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How Do You Use Math-U-See? [Lesson Plan]

This blog post presents one family’s lesson plan for working through a Math-U-See lesson in a week.

While Math-U-See is a mastery-based math program, it does follow a predictable pattern; this allows it to easily fit into the rhythm of many of our customer’s weeks.

This blog post presents one family’s lesson plan for working through a Math-U-See lesson in a week; you can tweak to fit your individual family’s schedule and student’s pacing.

Amanda Capps is a homeschooling mom who has used Math-U-See for several years with her own children. Her ideas are outlined below and reflect the flexibility a family can have using Math-U-See. Read on to learn what a typical week looks like for her family.

An Average Math-U-See Lesson Plan


Monday is concept day! This is when we learn the new concepts presented in the lesson. First, my student and I watch the DVD lesson together; then, depending on the student’s age and level, either my student or I read through the written lesson in the Instruction Manual. We then work with the new concept using the example problems, making sure we’re following the Build, Write, Say process.

If you’re new to Math-U-See or need a math refresher, it is important that you watch the DVD and read the Instruction Manual before working with your student.


If the student hasn’t already completed Lesson Practice A, that’s the first assignment. Then the student can continue working on Lesson Practice B. You will want to provide as much support as needed but encourage as much independence as possible. The completion of the B page is generally the fork in the road. If the student is able to complete the B page independently and with confidence, it’s time to check for mastery.

This is very important! My student gets to be the teacher and teach me the concept. I always make sure they build, write, and say it for me. Only after the student can teach back the concepts with confidence and accuracy and can solve problems without using the manipulatives will I move on.


If the student did not demonstrate mastery, you should plan on continuing your week with Lesson Practice C and additional practice problems until they are able to work independently.

If I am noticing that they have struggled, are making significant errors when I check their work, or do not teach back with confidence, then I might go ahead and utilize the online worksheet generator, reviewing the DVD and sample problems again as needed.

However, if the student is able to teach back the concept, you can spend these two days on the Systematic Review pages for the lesson. The Systematic Review pages are essential. It’s important that your student work through at least one to apply new concepts in the context of previously learned material and to keep skills sharp.


If your student has mastered the lesson concepts, it’s time to bring the week to a close. You can administer the lesson test if you would like a record of your student’s achievement; you can also continue with the Application and Enrichment/Honors page to extend learning. Then it’s time to celebrate with your student on a job well done!

We’re presenting Amanda’s ideas as guidelines to get you started. Again, it cannot be stressed enough that Math-U-See is not a “cookie-cutter” program but one that is meant to be adapted to ensure that your child attains mastery. However you choose to modify these guidelines when you are planning your homeschool instruction for the week, keep your eye on your student, not on the calendar. Let your schedule work for you as you use Math-U-See and you will help your student achieve mastery and become a confident problem solver who enjoys math.

Get a free consultation from a Math-U-See expert.

About Jean Soyke

Jean Soyke is a certified elementary educator with specialties in math and curriculum development. She taught in both public and private schools before homeschooling her four children, grades K-12. For the past several years, Jean has worked for homeschool publishing companies and currently serves as the Managing Editor for Demme Learning.

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