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Questions for RS Users

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We're just starting with RS, about a third of the way through the 2e of RSA, and we're having a lot of fun with it, my DD absolutely loves the lessons and would "play math" for hours a day if I let her, but there are times I find myself scratching my head at the sequence. I wanted a spiral program, it's one of the reasons I was drawn to RS, but some of the topics introduced just seem so random, sometimes thrown in briefly and even several lessons later those topics still haven't been brought up again or built upon. So my questions:


Should I just trust the process and go through the whole program as scripted, or will it hurt in the long run if, for example, we don't do fractals or random work on the geoboard? Will the sequence all make sense to me at some point?


My DD is only 4, so I haven't wanted to go too quickly through the program, because even if RSA seems easy at this point I'm sure she'll eventually hit a wall. Should I just follow her lead and continue at the pace she seems to want? Slow down and just play games? Supplement with another program to slow her down? (We also have Miquon.)


Also, similar to the Miquon questions posted today, how well do kids who use the early levels of RS transition to a different program? I was thinking of stopping after RS B and moving on to BA since 2 should be out by then. Do you think RS gives enough of a foundation that transition is reasonably easy, or should I be supplementing with a more traditional program?

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I used RS A, B, and half of C before transitioning my son to a combination of Singapore and Beast. I'm currently starting over with my nearly four-year-old daughter.


I also found the sequence, particularly in A, to be a bit random. My hunch is that some of the random topics were thrown in there to make sure that state standards were met. Very few of them are essential to later learning, and you can always back up and cover them if you later discover they were important. So skip away! :) In General, a lot of the geometric excursions and vocabulary can be skipped without a problem, but the activities that build the foundation for number sense are essential.


Based on my previous experience, I'm planning to skip a lot of the geometry/vocabulary in A this next time through, but will make sure to spend a lot of time on the games. If your daughter is loving it, I wouldn't worry about slowing her down, as it will be obvious when she needs a break or some variety.


In my experience, my son had no trouble transitioning to singapore/beast. It was a little bit of a shift, but he was ready for more structured assignments and paper and pencil work. Rightstart is truly an amazing program in the foundation that it lays down for numeracy skills, and all of the other areas of math (geometry, spatial reasoning, word problems) are a cinch once you understand numbers so thoroughly.

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My .02 cents - some of the random stuff is really just for fun.  I of course do not know this for a fact, and I am sure others will say that it is totally necessary.  But for my kids, geo boards, fractals, and stuff just kept it kind of interesting and fun.  I would just do what she wants to do as far as math lesson time and go with it as long as you can.  I can personally only play 'go to the dump' and 'swim to 10' and 'addition war' for so long before my mind turns to mush.


My oldest is doing RS D and Beast Academy - I think they go well together.  We went most of the way through RS C before starting with BA 3.  For my kids, I personally don't think ONLY BA would make me feel comfortable.  The problems are awesome, but there are not very many of them.  Review (from what I have seen) seems to be almost non-existent in BA.  Yes, everything keeps building,  but I would not call it spiral at all.  Which is how come we are using a variety of other math sources including RS D, Life of Fred, and other workbooks as well as lots of math games.  All this to say that I think RS does a great job of providing a foundation for other programs if one wants or needs to switch at some point.  And also to point out, that for my oldest, BA production schedule simply could not keep up and 2 is/was not out as an option even.


Good Luck!

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We are about 70% through RSB and planning a transition to MM next year (DD's choice). We started implementing some MM1 lessons alongside RS a few weeks ago, and it has been very seamless in terms of transition. My DD isn't as enthusiastic about Singapore as she is about MM, so I can't speak to the RS-to-Singapore transition that seems to be more common on this board.


[side note: We've used MM along the way for extra practice because my daughter doesn't love the card games, though we do play them. She likes MM presentation and incrementalism, I like RS's emphasis on place value and the method by which they teach certain concepts in B. I may buy C and do some picking and choosing, but the price tag is making me think twice.]


DD went through RSA, and I agree that it jumped around a bit, but at that age it was fun and I wasn't so worried about scope and sequence, as many parents bypass A all together and move right into B. It just doesn't seem necessary (to me) to worry so much about how and what is covered in A -- it's lots of fun and discovery without much pressure IMHO. If you want to skip something, go ahead and skip it -- everything is revisited in B. But then again, some of that stuff is just fun for kids to see, and especially helpful for realizing early on that math is not just numbers. I think this is an extremely important concept that can get lost in our enthusiasm to see our kids mastering traditional early mathematical concepts.


Good luck!

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