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# Tell me about R&S Arithmetic

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DD is getting more confused by the pictures and color in BJU math 3. I love BJU Math! I love that it goes by chapter and has review. Although I can't say that I love the time it takes and the TM, while I have it figured out is quite the huge undertaking. It does take a while for us.

What about R&S Math? Is the TM friendly with concepts mom may not know? It looks like the worksheets are overkill, but that's not really an issue as we can just do evens or odds. But are the concepts easily understood? Is it advanced? Does it contain any wierd verbage? DD liked Saxon black and white, but the incremental way didn't work for us.

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R&S seems to be made for moms who know nothing about math. Very easily explained concepts. Contrary to many opinions , R&S does have mental math .

That said , I still prefer CLE math. However , I feel this will not work with my right brainer child , so I consider R&S .

Here is a post I copied from someone else. Everything you wanted to know about R&S and more :)

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In Rod and Staff math, you have a short daily lesson with your child that covers drill, review, mental math, word problems and the new concept. They may not do everyone of those things every single day, but most of them most days. The mental math work builds very gradually and carefully in Rod and Staff, moving from problems like 14+3 and 148-10 to problems like "what is one-quarter of 200" to stuff like 400 divided by 40.

It covers mental math slower than Singapore, but it also covers some areas that Singapore math doesn't in this area. I think the teaching for mental math is superior in Rod and Staff than Singapore, although Singapore reaches higher levels much earlier. For instance, when first introducing mental math problems where the students must carry in their head, problems like 37+5, Rod and Staff has the teacher write out a grid on the board or use a hundreds chart and then ask questions like "what is 7+5?" then "ok, what is 17+5" and then show them what is happening on the grid and in the tens column, then there will be a sequence of problems to give such as 9+7, 19+7, 29+7, 429+7. For several days there will problems like this which you give the kids to solve before they make it a little more difficult with problems like 39+17. Singapore math will do all that in one lesson and even a little more, without the teaching using the number grid and review of what is happening at the place value. Singapore just assumes that the students will just "get it."

Rod and Staff also has regular mental math drills of sequences to improve speed and accuracy, such 7 times 8 plus 4 divided by 6 minus 5 times 12.

Rod and Staff is a traditional math program, more similar to the math programs used in the 50s and 60s to many of the programs used today. These were excellent math programs, and most would acknowledge that Americans were better at math when we used these traditional math programs than students are today who are using all of these programs that are emphasizing â€œconceptual understandingâ€ every step of the way. Traditionally, math was taught with the classical model, where there was more emphasis on drill and memorization in the early years, with an increase in conceptual understanding or analysis occurring each year. R&S does teach conceptual understanding, but it is quite difficult to see until you are perhaps 2 or 3 months into the program because it is done in the early years with little baby steps.

The best example I can think of this is the instruction with fractions. My daughterâ€™s understanding of fractions, now in the fourth grade, is absolutely wonderful. Rod and Staff began with the traditional dividing of shapes into halves and thirds and fourths in the second grade, and also advancing to two-thirds or three-fourths, and the idea the three-thirds or four-fourths equals one. In the third grade, they apply this knowledge to math in all types of contexts - what is one half of a foot, what is one-fourth of a pound, what is one-fourth of a dollar? What is three-fourths of a dollar? This is done pretty much, off and on in the daily lesson, all year long, and is seen in MANY word problems. My daughter really understood fractions and applying them to numbers and real problems.

Then you move to fourth grade, and they introduce counting by halves, by fourths, and by eighth, using a ruler as a visual aid at first. So they count 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1, 1 1/4, 1 1/2, etc. and also 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 7/8, 1. After doing this exercise for several days, they do equivalent fractions, but it is almost not necessary to explain anything, because they have already figured out that 4/8 = 1/2 and that 2/8 = 1/4 because of the counting exercises. They just now learn the algorithm that shows that this same logic can apply to numbers which canâ€™t be visualized, such as 27/36. By the time my daughter reached the lesson where they taught how add fractions, she already â€˜understoodâ€™ that you could just add the numerators of like fractions, but that you couldnâ€™t do that with a fractions like 1/8 + 1/4, but that you needed a common denominator. This understanding was about 2 months in the developing and it would have been difficult to see by just flipping through the book.

Somewhere around this general timeframe, they are also doing long division and giving remainders as an answer, but combining it with word problems so that it is obvious why the remainder is actually a fraction such as â€œ3 boys share 4 peaches. How many peaches will each boy get. What part of the remaining peach will they get?â€ After a couple lessons with word problems like this, they have division problems where they are supposed to give their answer with the remainder as a fraction, and they are then introduced to the term â€œmixed numbers.â€

So, yes, I would say there is wonderful teaching in R&S that leads to conceptual understanding, it is just done in a different way than many modern math programs, and that it occurs very slowly in the lower grades. Because there is a strong emphasis in the primary grades on drill, particularly fact drill, people often get this misperception of R&S, especially if they look primarily at the student workbooks or text instead of at the TM. The real lesson and the real learning takes place in the daily lesson at the whiteboard. The workbook and/or textbook is mainly just review problems and/or drill.

I recommend that you read this article which is linked on The Mathematically Correct Web page by Dr. H. Wu called â€œBasic Skills Versus Conceptual Understanding: A False Dichotomy in Mathematics Education.â€ This article will help you understand why it is essential that students get plenty of drill and review as well as lessons that work towards conceptual understanding; and also why conceptual understanding can only get you so far - no one can visualize a problem such as 2/97 divided by 31/17; eventually a student must become fluent with the algorithms, which means to have them memorized to the point of automaticity. This only happens with drill and review.

One more thing, since you are currently using Singapore, I can compare it a little to that program. Singapore pushes conceptual understanding more than many math programs. It has some drill and review, and the assumption is that teachers in Singapore are providing much more drill and review, but this program pushes to the limit for conceptual understanding in the early grades. It doesnâ€™t take small steps in this area, it wants total understanding in one lesson of some concept that R&S might spend two or three months developing. Additionally, Singapore wants them begin applying this new understanding immediately to problems and word problems. This is excellent for some children, especially the math-bright among us, but for many, it is too much too soon. My daughter needed the slow and steady approach of Rod and Staff for the primary years. I knew this, but I couldnâ€™t really verbalize it, until I read the excellent review of Singapore math by Susan Wise Bauer of the Well-Trained Mind which you can find on her Web page.

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Edited by SilverMoon
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As the previous poster stated, "Straight math with no fluff." I like that. The lower elementary texts are "behind" other texts. Personally, I think they are right where they all should be. I believe that we are pushing very technical understanding of math too early. Sure, show and explain why but don't get so caught up in it that you forget to put the cake in the oven. R&S has what I feel is a perfect balance between the two. That "behind" aspect disappears around the third/fourth grade book. However, it is straight math. You don't get a lot of that "early algebra" that some books cover. As in they don't stick letters at you. They do have the same concept covered; what number plus 3 equals 10? It just isn't called algebra and doesn't use an "x". ;) Having used it multiple times (with multiple strengths of math students/types of learners), this is a program that can be used with success for pretty much anyone. They may find it boring. They make find it overkill on basic facts. But, they will most likely come out learning their math. One other thing I have noticed is that some concepts seem to be imbedded in the program. (I used to be able to give really good examples:tongue_smilie:) The order of the problems can lead to the dc learning concepts without them being directly taught. I believe ALL 4 of my dc picked up and even commented on certain things strictly based on the order the problems came up in lessons. That made me realize that there was most likely more method to the madness that I was seeing on a little look through. I believe R&S math is one of those little gems that is often overlooked because it doesn't look quite so polished as some of the other rocks lying around.

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I used to use Singapore but at every level we would hit a wall and spend a lot of time using the extra practice and other textbooks to fill in until the child got the concept and was able to move on. One year I used R&S as my filler/reviewer and realized that not only do we not hit walls but there is so much review we are able to move onto new things while practicing old things.

I was won over.

Things we do to make it less boring:

I don't assign all the problems.

We notebook the new concepts for my dd to reference back to.

I add in stories & games to the early levels.

It is a solid program and so easy to use.:001_smile:

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Good. I'm not mathy and I don't particularily like fluff. I may try this because it's inexpensive enough to do so. For this price I could match up the lessons for a trial run. All the talk of confusing BJU levels is scaring me and I have to mention, even I'm confused by some pictures. I still really like it though, but may try R&S and see how dd does without the color.

I also agree Lolly with the too soon concepts. That's why we're in Math 3 and dd is in 4th. I just don't think they need some of that so early.

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We have done R&S 1-7. I'm extremely happy we did. We are now doing CLE 7. CLE 7 still has much review over R&S 7, but it does cover things R&S 7 does not. My dc are in 7th grade, and we did math over the summers to finish R&S 7 in 6th grade.

I'm happy we did not do CLE earlier, because it is more advanced in the earlier grades...more than need be in my opinion. I'm very happy with the progression we did. Next year????

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Thanks Blessedmom3 for posting that huge info on R&S. I finally had a chance to read it last night. It was very helpful.

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I will never forget my experience with R&S math. It was quite a roller coaster ride. To say my youngest son is "non-mathy" would not quite fit. Because really the word math and my youngest son don't belong in the same sentence. It seems to be a mutual hate between the two, and they are pretty content to leave it that way. So for his fourth grade year I needed a program that could give him a strong foundation in math. I needed a program that had it all and walked me through the teaching process step by step. My research led me to R&S.

It took us a year and a half to get through the fourth grade book. I seriously think that book was trying to kill us. I refused to give up because it really did cover everything and I was convinced that the only other option was to give up teaching him math all together. There was alot to like in the program and I think had I used it with any of my other children I might actually have enjoyed it. We will never know because as it ended up, if I ever saw a R&S math book again, it would be too soon. I found LoF (my opinion about that life-saving program can be found in other threads) about one year into the R&S math program. I decided to take another 1/2 year to finish the R&S math and solidify the basic math concepts with my son, before moving into LoF. That was good motivation for my son because he really wanted to do LoF.

Our experience with R&S math:

I loved the TM, the way that teaching the lesson was laid out was perfect. The first few lessons had me feeling like an old fashioned schoolhouse teacher. It was almost fun. I say almost because as we moved further into the book, my son started staring at me like I had sprouted three heads. "Wait, what?", "I'm confused" & "huh?" were often followed by tears of frustration on both of our parts me pointing at the board with the dry erase marker shouting "what don't you understand about this??". Started feeling a little less teacher'ish and a little more jumpoffabridge'ish.

My calm, cool, collected teaching background husband came home during one of these, ummm louder teaching sessions. He got onto me a bit about losing my patience. He offered to take over teaching whatever particular offensive concept I was trying to clarify for my son at that moment. He started out all nice, pleasant & patient. It ended with my son running to his room and slamming his door and my husband telling me he had no idea how I did this (teach math to my youngest son) everyday.

The other thing I liked about R&S were the speed drills. There were plenty of them, including full length ones in the back of the text, and the little speed drill book was cute and un-intimidating. Unless you were my youngest. He hated the drills, if I gave him the recommended time (I think it was four minutes?) he would do maybe one question. He might finish them if I gave him 8-10 minutes. He hated them. In the end, he still to this day does not have his math facts memorized. "You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink" comes to mind. I tried bribery, rewards, consequences, stubbornness, pretty much everything. But again for the right student I think the drills were very well done.

The best thing that we got out of the R&S book was how it taught word problems. Even my son greatly benefited from this. He is a pretty strong reader and the way it taught to "parse" the problem to figure out what it was asking was very effective. If we had used this book for just teaching word problems I would have felt like it was worth the money. It breaks down the problem and teaches a child to simplify a word problem into a math problem. My son learned to do this almost perfectly. He could always figure out the actual math problem being presented was, unfortunately he still struggled with actually doing the math. This skill did really help prepare him for LoF.

The math book itself is major overkill. The problems are meant to be done in a classroom setting so there are alot more of them then actually need to be done. We tried odd or even at first, but even that was too much. So we did the new lesson, my son did all of the new concept questions. Then I had him do the first review problem in every row (except he did all math facts questions and every other word problem). If he got it right he was done, if it was wrong, he would fix it and attempt the next one in the row. We would continue this till he got one right the first time. If he got them all wrong or was unable to fix one we would go over the concept again. This happened many, many times, and I can't even fully convey to you how frustrating it was.

So, this program might be perfect for some, I can definitely see why some people love it. Maybe if I had done it with a different student I would have loved it too. But in the end, for me, the cons outweighed the pros. I actually kind of get a chill just thinking about it... but maybe that was just because of my particular circumstances....

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I will never forget my experience with R&S math. It was quite a roller coaster ride. To say my youngest son is "non-mathy" would not quite fit. Because really the word math and my youngest son don't belong in the same sentence. It seems to be a mutual hate between the two, and they are pretty content to leave it that way. So for his fourth grade year I needed a program that could give him a strong foundation in math. I needed a program that had it all and walked me through the teaching process step by step. My research led me to R&S.

It took us a year and a half to get through the fourth grade book. I seriously think that book was trying to kill us. I refused to give up because it really did cover everything and I was convinced that the only other option was to give up teaching him math all together. There was alot to like in the program and I think had I used it with any of my other children I might actually have enjoyed it. We will never know because as it ended up, if I ever saw a R&S math book again, it would be too soon. I found LoF (my opinion about that life-saving program can be found in other threads) about one year into the R&S math program. I decided to take another 1/2 year to finish the R&S math and solidify the basic math concepts with my son, before moving into LoF. That was good motivation for my son because he really wanted to do LoF.

Our experience with R&S math:

I loved the TM, the way that teaching the lesson was laid out was perfect. The first few lessons had me feeling like an old fashioned schoolhouse teacher. It was almost fun. I say almost because as we moved further into the book, my son started staring at me like I had sprouted three heads. "Wait, what?", "I'm confused" & "huh?" were often followed by tears of frustration on both of our parts me pointing at the board with the dry erase marker shouting "what don't you understand about this??". Started feeling a little less teacher'ish and a little more jumpoffabridge'ish.

My calm, cool, collected teaching background husband came home during one of these, ummm louder teaching sessions. He got onto me a bit about losing my patience. He offered to take over teaching whatever particular offensive concept I was trying to clarify for my son at that moment. He started out all nice, pleasant & patient. It ended with my son running to his room and slamming his door and my husband telling me he had no idea how I did this (teach math to my youngest son) everyday.

The other thing I liked about R&S were the speed drills. There were plenty of them, including full length ones in the back of the text, and the little speed drill book was cute and un-intimidating. Unless you were my youngest. He hated the drills, if I gave him the recommended time (I think it was four minutes?) he would do maybe one question. He might finish them if I gave him 8-10 minutes. He hated them. In the end, he still to this day does not have his math facts memorized. "You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink" comes to mind. I tried bribery, rewards, consequences, stubbornness, pretty much everything. But again for the right student I think the drills were very well done.

The best thing that we got out of the R&S book was how it taught word problems. Even my son greatly benefited from this. He is a pretty strong reader and the way it taught to "parse" the problem to figure out what it was asking was very effective. If we had used this book for just teaching word problems I would have felt like it was worth the money. It breaks down the problem and teaches a child to simplify a word problem into a math problem. My son learned to do this almost perfectly. He could always figure out the actual math problem being presented was, unfortunately he still struggled with actually doing the math. This skill did really help prepare him for LoF.

The math book itself is major overkill. The problems are meant to be done in a classroom setting so there are alot more of them then actually need to be done. We tried odd or even at first, but even that was too much. So we did the new lesson, my son did all of the new concept questions. Then I had him do the first review problem in every row (except he did all math facts questions and every other word problem). If he got it right he was done, if it was wrong, he would fix it and attempt the next one in the row. We would continue this till he got one right the first time. If he got them all wrong or was unable to fix one we would go over the concept again. This happened many, many times, and I can't even fully convey to you how frustrating it was.

So, this program might be perfect for some, I can definitely see why some people love it. Maybe if I had done it with a different student I would have loved it too. But in the end, for me, the cons outweighed the pros. I actually kind of get a chill just thinking about it... but maybe that was just because of my particular circumstances....

Very LOL!, if it wasn't so frustrating for you. I can relate. So you feel about this as I feel about Rightstart.

After talking w/dd she just prefers to stick with BJU even though she hates all the hoopla. If she's okay with it, so am I. Although I did have a happy moment where I dreamed the TM wasn't so huge.

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I will never forget my experience with R&S math. It was quite a roller coaster ride. To say my youngest son is "non-mathy" would not quite fit. Because really the word math and my youngest son don't belong in the same sentence. It seems to be a mutual hate between the two, and they are pretty content to leave it that way. So for his fourth grade year I needed a program that could give him a strong foundation in math. I needed a program that had it all and walked me through the teaching process step by step. My research led me to R&S.

It took us a year and a half to get through the fourth grade book. I seriously think that book was trying to kill us. I refused to give up because it really did cover everything and I was convinced that the only other option was to give up teaching him math all together. There was alot to like in the program and I think had I used it with any of my other children I might actually have enjoyed it. We will never know because as it ended up, if I ever saw a R&S math book again, it would be too soon. I found LoF (my opinion about that life-saving program can be found in other threads) about one year into the R&S math program. I decided to take another 1/2 year to finish the R&S math and solidify the basic math concepts with my son, before moving into LoF. That was good motivation for my son because he really wanted to do LoF.

Our experience with R&S math:

I loved the TM, the way that teaching the lesson was laid out was perfect. The first few lessons had me feeling like an old fashioned schoolhouse teacher. It was almost fun. I say almost because as we moved further into the book, my son started staring at me like I had sprouted three heads. "Wait, what?", "I'm confused" & "huh?" were often followed by tears of frustration on both of our parts me pointing at the board with the dry erase marker shouting "what don't you understand about this??". Started feeling a little less teacher'ish and a little more jumpoffabridge'ish.

My calm, cool, collected teaching background husband came home during one of these, ummm louder teaching sessions. He got onto me a bit about losing my patience. He offered to take over teaching whatever particular offensive concept I was trying to clarify for my son at that moment. He started out all nice, pleasant & patient. It ended with my son running to his room and slamming his door and my husband telling me he had no idea how I did this (teach math to my youngest son) everyday.

The other thing I liked about R&S were the speed drills. There were plenty of them, including full length ones in the back of the text, and the little speed drill book was cute and un-intimidating. Unless you were my youngest. He hated the drills, if I gave him the recommended time (I think it was four minutes?) he would do maybe one question. He might finish them if I gave him 8-10 minutes. He hated them. In the end, he still to this day does not have his math facts memorized. "You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make them drink" comes to mind. I tried bribery, rewards, consequences, stubbornness, pretty much everything. But again for the right student I think the drills were very well done.

The best thing that we got out of the R&S book was how it taught word problems. Even my son greatly benefited from this. He is a pretty strong reader and the way it taught to "parse" the problem to figure out what it was asking was very effective. If we had used this book for just teaching word problems I would have felt like it was worth the money. It breaks down the problem and teaches a child to simplify a word problem into a math problem. My son learned to do this almost perfectly. He could always figure out the actual math problem being presented was, unfortunately he still struggled with actually doing the math. This skill did really help prepare him for LoF.

The math book itself is major overkill. The problems are meant to be done in a classroom setting so there are alot more of them then actually need to be done. We tried odd or even at first, but even that was too much. So we did the new lesson, my son did all of the new concept questions. Then I had him do the first review problem in every row (except he did all math facts questions and every other word problem). If he got it right he was done, if it was wrong, he would fix it and attempt the next one in the row. We would continue this till he got one right the first time. If he got them all wrong or was unable to fix one we would go over the concept again. This happened many, many times, and I can't even fully convey to you how frustrating it was.

So, this program might be perfect for some, I can definitely see why some people love it. Maybe if I had done it with a different student I would have loved it too. But in the end, for me, the cons outweighed the pros. I actually kind of get a chill just thinking about it... but maybe that was just because of my particular circumstances....

Please don't take this the wrong way, but this is so opposite of what I have read about R&S and would like to ask you what other math curricula you used prior to R&S and what type of learner your ds is. (My dc is the same as you describe yours-math+dc is = to oil and water.;))

Thank you.

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R&S TMs are awesome. They will walk you through presenting the new concept and have practice problems in the book to work out with the kids before setting them loose on the lesson.

The third grade book doesn't have worksheets, but I've heard of people having their kid write in the textbook.

The concepts are explained simply and are easy to understand. Both my mathy and not-so-mathy kids do well with their explanations. They can also run at their own individual speeds with these books. My mathy kids are free to race ahead to the concepts they need, and my not-so-mathy can move more slowly as needed. Each lesson focuses on one main concept, and has a good review section at the end that covers previously learned concepts. I disagree with the thought that these books don't teach conceptually. Having used several levels of it, I can't see how unless someone is just handing over the student text and not actually teaching.

I wouldn't consider it advanced. It's on par with standard grade levels from what I can tell. Some people consider it to run behind compared to other popular homeschool curricula. You can see samples on www.rodandstaffbooks.com (a distributor) or call R&S themselves and ask for a grade sample.

I haven't noticed any weird verbiage. These books are straight math with no fluff. :)

If you have time ;) can you please elaborate on how (or, if) you modified this math curriculum to fit your different learners?

Thank you.

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Please don't take this the wrong way, but this is so opposite of what I have read about R&S and would like to ask you what other math curricula you used prior to R&S and what type of learner your ds is. (My dc is the same as you describe yours-math+dc is = to oil and water.;))

Thank you.

What do you mean by opposite? If you mean experience, then I already stated it probably would have been different with a different student. Otherwise in regards to the actual program features, I pretty much stated them exactly as they are.

Not sure what you mean by type of learner. My youngest son is a very creative student. He loves the arts, music, art & art history, and Latin. He is a pretty good English & grammar student, loves reading, and is a natural speller.

The other math programs I have used are MCP, Saxon (the text I am most familiar with since I used it myself), Life of Fred, "Key To" series, & McDougal Littell. I also took a good look at Singapore (had friends who used it) and didn't like it at all.

Hope that helps. :001_smile:

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smilesonly said:

Edited by SilverMoon
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What do you mean by opposite? If you mean experience, then I already stated it probably would have been different with a different student. Otherwise in regards to the actual program features, I pretty much stated them exactly as they are.

Not sure what you mean by type of learner. My youngest son is a very creative student. He loves the arts, music, art & art history, and Latin. He is a pretty good English & grammar student, loves reading, and is a natural speller.

The other math programs I have used are MCP, Saxon (the text I am most familiar with since I used it myself), Life of Fred, "Key To" series, & McDougal Littell. I also took a good look at Singapore (had friends who used it) and didn't like it at all.

Hope that helps.

I'm sorry, I should have asked this more clearly.

By opposite, I mean that I have read quite a few reviews of R&S, and haven't read a review that described it as you have. I do understand that not every dc is a candidate for ____curriculum. This is why I was wondering why your experience was so opposite. (Like the explanations weren't clear enough to teach/understand? Or, it was too dry and boring or confusing?) Which then led me to ask what type of learner your dc was. I was referring to actual learning styles-the three most referred to and recognized(though there are more beyond these 3...)would be visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. I do think in the early yrs, most dc display a combo of these three, and as they mature, a more dominant style will reveal itself. That was what I was trying to understand-in hopes that it would help me to better understand what learners really clash with R&S math.

Hope I brought my question out of the muddy waters.:)

Thanks for replying.

Justice is very strong in language arts and has been nicknamed "the Lawyer" from a young age. He and math have never particularly gotten along with each other. He barely clings to grade level in R&S math, which is just right for him. He simply won't be ready for algebra before ninth grade. I take each lesson on a case by case basis, and start by teaching him the new concept from the TE before he ever opens his book. If he can't seem to wrap his brain around it we'll just do odds that day, and evens of the same lesson the next day. If he seems to be doing fine he'll just do the lesson normally. And if it's something very simple like learning where to put the decimal in a math function he can do blindfolded I'll let him do odds of the new set, but all of the word problems and review section. (In the past we've tried having him just do odds to make math easy for him, but his retention plummeted.)

Joy speaks math's language and I expect she'll be teaching it to me in a few years. :tongue_smilie: She does math for fun after all her lessons are done, and she's the only person I know who can find humor on a page of plain math drills. I've suggested cutting her lessons down to only odds or evens because she really doesn't need that much repetition, but she'll have nothing to do with that notion. She does skip many lessons outright because she's already figured out what to do before she got there, and/or she's already shown proficiency in another book. (She uses every math resource in this house for the fun of it.)

Honor is pretty mathy too. He just gets it. This is his first year in R&S math (he used a mixture left from older siblings last year). He could have started in the middle or end of the 2nd grade set, but I started him at the beginning to make the transition to the new publisher go smooth. It didn't take him more than a week or so to be comfortable and start flying. I don't make him do all the drill; he doesn't need half of it to understand and/or commit them to memory. He's also skipping redundant lessons. At his current speed he'll be in the third grade book by the middle of his second grade year.

Grace is precocious across the board, though not as much in math as she is in language arts. This is her kindergarten year. She started R&S math 1 last spring. At this point she is doing all the drill in the workbook and drill book, but spread out in kindy sized bursts. Every even numbered lesson has a separate drill to go with it. I don't have her do a drill and a lesson all in one day. She'll do just the drill one day, and the actual lesson the next.

Ah! Got it. Thank you for laying this out for me.:)

I don't mean to single you out;)but since you've used R&S with so many grade levels, I'm thinking you're perfect to give me insight to something that bugs me about R&S.....

I have a very hard time with how they teach place value! I mean, they explain it by using a pig(ones), sheep(10's) and a cow(100's). Why oh why do they do this?:confused::001_huh: Since it's taught in an early grade, to me, this way of explaining makes no sense and is so abstract. Do you explain PV this way, or do you switch it up and use your own explanations? If you use the explanations the way R&S teaches, is there a point on down the road(higher grade levels) where this is actually better explained?

Hope I'm making sense in asking about this, and I do apologize if this question is better suited for R&S publishers.:tongue_smilie:

Thanks, Moon.:)

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I have a very hard time with how they teach place value! I mean, they explain it by using a pig(ones), sheep(10's) and a cow(100's). Why oh why do they do this?:confused::001_huh: Since it's taught in an early grade, to me, this way of explaining makes no sense and is so abstract. Do you explain PV this way, or do you switch it up and use your own explanations? If you use the explanations the way R&S teaches, is there a point on down the road(higher grade levels) where this is actually better explained?

Hope I'm making sense in asking about this, and I do apologize if this question is better suited for R&S publishers.

Thanks, Moon.:)

Place value: Boy, it has been a long time since my dc were there!!! They don't really teach ones are pigs. They just use them as cute decorations for the tops of the columns to keep the numbers. (At least that is how I remember it.) When you get ten of one, you regroup it and move it to the next column. Pretty standard. I think it may have helped my ds a little because the animals go in size from small (ones/pig) to large (hundreds/cow). These are animals he was familiar with and helped him to realize that these somewhat unfamiliar math words related to size. That is just my ds though!:lol: It was long ago, (and I no longer have the book to check) but I seem to recall the tM suggesting using popsicle sticks to illustrate this principle. I do remember having him bundle toothpicks when we were using this book. Maybe I shouldn't have answered since it was all so long ago!:D

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I have a very hard time with how they teach place value! I mean, they explain it by using a pig(ones), sheep(10's) and a cow(100's). Why oh why do they do this?:confused::001_huh:

Since R&S is Mennonite, they tend to use a lot of farming examples in their books. The pigs, sheep, horse & bull are just a fun way of showing the different place values. As we went through all of R&S 1, 2 and so far a third of 3, we honestly didn't find it abstract at all, but rather it helped my ds understand better. Very simply put, the book explained how each of the animals on Farmer Brown's farm have a place in the barn, just as ones, tens and hundreds have special places. I think the animals are meant to be a picture clue to help the children remember where each place belongs. Perhaps it's because I'm a former math teacher or perhaps my ds just happens to be very mathy, but it all made perfect sense to him the way R&S described it; plus, the animals made it fun for him, as have the nature themes of each book. (1 - ducks; 2 - bees; 3 - ocean). At first, I thought it was a little silly and an overkill, but you know what? My ds LOVES the themes running throughout and it has made the program more interesting for him. Most importantly, I am absolutely thrilled at all he has learned as he has progressed through the R&S curriculum, not only in skill developement and learning the facts, but in conceptual understanding, as well. :)

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I'm sorry, I should have asked this more clearly.

By opposite, I mean that I have read quite a few reviews of R&S, and haven't read a review that described it as you have. I do understand that not every dc is a candidate for ____curriculum. This is why I was wondering why your experience was so opposite. (Like the explanations weren't clear enough to teach/understand? Or, it was too dry and boring or confusing?) Which then led me to ask what type of learner your dc was. I was referring to actual learning styles-the three most referred to and recognized(though there are more beyond these 3...)would be visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. I do think in the early yrs, most dc display a combo of these three, and as they mature, a more dominant style will reveal itself. That was what I was trying to understand-in hopes that it would help me to better understand what learners really clash with R&S math.

Hope I brought my question out of the muddy waters.:)

Thanks for replying.

Ah! Got it. Thank you for laying this out for me.:)

I don't mean to single you out;)but since you've used R&S with so many grade levels, I'm thinking you're perfect to give me insight to something that bugs me about R&S.....

I have a very hard time with how they teach place value! I mean, they explain it by using a pig(ones), sheep(10's) and a cow(100's). Why oh why do they do this?:confused::001_huh: Since it's taught in an early grade, to me, this way of explaining makes no sense and is so abstract. Do you explain PV this way, or do you switch it up and use your own explanations? If you use the explanations the way R&S teaches, is there a point on down the road(higher grade levels) where this is actually better explained?

Hope I'm making sense in asking about this, and I do apologize if this question is better suited for R&S publishers.:tongue_smilie:

Thanks, Moon.:)

Ah I see. My kids are all very visual but my youngest actually learns well through a mixture of all three (the trick is to keep him interested). I thought the explanations in the TM were great. I didn't find them to be boring or dry. They all made perfect sense to me. My youngest son however did find them boring, dry and confusing (he did enjoy the object lessons). For what it's worth my other kids used to like to come into the room and watch the lesson being taught.

And although the second part of your post wasn't directed at me, I did want to reply. I am not sure about the grade level you are using but the 4th grade book did an exceptional job with place value. I had forgotten that that was definitely another strength of the program. It uses column drills on the white board. I was able to keep these really fun and exciting and my son enjoyed them. Other than the object lessons and word problems, this was the only part of the lesson my son enjoyed. He did master and retain it as well. (There are no pigs, sheeps or cows in the 4th grade book that I can recall ;))

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Since R&S is Mennonite, they tend to use a lot of farming examples in their books. The pigs, sheep, horse & bull are just a fun way of showing the different place values. As we went through all of R&S 1, 2 and so far a third of 3, we honestly didn't find it abstract at all, but rather it helped my ds understand better. Very simply put, the book explained how each of the animals on Farmer Brown's farm have a place in the barn, just as ones, tens and hundreds have special places. I think the animals are meant to be a picture clue to help the children remember where each place belongs. Perhaps it's because I'm a former math teacher or perhaps my ds just happens to be very mathy, but it all made perfect sense to him the way R&S described it; plus, the animals made it fun for him, as have the nature themes of each book. (1 - ducks; 2 - bees; 3 - ocean). At first, I thought it was a little silly and an overkill, but you know what? My ds LOVES the themes running throughout and it has made the program more interesting for him. Most importantly, I am absolutely thrilled at all he has learned as he has progressed through the R&S curriculum, not only in skill developement and learning the facts, but in conceptual understanding, as well. :)

Okay, yes, this makes sense. Thank you!:) I also appreciate you further elaborating on the development of R&S here.

Ah I see. My kids are all very visual but my youngest actually learns well through a mixture of all three (the trick is to keep him interested). I thought the explanations in the TM were great. I didn't find them to be boring or dry. They all made perfect sense to me. My youngest son however did find them boring, dry and confusing (he did enjoy the object lessons). For what it's worth my other kids used to like to come into the room and watch the lesson being taught.

And although the second part of your post wasn't directed at me, I did want to reply. I am not sure about the grade level you are using but the 4th grade book did an exceptional job with place value. I had forgotten that that was definitely another strength of the program. It uses column drills on the white board. I was able to keep these really fun and exciting and my son enjoyed them. Other than the object lessons and word problems, this was the only part of the lesson my son enjoyed. He did master and retain it as well. (There are no pigs, sheeps or cows in the 4th grade book that I can recall ;))

Thanks! I understand much better now. I'm not actually using R&S math(I own a copy of a gr. 1 TM), but am, again, searching for a math curriculum for a dc that resists ANY formal instruction at all;) yet a doable curriculum that will lessen continued math hopping and be easy for me(not math intuitive!:glare:) to teach.

(okay-whew! that was one long sentence.:tongue_smilie:)

I also want to give you a :grouphug:, as it sounds like your dc you describe is a challenging one to teach-and since I have one also, I can greatly relate to the frustration you described. I have come to the conclusion that no matter WHAT I put before this dc, I will be met with "this is boring" or " I don't want to." One time this dc actually offered to scrub a toilet instead of do math.:001_huh: Yep.

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