Math-U-See Algebra 1: a Review

The biggest hurdle I have had in homeschooling Logan is teaching him math. We found Math-U-See after much trial and error. It seems impossible to me that Logan is a senior this year. After a long and arduous journey with math he is finally taking Algebra. My honest belief is that we never would have gotten this far without Math-U-See.

We got to review Math-U-See Algebra I after our successful giveaway back in August. All opinions are ours. We give our honest opinions here at LJSkool and folks know and respect that.

Math-U-See Algebra 1 - A Review | How this program has been great for a teen with ADHD and a dislike for math


Many folks will tell you that Math-U-See will serve your kid in college well. Others may say it isn’t rigorous enough. A few things have been been important to me with teaching Logan math. I wanted him to be able to do it on his own and explain to me why that method worked.

I realized early on that Logan was not going to be the next child math prodigy. After all, this is the kid who would rather sit and draw doodles on a simple math sheet than do the actual problems.

When the box came in the mail Logan was both excited and scared. He had worked very hard to get to this level. There were years when I thought I should just give up on teaching him math. He wasn’t interested and saw no point in it. A sense of responsibility has come over him after a summer of working full time. It probably also helps that he is 17 years old now.

I like this more mature boy, I really do.

Cathy Duffy loves their manipulatives, “Manipulative Blocks, Fraction Overlays, and Algebra and Decimal Inserts are used at different levels to teach concepts, primarily using the “rectangle building” principle. This basic idea, consistently used throughout the program—even through algebra—is one of the best ways to demonstrate math concepts.”


Logan is now in Chapter 7 and doing very well. I did help him in the beginning chapters. After chapter 3 he hasn’t asked for help or assistance. The best part is that he is loving it. Many times he has shown me his self-graded worksheet and said, “Mom! I can’t believe it myself, but look, I got these right!”

Logan really does need to work on slowing down though. Some chapters take more than a week to get through. If he checks his work and he misses more than 3 then I’ll sit down with him to figure out where he went wrong. Sometimes he gets ahead of himself . He stumbles over his own feet. He wants to believe he can run when he’s still learning to crawl.

The reason he’s going so fast most of the time is that he is loving doing math! This kid has said on more than one occasion that he loves Algebra. Well knock me over with a sock and call me Sue. Should I start looking for a pod maybe?

We still do the tests the old way. I’ll ask him each question one at a time. He will use a white board to write the problem and solve it. So far, he’s batting about an 89% correct rate the first time out. I really am absolutely delighted with that from him. Now when Jordan gets a score lower than 95% I have problems with that. They are just two very kids with different skills.


There are many reviews of the Math-U-See Algebra program. The Old Schoolhouse did a review back in 2006. Few of them are complementary I am afraid. I think maybe parents want their kids to be math rock stars.

I just want my kid to do the work without kvetching or crying, be able to explain to me what he’s doing, and why.

Math-U-See Algebra fits all of those qualifications for this family!

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