When our family first began homeschooling, we tried several math programs before we finally found Math U See. The multi-sensory, hands-on, mastery approach really clicked for us. My kids really seemed to be able to wrap their brains around the concepts Mr. Demme was showing them by working through them with the manipulatives in hand.
When I began looking at high school credits I looked around a bit for a personal finance/accounting program to go through with my High School student. I was happy to find that Math U See had just what I was looking for and it is even a Biblically based study! When we had the opportunity to review Stewardship , I was elated! Go God!
For review we received the Stewardship Instruction Pack which contains the hardcover Stewardship Instruction manual with lesson-by-lesson instructions, detailed solutions, a devotional, and the DVD with lesson-by-lesson video instruction given by Mr. Steve Demme. This can be purchased for $57.00 on the MUS website.
We also received the Stewardship Student pack which contains the softcover hole-punched student workbook with lesson-by-lesson worksheets and review pages, and the Stewardship Test booklet. This retails for $27.00 at the MUS website, and you will definitely need one set per student to go along with the study.
The study is divided into four main sections:
*Buying and Maintaining a Home
The lessons/specific topics covered are earning money, percent, taxes, banking, checking, interest, investing, budgeting, percents at the store, credit cards, comparison Shopping, Phone Plans, Best Value, Purchasing and Operation of an automobile, auto mechanics, insurance, real estate, contracting and painting, rent, fabric and carpet, concrete and stone, plumbing and electrical, humble pie and lumber, haggling and insulation, on the road, keeping score, printing, GPA and Wind Chill, Air, Train, Bus, or Car, USPS or UPS.
For each lesson there is a 3-5 page coordinating lesson in the instruction manual, a dvd lesson taught by Mr. Steve, and a set of practice problems (in word-problem or graphic format).
The small paperback devotional book has thirty devotions that coordinate with the concepts being covered in the study. It began as a way to share Mr.Demme’s own experiences and testimony with his sons. He makes it clear that it is not meant to be “the definitive word on finance in the scriptures,” but a means to stimulate discussions between parents and children using the Bible as reference and guidance. The short devotionals are power-packed with scripture, Biblical principles, and a prayer at the end of each lesson. I challenge you to find a math program with its own Bible devotional to accompany it! Amazing!
The study can be used with anyone that has a good understanding of “basic math”. Algebra is helpful for some of the lessons, but I certainly wouldn’t worry about it if your students haven’t mastered it yet.
I am using it with my 7th and 10th graders together. It would be a wonderful study to use with a co-op, as a group study, or even adult ministry.
Stewardship at Gunn Ranch Academy
I am using this study with my 7th and 10th graders. We sit and watch the DVD lesson which is really not too terribly long. The lessons, taught by Mr. Steve Demme at the white board, are short and sweet and to the point with very relevant examples, clear concepts and illustrated explanations.
He works through the concepts on the whiteboard, and asks his students questions just as if you were in a real lecture.
After watching the DVD lesson, I open the hardback instruction manual and read through the lesson out loud. The lessons are only a few pages and are basically a text backup for the DVD lesson. ( I do believe it’s suppose to be the other way around, the DVD lesson back up the text lesson?) Anyway, after we read the text together, I then open the devotional that goes with the lesson and we read through it. My girls then are assigned the workbook problems to do on their own the next day and we go over those before we begin the next session together.
My high school student really doesn’t like to participate in “read alouds” anymore. With any studies we do together she usually prefers to do the reading part on her own, but is happy to participate in the discussion time. These short lessons that follow the DVD lesson, however, she hasn’t minded at all. While this would be a very good independent program, I just think it’s so much better to actually go through it with your kids, the way Mr. Demme designed it to be. Your personal experience will add so much to the study, and you might even learn something :).
I especially LOVE the devotional. The scriptures and personal testimony of Mr. Demme really make this conversational style devotion a jewel to add to this finance study. It’s still kind of amazing to me to think of math being made into a devotional, but I guess I just never really thought of personal finance in this way, and I’m not sure why because Biblical principles have everything to do with our money and finances!
This study covers so many concepts that might, to an adult, seem obvious, or something that one wouldn’t think of “teaching” to a child or discussing with a purpose. Many of the concepts like hourly pay vs. salary, piecemeal, commissions, overtime pay, holiday pay, tips, sales tax, paying taxes, and many others are things they have “heard of” or maybe know a little about but covering it in solid detail will certainly help keep them from misunderstanding or making many of the mistakes a lot of young people make when starting out on their own. While we have discussed checking and savings accounts, and my older one has covered interest, percentages, etc, this was nice to put it all in perspective. The actual math concepts can make complete sense though some problems I had to work through with my 7th grader. She has been able to completely understand everything so far with help on a little of it.
We have covered investing before, but this really explains inflation, CDs, IRAs, and Real Estate in simple terms as examples.
Budgeting is another lesson I found very helpful. While they understand the concept and help me greatly in this endeavor at our house, this lesson really explained many of the principles in a simple way.
This program will help them both in their 4-H Consumer Decision Making project. We have been able to expand and continue our discussions in many of the lessons to things they have learned from their CDM project, and much will be applied when it’s time to judge next year.You just can’t beat hands-on application!!
The material is definitely worthy of a half high school credit if the problems are worked and the student completes the study. This is most definitely the most “relevant” and “real-world” application of math that there is.
I am ever-so-grateful that Mr. Demme made the effort to share with us his personal style of teaching his own kids. Thank you Mr. Demme!
This program, Math-U-See Stewardship, gets six thumbs up from Gunn Ranch Academy!
I would really love to teach this to a small group of young people as a Bible Study, and/or a group of young adults, young family couples and/or singles.
Enjoy your journey!