-paced learning
- And most importantly..... is based on evidence-based and research-proven methodologies.
How do you teach maths?
Throughout the whole program, each concept is taught using simple language and straight forward examples. Simple concepts like place value are taught using a structured concept called 'Decimal Street' (with a simple diagrammatic representation of moving houses because one house is too full). This concept is reinforced throughout ongoing lessons, and really helps kids solidify their understanding of place value - a subject many kids often struggle with into their high school years!
Here's a short video explanation of how Place Value is taught:
Has the program been Australianised now?
Yes. Although the online video lessons are still taught by Steve Demme, we changed the workbooks so they make sense to the Australian audience. We would never use dimes or nickels here!
Nowadays, there are many great programs on the market that teach Australian literature, writing and spelling, history, geography and science. There are beautiful nature study guides and journals that encourage a love of the outside world, and a beautiful Indigenous introduction to cooking and using our local bush tucker.
It's so important that kids are taught the language of the society they live in - to avoid confusion about American presidents, for example - and also to give them a thorough education that they can use throughout their life.
You can see the full list of our favourite programs here.
Where should my kids start with maths?
If you want to see where your child is at and what their understanding of maths is, you can check out out the free online Placement Test.
This diagnostic test checks your child's understanding on a range of maths topics and determines where they struggle - and what you can do about it.
Here's a link to the online Placement Test:
Hope that helps!
Let us know if you have any questions by sending us a message or leave a comment below
The Team at Maths Australia