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Upper levels of Right Start with ALs?


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#1 Sarah0000

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 09:47 AM

I know RS is very scripted but it also sounds like it doesn't include a lot of repetition beyond the games. Could it be used easily to introduce and practice topics conceptually without needing to gain mastery before continuing through that level? Or does each section require mastery/automaticity before continuing?

I'm specifically looking at level E and I wouldn't go on to the next level before reaching mastery/automaticity. I do need something that holds my hand a little more as we start heading into upper elementary math but my primary goal at first is just to have something new and interesting since we've been sitting on grade 3 stuff for awhile (he just started memorizing the multiplication table though).

For grades 1-3 I've primarily used Miquon as the interesting conceptual math then Singapore for mastery with breaks with BA, LoF, and Xtra Math. I guess I'm looking for something to replace the Miquon part of the equation while he continues to do rote work to gain mastery of previous stuff.

#2 Lace

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 03:39 PM

Yes, you could use RS to introduce topics and move forward without mastery.  There are no clear sections; the topics jump around a lot from lesson to lesson.  I mean, there'll often be chunks of lessons with the same general topics, but the subjects also come up again later (and usually before) the main lump as well.  It's not really a spiral, but it's also not mastery.  It's hard to explain, but the same concepts come up over and over in different ways.  The last quarter to third or so of each level generally introduces a bunch of new topics that they'll further expound on in the next level(s), clearly not expecting kids to master them the first pass through.

 

My DS#1 was older than your DS when he started Level E; he was close to 7.  But even so, I found level E was written for an older audience.  It required a lot of very tiny handwriting and had problems that were just uninteresting and irrelevant to a young elementary student.  The math was good, but they expected less wiggles, little need for manipulatives, nice handwriting, and the word problems were plainly geared towards older children.  The lower levels were much more hands-on and engaging for a younger student.  Level E is where I lost the RS-love.  Admittedly, we used 1st edition, so perhaps 2nd edition is better.  Hopefully someone who has used 2nd edition E will chime in.

 

If you're just looking to introduce higher level topics conceptually without mastery, it seems like living math books could be a good way to go.  Stuff like G Is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book.  Or you could get a good children's math dictionary and go through topics as you like.  Or what about just diving into Beast?  You might have to camp out on a chapter or two while fluency catches up, but once he gets that down he'll likely zoom ahead, no harm done in slowing down for a bit.



#3 Sarah0000

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 04:31 PM

I have introduced the higher concepts with living books and manipulatives. I guess I'm looking for something between a basic introduction and full mastery that could be our main program. I'm tired of cobbling so many different things together and would like one thing to fall back on when I'm not feeling very motivated, especially since I'll have a newborn next year.

He's sort of doing BA as well. TBH the workbook isn't as engaging as I had hoped. I do plan to purchase the second grade series as it comes out.

#4 Lace

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 05:23 PM

Yeah, I think there's a certain level of maturity that is needed to enjoy Beast.  My DS#3 could do BA 3A and some of 3B level work now, but he's not ready to enjoy it as presented, so I'm holding off.  I'm hoping he'll be ready by this fall.  If not, we're just going to continue with MEP until he is.  I don't intend to take him beyond level C in RS.  I just don't find it little-kid friendly.

 

I think most kids need to be in the 6-7yo range to get the most out of Beast 3+.  My DS#1 did all of RS A-E before looping back around to Beast 3 at 7.5yo and LOVED it.  If he had started at 6.5 when he finished RS C, he probably would have taken longer to work through it and wound up at the same place he his now, and I suspect he wouldn't have enjoyed it the way he has with a little extra maturity on his side.

 

And FWIW, the RS E workbook is *way* drier than the BA 3 workbooks.  Way, way, way, way drier.  You could teach the RS lessons without the workbooks, but I think it'd be just as well to read the BA guides without the practice books.  



#5 Sarah0000

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 08:16 PM

That's been my experience with BA. He liked the first section of the BA3a workbook on shapes and parts of the third on area and perimeter. I'm only doing the guides for the rest of 3 until he's older and hope he'll like the BA2 series workbooks better.

I wasn't intending to do any of the RS E worksheets. I should have mentioned that. But he likes geometry and drawing math stuff so I thought he might like RS lessons better than Singapore 4 lessons right away.

#6 Lace

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:09 PM

Meh, the only RS level in the elementary series with substantial amounts of drawing lessons is C, but it still only amounts to a few weeks of content.  Level E has some drawing, but not much (in 1st edition, not sure about 2nd).  The middle school text, level G, is almost all drawing.  It starts slowly; I'd guess that the first 40ish lessons your DS would probably get now to soon, but it ramps up after that and complements pre-A well by 1/2-2/3 of the way through, though I do recognize some topics from BA 3, 4, and 5 in the second half of RS G, just taught differently.

 

You're in a tough spot with your kiddo.  I'd love to know what you end up figuring out.



#7 Sarah0000

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:23 PM

Thanks.

Yeah I can't really find anything. Other than light stuff like living books and LoF he hasn't really had any new math work for about six months. He has made big strides in automaticity as well, so yeah, kind of stuck.

BA online would probably be great for this if it was ready.

I will have extra charter school funds next year so I don't mind buying stuff that I may not use that year. I might get RS E anyway and see what I can do with it. For short periods he has done Key to books without complaint so maybe he won't mind the dryness as long as it's new info.

#8 Sarah0000

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 05:37 PM

In case anyone is in a similar position or has experience or advice, I'm thinking of trying out Mathtacular 3 instead as a fun, but hopefully somewhat meaty (more meaty than topical picture books anyway) segue towards Singapore 4. I also discovered I had MM Percents on my computer so I can use that for the basics of converting between fractions, decimals, and percents along with RS card games which we've already been doing for the easier ones.

#9 Sarah0000

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 05:41 PM

But the RS Geometry looks like it would be right up his alley in a couple years. I definitely intend to do that somewhere along the line.