Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
Currently, we are in the process of some developments regarding Maths-U-See digital access
With regard to the digital Maths-U-See developments, we will keep you informed through the website and Oikos Facebook page. Right now, this is still a work in progress.
We have been informed by Math-U-See USA that due to the many challenges currently, as well as various other complexities, they will only be developing the digital version for South Africa to be offered through Oikos in 2021.
While we wait we can be praying for them all as they traverse their way through the global crisis.
Math-U-See USA sent us this question, and their answer, to help families with the physical DVDS'
- Our computer was recently updated to Windows 10. Now we find that we can no longer play the Math-U-See Instruction DVDs. Do you have an updated file that we can download to continue using this program?
- Yes, you’ll need to install a video player to use the DVDs on your Windows 10 operating system. One option that has worked successfully for other customers is found at www.videolan.org; download the VLC media player. (Please note, this is a third-party website and Demme Learning is not responsible for the content.)
I hope this is helpful to you in the interim.
The Oikos Team
A story you should read regarding this.
A few months ago we heard the news that we would not be able to import the Math-U-See manipulative blocks. This of course was a great concern, so we prayed. We prayed most specifically for the Math-U-See team in USA because they were dealing with a supply shortage which had multiple ripple effects on them and the people. So we prayed.
When our (Oikos) stock of manipulative sets starting running low we started praying for you, the parents whom we serve and supply these resources too. A few months later i wrote a letter to share the sadness of us no longer being able to supply the blocks. The day i was going to send that letter i received word from Math-U-See USA that they could send us some (50 to be exact) block sets. These block sets are referred to as IBK’s. (Integer Block Kit). We were delighted that we would be able to keep supplying you but we did continue to pray as we wondered what would happen when the 50 IBK’s, which we were now able to get from USA, were sold.
This part of the story is where it hits the parents……sadly. Although we have managed to get more IBK’s in stock the cost to do so has resulted in a price increase of 25% !!!
We are saddened by this reality but we had to make a decision…25% increase or no IBK’s. We were so very glad that Math-U-See USA were able to supply us with the 50 IBK’s so we accepted the increase and began the import process. Now however we are faced with the decision once again as we are able to receive another 50 sets but once again the price increase will be 25%.
So this letter is to inform you that we have decided to proceed with getting more blocks so that we can continue to supply you with this valuable resource but we will need to increase the price of the blocks, so as to be able to import these blocks. We have managed to adjust the increase to be 21% instead of the 25% that we have incurred. (Truth be known, the increase to Oikos was significantly more but we were so heart sore to add even the 21% to the blocks. We now trust and hope that we can sustain these increases)
Signing off with a bitter sweet feeling in my heart. Happy that we can keep supplying you and sad about the increase.
Unfortunately we cannot go back to the original spiral bound books.
Math-U-See converted from the spiral bound books to glue bound a few years back and consequently they require us to do the same as this is their curriculum, not ours. We only distribute so we must follow their requirements. They have advanced and made big improvements to the binding and believe this is now a better way to present the books.
We held off for as long as possible to not go glue binding but eventually we had to keep up with their developments and had no choice but to move across to glue binding.
What parents are doing about this is when the child is at the start of the book they place a book under the front cover to have the book evenly laid on the table. When the child is in the middle it is no longer difficult and then when they get near the lessons at the end you place a book under the back cover to have the book lay level again. This seems to be satisfactory.
This video here. we hope will answer this question for you.
We have placement tests for you on the website. (assessing your own child)
You, the parent, do the assessments, language, maths, and so on, with your child and discover where their ability and skill levels are and thereafter you are able to make informed decisions as to which books to get for them.
We, here at Oikos, do not presume to know what skill level each of your children are at. They may have come out of school and out of a specific grade level but that does not automatically mean they have understanding on all that they have learnt in that grade level. Because you are home educating you have the privilege and advantage of being able to place them at the level which is appropriate to their abilities rather than their age or grade.
Remember, schools do grades, at home you no longer need to follow grade levels. Oikos resources are colour coded not graded. We have put on the site next to the titles what the general level of that book would be if your reference is grades, simply to give you an idea of the content level but bear in mind that a second language english speaking child could be doing Red LLATL, being around grade 2 level, when that child is 10, 11, 12 or older. So we are not going to say they must do the grade 2 language book but rather the “RED” LLATL book. So you can see by this example why we leave it up to the parent to establish the level their children are at in each area of learning. We hope you will also find it helpful to watch the video production we have done on placements.
This video helps take you through the assessment steps.
There are placement tests for a parent to establish the skill level of the student.
You will notice the Math-U-See curriculum is colour coded and goes according to the greek alphabet, Primer, Alpha, Beta… and so on.
It is advisable that you begin the assessments a few grade levels below the child’s current grade. This will build confidence for the child and also help the parent have more insight into areas of difficulty which the child may be experiencing. Furthermore it is a good idea for a parent to place the child a level lower than the results of the placement tests, to ensure a solid foundation before moving on through the programme.
It is irrelevant which book they start at. What is relevant however, is their skill level and ability. Please watch the placement video which you will find in the math-u-see category on the Oikos site.
Watch the video here. regarding assessments to place your child at their correct skill level.
Yes, Math-U-See does take a student to Matric level, grade 12 and grade 13.
However, depending on the exam to be taken, be it South African Matric or Cambridge AS (grade 12) or another at that level, it may require a student to prepare specifically because of the different way in which the ‘maths language’ is presented. Furthermore a student may have covered, for example, calculus to a certain level (grade 12) but the exam may have more content on calculus than the student has possibly practised because they may have spent more time on trigonometry for example.
So although Math-U-See most definitely takes students up to a grade 12/13 level of maths education, what must be kept in perspective is the current standard of Matric and maths language interpretations, etc.
In short, the physical blocks are of utmost importance to the Math-U-See programme, and the app is merely an additional accompaniment.
With the recent release of the Manipulative’s App from Math-U-See there has been some confusion about whether this is a replacement for the physical blocks.
Here is Math-U-See’s answer to this question…
"We now offer both physical and digital manipulatives. Digital Manipulatives are designed to make learning mobile and to supplement our physical manipulative’s. Most users find that the physical manipulatives provide a fuller and richer experience, however some find that virtual manipulatives can be more useful when traveling or illustrating certain concepts like addition of negative numbers. The physical manipulatives are the primary tool and an integral part of the Math-U-See instructional method. They have helped students be successful in math for almost 25 years. Digital manipulatives have the added advantage, however, of being convenient when on the go and helpful in building large problems. We recommend that the digital manipulatives be used as an additional tool to enhance instruction. Educational researchers are still evaluating the use of digital manipulatives in math instruction; we will continue to follow this research in our efforts to provide the best quality products, both physical and digital."
Seth Dunham – Director of Sales, Math-U-See
You might have heard about this. How does this affect the South African Maths U See?
An excerpt from the letter from Math U see reads ;-
“ As of now the Math U see digital packs are only the American version and are only available through Math U See USA. We have not yet worked out how this can be sold through our international partners.
We wish we could give you better news than that but this is where things stand at the moment. Keep in mind, however , that the digital packs are not the complete Math U See curriculum and that customers will still have to purchase the Student packs and should purchase the Instruction Manual and the physical manipulatives.
The Instruction Manual and DVD’s could possibly be replaced by the digital but there are still some things in the Instruction Manual that are not on the online version, plus those that don’t have reliable internet will be happy to have the physical product and DVD’s. We also strongly recommend the use of the physical manipulative and that you use the digital manipulative only as a supplementary product.”
So what is the digital manipulative? This is available on the App store and those are not specific to any program but can be used by the USA and SA versions, but Math U see strongly urge you to use them only as an add on. You can find out more about the Math-U-See app here.
Oikos will continue supplying the complete SA Version.
Watch the video here.