Are the Math-U-See Videos Necessary?
The Math-U-See program provides videos for instruction. For whom are they created? It may not be who you think; parents often mistake the videos as simply instruction for their children and sometimes make a critical mistake of just sitting their children in front of the videos and not gaining the full benefit of using them for themselves.
When Steve Demme developed Math-U-See, his intent was to make video instruction for the parents. He teaches in front of a class of students and has an amazing ability to speak to children without speaking down to them. He chose this format so that he could model for parents how to instruct with Math-U-See.
I will always be indebted to him for being the coach for my children. “Mr. Steve said” is a frequent refrain in my house. He has been the favored prophet in “Mathland” for my children when they no longer wanted me. I have always kept in mind that his videos were designed for ME – to know how to use the manipulatives to teach my children.
Steve’s original intent was to create video instruction so that parents would have an understanding of how to teach mathematics to their children. He is modeling for YOU how to teach mathematics. He has taken his instruction and written it in such a way to give you an “edible portion” of instruction for you to understand. The video instruction are there so that you have a full understanding of what your child is learning. This means that once they have practiced with a concept and internalized it, they can show you what they know.
Do you need the video instruction? If you are making the investment of a Math-U-See experience, then the videos are essential. The videos create understanding and model for you, the parent, where each lesson will take you.
Math-U-See is an investment in the future of your child. Make that investment work to its fullest by using the program as it is designed. If you have been guilty of just having your child watch the instruction and not participating alongside him, I want you not to feel guilty. Make a new decision to use the videos to gain a deeper understanding of what your child is learning. You will both benefit tremendously.