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Does RightStart A-E really teach all the math needed for Algebra?


SophiaH
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DD8 has completed RS levels B and C, then we took a much-needed break using CLE to solidify math facts, but have recently jumped back into D. At our current pace, dd will finish up level E sometime around the beginning of 4th grade (although we'll likely take some bunny trails with HOE, MEP, etc.)

 

I know that many of you do other types of math for a couple of years before starting Algebra because your dc are not ready for Algebra maturity-wise. I've seen that some do Singapore 5 & 6, and then jump into Algebra. It is my tentative plan to dabble in some other things like CWP, LOF, RM6 and maybe some MM for a couple of years after RS E.

 

But I'm curious about Dr. Cotter's recommendation that after RS E children should begin the Geometry program and then half-way through begin VideoText Algebra. (Is Videotext not as rigorous an Algebra program as some others, and that's why children can go right to it? I think I read that module A may be more of Pre-Algebra program???)

 

So, what I've been wondering is...with children's mental readiness for algebra aside, does RightStart teach all the math concepts needed for Algebra?

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if you haven't already, consider joining the yahoo group for rightstart users and posting this question there. i've found it to be a really helpful sounding board of RS families. :) i have no advice to offer to you since my DS7 is only in Level C, but i will enjoy reading the responses you get here from experienced ones .... :) good luck!

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While you are waiting for an answer, I'll bump up the thread bt telling you what we did after Right Start "E" at the end of 4th grade. Singapore 5A, Life of Fred:Decimals, Singapore 5B, Life of Fred Decimals & Percens. We do have RS Geometry, which we will do over the summer. I do know that some people on this board have done the Videotext Algebra after "e", so stay tuned for your real answer!

 

Julie

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if you haven't already, consider joining the yahoo group for rightstart users and posting this question there. i've found it to be a really helpful sounding board of RS families. :) i have no advice to offer to you since my DS7 is only in Level C, but i will enjoy reading the responses you get here from experienced ones .... :) good luck!

 

I searched for rightstart and right start and couldn't find anything. Can you give the exact name of the group, please? Thanks!!

 

Nevermind... I found it. Apparently capitalization matters. :/ Thanks for the tip!

Edited by Mert
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if you haven't already, consider joining the yahoo group for rightstart users and posting this question there. i've found it to be a really helpful sounding board of RS families. :) i have no advice to offer to you since my DS7 is only in Level C, but i will enjoy reading the responses you get here from experienced ones .... :) good luck!

 

I am a member of the yahoo group; thanks for the reminder! Many times, I prefer asking questions about curriculum here though, instead of yahoo groups just because the Hive Mind tends to be a little more objective and...well, opinionated! ;)

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While you are waiting for an answer, I'll bump up the thread bt telling you what we did after Right Start "E" at the end of 4th grade. Singapore 5A, Life of Fred:Decimals, Singapore 5B, Life of Fred Decimals & Percens. We do have RS Geometry, which we will do over the summer. I do know that some people on this board have done the Videotext Algebra after "e", so stay tuned for your real answer!

 

Julie

 

Thanks, Julie! That sounds very similar to what I am thinking, except I'm not a huge SM fan, so I *might* go with MM as more of a spine, or just stick with LOF and RM. We'll see. I've still got some time before we have to decide! :D

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DD8 has completed RS levels B and C, then we took a much-needed break using CLE to solidify math facts, but have recently jumped back into D. At our current pace, dd will finish up level E sometime around the beginning of 4th grade (although we'll likely take some bunny trails with HOE, MEP, etc.)

 

I know that many of you do other types of math for a couple of years before starting Algebra because your dc are not ready for Algebra maturity-wise. I've seen that some do Singapore 5 & 6, and then jump into Algebra. It is my tentative plan to dabble in some other things like CWP, LOF, RM6 and maybe some MM for a couple of years after RS E.

 

But I'm curious about Dr. Cotter's recommendation that after RS E children should begin the Geometry program and then half-way through begin VideoText Algebra. (Is Videotext not as rigorous an Algebra program as some others, and that's why children can go right to it? I think I read that module A may be more of Pre-Algebra program???)

 

So, what I've been wondering is...with children's mental readiness for algebra aside, does RightStart teach all the math concepts needed for Algebra?

 

 

 

That is a loaded question, which is why I think you are not getting a lot of answers. Did you see Dr. Cotter's recent post on the topic? I will try to remember to cut and post it, because even if you have read it I am sure others will be interested to read it.

Yes and no.

 

If the child is not ready for abstract thinking then they just aren't ready. That is developmental. Given there are people finishing RS E in 4th grade there is a possibility that the developmental piece might not be there. Here that isn't too much of a worry given my 6th grader is just now finishing up E, and my 4th grader is doing D. ;)

 

If there developmental cog is in place? Yes I do think it would, especially for mathy kids. The way RS uses proper terms give the child a let up when jumping into Algebra, and you spend 1/3 of RS E working algebra problems, starting out simple and working to more difficult. The first ones are x-3=7 sort, where the one we did the other day was with fractions. If the child isn't mathy then I don't think it would hurt to first do a pre-algebra course. Not that they couldn't go into Algebra, but it might be really frustrating because of the difficulty level. A year reviewing concepts and taking them one step farther will help them in Algebra and give them a year of maturity before hitting the hard stuff. Can't hurt.

 

I am going to have my dd do one day of RS G and 3 days of a Pre-Algebra program next year. The year after I will probably have her do 2 days of RS G and 2 days of Pre-Algebra till it is finished and then move into an Algebra program, alternating till RS G is finished.

 

Heather

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Here is Dr. Cotter's recent post to the yahoo group:

 

 

I would like to make a few points about when your child should begin

algebra.

 

First, state standards require algebraic thinking beginning in

kindergarten. In the early grades this means recognizing patterns and

being to able to explain each step of a mathematical task. This is

why the manuals frequently ask that the child tell how they know

something. The whole field of mathematics is based on this logical

reasoning.

 

Second, students will NOT be ready for a formal course of algebra

after the completion of Level E. The author of VideoText, Tom Clark,

says the same thing. They need upper elementary, or middle school,

math, which includes ratio, proportion, exponents, metric and

customary measurement, square roots, graphing, the distance formula,

and so forth. Generally, about a third of such courses are geometry

with topics such as characteristics of polygons and circles, all

types of angles, the Pythagorean theorem, translations.

transformations, and volumes and surface area of polyhedrons. They

also learn to find more complicated patterns, solve multi-step

problems using equations, and master a scientific calculator.

 

Third, RightStart Mathematics: A Hands-On Geometric Approach teaches

these topics and more. Instead of covering this math as a bunch of

rules to memorize, most is taught visually (hence the name), making

it easier to learn. Geometric Approach reviews earlier-taught

mathematics and prepares the student for more advanced and

independent work. Children who have been working to understand every

step of the way (not merely memorize), who have conquered the

feelings of frustration inherent in learning, and are good readers

will be successful. (A student having a question should email me with

"Math Student" as subject.) Parents have been preparing their

children for this more advanced work by asking the why in the RS

levels A-E and expecting their children to do the worksheets

independently.

 

Fourth, along with Geometric Approach it is a good idea for the

student to do a daily multivide (D13 in the Math Card Games book).

About halfway through Geometric Approach the student can start VT

Module A, one day a week. This Module is foundation for algebra, or

pre-algebra. Modules B-F are Algebra 1 and 2. We suggest VT because

it is one of very few homeschooling math programs that teaches for

understanding. Geometric Approach and Module A combined will take

about two years.

 

Joan A. Cotter, Ph.D.

 

 

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That is a loaded question, which is why I think you are not getting a lot of answers. Did you see Dr. Cotter's recent post on the topic? I will try to remember to cut and post it, because even if you have read it I am sure others will be interested to read it.

Yes and no.

 

If the child is not ready for abstract thinking then they just aren't ready. That is developmental. Given there are people finishing RS E in 4th grade there is a possibility that the developmental piece might not be there. Here that isn't too much of a worry given my 6th grader is just now finishing up E, and my 4th grader is doing D. ;)

 

If there developmental cog is in place? Yes I do think it would, especially for mathy kids. The way RS uses proper terms give the child a let up when jumping into Algebra, and you spend 1/3 of RS E working algebra problems, starting out simple and working to more difficult. The first ones are x-3=7 sort, where the one we did the other day was with fractions. If the child isn't mathy then I don't think it would hurt to first do a pre-algebra course. Not that they couldn't go into Algebra, but it might be really frustrating because of the difficulty level. A year reviewing concepts and taking them one step farther will help them in Algebra and give them a year of maturity before hitting the hard stuff. Can't hurt.

 

I am going to have my dd do one day of RS G and 3 days of a Pre-Algebra program next year. The year after I will probably have her do 2 days of RS G and 2 days of Pre-Algebra till it is finished and then move into an Algebra program, alternating till RS G is finished.

 

Heather

 

Heather,

 

I didn't mean to ask a loaded question...I was really trying to ask a simple question! :tongue_smilie: I just have a very bad habit of making things more complicated than they are, I guess! :D

 

No, actually I hadn't seen Dr. Cotter's message yet, so that was very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to post it! It does answer many of my questions. It sounds like she's saying that RS A-E PLUS The Geometric Approach PLUS VT A would cover everything needed for a formal Algebra program, whether that's the remaining modules of VT or some other program. So if a dc finishes RS E in 4th grade, then over 5th and 6th they could do RS G, starting VT A half-way through for one day a week. And I presume that by the end of 6th, they'd be done with G and VT A, and if their brain is ready, could go into Algebra. And she also described VT A as a Pre-Algebra program, so that's good to know...

 

And you're saying (I think, correct me if I'm wrong) that you believe that the foundations are built in E for a mathy child to jump right into Algebra, but there might be some conceptual leaps that a non-mathy child (or one who's brain is not quite ready for abstract thinking--which is likely a lot of children that complete E in 4th) would have trouble with and would be much better served by percolating in higher-elementary math/Pre-Algebra for a while.

 

I'm not sure what my plans will be (hadn't really thought about using VT) but I know I definitely want to include some percolation time. ;) Possibly using RS G, LOF and RM6. I wonder if those would be enough? I guess it would if I went up through LOF Pre-Algebra. Oh well, it's a long way off, and who knows what dd will be ready for when? But it's good for me to start planning now on how to bridge the gap from where we are now to where I want my kiddos to go in their math sequence long-term (60s Dolciani & Moise & Downs), so this conversation is very helpful. Thanks!

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Heather,

 

And you're saying (I think, correct me if I'm wrong) that you believe that the foundations are built in E for a mathy child to jump right into Algebra, but there might be some conceptual leaps that a non-mathy child (or one who's brain is not quite ready for abstract thinking--which is likely a lot of children that complete E in 4th) would have trouble with and would be much better served by percolating in higher-elementary math/Pre-Algebra for a while.

 

Pretty much. My oldest actually can already think in algebra terms, so for her it is not a developmental issue. She just falls apart when it gets too challenging, and needs me to hold her hand. I have so much on my plate that I need her to be able to get this stuff and do it on her own. The extra year in the basics can make all the difference between her working smoothly and years of my having to come alongside her and help her through, KWIM? Maybe not all the difference, but pushing at this point can't help.

I'm not sure what my plans will be (hadn't really thought about using VT) but I know I definitely want to include some percolation time. ;) Possibly using RS G, LOF and RM6. I wonder if those would be enough? I guess it would if I went up through LOF Pre-Algebra. Oh well, it's a long way off, and who knows what dd will be ready for when? But it's good for me to start planning now on how to bridge the gap from where we are now to where I want my kiddos to go in their math sequence long-term (60s Dolciani & Moise & Downs), so this conversation is very helpful. Thanks!

 

Which LOF? If you with the Pre-Algebra level you would probably do fine. I am actually going to use HOE and then do Kinetic books Pre-Algebra and then on to their algebra course.

 

Once I got VT in hand I love it and hated it. Love the instruction the heart of the person teaching, hated having to sit there and watch a video. I am the sort of person who does sudoku while the TV is on because I don't like to just sit and watch TV. My oldest is like me so I saw the potential for big huge battles, and decided that maybe VT wasn't the best way to keep her attitude towards math positive. :D

 

Now I still plan, at the same time, to finish Singapore 6 (next year) and move into Singapore's Discovering Math (for 8th) or if the huge pieces of that program drive me nuts (we normally do little pieces at a time) then I will go to Foerster's Algebra 1. It has the small chunks that work for use, but right now it would totally frighten my dd with the small text and few pictures. Like you I don't need to worry about that quite yet. I do have a Dolcani book from 1975, but it is just too much for dd. She is not mathy. I plan to work through it myself through, I am such a nerd.

 

Heather

 

Edited by siloam
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Which LOF? If you with the Pre-Algebra level you would probably do fine. I am actually going to use HOE and then do Kinetic books Pre-Algebra and then on to their algebra course.

Oh, I forgot about HOE. We will be doing that one as well. For LOF, I was planning on Fractions, Decimal & Percents, and then Pre-Algebra.

 

Once I got VT in hand I love it and hated it. Love the instruction the heart of the person teaching, hated having to sit there and watch a video. I am the sort of person who does sudoku while the TV is on because I don't like to just sit and watch TV. My oldest is like me so I saw the potential for big huge battles, and decided that maybe VT wasn't the best way to keep her attitude towards math positive. :D
Me too! I always have to be doing something while the TV is on--I prefer Karuko over Sudoku though! ;) I dumped LC1 mostly because I just don't like the DVD aspect. I actually prefer to teach things myself. But I've checked out a couple of the VT DVD samples and they're not too bad--at least they're short!;)

 

I do have a Dolcani book from 1975, but it is just too much for dd. She is not mathy. I plan to work through it myself through, I am such a nerd.
Well, count me in the nerd category too, I guess, because I'm working through a 1962 Dolciani right now myself! :D (Although Geometry is my real love so I can't wait for the Moise and Downs!)

 

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:bigear: Can I be a guinea pig for a moment? :D

 

I've had Harold Jacobs's Elementary Algebra and Geometry scheduled for 8th and 9th respectively. I now wonder if they will be redundant. I now have a gaping hole in my middle school math years! AHHHH! Where's my easy button?

 

This is what I have in my "planning spreadsheet" :D:

 

4th - RS E

5th - RS G + pre-algebra

6th - RS G cont. + pre-algebra

7th - This is now a GAPING HOLE :001_huh:

8th - Elementary Algebra (Jacobs)

9th - Jacobs Geometry

10th - Foerster’s Algebra II & Trigonometry

11th - Foerster's Continued

12th - Stewardship Course

 

I did not add calculus, but that can be done in 12th if wanted.

 

Here's what I'm wondering...for pre-algebra, I could use LOF or would Jacobs Elementary Algebra be too advanced (but on the otherhand, Mr. Jacobs says no pre-algebra needed before his text).

 

Well, those are my ramblings. I guess I could take my time and go through RS a little slower, finishing E in 5th?

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I really thought that my oldest was ready for algebra this year (7th). He's very solid on the foundational mathematics, and had used Hands-On Equations. He scored high on every algebra readiness test I could find. But it was a huge developmental year for him physically, and he just couldn't get into algebra at all, so we backed off and did more pre-algebra this year while his body lept ahead. Now he seems mentally back in tune, and we'll try again.

 

IMHO it's fine to plan a year-by-year course ahead, but there's a reason that many math programs seemingly slow down during pre-algebra. Some kids need that time, and some don't. We apparently did.

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:bigear: Can I be a guinea pig for a moment? :D

 

I've had Harold Jacobs's Elementary Algebra and Geometry scheduled for 8th and 9th respectively. I now wonder if they will be redundant. I now have a gaping hole in my middle school math years! AHHHH! Where's my easy button?

 

This is what I have in my "planning spreadsheet" :D:

 

4th - RS E

5th - RS G + pre-algebra

6th - RS G cont. + pre-algebra

7th - This is now a GAPING HOLE :001_huh:

8th - Elementary Algebra (Jacobs)

9th - Jacobs Geometry

10th - Foerster’s Algebra II & Trigonometry

11th - Foerster's Continued

12th - Stewardship Course

 

I did not add calculus, but that can be done in 12th if wanted.

 

Here's what I'm wondering...for pre-algebra, I could use LOF or would Jacobs Elementary Algebra be too advanced (but on the otherhand, Mr. Jacobs says no pre-algebra needed before his text).

 

Well, those are my ramblings. I guess I could take my time and go through RS a little slower, finishing E in 5th?

 

I think there are lots of things you could play around with, as well as taking your time. It is nice to know you have some breathing room.

 

You could do LOF Fractions, Decimals & Percents. Those are covered in E, but it doesn't hurt to have more practice. It isn't like the other levels where they will continue to review it in the next level of RS. Well I am sure they will review in G, but you aren't doing G daily, KWIM? I had to qualify that way too much. :D

 

If you like the looks of HOE you could add that as well.

 

Then when you do reach Jacobs just take it nice and slow. Jacobs breaks things into small portions, so I don't think it would be difficult to stretch things out. Given you are going to do Pre-Algebra you don't need to worry about the prerequisites. Looking at the text though I wouldn't want to stick a middle school student into it without Pre-Algebra. It just moves too quickly. Even a High School student who struggled with math...they might do fine as the text does have a lot of visual distinction (use of color, pictures, ect...), but the first chapter has fractions, exponents, distributive rule, ect... It is not that it is difficult but that it will make a non-math person want to hyperventilate. ;) A math person, or older student I could see picking it up and running with it.

 

Heather

 

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I really thought that my oldest was ready for algebra this year (7th). He's very solid on the foundational mathematics, and had used Hands-On Equations. He scored high on every algebra readiness test I could find. But it was a huge developmental year for him physically, and he just couldn't get into algebra at all, so we backed off and did more pre-algebra this year while his body lept ahead. Now he seems mentally back in tune, and we'll try again.

 

IMHO it's fine to plan a year-by-year course ahead, but there's a reason that many math programs seemingly slow down during pre-algebra. Some kids need that time, and some don't. We apparently did.

Yep that is the biggest money wrench that you can't plan for, and not only when starting, but anytime along the way you can just hit a mental road block, and have to re-group.

 

If my kids only conformed to the plans I have on paper, life would be so much simpler. :D If I didn't know better I would thing they go in the opposite direction just to keep me on my toes....or maybe that is God? ;)

 

Well I can say I am rarely board.

 

Heather

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Let me preface by saying that so far, we have done RS A-C and we LOVE it. I love it, they love it, we love it.

 

However ...

 

I really don't get their long-term plan. They say that E should be finished up by the end of fourth grade, and then a child should start G, and halfway through that start VT A. Assuming that (as they say) RS G and VT A takes two years, you have a child starting Algebra in 7th grade.

 

I find that way too early. I think, for the majority of kids, it would be way too early.

 

I have never worried about how quickly we are going through RS, and I think RS does people a disservice by pushing the idea that kids will be ready for algebra in 7th grade. By RS's measures, we are "behind" in their sequence, but whenever I give my kids placement tests from other sources, they place right where they should or even ahead (my second grader placed comfortably into TT5, but that's another thread, I suppose). I think that RS's emphasis on getting through A in Kindergarten rather than first grade has left them with a cliff at the end of their program, as does the idea that E should be finished by the end of fourth grade but C should take longer than a year (?).

 

As it stands, my current 8 year old (second grade) won't finish E until sometime in the fall of her 5th grade year. I am considering several paths:

 

1) Do RS G over two years, supplementing with something like Key To ... and then moving into pre-algebra in 7th grade (probably Lial's BCM) and then VT in 8th.

 

2) Chuck RS after level E and move into Math Mammoth or even (as much as I hate to admit it, based on my disastrous experience using it with my oldest, who is now 15) Singapore to get my kids through 6th or 7th grade, and then move into BCM or VT.

 

3) Combine RS G with MM or Singapore and stretch it over 3 years, moving into BCM or VT in 8th grade.

 

Perhaps my experience is limited, but I really can't imagine a regular child moving into VT in 7th grade (or younger), and I don't think I have encountered an actual family that followed RS's proposed sequence. Most of the families I have talked to or read about have dropped RS after E and done something else for a few years. Which is fine. I just wish RS would acknowledge that.

 

Tara

 

ETA: My ninth grader still isn't ready for algebra. And, I'd be interested to hear what the schools that use RS do with their kids after they finish E. I doubt that many/any schools use VT.

Edited by TaraTheLiberator
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This thread makes me glad that we are "behind" in RS. My 9 yr old going into 4th grade is in Level D. We proably won't start E until end of 4th beginning of 5th.

 

I have not decided what we'll do at that point. I'll decide then. I'm both impressed and intimidated by all of you who have high school math planned and picked out already. I can't think that far ahead. :tongue_smilie:

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Now I don't know what to do!!!!!! At the Cincinnati convention I talked to a VT rep. She told us that our children would be ready to go directly into VT module A after RS E. She said that RS children are more ready for VT in 5th grade than others are in 8th.

 

So, I bought module A. The woman suggested we go through at this pace: watch video do even questions - day 1, watch video again do odd questions - day 2, take quiz A - day 3, take quiz B - day 4. Finish module A in 5 grade. Finish all of the modules by 8th grade. Do all of the Geometry modules by 10th grade. 11th grade take Calculus at a community college, 12th grade take a business math class.

 

The entire time I was questioning this, but she was very convincing! Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I REALLY, REALLY don't want to do RS G!! I have thoroughly disliked the geometry in RightStart. So often things don't measure correctly on the worksheets, I don't like the directions and am often confused.

 

Would starting LoF be a possibility for next year? Or, what are my other options? Did I mention I'm frustrated??????????????? :glare:

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I talked last night to a friend of mine who is a teacher (granted, she is a German teacher, but her dd is in 9th grade at the school she teaches at and has gone through school in the same district). My friend tells me that algebra in 8th grade is the norm now (when I was in 8th grade, in the same school district, algebra was not offered to 8th graders at all, but my dh took algebra in 7th grade at a school in another state). She said that some 7th graders take algebra, and that her dd even had friends in the 6th grade who were bused to the middle school to take algebra. :blink:

 

My dh, as I mentioned, took algebra in 7th, geometry in 8th, algebra 2 in 9th, trig in 10th, pre-calc in 11th, and math at the community college in 12th. (I knew about the college math but was unaware that he started algebra in 7th.) His father was a math major and told my dh that he would NOT be taking "bonehead math" (his term for non-algebra math) in 7th grade. My dh said he probably shouldn't have taken algebra in 7th grade because he said he struggled with it, but when I asked him what grade he got ... an A. :001_huh:

 

Perhaps I am WAY behind the times, but I still find algebra in 7th grade to be weird, and I still think a lot of perfectly normal kids wouldn't be ready in 8th. I wonder if this is the same type of thing as pushing 1st grade work into K ... let's push high school math into middle school ...

 

Tara

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Well, from my limited reading on the subject (limited by my standards but others might call it obsessive :D ), pushing ALg1 down to 8th grade has only resulted in schools dumbing down algebra. Now Alg1 is really pre-algebra b/c many of the kids are just not ready and/or have had poor math instruction in elementary school.

 

Our current plan: My 4th grader is finishing RS E in a few weeks.

 

We'll spend 2-3 weeks going SM 4A/4B. Then we'll spend the summer leisurely going through SM5A/5B and finishing SM CWP3. For his 5th grade year, we'll finish up SM 5A/5B, move into SM 6A/6B. After that, we'll start RS Geo and VTA which would be 6th/7th grade year and move into Alg1 in 8th grade.

 

I also have tons of other resources we'll dabble in such as HOE, Zaccaro books, AoPS books.

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Perhaps I am WAY behind the times, but I still find algebra in 7th grade to be weird, and I still think a lot of perfectly normal kids wouldn't be ready in 8th. I wonder if this is the same type of thing as pushing 1st grade work into K ... let's push high school math into middle school ...

 

In my junior high school back in 1983 or so, it was typical for the bright students to take Algebra in 8th grade. The super-bright kids might even take it in 7th grade. Average students took Algebra in 9th grade.

 

The high school also offered 2 years of Calculus, to accommodate those students who took Algebra in 7th grade or who took extra math somewhere along the line (in summer school, for example).

 

So I wouldn't say this is a new trend. I took Algebra in 8th grade, but I'm sure it would have been fine in 7th grade as well.

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We used RS B-E (A was too slow, B covered everything in A, so we went with B), and both of my sons finished E in 3rd grade. Older son did Singapore 5 and 6, with Intensive practice and Challenging Word problems for 4th and 5th. My answer is NO, RS A-E is not enough to start algebra. I'm in weird situation because I now have a 6th grader who is ready for algebra. My plan is to do Foerster's algebra slowly over 1 1/2 years with the CD's. I think he'll be okay, though-if not, I'll figure that out this coming fall. He's doing LOF pre algebra right now and breezing through it.

 

Secondly, I took Algebra in 8th grade. I remember breezing through 7th grade math and being bored with it, so it is possible to start algebra in 8th grade (and this was 29 years ago). So even back in 1981, kids were taking algebra in 8th grade.

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Just wanted to add that the FACE schools, use Right Start A-E in elementary and then move to Ray's Practical Math for 5th-7th grade and on to Algebra in 8th grade. Has anyone done something similar to this sequence?

 

Interesting. I think Ray's is so old it is on Gutenberg. I might have to download it and take a second look. :D

 

Heather

 

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I think there are lots of things you could play around with, as well as taking your time. It is nice to know you have some breathing room.

 

Yes, I didn't realize till this thread, that I actually do!

 

You could do LOF Fractions, Decimals & Percents. Those are covered in E, but it doesn't hurt to have more practice. It isn't like the other levels where they will continue to review it in the next level of RS. Well I am sure they will review in G, but you aren't doing G daily, KWIM? I had to qualify that way too much. :D

 

That's a good idea, there's been lots of good reviews of LOF. I'm thinking it is solid. I'm not real sure I want to do Videotext.

 

If you like the looks of HOE you could add that as well.

 

This is the first time I've heard of it. I'll have to check it out!

 

Then when you do reach Jacobs just take it nice and slow. Jacobs breaks things into small portions, so I don't think it would be difficult to stretch things out. Given you are going to do Pre-Algebra you don't need to worry about the prerequisites. Looking at the text though I wouldn't want to stick a middle school student into it without Pre-Algebra. It just moves too quickly. Even a High School student who struggled with math...they might do fine as the text does have a lot of visual distinction (use of color, pictures, ect...), but the first chapter has fractions, exponents, distributive rule, ect... It is not that it is difficult but that it will make a non-math person want to hyperventilate. ;) A math person, or older student I could see picking it up and running with it.

 

I think you're right about Jacobs. It would be wise to do Pre-A before. So...I've got LOF and Jacobs. Those should be sufficient. Also, Singapore has 3 different middle school curriculum to choose from I may have to look at. I bet I know more about my kids by then and what they will be "bent" towards and what God has in store for them. Lets throw in personalities and how they work independently, now that really sends my "planning" off the deep end. But I think I can see a good progression now. I still wish RS ended nicely. :tongue_smilie: Thanks for posting the info from Mrs. Cotter. It was very informative!

Heather

 

 

Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've looked through RS Geometry and I've leafed through VT as well and even though dd is now done RSE, I don't think she's ready for either of those programs yet. Some of the RS Geometry stuff looks okay, but quite a bit of it was going way over my head and I got A's in math all through school.

 

Dd has been working through MUS Epsilon for the past couple weeks. We spend a day or two on each lesson and some review worksheets. RS covered fractions, but not a lot about how to manipulate them (especially multiplying and dividing them). RS has given dd a great foundation, but I felt she needed more work with fractions and decimals before moving on to Algebra.

 

My "spreadsheet" looks something like the following, but it is always open to adjustment if needed:

 

Gr. 5 - finished up RS E, spending approx. 4 mths. (incl. through summer) going through MUS Epsilon and MUS Zeta

Gr. 6 - LoF Fractions, LoF D&P, LoF PreAlgebra (yes I scheduled three books, but quite a bit of the first two will be review after going through RS E and MUS Ep and Zeta)

Gr. 7 - RS G and VT concurrently

Gr. 8 - RS G and VT concurrently

 

I don't know for sure how VT will work honestly. I watched quite a few of the segments on the first DVD and wasn't convinced it would be a good fit for dd, but we'll see when that time rolls around.

 

So ime after doing RS B-E with dd, I definitely do not feel that a child would be ready for algebra after RS E, but you'd want them to go through some kind of pre-algebra program first. I also don't feel a child would be ready for algebra in 5th grade, or even necessarily in 6th, unless they were quite mathy. If I knew for sure dd would be homeschooling for highschool I would probably even wait until Gr. 8 to start Videotext, but since she might go to highschool, I want to be sure she's more than ready for whatever they might throw at her.

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I would do it from the start. I've taught two kids w/ RS. The oldest is finishing E and the middle is finishing C. I think very few kids are ready for algebra after finishing RS E. Originally, Dr. Cotter planned RS Algebraic Approach to be done w/ RS Geometric Approach. She never wrote RS ALg approach and is substituting VT A for that. I think going into SM 5A/5B or Math Mammoth is a good way to get those needed skills for manipulating fractions and decimals.

 

Capt_Uhura

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So then, for all of you who've done all the RS, would you do it again from the start, or switch to a different program that continues on to the higher grade?

 

I am doing it again from the start. :) My ds6 has recently started the RS sequence with B.

 

I briefly switched programs once dd finished C, thinking I was done with RS, but have promptly switched back after a tryst with CLE and Singapore. The break was actually really good--CLE got the + and - math facts solidified and a good start on multiplication facts. Plus, we both needed dd to work more independently for a while. However, nothing teaches concepts like RS, so we're back to it, and I'm planning on sticking with it at least through E. Then we'll move into MM5 and 6. I've already bought MM and will use it as a supplement to RS for both my dc.

 

My ds is quite mathy, so I've toyed with the idea of making MM his spine but for now we're staying with RS until I feel like he needs a change. The way RS teaches place value in Level B is way too good to miss--even if I were planning on switching immediately after B.

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I have always loved RS (my 8 year old is 2/3 through C and my 7 year old is finishing B) and my 8 year old is what I have always considered to be mathy, but I got a real poke in the eye the other day when I gave her the MM grade 2 end-of-year-test and she scored pretty dismally on it. I just about had a heart attack and was all freaked out for a while, but then I realized that most of the things she missed on the MM test were things that are somewhat tangential in RS: measuring, geometry, money ... I know that RS hits these things and comes back to them, but to me they are not the crux of RS. I decided to look at the results of the MM test not as a bad thing but as a good indicator of where we need some review. I had already planned to take a break from RS with my son and go over the MM blue books on money, time, geometry, and measuring this summer, so I figure I will do the same with my daughter. (Incidentally my son, whom I have always considered non-mathy, got a 78% on the MM 1st grade end-of-year test). I feel like my love affair with RS has cooled a bit (I guess I have a better understanding of why no one curriculum is the holy grail of math), but I still plan to continue on through E, and then I will be switching to MM.

 

Tara

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Yes, nearly every curriculum has it's strengths and weaknesses. And those strengths and weaknesses differ for each family and even for each kid in a family.

 

Also realize that RS's scope and sequence is unusual. The scope and sequence of MM is more similar to SM. So while my son scored very high in algebraic concepts on his NWEA MAP math assessment, he definitely needs some work on manipulating fractions - a topic that was really only introduced in RS E which is why you can't go from RS E right into Algebra and it wasn't meant to. Which is why I think many go into SM 5 or MM5 to pick up those topics. My boys have needed more periodic review than RS gives and I achieved that w/ the Daily Math Review. I think now that we're switching to MM, we might not need that but I'll see how it goes.

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So then, for all of you who've done all the RS, would you do it again from the start, or switch to a different program that continues on to the higher grade?

 

Do it again, no thinking about it required. My kids need the hands on. This is their education, and every job has things you hate. It is my job to educate them, not make it easy on myself.

 

Heather

 

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I am doing it again from the start. :) My ds6 has recently started the RS sequence with B.

 

I briefly switched programs once dd finished C, thinking I was done with RS, but have promptly switched back after a tryst with CLE and Singapore. The break was actually really good--CLE got the + and - math facts solidified and a good start on multiplication facts. Plus, we both needed dd to work more independently for a while. However, nothing teaches concepts like RS, so we're back to it, and I'm planning on sticking with it at least through E. Then we'll move into MM5 and 6. I've already bought MM and will use it as a supplement to RS for both my dc.

 

My ds is quite mathy, so I've toyed with the idea of making MM his spine but for now we're staying with RS until I feel like he needs a change. The way RS teaches place value in Level B is way too good to miss--even if I were planning on switching immediately after B.

 

I'm doing it again, too with my 6 yr old. I learned my lesson the first time around....we're skipping A. I regret slogging through that only to find the review in B. It put us behind in the whole sequence. I was planning to be a bit behind because we don't push early academics, but not that much.

 

And I will do it again in a couple yrs w/my now-4 yr old. :)

 

My questions are: After RS E, does one switch to MM 5th complete curriculum, MM 6th complete curriculum, or just fill in the gaps with the worktexts? If it's the latter, which gaps would those be?

 

My oldest is in 5th grade, but is still in D...about half-way through. He "gets" most of the concepts, and I'm thinking about skipping ahead to E and filling in the blanks with some MM. (This is the topic of another thread I need to start :tongue_smilie:). It's just taking us TOOOOO long to get through. He's got issues with focusing on his work, so the already long lessons drag on for hours, which is detrimental to our entire day (not to mention no fun for him). He still hasn't gotten to division...as a 5th grader! I'm sure he could figure it out fairly quickly as he picks up the concepts easily, but just can't focus on worksheets.

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if you want to speed things up, how about do two sessions/day. let him work for say 35min in the AM and then finish up in the afternoon? Sometimes it's better to have a break and come back to it later. Also, some of the geometry lessons don't depend on prior knowledge so you can skip ahead and do geometry in the PM and the regular lesson in the AM.

 

We'll be going into MM 5 complete curriculum. I think this is roughly equivalent to SM 5. I think there is sufficient new material and practice w/ prior things to warrant it. It's easier than picking out topics.

 

If I have time later, I'll take a closer look at level 5.

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if you want to speed things up, how about do two sessions/day. let him work for say 35min in the AM and then finish up in the afternoon? Sometimes it's better to have a break and come back to it later. Also, some of the geometry lessons don't depend on prior knowledge so you can skip ahead and do geometry in the PM and the regular lesson in the AM.

 

We'll be going into MM 5 complete curriculum. I think this is roughly equivalent to SM 5. I think there is sufficient new material and practice w/ prior things to warrant it. It's easier than picking out topics.

 

If I have time later, I'll take a closer look at level 5.

 

Thanks for your suggestions!

 

I've tried that, but somehow, I loose my initiative to push him in the afternoons. He has about zero self motivation to sit down an do the work, though he likes it when we work together.

 

For 2 years now, I've considered switching to something where he can be more independent because we're lagging. Part of blame is on me and being pulled different ways, so I can't blame his ADD entirely, but it is a huge factor.

 

I feel good that we have such a wonderful foundation....and am considering just switching him to MM or TT. I seriously struggle with this daily....all day. I don't want to be a math curr. hopper and would like to see us through to the end of E even if it means skipping some of the lessons. IOW, I'd like to know how to divide w/out wading through the intensive lessons to get there. I want him to learn the RS way of dividing because I'm sure it will result in a great understanding of that process.

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IOW, I'd like to know how to divide w/out wading through the intensive lessons to get there. I want him to learn the RS way of dividing because I'm sure it will result in a great understanding of that process.

 

My oldest RS-er is in C, so I don't know how useful my advice will be, but maybe you could just skip all the non-central lessons and just do the division, and then switch to something else after he's learned the RS way of division. I have actually thought of doing that, too ... just hitting all the rest of the subtraction, multiplication, and division lessons in the next year or so, and then switching to MM in 3rd or 4th grade. I, too, really like the RS way of doing things, but I am starting to feel like a lot of time is spent on the non-main topics. I know that the geometry and time and money is important, and I would still hit those with the MM blue books, but I am not sure I need to use the entire RS program all the way through E to benefit from the RS way.

 

Tara

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My oldest RS-er is in C, so I don't know how useful my advice will be, but maybe you could just skip all the non-central lessons and just do the division, and then switch to something else after he's learned the RS way of division. I have actually thought of doing that, too ... just hitting all the rest of the subtraction, multiplication, and division lessons in the next year or so, and then switching to MM in 3rd or 4th grade. I, too, really like the RS way of doing things, but I am starting to feel like a lot of time is spent on the non-main topics. I know that the geometry and time and money is important, and I would still hit those with the MM blue books, but I am not sure I need to use the entire RS program all the way through E to benefit from the RS way.

 

Tara

 

exactly, exactly! That's what I'm thinking, too: cherry-picking the important parts and leaving the rest. I just have a tough time figuring out what to skip. I want to jump to multi-digit multiplication and then to division. He'll also need to learn fractions, which I think we can learn from MM...hoping they cover it well. I honestly haven't done a lot of MM research on their efficacy from parents using it. I'm just hoping I can do it right (pun intended) and not leave gaping holes. After that, I'd like to try LoF.

 

I saw here on a different thread about a mom who skipped part of E and just hit the important topics and then moved on to LoF. I would love to bend her ear, but alas, I can't find the thread.

 

Sorry to the OP for hijacking. :auto:

 

Amy

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I did RS all the way through twice, and I'd do it again. Regarding skipping a few things, I skipped most of the geometry drawing in E because both my kids just couldn't do it by themselves. I found myself having to hold all the drawing tools because they weren't adept at it enough to do it by themselves. I felt that it wasn't important at this age and I believe I made the right call.

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I do think cherry-picking is hard w/ RS. It's much easier w/ MM or SM. For example, there is a lot of geometry in RS. But that geometry is pretty intensive use of fractions. So if you skip the geometry, you're skipping DC figuring out A=1/2 bxh. RS at this level never uses whole numbers, it's all multiplication w/ decimals and fractions. I never could figure out how to do it so I settled on just completing as is, and then moving to SM/MM level 5/6 along w/ SM CWP3-6.

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RS at this level never uses whole numbers, it's all multiplication w/ decimals and fractions. I never could figure out how to do it so I settled on just completing as is, and then moving to SM/MM level 5/6 along w/ SM CWP3-6.

 

That's good to know. I haven't seen levels D or E yet, so I am not sure how they are set up.

 

Tara

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