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Has anyone tried RightStart math? Who loves it? Why?

 

I'm agonizing over whether to try RightStart C next year instead of Saxon 3. (I picked C instead of B based on the site's recommendation.) It's not that my DS7 has a big problem with Saxon. He does fine and doesn't complain most of the time. But he doesn't have that mythical "love of math" I've heard so much about. Maybe because I don't have that, it's hard for me to imagine, but if it's real, I'd like him to have a chance to develop it. And Saxon isn't really inspiring. I would describe it as thorough and adequate, but it's not making anyone around here EAGER for math.

 

So, I took a few learning style quizzes on behalf of my son, and he is mainly auditory, and secondly kinesthetic. So I thought RightStart seemed to fit well with that.

 

Is there another math I MUST investigate? I need something complete...I don't want to have to piecemeal it. Any suggestions?

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We loved RS A and B!! but C almost killed the joy. We stopped 2/3 through and switched.

Here's an idea - have a spine like math mammoth or Singapore, but spend time playing with math. We do a weekly math circle, which I highly recommend (grab a copy of Family Math or Moebius Noodles and lead it yourself if you can't find an established one)! Or watch videos from numberphile, mathmunch, or vihart and then talk about math ideas. My son was trying to prove to me his concept of negative zero the other day, and we had a very interesting conversation which was deep math learning (and grounding in how to formulate a proof). Check out letsplaymath blog as well. Spend time playing logic and board games. My kids like Nim, Pig, and Giotto (and Pico, Fermi, Bagel) which don't take much to play. We get out graph paper and draw shapes and patterns. I try to let them lead at those times, and step in when they have discovered something. We play lots of board games too, where calculations as well as reasoning and strategy are used. And we read mathy things (For his age the Phantom Tollbooth might be good, or the Sir Cumference books, Grapes of Math, Mathematicians are People Too, etc). Have fun!

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Well my dd8 really loves Right Start math. In fact, I recently tried to switch her over to Singapore thinking it would be a little less teacher intensive for me, and after a few days and many tears we have returned to Right Start. We are in the middle of level C.

 

Things she loves--

lots of hands-on activities (using the abacus and other manipulatives)

fewer worksheets (as compared to other math programs)

math card games (for practice, which means less worksheets)

oral practice (which translates into less worksheets)

 

You may be noticing a common theme (less workbooks/worksheets). My dd8 just is not a workbook kind of gal, so RS has been a great fit for her. It is teacher-intensive, which is hard on me (I have littles running around), but I think for a core subject like math that is sooooo important, I can make the sacrifice. I've decided to make other subjects less teacher-intensive to allow extra time for RS.

 

Other math programs to look at--Singapore, Math Mammoth. Those are definitely more workbooky if that's a consideration.

 

Life of Fred is a fun supplement that can be done mostly independently, and my dd8 looooooooves it. Just throwing it out there, even though you said you don't want to piecemeal. It would be so easy to add that to Saxon though, and just stay on the Saxon path if it's working well for you anyway.

 

Right Start is really quite different both in scope and sequence and approach. I would consider the RS transitional lessons if you decide to make the move. Maybe even print out some RS sample lessons from the website and do them with your ds first as a trial run.

 

Good luck! Hope you can find the right program!

 

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We did not love RS.  We tried level A for Kindergarten with my oldest and it wasn't a good fit.  He didn't mind it, necessarily, but didn't love it or anything.  Since he wasn't thrilled, and it was too time intensive for me (and rather costly for us), we put RS aside and gave MUS a try.  That also didn't work (tried for about 8 months).  Finally we ended up with Math Mammoth which we started in the middle of 1st grade.  He doesn't love math any more now but he gets it and it gets done.  We use the RS abacus and MUS blocks with the Math Mammoth worksheets and it works well for us. HTH

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Well my dd8 really loves Right Start math. In fact, I recently tried to switch her over to Singapore thinking it would be a little less teacher intensive for me, and after a few days and many tears we have returned to Right Start. We are in the middle of level C.

 

Things she loves--

lots of hands-on activities (using the abacus and other manipulatives)

fewer worksheets (as compared to other math programs)

math card games (for practice, which means less worksheets)

oral practice (which translates into less worksheets)

 

You may be noticing a common theme (less workbooks/worksheets). My dd8 just is not a workbook kind of gal, so RS has been a great fit for her. It is teacher-intensive, which is hard on me (I have littles running around), but I think for a core subject like math that is sooooo important, I can make the sacrifice. I've decided to make other subjects less teacher-intensive to allow extra time for RS.

 

Other math programs to look at--Singapore, Math Mammoth. Those are definitely more workbooky if that's a consideration.

 

Life of Fred is a fun supplement that can be done mostly independently, and my dd8 looooooooves it. Just throwing it out there, even though you said you don't want to piecemeal. It would be so easy to add that to Saxon though, and just stay on the Saxon path if it's working well for you anyway.

 

Right Start is really quite different both in scope and sequence and approach. I would consider the RS transitional lessons if you decide to make the move. Maybe even print out some RS sample lessons from the website and do them with your ds first as a trial run.

 

Good luck! Hope you can find the right program!

This is my DD7 almost exactly.  I actually don't mind how much it requires of me because I need the refresher.  Not sure how I feel about that when DD4 starts math, but for now I don't mind.

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I love, love, love RS B and the first part of C. Didn't like A or the later part of C. Chose not to continue on with D & E because they appeared to have a single year's worth of new material spread out over the two levels.

 

My oldest did RS B & C then Singapore 3A-8A. My youngest started out in A, jumped ship to MEP Reception & 1A, then did RS B and the first part of C along with Singapore 1 & 2. Then he has used Singapore 3A-4A plus Beast Academy 3.

 

RS A is too spiral a format for my tastes. B and the first part of C are really rigorous, but then the pace starts to slow down too much. I also don't care for the big drawing section in the middle of C.

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We love rightstart here. my oldest did the transition and moved into c. She is now in E. My younger had moved through A. and half of B.

 

May I ask how / why C almost killed the joy?

 

Thanks!

this isn't directed to me but I'll answer it anyway; the graphing nearly killed us. my dd wasn't ready for so much precise graphing work. but this was really important for me, it was when I learned that I can be in charge of the curriculum (gasp!) Once that really occurred to me, we finished grapping in a week and moved on.

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We loved it!  

 

We're through with it now, but it was the one that actually worked for older dd -- she went from a child who proclaimed that she was just no good in math to a young lady who enjoyed her dual enrollment Calculus 2 class this spring and is planning to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering.  Okay, there were other contributing factors (particularly the Kinetic Physics course she took a couple of years ago), but RightStart made a HUGE difference in the day to day math of those early years.  

 

RightStart taught me how to teach math.  After I'd used it for a while I felt like I could've taken a different math program and made it accessible to dd.  I didn't actually use RightStart exactly how it was scripted -- I had my own ideas about how the Montessori-ness should be handled, for example, and I thought that Yellow Is the Sun song was just plain stupid.  Also, Level A seemed useless to us -- I got it to try with 2nd dd and ditched it after a couple of weeks.  When she was ready we started with B.

 

Things that didn't work, which might give insight into how we think:  MIquon, Singapore (only worked if I did a huge amount of work to make it into a more Montessori-type experience), Life of Fred.

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We are using RIghtstart A for my Pk5er and Rightstart B for my first grader; we planned on starting in the fall, but my daughter - who loves math and HAtes MUS - saw the books and manipulatives and wanted to start right away. We are diving in and we just started but she is begging to do math. So, I can't give a real review except to say that it at least makes my little peanut.want to do math, instead of dread it.

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I'm not quite sure when it's scheduled to be completed, but the 2nd edition of C should address some of the issues people have had with it. I know they did amazing things with A and B...(We're LOVING RS A, and my DD surprises me every day with the things she understands because of it.)

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We're at the end of Level C.  When we were done with our lesson today, I almost kissed the book.  I love Right Start, even with it's flaws (moves too slowly sometimes, jumps around, etc.)  I feel like I can teach math to all of my kids because of the foundation I got from learning math the Right Start way.  I can't wait to start Level D!  I want to finish all of the books on my own this summer so I have an idea of where we're headed.

 

I think I'll go kiss the book now.  :)

 

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By way of context, my oldest dd has done MathMammoth since the beginning. She is about to start level 4. Math is not her favorite subject but what she knows, she knows very well and often surprises me with her application of it in life.

 

My middle dd is a different learner and very energetic, physical, loud, etc. so I thought RS might be a good fit for her. We completed A and a little of B this year during her K year and she's now using MM.

 

I thought RSA was fun and had some cool lessons and I liked the presentation of some concepts, but she was way less into it than I thought she'd be. She was annoyed by a lot of the activities and only really liked the games. Also, unlike some people's experiences, over time I realized that she didn't have solid concepts and, to me,this is due to the all-over-the-place spiral nature of RS. I don't know if it's the way we think in my family or the way I teach, but a mastery-based approach makes way more sense to me and seems to give my kids the solid understanding that they keep and can apply.

 

MathMammoth is kind of the anti-RightStart, to my mind - no bells and whistles, complete immersion in one topic at a time, practically self-teaching.

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May I ask how / why C almost killed the joy?

 

Thanks!

 

It began to really drag in the middle there.  DS was ready to move on, but accelerating was not easy because of the interjected topics/non-linear nature.  C spent soooo long on addition and subtraction concepts which he had already mastered (it kept doing the same kind of thing for each new place value, when really you can just extrapolate this).  Also it is long (150 lessons - several of them multi-day) compared to other levels.  And because it is teacher intensive, I endured every minute of yawning, whining, and protestation, which began to rather wear on me.  If it had done more with multiplication or just had fewer lessons in general it may have been worth persisting in.

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I'm glad I'm getting input on this. I hadn't realized it was so teacher intensive. I'm having a baby in August, so maybe this is not the right time to switch to something that might actually make my life a little harder.

 

Does anyone have anything good to say about Saxon? I personally like it, but I'm really not a math person, so I expect math to be dry and repetitive. The way they teach makes sense to me. I'm afraid that if I change to RightStart, I'll be in over my head. It seems totally different from what I'm used to. But I would like him to have a more solid foundation. Sounds like I could learn from it too. But with a newborn and a three year old....idk if I can do it!

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Does anyone have anything good to say about Saxon?

:mellow:

Really, any math at the 2nd grade level is going to need you.  RS needs you more than most.  Saxon needs you and it's "dry and repetitive."  I think 2nd and 3rd grade are great times to jump over into Singapore - there will be a bit of learning that you do together to figure out the Singapore way, but it's really worth the time and investment (where as RS there is too much time and a degree of boredom in C, and Saxon I is a good skill builder but is not as strong with building concepts and mathematical thinking, and it can be a math-love killer). Math Mammoth is similar to Singapore, but I hear it is a little more towards self-teaching.  

 

Best wishes for the fall!

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I'm glad I'm getting input on this. I hadn't realized it was so teacher intensive. I'm having a baby in August, so maybe this is not the right time to switch to something that might actually make my life a little harder.

 

Does anyone have anything good to say about Saxon? I personally like it, but I'm really not a math person, so I expect math to be dry and repetitive. The way they teach makes sense to me. I'm afraid that if I change to RightStart, I'll be in over my head. It seems totally different from what I'm used to. But I would like him to have a more solid foundation. Sounds like I could learn from it too. But with a newborn and a three year old....idk if I can do it!

Well I don't know if you caught this from the RS website, but you would do the Transitions book before you start into C.  That would let you know if it's a good fit.  Yes, it's going to be parent-driven.  When we finished RS, we went to BJU.  It might be another one to look at for something conceptually strong.  You could use the dvd/online option and not have any worries with the new baby or your ability to teach it.  

 

Math is challenging for EVERYONE to figure out.  I think it's awesome that you're willing to shift up your math when you see it not giving the results you want.  

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I used RightStart A-E with my oldest (now 9) and am in C with my second. My third is in A, and I convinced a preschool/kindergarten coop to use A for its math material this year. You could say I like it a lot! Each year I agonized over whether to keep using it, but since my kids love math and were learning a lot, I couldn't really justify jumping ship!

 

I think there is depth to RightStart that you recognize by using it. My 7-year-old daughter is doing multiplication. She learns about area (and figures out area on her own) but then the connection between area and multiplication is explicitly taught later. Skip counting as a foundation for multiplication facts is emphasized. She needs to measure things in feet and inches and then find out what the length is in inches. That was last week. If something is too easy, I just skip it or condense it. Yet, the layers really do add something to understanding and the games really enhance love of math. As she was figuring out converting feet to inches, she said, "12x4=6x8 and I can do that!" She totally gets it - she isn't using formulas.

 

I was once again convinced of the wisdom behind RightStart yesterday at our co-op. The kids range in age from 4-6 and the oldest one did half a year of first grade at a public school before joining us a few months ago. RightStart asked the kids to solve problems like:

 

15=10+__

 

All the younger children could do it, despite doing math only twice a week at co-op, but the 6-year-old who had finished half a year of first grade was really thrown off by the equal sign being at the beginning of the problem instead of the end. RightStart teaches children proper mathematical language and notation from the beginning.

 

Emily

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The Second Edition of C should be out at the end of the summer.  I watched a Webinar from Rightstart that talked about the differences between the first and second edition.  There are so many differences in the newest edtition ....You might want to check this out before you decide :)

 

http://rightstartmath.com/workshops/past-webinars

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  I love Right Start, even with it's flaws (moves too slowly sometimes, jumps around, etc.)  I feel like I can teach math to all of my kids because of the foundation I got from learning math the Right Start way. 

 

Exactly this. Moves slowly is my main criticism, also the way Dr. Cotter explains things sometimes was confusing to me, but I hear that the new version is better about that. But, on the whole, it's been great. I've learned so much and feel so much more confident teaching my kids math, and their mental math skills and solid understanding of place value have given them a great foundation. I've tried many math programs, but unless my 3 yr old turns out to be the type of learner who it won't work for, I plan to use Rightstart with him too when he's ready.

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Reading this makes me wonder if we should skip RightStart A and start with B for my son. We are using Mathematics Made Meaningful with the c-rods now and will continue that for Kindergarten, along with some of the stuff on Educationunboxed.com, but I wanted to do Right Start A also.

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I love RS too. My oldest dd, who has dyscalculia, finally made progress once we switched to RS. Now my middle dd(11) is in Level E, and my ds(8) is in Level C. We also use Singapore.

 

Usually, it only takes about 5-10 minutes of my time to help my dd, now that she's in Level E. When she and my ds both needed more instruction time, I set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes. When the timer went off, we stopped. That kept me from being overwhelmed with the teaching requirements.

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Check out letsplaymath blog as well. Spend time playing logic and board games. My kids like Nim, Pig, and Giotto (and Pico, Fermi, Bagel) which don't take much to play. 

Hi Targhee, the way your family covers Math sounds wonderful !  I'm wondering if we can do the same. How do you allocate your time between the spine and supplements (Math Circle, games, explorations)? 

 

Also, a big thank you for the game suggestions - I hadn't heard of them :blushing:  so while searching for the rules I found the following page on NRich, which has a good listing:

http://nrich.maths.org/public/search.php?search=game&filters%5Btype%5D=2&page=0

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I really love RightStart. We are just starting d. My son is doing great with his math. It's the one area I don't worry about for him. He has really picked up things and they have stuck. We didn't do the drawing portion of c. I read a lot of reviews of c and a lot of people had issues with it and since my son was so young when he went through c I figured it was better to skip it. He has fine motor issues to which wouldn't of helped. If you don't go ahead with rig start you might just consider the card games. They are awesome for helping them get better a t math.

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We've used A through D and then switched. I liked A and B because it was very hands on and there were alot of games. Lessons were short. I will say I like the concept of teaching math the way the did in A and B, which is alot of mental math. Going into C and then D, in my mind, the curriculum changed. There are alot more worksheets in C and D, and alot less games. There's alot more pencil and paper, and less hands on at that point. I didn't like the way multiplication was taught at all. I think C took us almost two years to get through. By the time we hit D with my son, I was pregnant and had an infant in the house and was teaching another student, and just didn't have an hour every day to dedicate to math with one student. So we switched to TT. My oldest dd did A and B and then switched to CLE.

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I used levels A and B with my daughter when she was 4-5 years old and then we switched to Russian math/MEP/Singapore math. RS was moving too slow for my child who needed some challenges and acceleration. My son went through Russian math/Singapore1 when he was 4-5. Then he did RS B but we were doing several lessons per day because he is a fast learner. RightStart was just a way to have a "math vacation" for my boy before he went back to Singapore/Russian math mix. If you decide to use RS, I suggest supplementing it with Singapore challenging word problems and/or intensive practice assignments for a bigger challenge.

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Hi Targhee, the way your family covers Math sounds wonderful !  I'm wondering if we can do the same. How do you allocate your time between the spine and supplements (Math Circle, games, explorations)? 

 

Also, a big thank you for the game suggestions - I hadn't heard of them :blushing:  so while searching for the rules I found the following page on NRich, which has a good listing:

http://nrich.maths.org/public/search.php?search=game&filters%5Btype%5D=2&page=0

The NRich site is great - lots of games all together in one place, and many I hadn't tried. Thank you for reminding me!

 

Math in our house has a steady component, and a more free form component.  The steady component is Math Circle on Monday, work out of math curriculum Tu, Wed, Fri (Thu we have co-op). The math culture we try to build is the free form component -  isn't really scheduled. The kids always have the option of playing math games during school time if they are waiting on me or if they are done with their other work.  They often learn new activities at math circle and want to show me, dad, older sister, or friends.  We love game play, and we approach it with the excitement of "This is fun, want to play?", rather than the attitude of "this learning activity will be fun!"  It's a subtle difference.  But it makes the play extend into other places - we play board games in the evenings, or we play Picco, Fermi, Bagel on a napkin while waiting at a restaurant.  We puzzle through logic riddles and puzzle while driving in the car. My son spent some time the other day trying to explain why he thinks negative zero is a real number - so we just played with the idea together, and did lots of "what if" things to help him better understand what zero is. We tell math jokes :lol: We share and discuss math kind of like we share and discuss literature and language - it isn't confined to "school work."  I don't know if that is helpful or not.  We aren't math-obsessed, but it is a part of how we do things.

 

The math circle is great for getting kids who don't intrinsically see how awesome math is to begin to play with math.  My oldest is mathy - she is usually the one developing math jokes and analogies - she did not need the math circle to get her excited about math.  My next two have been a part of a math circle and it has increased their love of math, and their willingness to play and explore.  I decided to jump in and teach a (different) math circle at our co-op, and will teach another one in the fall.  That helped me get put my "math goggles" on, because it was something I was thinking about during the week in preparation for my class, and then I could point mathy things out to the kids.  Using AoPS materials (including Beast Academy) has also helped boost the math love around here.  And all those fun mathy videos at numberphile and vihart have helped as well.

 

Best Wishes!

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Longtime RS users here, and we still love it! :thumbup:

 

As you can see, we initially started with Saxon in K4—Math K and Math 1 (with 2 & 3 waiting on the shelf to follow), but soon discovered that Saxon was not for us after Math K.

 

K4 = Saxon Math K, started Math 1, and then quickly switched to RS Level A

K5 = Level B

1st = Level C

2nd= Level D

3rd = Level E

4th = Geometry + VideoText Mod A, along with some CWPs

 

I agree with Targhee that any math at the 2nd grade level is going to need you. 

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I hated level A...I don't think we even got half way through. Having said that, I plan on using level B for our first grader. I loved the way RS teaches. It is so exactly opposite of how I learned math (rote memorization...thanks for nothing) and so intuitive.

 

But the lessons in A (the first edition) jumped around far too much without any transition at all. I couldn't ever see where they were going with things. I noticed in one lesson, the student was suddenly supposed to know how to count by 2's or 5's or something without my ever having covered it. I don't know if I missed it or skipped it or ??? but that happened a few times. From what I've read, this gets better in level B, particularly the 2nd edition.

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I really like RS.  I've used A through 2/3 of C.  My oldest son started in B after hating math in 1st grade.  He did really well with it and finished the book within a few months.  He then had a really long math break b/c I had difficulty purchasing the next level as it had to be specially ordered in (I'm in Canada) and had an unexpected and very difficult high-risk pregnancy.  I think that break killed it for him b/c he never was able to find his groove again.  I still think the program is great, but we had to move on to something else (TT) b/c it wasn't worth the tears.

 

I started my next boy in A for Kindergarten, he is in 1st now and 3/4 through B.  It is going well enough, he's not a super mathy kid and gets a bit distracted w/ all the manipulatives, but he's getting a solid foundation.  I considered switching him for 2nd grade since he is a workbooky kid but I think I'm going to persist w/ RS C b/c it is solid.  My math has improved from using it!

 

I wasn't aware that there was a new edition of C coming out.  I'm interested in what the differences are, can anyone give me the Coles notes version?

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