James has been working his way through RightStart Level B this past term, and most days he absolutely loves it. He says it’s his favourite subject.
There are a lot of options available these days when it comes to math curricula, and I thought about using a couple different programs when I was first looking around. Singapore Math is used in quite a few classical schools, so I considered it – but I really don’t like its cutesy graphics. I also thought about using Math-U-See because Mystie Winckler (homeschooling mom whose blog I’ve been following for years) really loves it. But I didn’t like that it was DVD based – at this point in James’s education, I’d prefer to teach him myself, rather than have him learning from videos. I ended up choosing RightStart mostly based on online recommendations (especially on the Ambleside Online Forum), and I’m really happy with it so far. I was looking for a program that keeps math both interesting and practical, and RightStart does both well.
The lessons are very clearly laid out. Each two-page spread in the book contains one lesson, and each lesson has clear objectives and a list of the various materials needed to do that lesson. So, when we’re ready to start our math lesson, I open the book, gather the supplies and we begin.
I also like that it slowly builds on what a child has already learned. For example, the warm-up activity gets children used to thinking through simple addition facts. I’ve seen good, steady progress over the past few months in James’s mental math.
In today’s lesson, James was working on adding 6s, 7s and 8s to two-digit numbers. Charlotte Mason recommends keeping math lessons to 15-20 minutes when children are in Year 1, so if we don’t make it through an entire lesson (and we rarely do), I just put a little sticky arrow on the page and we pick up from where we left off on the next day.
June loves keeping a keen and watchful eye on James during his lessons.
One of RightStart’s advantages is that it integrates math games into the lessons, which really helps reinforce learning. James loves the games he’s learned so far! Here’s one example from a few weeks ago:
This week James started learning a simple form of Solitaire.
Gotta get a little bit of attention, too! 🙂