# Question for Rightstart users

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I just started Rightstart A with my almost 6 yr old son. The first few lessons were great! I still like it, but my son is having difficulty "seeing" the numbers. He really wants to count. He can recognize up to 5 pretty well, but he rarely gets 6-10 right. Since I have not allowed him to count, he thinks it is a guessing game. When he doesn't instantly know the number is, he starts guessing. When I ask him to stop guessing and think about it, he says, "but you won't let me count!" I'm not sure what to do to help him see the numbers as a quantity of 8 or 6 or 9 without thinking it is a guessing game. I really like the program, but I feel like we are stuck at recognizing numbers beyond 5. I did go ahead to lesson 11, because he gets tired of doing the same thing, but should I stop until he gets it?? Will the continual review help him to eventually see the quantities? Any input is appreciated!

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I do not have the card games yet. Would any of those help on recognition. I'm starting to think maybe I should just start at the beginning again and take it really slow. I probably did do some of the lessons too fast because I tried doing one a day, which, he was fine with at first. I guess I was feeling like he'll be behind if he does A for first grade, so I was going to do A and B this year. As I continue to read more about righstart, I am finding othrs that use A for first and B for second, so maybe that's ok?

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I don't think you need to see quantities over 5. What you need is 5 and then the others.

The trick is not trying to come up with the sum, but instead noticing the parts. "My abacus has 5 blue beads and 2 yellow beads - show me on your fingers how many that is. Yep - 5 on your blue hand and 2 on your yellow hand." They don't even need to say the word 7 - just get the 5 & 2 on abacus, fingers, tally sticks, and tiles.

That, and singing Yellow Is the Sun about a gazillion times. (We held up fingers each time we sang it - all seven then five and two waved forward separately.)

Oh, and we also played those card games quite a bit. You know the 3 sets of cards, one with tally sticks, one with fingers, and one with beads? Play memory or else the other game where you each flip a card & state the number, then the person with more gets a tally stick. We played those a LOT.

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I don't think you need to see quantities over 5. What you need is 5 and then the others.

The trick is not trying to come up with the sum, but instead noticing the parts. "My abacus has 5 blue beads and 2 yellow beads - show me on your fingers how many that is. Yep - 5 on your blue hand and 2 on your yellow hand." They don't even need to say the word 7 - just get the 5 & 2 on abacus, fingers, tally sticks, and tiles.

That, and singing Yellow Is the Sun about a gazillion times. (We held up fingers each time we sang it - all seven then five and two waved forward separately.)

Oh, and we also played those card games quite a bit. You know the 3 sets of cards, one with tally sticks, one with fingers, and one with beads? Play memory or else the other game where you each flip a card & state the number, then the person with more gets a tally stick. We played those a LOT.

Thanks for the suggestions! I will try them with him tomorrow! He loves to play memory. I guess I was concentrating more on "show me 7.". He does ok matching the cards and that is more fun for him. I thought he was supposed to be able to show me 5 and 2 when I ask him for 7 or tell me it is 7 when I show him 5 and 2 of something. He kind of gets the 5 and 1, 5 and 3, etc. He just has difficulty telling me that 5 and 1 is 6.

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Thanks for the suggestions! I will try them with him tomorrow! He loves to play memory. I guess I was concentrating more on "show me 7.". He does ok matching the cards and that is more fun for him. I thought he was supposed to be able to show me 5 and 2 when I ask him for 7 or tell me it is 7 when I show him 5 and 2 of something. He kind of gets the 5 and 1, 5 and 3, etc. He just has difficulty telling me that 5 and 1 is 6.

Hum the appropriate line from the song when he gets stuck to give him a hint. If you practice the games enough, he will start knowing 5 & 1 is 6.

I wouldn't start over - just keep moving! Level A is about exposure & developing comfortable familiarity with the material. It all gets repeated at Level B, which was the original beginning point of the series. If he was *confused* about how you knew 5 & 1 was 6, I would take a break and come back in 6 months. But if he understands but just hasn't fully learned it, I would keep on trucking, and playing those games as much as you can stand! :)

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Hum the appropriate line from the song when he gets stuck to give him a hint. If you practice the games enough, he will start knowing 5 & 1 is 6.

I wouldn't start over - just keep moving! Level A is about exposure & developing comfortable familiarity with the material. It all gets repeated at Level B, which was the original beginning point of the series. If he was *confused* about how you knew 5 & 1 was 6, I would take a break and come back in 6 months. But if he understands but just hasn't fully learned it, I would keep on trucking, and playing those games as much as you can stand! :)

Yes, the song does help a little, but it is more me singing it than him. It is good to know that we can keep moving and that it will be repeated! I don't think he is confused so much as that is frustrated because it hasn't clicked yet that 6 is 5 and 1 and he wants to count to make sure it5 and 1 is 6.

I think we will try moving a little slower, maybe only one section of the lesson each day. Then I'll add the review games/activities for the rest of our math time until it clicks.

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This will take awhile since he is already 6 and has probably been counting for awhile. I would just play the games and be patient. Here are a couple of our favorites:

1. Play memory using two sets of cards (preferably two different types of cards), one set for each player. You need to get the cards in order from 1-10. Whoever finds all the cards first wins.

2. The tally game. You need a set of cards for each player. Each player draws one card. Whoever has the highest card gets to give themselves a tally mark. Reshuffle when you need more cards. This gets kids to look at the cards really quickly.

3. Sing the Yellow is the Sun song A LOT.

4. Play one player memory with two decks of different types of cards. He has to find the two matches of each number.

Just give it time. It will probably be a couple of months before he just sees numbers that way, but it is SO WORTH IT. Don't give up. Just play a game daily.

BTW, if you don't have the games, I highly recommend them. They really are the heart of the program for learning facts.

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This will take awhile since he is already 6 and has probably been counting for awhile. I would just play the games and be patient. Here are a couple of our favorites:

1. Play memory using two sets of cards (preferably two different types of cards), one set for each player. You need to get the cards in order from 1-10. Whoever finds all the cards first wins.

2. The tally game. You need a set of cards for each player. Each player draws one card. Whoever has the highest card gets to give themselves a tally mark. Reshuffle when you need more cards. This gets kids to look at the cards really quickly.

3. Sing the Yellow is the Sun song A LOT.

4. Play one player memory with two decks of different types of cards. He has to find the two matches of each number.

Just give it time. It will probably be a couple of months before he just sees numbers that way, but it is SO WORTH IT. Don't give up. Just play a game daily.

BTW, if you don't have the games, I highly recommend them. They really are the heart of the program for learning facts.

Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions! I will add these to the others listed t play every day. I guess I was assuming he would get it right away because it seems so easy for me to see the groups. I can already see a small difference in myself from looking at numbers this way, so I do plan to stick it out! I think he will begin to like it again if I can get past this frustration and make it fun for him again by playing the games. I've just been having him practice by asking him to show me 8 on his fingers, the tally sticks, or abacus. I think the games will work much better!

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I have been keeping my eye out for the games used, but I haven't gotten them yet because I didn't think they were used until much later in level A. It looks like there are only two games played in level A, so I was holding off.

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Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions! I will add these to the others listed t play every day. I guess I was assuming he would get it right away because it seems so easy for me to see the groups. I can already see a small difference in myself from looking at numbers this way, so I do plan to stick it out! I think he will begin to like it again if I can get past this frustration and make it fun for him again by playing the games. I've just been having him practice by asking him to show me 8 on his fingers, the tally sticks, or abacus. I think the games will work much better!

My kiddos went through preschool, where they practice counting a LOT. I thought they would never quit counting, but they finally did! The youngest (who just finished preschool in May) still forgets and counts all the time. I just prompt her every time I see her finger moving "wait - you know this - you don't need to count! Stop and look - does it have a middle? No? So what number is it?".

As for the games, start with the ones from the Appendix - you don't need the whole game book yet.

We sang that song every single time there was an opportunity. We sang it with me singing the main line and them the numbers. Then vice versa. Then me signing every other word and them the in betweens. Then backwards. Then when getting out silverware. "Hmm - I need 6 forks" sing that line in the song. "Hey - there are 7 geese - see?" Break out in song! Etc. etc.

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A brief rant:

I think the song is worthless. Rely on the abacus and the card games. Ditch the song.

You could just as easily sing, "Yellow is the sun, eight is three and one; why is the sky so blue, twelve is eight and two," etc., as you can sing the correct words. There's nothing inherent in the words of the song to cue the child what the correct words are. Nothing except rote memory, which can be accomplished without that song.

If there were something about a yellow sun which cued people that they should somehow think about the number 6, or even the number 1, then, yeah, that would work. But there isn't. A yellow sun has diddly squat to do with the numbers 6, 5, and 1. And a blue sky has a similar relationship to 7, 5, and 2 -- the concepts have zippity doo dah to do with each other. And so on throughout the song.

My kids are 12 and 16, did years and years of RightStart, are doing great in math, and did it all without singing the song. Well, except to make fun of it, as they recognized that it was totally twee.

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My kids were 4 when we started so the song was a BIG hit with them, but I can imagine how it would not be thrilling for a 6 year old boy. :)

The games definitely help. Slow down if you need to. We did 1/2 lesson a day, but again, my kids were younger. Every lesson though, we went through those warm ups!

Brenda

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I have been trying to get him to sing the song, but he is not really into it. I have it memorized extremely well though. :001_smile: I think my 4 year old is beginning to memorize it as well from hearing me sing it.

When do you recommend starting my almost 4 year old dd? I had planned to let her follow along, but she quickly became lost as he is moving through the lessons much too quickly for her. The patterning, ordering, and shapes are pretty easy for him, whereas she is just learning those things.

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My daughter was 5 when we started and we were already doing a lot of mental math (word problems, addition, subtraction) just through natural introduction at that point, but I decide to start at the begining to allow me to review it with her and start introducing it toward my younger daughter. Things that work for us- not rushing- sometimes we work on a lesson for a week or more, not in concentrated form, but introducing something then working on that concept around the house, when shopping, etc. Other times we combine one or two lessons together based on her abilities. Also, lots of games- she loves speed drills, I flash objects or numbers and have her name them in the 5 + x manner- if she she names 6-10 without stating the 5+x equivalent in conjunction she loses her 'turn' or pennies, etc. depending on how we are doing it. We really struggled with it at first, and it took a couple months before it became natural. I was included in the speed games- we kept it silly and tried to trip each other up. We did it during car trips, around the house, meal times, etc. I also found working out the problems verbally myself helped her as well. I'd do a problem she would give me and show her how I thought it out using the abucus, and then would have her do one, and we go back and forth. If he understands the other concepts, just keep at it- use the 5+ phrasing yourself frequently.

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The song has helped my son a lot. Using it with gestures or other manipulatives has helped him be able to get the idea. Still needs a lot of practice.

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I really don't think it's that important if they still count or not. My younger two have always used RightStart and happily recognise the quantities without counting, but still count on their fingers sometimes. I take the view that being able to recognise quantities is a very useful skill, but I'm not going to give them a hard time if sometimes they feel like counting on their fingers. I think there's a bigger picture of being confident and competent at maths, and enjoying it, and it's mostly best not to sweat the small stuff.

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