thoughts on RightStart math

Recommended Posts

I just wanted to write a bit about RightStart math because not many people on this board use it. We're entering year 4 of RightStart and just beginning level E. Like many, I've been tempted to jump ship, but I have stayed the course because I never could convince myself that something was wrong enough to merit a jump.

For history, we started RightStart with ds 8 when he was 4 with level A for 15 minutes a day. We've done breaks for one book of Miquon, and he is currently working through CWP 2 on his own, one page or so per day.

Recently, the intuitive understanding he has of math has really shown through. For example, while playing a game, he suggested the first winner get 1/2 point, the second 1/4 point, the third 1/8, and so on. The set-up meant you could win multiple times. When he won first (and got 1/2 point), he pointed out that no one else could beat him, no matter how many points they got.

That means... he added up the infinite series in his head and understood that he could never get to 1/2! Then, when we were done with the game, he drew fractions on the number line (sort of like he'd been doing in level D) to illustrate his point.

This sort of intuitive understanding manifests itself frequently, and the CWP generally seem not to be problematic.

I moved DD 6 from RightStart because she is very visual, but the fruit I am seeing from RS in ds's skills are making me rethink my change. Instead, I'm going to let her read the manual with me as I read it aloud and then I will write down all oral problems so she can see them. I'll only require oral problem solving when she has mastered the skill that the problem covers, just like I only require CWP when the skill used in the WP is mastered.

I'd be happy to talk about RS if you want.

Staying the course of RS,

Emily

Share on other sites

Thanks for your recommendation and personal observations. We are finishing up RS Math B with Miquon Blue (2nd grade) we are a little behind but have been really enjoying it. Their mental math and problem solving skills are great. I love both of those programs. We tried MEP but it was too workbooky at this point, even though I think it is a great program. I have read many who like RS Math through B and then go on to something not liking C, but after our B experience I was really thinking of going on. Your testimonial gives me confidence to keep on course - finish Miquon and go on to RS Math C and continue reading LofF. What will you do after RS Math? They recommend Interactive Algebra but I haven't heard great things. . . Thanks for taking your time to post.

Share on other sites

I love to see "a day in the life" with RS A or B, just seeing lessons samples or people raving about how good it is, hasn't really helped, lol. I need to more see it in action, know how a typical lesson goes, how long it takes etc

I'd also like to know the differences between the "new" RS and the old RS, whether its actually better or has been "dumbed down" for standards.

99% of threads I read say they love RS, but the other 1% scare me. I have seen one person say that after a year of Rightstart, the child forgot everything. Considering how teacher intensive RS is supposed to be, this scares me, putting in all that effort only for it to amount to nothing (I suppose it scares me because its happened before, with ETC, everyone raved about it, we used it for a year, and my eldest just didn't remember anything (we were also using the TG, so using full lessons) so I don't want that to happen again.

If anyone knows the comparison between RS A & MUS Primer (is RS A below (or starts below) MUS P?). My son has special needs and whilst he does a fair shot at counting the first lesson of MUS just assumes your child can count, figure out the numbers etc, and jumps crazily from there. I had heard good things about MUS and SN so I was excited about it, its now in storage awaiting the slight possibility of starting it next year. He liked the blocks, but wasn't really engaged with it iykwim?

How good is RS for a very physical, doing boy? How much does it assume the child knows before starting? He's very good at analogies, creative thinking, puzzles, geometry etc. He's more of a right brained learner, and learns from Audio-Visual/Musical and lots of manipulatives. Its a lot of \$\$\$ and we are currently on a tight budget.

Could you do something like RS once a week, and more worksheet/simple things on the other days? I only ask because we order our days ala fiar, so Math is Monday, we do worksheets/more independant work for maths on other days, but Monday is our proper/intensive maths day.

Thanks to anyone who can help!

Share on other sites

I too have loved RightStart math. My 4th grade son is finishing up E now and we'll have to transition to something else as he is not ready for the geometry program. My 1st grade son is finishing up B and his mental math skills are amazing from using this program! I love how it teaches mental math, is scripted just enough and has games for fun reinforcement!

Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing. I plan to start my daughter (5) with Rightstart very soon.

Share on other sites

How good is RS for a very physical, doing boy? How much does it assume the child knows before starting? He's very good at analogies, creative thinking, puzzles, geometry etc. He's more of a right brained learner, and learns from Audio-Visual/Musical and lots of manipulatives. Its a lot of \$\$\$ and we are currently on a tight budget.

Right Start A has been great for my physical little 5 year old boy. He loves being able to TOUCH the manipulatives and COMPETE in the games!

Also, you mentioned geometry . . . RS has a LOT of geometry. I'd guess it probably has more geometry than the vast majority of elementary math programs. There is only a touch of it in Level A, but it shows up more and more in later levels, particularly in C.

HTH! :)

Share on other sites

We're finishing up RS B, and even though I do dread doing the lessons (teacher intensive, need to gather the supplies, have to deal w/two littles...), DD enjoys it, and more importantly, she retains it. She'll randomly spout out math facts at me. I'm on the fence about continuing w/RS C next year b/c of the level of involvement on my part, but a lot of the dread is b/c it can be time consuming to do a lesson. We average between 30-45 minutes. That can be a long time with two little distractions running around.

Other things (I don't know an easy way to put this into paragraph form):

*lessons take anywhere from 30-45 min on avg

*I've found that DD retains more when I let her use the bar in the coat closet as a jungle gym

*the hands-on parts of lessons also help her to retain what is taught

*I don't always follow the lessons to a tee, esp on ones that are listed as taking multiple days (we'll take less time than suggested)

*I like that RS math is more advanced than MM (we use both)

*I like that each lesson opens with mental math exercises

*both of us like the games (though we don't play them as often as we should0

Share on other sites

We're finishing up RS B, and even though I do dread doing the lessons (teacher intensive, need to gather the supplies, have to deal w/two littles...), DD enjoys it, and more importantly, she retains it. She'll randomly spout out math facts at me. I'm on the fence about continuing w/RS C next year b/c of the level of involvement on my part, but a lot of the dread is b/c it can be time consuming to do a lesson. We average between 30-45 minutes. That can be a long time with two little distractions running around.

Other things (I don't know an easy way to put this into paragraph form):

*lessons take anywhere from 30-45 min on avg

*I've found that DD retains more when I let her use the bar in the coat closet as a jungle gym

*the hands-on parts of lessons also help her to retain what is taught

*I don't always follow the lessons to a tee, esp on ones that are listed as taking multiple days (we'll take less time than suggested)

*I like that RS math is more advanced than MM (we use both)

*I like that each lesson opens with mental math exercises

*both of us like the games (though we don't play them as often as we should0

Just to make sure . . . you do know that the author of Right Start doesn't intend that you necessarily do a lesson each day, right?

I have one child in Level C now, and the other in Level A, and I have found that it works best to split up each lesson into two days. Much, much better for little attention spans, at least around here!

Even taking two days to do each lesson, you can complete both Levels A and B in one school year. Now, C is a longer book and a different story; many people take about 1-1.5 years to do that level.

You'll hear from many people that they do in fact complete an entire RS lesson in one day. But for my moderately bright kids, they do much better doing a half lesson at a time. Makes it all a lot more feasible to actually DO, know what I mean? :)

Share on other sites

Just to make sure . . . you do know that the author of Right Start doesn't intend that you necessarily do a lesson each day, right?

Now, C is a longer book and a different story; many people take about 1-1.5 years to do that level.

I'm so glad you said this! I have been beating myself up for not being further along in Level C. I don't know why I didn't realize it was more of a 1.5 year book!

I LOVE RS also! I was hesitant to start with it because it was so different from anything I had looked at. I went to a workshop at one of the conventions and was hooked. It just makes sense to teach math this way. I love when we end a lesson and my DS is asking to play again. We don't play as many games as we should either, but when we do play he is so happy and I'm happy that he's learning and it isn't a struggle.

Share on other sites

Just to make sure . . . you do know that the author of Right Start doesn't intend that you necessarily do a lesson each day, right?

I have one child in Level C now, and the other in Level A, and I have found that it works best to split up each lesson into two days. Much, much better for little attention spans, at least around here!

Even taking two days to do each lesson, you can complete both Levels A and B in one school year. Now, C is a longer book and a different story; many people take about 1-1.5 years to do that level.

You'll hear from many people that they do in fact complete an entire RS lesson in one day. But for my moderately bright kids, they do much better doing a half lesson at a time. Makes it all a lot more feasible to actually DO, know what I mean? :)

I never really thought of that. Most of the lessons don't seem to have a good "splitting in half" point. I know that on most of the lessons where they suggest to take 2-3 days, that we don't usually take that long (the one time we sort of did were the two lessons that covered 4-digit addition). It is good to know for RS C (which we will most likely do even though I get kind of twitchy over it). Behavior-wise, DD is fine w/the lessons. Playing on the coat closet bar whenever there is mental math helps immensely.

Share on other sites

I've found it interesting that I've seen Level C listed often now as one that takes 1.5 yrs. We did B first and I found it to be much longer and harder to complete in a year than B. Level C we easily finished. However, we did start with Level B so we could not skip the first lessons. After much debate I'm moving ahead w/ RS. Dd is doing RSA now and will be moving to RSB next year and I will be taking it slower w/ her than I did w/ ds. He is moving on as well and will be doing RSE next year. We did BA full time for a while this year but I've moved it back to a supplement.

Share on other sites

After trying everything available for beginning math, we landed with RightStart and I could not be happier. I kept talking myself out of it because of the cost, but considering how much I spent on things that didn't work, I would have saved money starting with RS. My DS is working through Level A (about 30 lessons left) and we complete about a lesson a day in 15-20 minutes not including games. My DS is very, very visual and he needed something to grasp in order to understand concepts. He also loves the warm-up section and enjoys the variety of RS. Many people have commented that it is random or jumps around, but so far I've seen a logical progression that builds on previous skills. I love the games and DS enjoys teaching them to DD which also helps him to retain information :)

We will definitely continue with RS!

Share on other sites

I never really thought of that. Most of the lessons don't seem to have a good "splitting in half" point. I know that on most of the lessons where they suggest to take 2-3 days, that we don't usually take that long (the one time we sort of did were the two lessons that covered 4-digit addition). It is good to know for RS C (which we will most likely do even though I get kind of twitchy over it). Behavior-wise, DD is fine w/the lessons. Playing on the coat closet bar whenever there is mental math helps immensely.

Dr. Cotter does mention in her introduction of several of the books that the lessons are designed to be split into two. Not that it's *required* to split each lesson, but that you should feel free to break them up. I just pointed it out because you mentioned that the lessons seemed a little long and hard to finish, especially with littles running around. Very understandable. :)

I agree that there is no super obvious place to break every lesson in two, but I've been able to do it pretty easily over the past several years. It often works out to doing all of the warm up plus a little of the new teaching on one day, and then finishing up the new teaching on the second day. When there is a clear variety of topics contained in one lesson, it's even easier to make the break.

Share on other sites

I've found it interesting that I've seen Level C listed often now as one that takes 1.5 yrs. We did B first and I found it to be much longer and harder to complete in a year than B. Level C we easily finished. However, we did start with Level B so we could not skip the first lessons. After much debate I'm moving ahead w/ RS. Dd is doing RSA now and will be moving to RSB next year and I will be taking it slower w/ her than I did w/ ds. He is moving on as well and will be doing RSE next year. We did BA full time for a while this year but I've moved it back to a supplement.

Soror, can I ask how RS Level D has been?

I'm doing my annual debate on whether to continue with RS or not. I haven't enjoyed Level C quite as much as Levels A and B; we're about 2/3rds of the way finished with it now.

Any insight?

Share on other sites

My biggest "revelation" this year (and I can't imagine why I didn't think of this before this year, my 4th year using RS), is that the games seem much easier to actually fit into our schedule if I just set a timer, and we just stop play and decide the winner after the amount of time that I feel like we can spend (often 15-20 minutes or so). I think I was avoiding game playing a lot because I would always think "We don't have TIME for that!".

Level D is my least favorite level of the program so far. I've really waffled about what to do next year with DD. But after using Math Mammoth for a while and not being totally happy with that either, and realizing how much DD loves the games, I think I am going to stick with it and try level E. I've noticed we have a lot fewer frustrations when DD can read along with what I am teaching from the manual or can read the words of the example problems. So some days I am either making a photocopy of the instructor manual page (and then blacking out the answers) or just typing up in Word the example problems from the text.

Right Start is still an awesome fit for my super mathy Kindergarten DS. He is just at the beginning of Level C, and I love that it is so easy to not have him get bogged down in "busy work" if he already understands the concepts.

Share on other sites

I like RSD better in some ways but in other ways I find it lacking. I think there is too much review and not enough new material, tbh. We did use BA full time for awhile because of that. However, we are back to using it now as I was missing the review and started to see some concepts slipping after awhile. Now we are selectively doing lessons to skip what he has well mastered and review concepts he needs work on and introduce any new concepts, which tbh is not much. I do plan to continue with E however but we will be selective in our use of that as well, adding in BA and HoE. I do really like the way it is laid out though and find it easier to follow than B and C. I do really like how they present materials though and I think it covers things well without extraneous writing.

We tried MM for a bit a few years ago to try and help him with place value and ds hated it. He loved/loves BA though. I love how it digs deeper into various kinds of problems and still keeps it fun. I just wish it was in a spiral format, so doing BA with RS is great imo. Next year I am planning on going back through and doing the harder problems from BA3- we didn't do most of the 2 star problems and only some of the 1 star. I was reading somewhere in the books and it was talking about kids going through it multiple times and going deeper so that is our plan.

Share on other sites

I went back and forth about RS D and E but finally decided that I didn't want to fix something that wasn't broken. DS loves math and does it well. Why should I change because I hear it doesn't move fast enough if my child seems to be happy? Also, in D and E, the child works much more independently, so I rarely spend more than 10 minutes "tutoring".

I did add CWP this year for the first time, and I am willing to skip a RS worksheet or do it orally if it seems like way too much review.

Also, we had problems with retaining multi-digit addition and subtraction, so for about 30 days, I added a note to review it every single day (after having retaught it a few times). Ugh. Otherwise, retention hasn't been a problem.

Emily

Share on other sites

As I said previously I am planning on using Rightstart for my DD5 this year. However, just looked at the website and saw that I would need to choose 1st or 2nd edition? Hm. Which one and why?

Thoughts from all of you happy with the program?

Share on other sites

As I said previously I am planning on using Rightstart for my DD5 this year. However, just looked at the website and saw that I would need to choose 1st or 2nd edition? Hm. Which one and why?

Thoughts from all of you happy with the program?

The second Edition was just recently released so there isn't going to be many people for a while who are able to review it (and rather less who can compare two in front of them) they will hopefully be getting better samples of the 2nd edition.

Most of the people who have the 1st edition will just keep using it, unless they particularly need exactly all the core standards bits for their state.

The 2nd edition has been in the works for quite a while (pre-standards, so before all the hullabub of the standards changing things) it involves new research Dr Cotter has looked at and is a whole new ball game, its also better laid out to be able to quickly scan the page (before everything was just lots of long paragraphs, now the ojbjectives, materials, actual lesson and notes are all seperated nicely on the page for easier viewing). The content itself was changed to reflect Dr Cotters research and not for the core standards. In order to make it a little easier they moved the "tiniest" bits around, so you can say you "covered" blah-blah-blah that you were meant to (like 1 sheet moved back here, another sheet moved over there) so it wasn't completely higgle-piggled for core standards like everyone seems to think.

The new edition also uses more of the manipulatives sooner, introduces metric earlier (great for canadians or Aussies like me) adds more geometry, weight & measurement, and overall gives it a cleanup and better ordering.

The 1st edition was written many moons ago and then finally published in 2001, and in our world things are constantly changing, more research on child development is coming to light, more fields focus on mathematics, that it did, indeed need an overhaul.

Rightstart 1st Edition pretty much met (and way exceeded) the current standards, apart from a couple of small tidbits here and there, so since Dr Cotter was almost ready to bring out the new version, she (or the company) decided it would be easier for those in affected states to still be able to use Rightstart, and added a sheet or two here, and moved a sheet or two there (I have done this before looking at my standards, it said to address cleanliness/washing of hands. I grabbed a sheet, told her to copy "wash your hands" on it and copy her hands, and plonked it into the binder. core met, set and done :p )

Dr Cotter has still followed "her own way" in the new edition, has based it around the age appropriate child development she is known for, and IMO is better from what I have heard/looked at. BUT should I have had the old one, I would of continued using it, because I have, it works, and don't change something that isn't broken :p I would of also known the lessons and not been so overwhelmed by the page layout.

The new edition, since using most of the manipulatives, has a touch higher lot than the old one, but after that all you have to purchase is the Teachers Guide and Worksheets.

I will never be able to compare one to the other, unless I somehow go on a 4 hour round roadtrip to a lady I know who has the 1st edition (who knows it might happen ;) )

If your wanting to get more of an idea between the editions, go to the Rightstart yahoo group, and once joined type "2nd edition" and another search of "second edition" and browse through.

I was really torn between the two editions (after all US Stds don't affect me here) so I went through the archives, (and BTW lots of people keep re-hashing the same thing, even though Dr Cotter and the reps keep replying) and there was one old post near the beginning of when they advised about the 2nd edition coming out, that was written on behalf of Dr Cotter, that seemed (even though to be repeating what was said later in all the other threads) to be more elaborated, and finally made sense to me, and kicked me into purchasing the 2nd edition (which I now eagerly await).

There is also a AL Abacus app on the ipad, so you can have a digital app too.

I would suggest having an abacus for mom, and the companies suggestion was to also have an abacus for each child regardless of whether they are taught seperately or together (children using RS apparently tend to use them all the time). You can also use something like notability on the ipad, and get e-workbooks instead.

I am unsure as to whether they added extra lessons, or split some of the longer lessons up, but I think there was previously *about* 70 lessons and now theres about 130.

I'm now starting to re-organize my school closet, so its ready for even more manips :p

So the edition just depends on what your after from RS and how fast you'll move through it. And also just researching with an open mind.

I think I covered everything, I seem to have caught a cold or something and am a little foggy :bored:

HTH xxx

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

Only 75 emoji are allowed.